Sunday, August 23, 2009

American Political Tradition

Here’s a brief civics lesson from Lincoln’s Secretary of State William H. Seward that I found in Richard Hofstadter’s American Political Tradition. He said that a political party is “in one sense a joint stock company in which those who contribute the most, direct the action and management of the concern.”

Not to be too simplistic about it, but honestly, do you really need to know much more than that in order to understand why Obama’s America is, in substance, eerily similar to George W. Bush’s? The largest contributors are managing the concern, and the largest contributors ain’t us. They are the same constellation of banks, corporations, armaments manufacturers and insurance companies that had the whip hand under Bush (and Clinton, and G.H.W. Bush, and Reagan …). They simply hired a nicer looking, more articulate spokesmen. Like all of his predecessors, he’s doing what he’s told.

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