Notas ao café…

Obama e a América

Posted in notas ao café by JN on Março 13, 2010


Taylor Jones, «El Nuevo Día»

Godfrey Hodgson, no openDemocracy, escreve que a promessa Obama ainda está por se concretizar mas que o seu percurso na presidência, e a sua capacidade de o melhorar, tem que ser julgado no contexto da própria instituição que ele chefia e nas sua limitações. O mesmo Hodgson escreve que um candidato inspiradora tornou-se um presidente em queda: Barack Obama surgiu como o candidato da mudança à Casa Branca mas, segundo Hodgson, a mudança já tinha chegado há muito à América e esta tinha-se tornado conservadora.

[…] The large shift in the intellectual history of the United States in the late 20th century continued as conservative ideas advanced in the law schools and eventually the Supreme Court. The court, once controlled by a liberal majority that accepted the doctrine of social activism inherited from Oliver Wendell Holmes and Louis D Brandeis, came to acquire a more or less reliable five-to-four permanent majority on the right. […]

Perhaps even more important in America’s large-scale move to the right was the changing profile of the news industry. The fashionable depiction of a liberal media establishment had always been exaggerated; the majority of journalists may long have been liberals, but most of their bosses were always conservatives. If the news media had once sustained the “liberal consensus”, however, there has been a steady change over the last half century in the direction of more variety and then more conservatism. […]


David Horsey, «Seattle Post-Intelligencer»

David Brookes no New Tork Times tenta definir o Barack Onbama politicamente, mantém as suas críticas, mas continua a insistir que o Presidente continua a ser o mais realista e ponderado dos protagonistas de Washington:

If you ask a conservative Republican, you are likely to hear that Obama is a skilled politician who campaigned as a centrist but is governing as a big-government liberal. […] He is arrogant toward foes, condescending toward allies and runs a partisan political machine.

If you ask a liberal Democrat, you are likely to hear that Obama is an inspiring but overly intellectual leader who has trouble making up his mind and fighting for his positions. He has not defined a clear mission. He has allowed the Republicans to dominate debate. He is too quick to compromise and too cerebral to push things through.

You’ll notice first that these two viewpoints are diametrically opposed. You’ll, observe, second, that they are entirely predictable. […] And finally, you’ll notice that both views distort reality. They tell you more about the information cocoons that partisans live in these days than about Obama himself.

The fact is, Obama is as he always has been, a center-left pragmatic reformer. […] He always uses the same on-the-one-hand-on-the-other sentence structure. Government should address problems without interfering with the dynamism of the market.

He has tried to find this balance in a town without an organized center — in a town in which liberals chair the main committees and small-government conservatives lead the opposition. He has tried to do it in a context maximally inhospitable to his aims.

[…] In a sensible country, people would see Obama as a president trying to define a modern brand of moderate progressivism. In a sensible country, Obama would be able to clearly define this project without fear of offending the people he needs to get legislation passed. But we don’t live in that country. We live in a country in which many people live in information cocoons in which they only talk to members of their own party and read blogs of their own sect. They come away with perceptions fundamentally at odds with reality, fundamentally misunderstanding the man in the Oval Office.


Martin Sutovec

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