Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Elite Opinion and Policy Versus Politics

Ezra Klein comments on the emerging elite consensus in favor of Obama, and describes how he perceives the Obama/Clinton choice:

My basic belief is that Obama is more progressive on foreign policy, [Clinton]'s more liberal on social policy, but he's more likely to lead towards a more progressive moment on social policy, almost in s[p]ite of his own policy shop.

Or as he puts it in his longer piece (nullus):

The promise of [Obama's] presidency is less its capacity to change our policies than its capacity to change our politics.

I think I basically agree. I'd elaborate that, first, policies matter, especially to non-elites; and second, politics don't seem to ever much change, despite many smart people's best efforts at various significant points throughout history (not least the election in 1992 of William Jefferson Clinton, whose triangulized policies progressives are still trying to get out from under).

No comments: