Thursday, August 28, 2008

Okay, Now I'm Excited
All week, I've been keeping my distance exposure-wise from the Democratic National Convention. In part, it's because I find the staged nature of modern political conventions both uninteresting and mildly disgusting, and in part it's because the Phillies have been on TV each of the last four nights. The bits I've seen have been fine: Michelle Obama's speech Monday night, Biden's last night, slices of other ones. The Clintons evidently acquitted themselves pretty well, and I saw enough of Bill Clinton's remarks last night to marvel again at how much better he is at making the populist economic case than any other pol in my lifetime.

In a few hours, Obama will try to pull off a similar feat. I've been nervous about this speech, because the atmospherics of it are too obviously rock-concert and the expectations are almost impossibly high. But now I'm more curious than nervous, because Obama's economic philosophy--superbly laid out in this article by Times economic reporter David Leonhardt--has really revolutionary possibilities. The piece is actually so good that I'm hesitant to quote any of it; essentially, it describes how Obama takes the approach that market operations often present the best solution to policy problems, but that they're neither infallible nor sacrosanct. It's perhaps the clearest expression of the often vague post-partisanship Obama is said to represent--essentially fusing the ends of classic liberal Democrats with the means of market-focused Reagan Republicans--and, if successful, could truly revolutionize public policy in this country.

I strongly urge you to give it a read.

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