Category Archives: Barack Obama

reading the inauguration

Last time, we were there. This time, the inauguration was a TV show for me and my family, but still full of interesting themes and messages. The citizenship theme: In the third major speech in a row (his nomination speech … Continue reading

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foreign policy, ideology, and the election

At their final debate, the two major party candidates seemed to converge on a doctrine that might be called cautious amoralism. All that counts are the economic interests of the United States and the security interests of the US and … Continue reading

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taking the president seriously about citizenship

My new Huffington Post piece is entitled┬áTaking the President Seriously About Citizenship. In it, I cite our recent work on the economic benefits of civic engagement and connect that to the President’s speech about citizenship in Charlotte. An excerpt: Mr. … Continue reading

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Obama on Citizenship in Charlotte, revisited

In the peroration of his Charlotte speech, the President spoke forcefully about citizenship. Because that topic is my life’s concern–and because I have such high regard for Obama’s pre-presidential work on citizenship–I gave the speech a critical review. I implied … Continue reading

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Obama on Citizenship in Charlotte

Barack Obama began his career as an advanced thinker about citizenship. He was not only a community organizer but a theorist of community organizing, a member of Robert Putnam’s “Saguaro Seminar: Civic Engagement in America,” and an eloquent defender of … Continue reading

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Barack Obama on community organizing (1988)

(en route to Chicago) I spoke over the weekend at the Barack Obama and American Democracy conference. For that purpose, I had re-read an essay that Obama published in 1988 in the journal Illinois Issues, entitled “Why Organize? Problems and … Continue reading

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why no Keynesianism anywhere?

For all the billions of bytes devoted to criticizing Barack Obama’s economic strategies (Why wasn’t the stimulus bigger? Why didn’t he get the debt limit raised earlier?), there seems to be hardly any discussion of a much more significant question: … Continue reading

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assessing the president

Right now, everyone on the left seems to want to criticize President Obama’s leadership or else rise to his defense–yielding a vast flow of commentary. (See, for example, Drew Westen, Matt Miller, or Tom Philips for the prosecution; Kevin Drum … Continue reading

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snapshots of Black politics

Since the 2008 election, I have been privileged to spend seven or eight days in meetings with predominantly African American scholars or activists, talking about politics and Black issues. It’s said that wherever there are two Jews, there are three … Continue reading

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could the president pivot to anti-corruption?

Based on recent polling, Andrew Levison argues that a minority of Americans (call them the supply-siders) believe that a combination of federal spending cuts and tax cuts would boost the economy. A different minority (the Keynesians) believe that federal spending … Continue reading

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