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The Obama question : a progressive perspective / Gary Dorrien.


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Dorrien, Gary J.
Publication date:
Lanham, Md. : Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, c2012.
  • Book
  • ix, 245 p. ; 24 cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
  • Shortcut to Redemption
  • Becoming Obama
  • To the White House
  • Saving capitalism from itself
  • Timidly bold Obamacare
  • Moral empire and liberal war
  • Banks and budgets
  • What kind of country?
The election of Barack Obama to the presidency in 2008 was hailed by many as a historic event and by some as the end of the Reagan era in American politics. But conservatives have condemned Obama from the beginning of his presidency, and many progressives charge that Obama has betrayed the causes that he espoused in 2008. This book offers a critique of Obama's presidency and a powerful case that progressives should not give up on Obama. The author, a social ethicist argues that Obama is a figure of "protean irony and complexity." Obama has been a disappointment in many ways, he contends, yet Obama also has historic achievements to his credit that are too often discounted. The author emphasizes the importance of Obama's story to his career and devotes chapters to the economic crisis, the health care reform debate, war and foreign policy, banking regulation and the federal budget, and the case for a progressive politics of the common good. Ultimately, he says, the Obama question is whether or not Obama's presidency will mark the end of the Reagan era, when giant corporations and the wealthy got whatever they wanted, military budgets soared, and American politics was ruled by the fantasy of tax cuts paying for themselves. The author argues that there is still time to redeem the hope of the 2008 election, bringing an end to the Reagan era. This book is an insightful evaluation of a tumultuous presidency.

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