Like (Jonathan) Chait, I admire the cost control incentives and experiments packed into the Affordable Care Act. Thanks to Michael Grunwald, I, along with the New York Times editorial board, Paul Krugman, E.J. Dionne, and probably every other progressive, have a new awareness of the manifold very-likely-successful alternative energy investments spring-loaded in the 2009 stimulus -- and appreciate its transparency, freedom from corruption and balance of short-term stimulus and long-term investment. I see the proof of the auto bailout in the performance. I note that for all the bankers' bitching and slow-walking of the rulemaking in Dodd-Frank, that megabanks' buccaneering is significantly curtailed, that fewer MBAs are going to Wall Street, and so perhaps the financialization of our economy may be going into remission. I have high hopes that the Consumer Financial Protection Board will escape regulatory capture for a generation at least.
A whole fleet of battleships is turning, and it's not happening by accident. We have, as Chait said, a president with "keen analytical mind, grasping both the possibilities and the limits of activist government." But why would Chait not acknowledge that Obama's rhetoric articulates that balance, along with many other complex realities, with singular clarity? Obama's public speech is not a gaudy wrapping on a prosaic package. It lays out the broad goals and historical dynamics that all the tough legislative slogging serves, and it acknowledges the tension between messy process and lofty goal...
It took many of us four years, and a good long gaze at the abyss of Mitt Romney's post-truth campaign. But a lot of progressives are starting to appreciate what change looks like.
---xpostfactoid (Vitus emphasis) HT Chait