Category Archives: Barack Obama

President Obama on how he discusses policy with Republicans

Jonathan Chait’s entire interview with the president is fascinating. It offers Obama’s perspective on his own presidency, which is not the objective reality, but it is full of insights. For instance, Chait asks, “So it’s January 27, 2009, and you hear Boehner say he … Continue reading

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Krugman evolves

In today’s column, Paul Krugman defends president Obama as “an extremely consequential president, doing more to advance the progressive agenda than anyone since L.B.J.” Krugman challenges “the persistent delusion that a hidden majority of American voters either supports or can be … Continue reading

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the State of the Union’s peroration on citizenship

The President concluded his final State of the Union address with a rousing statement about citizenship. That was appropriate, because he has done the same thing in almost all of his most important speeches, including the 2004 Democratic Convention speech that launched his … Continue reading

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missing the civic empowerment messages of a Pope and a President

Michelle Boorstein compares the enthusiastic responses to Pope Francis in 2015 and Barack Obama in 2008 and collects several explanations for both: People have “an undeniable, sweeping affinity, a gut reaction to a new leader to whom we attach huge expectations … Continue reading

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Obama faces the new organizers

Peter Dreier has a great piece on President Obama’s background as a community organizer. The priceless photograph above comes from Dreier’s article. I also explore this aspect of the president’s past in We are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For, … Continue reading

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the Left between Obama and Hillary Clinton

Let’s define “the Left” as thinkers and organizational leaders who are open to voting for Democratic candidates but generally critical of the party, holding more radical policy objectives than elected Democrats do. The Left has had plenty of reason to … Continue reading

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my Fox News piece on ObamaCare

In lieu of a substantive post here today, I’ll link to my own op-ed (on the somewhat unlikely venue of FoxNews.com), entitled “ObamaCare and America’s youth — why lessons of 2014 will last a lifetime.” I argue that the big … Continue reading

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the president and the humanities

At a General Electric plant in Milwaukee last month, President Obama seemed to disparage one of the disciplines of the humanities: “I promise you, folks can make a lot more potentially with skilled manufacturing or the trades than they might … Continue reading

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the president on citizenship: all rhetoric?

In all of his high-profile official speeches, President Obama makes sure to speak strongly and explicitly about active citizenship as the solution to our national problems. I like to highlight and analyze these passages because reporters always completely ignore them, … Continue reading

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the new manipulative politics: behavioral economics, microtargeting, and the choice confronting Organizing for Action

In the era of digital networks, you can enable waves of innovation and creativity by inviting people to form their own groups and contribute their own tools and culture. In the era of digital networks, you can also manipulate masses … Continue reading

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