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View Diary: Gears of Government: Why Obama's Election Was Never Enough (2 comments)

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  •  Thanks for this (4+ / 0-)
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    Yasuragi, lcrp, Catte Nappe, FiredUpInCA

    It can't be said enough:

    It's time to look at the big picture and recognize that if we want to shift power back our way, and get what we want done, We'll be fighting that battle on multiple levels, in State and local governments.

    We just had an election in my suburban Chicago township and although it went for Obama in 2008/2012 and is roughly 50-50, we lost all local races - no, we were trounced by a 2-1 margin.  We also had one key race with 2 Repubs and one Dem and the Dem still lost.

    I really have no hope for 2014 mid-terms.  We can't do turnout the way we should for anything other than Prez elections.

    You may like this old quote from Ezra Klein years ago (check the date and context) discussing why we focus too much on the Presidential office.  Ultimately it's a form of intellectual laziness, IMHO (my bold):

    Forget the president. Not totally, of course. The president matters. But not as much as you think. Not as much as you've been led to believe. The centrality of the executive is something of a convenient fiction in American politics. Convenient for the media, which can tell the story of national affairs by following a single character. Convenient for the party that holds the White House, which can outsource the messy work of constructing an agenda to one actor. Convenient for the party that does not hold the White House, which can create an agenda out of simple opposition. And convenient for voters, who can understand politics through the actions of a discrete player and offload their dissatisfaction onto the failures of a hapless individual.

    But the "great man" theory of the presidency is not convenient when it comes to actually creating change. Again and again, presidents disappoint. They fail to pass health-care reform or Social Security privatization. They don't ease partisanship or break through gridlock. They prove impotent in the face of immediate crises and leave long-term challenges to fester. And so we tire of them, resolving to replace them with more presidents. Better presidents. Presidents of the other party, or of the same party, or of no party at all. Businessmen like Mike Bloomberg, insurgents like Ralph Nader, charismatic leaders like Barack Obama, self-professed mavericks like John McCain.

    Executive leadership is important, of course, but the continual failure of our presidents should be lesson enough that it is not sufficient. The executive is but one actor in a sprawling drama. Consider this: Comprehensive health reform has been attempted or considered by Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton. It cannot be that they were all dunces, or weaklings, or incapable legislative tacticians.

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Thu May 16, 2013 at 09:57:00 AM PDT

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