Progress in the Age of Obama

Monday, November 21, 2011

Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel discusses the Obama administration, and her belief that, in the wake of the economic crisis and amidst challenges from the insurgent Tea Party movement, it will take more than one election and one person to reshape American politics. In The Change I Believe In: Fighting for Progress in the Age of Obama vanden Heuvel challenges the limits of political debate, arguing that timid incremental change and the forces of money and establishment power that debilitate American politics will be overcome only by independent organizing, strategic creativity, bold ideas, and determined idealism.


Katrina vanden Heuvel

Comments [24]


Anna: Yes, I believe in the unfettered market. No, I don't care for Katrina's misguided solutions to our economic problems. She believes that the government is the answer to our economic problems. What she doesn't realize is that it is the government under the control of the banks (through the Federal Reserve) and other privileged big corporations which is the cause of our economic problems to begin with.

(My first comment on the thread was only pointing out the things that I agreed with her on.)

Nov. 22 2011 01:40 PM
anna from new york

Well, David. So you're for "unfettered" capitalism and you like Katrina. Sure, what not to like there? You are confirming what I've been saying. A bunch of overprivileged, overfed and overprimitive individuals dressed like Maria Antoinette in a peasant dress (sorry, like 99% of the population) are hijacking and misdirecting (in a traditional way - everyone who knows Cockburn and Hedges knows what I have in mind) .
Nice. Yes, sarcasm. And the defenders .. what is not evil here?

Nov. 22 2011 12:54 PM

Anna, I'm not sure what your definition is of a "free market," but all I can respond is that if you believe we have a free (i.e., unfettered) market in this country, go start a business and see how "free" you are from government licensing and regulation.

Nov. 22 2011 02:44 AM
anna from new york

I can assure you that Katrina is wrong about "crony capitalism" and almost everything else.
American capitalism is unfettered, and our beloved Katrina is a significant part of the problem - as part of the abusing class. Dear David, did you bother to check her record as an employer? Yes, I know it's a rhetorical question. You didn't and the fact that you are not familiar with such concept as "unfettered capitalism" "exploitation" and "structural problems" and bubble about "crony capitalism" proves my point. Katrina is there to point in the wrong direction - it's they, no, no, no, not me, and illiterate, psychobubbling population buys her stuff.
Send Americans to school.

Nov. 22 2011 02:20 AM

Barry, you wrote: "As a gay male I can say that Obama has done an incredible job for gay people in this country."

Obama doesn't even support gay marriage. He supports "civil unions." Are gay people second-class citizens? Some "liberal" Obama is.

Nov. 22 2011 01:00 AM

Let's see: Barack "George Bush" Obama not only did NOT end that bogus war in Iraq when he first took office (which he promised would be "the first thing he would do" when he became President:, he INCREASED that bogus war in Afghanistan and he started drone bombing wars in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. Barack "GB" Obama supported those immoral corporate welfare bailouts of the banks and car companies. Barack "GB" Obama not only did not get rid of that Orwellian fascist "Patriot" Act, but has now made it possible for an American President to order the assassination of a U.S. citizen. Some "change" we got from that previous idiot George Bush.

She's 100% correct that our country is crony capitalism. If we truly had a free market, the banks and car companies would have gone out of business for being incompetent rather than using their puppets in Congress to force the competent, productive people in this country to bail them out. Bailing out incompetence is not an efficient use of limited resources. (Don't forget that Barack Obama's largest contributor during his Presidential campaign was Goldman Sachs.)

Leonard is correct about the Bankers still supporting Obama more than Republicans:

"Obama Tops GOP Candidates in Wall Street Donations"

Brava to her condemning the phony War on "Terror" and the U.S. government's increased military presence around the world. I don't understand why more liberals don't get angry about this total waste of money and lives.

(By the way, this country is not becoming socialist. It's already fascist, and it's getting worse.)

Nov. 22 2011 12:58 AM
anna from new york

I am fuming. The right is right when they talk about hypocrisy.
A couple of days before the pipeline protest, a relative who works for Quest told me that they have now cameras in the workplace monitoring every move by employees.
I decided to check what "progressive" media say about it and went to Democracy Now where the entire front page was dedicated to ... you guess it ... Flotilla. Another one.
Two days later, the Flotilla girl was in Washington protesting American oil and pushing for more Saudi oil. No surprise here.
Sometimes, before the Arab spring, I searched our "progressive" website.
There were some 1400 Palestinian hits, some 300 union/workplace/labor etc. Although, I never was a Nation reader, I scanned a couple times the magazine in the past. There was no coverage of labor/unions/workplace. Now, Katrina is talking about joblessness.
These people are exceptional hypocrites, because, among other things, they posture as 99%. They have their interests, their phobia, their games, etc. and no interest and NO UNDERSTANDING how the rest of us live. They don't represent us; they are enemies. I tend to say that the fact that Hitler was a monster doesn't mean that his archenemy (Stalin) was a pussycat.

Nov. 21 2011 04:01 PM
anna from new york

"The Nation is one of the best written magazines in the world"
And you know this ... how?
English is my 7th language and I can read in many more. Can you? I can assure you that a magazine of Cockburn and Hedges can't be good.

Nov. 21 2011 02:24 PM
Henry from Katonah

The age of Obama?
I saw a book recently on the Age of Reagan that included the 1990s.
When public discourse uses some other voabulary than Reagan's , we might have an age of Obma.
I am still hopeful that Obama will articulate a philosophy; the 2012 campaign is yet young.

Nov. 21 2011 02:15 PM
anna from new york

"Anna - not agreeing with someone else's opinions does not make that person a "monster". Only cruel, criminal and inhumane actions can make them a monster - as were Hitler & Stalin. "
Well, I think that manipulating the population in difficult times (using all the advantages one inherited and all the techniques of demagoguery) to one's advantage is pretty ugly. This nation is in trouble, and millions are suffering, when the monsters are playing their ugly games.
We have other problems than the Palestinians or pipelines, Lady. Stop distracting.
Hitler and Stalin before they became Hitler and Stalin were activists, protestors, community organizers and .. occasionally prisoners.
I does matter who when how and why protest, organize etc.

Nov. 21 2011 02:08 PM
Ro in Manhattan from NYC

Anna - not agreeing with someone else's opinions does not make that person a "monster". Only cruel, criminal and inhumane actions can make them a monster - as were Hitler & Stalin.
Don - don't be a silly-billy! How old are you that you ascribe people's names to typify their opinions!

Nov. 21 2011 01:59 PM
Joan from Bay Ridge

Katrina, the boat left without you. Move on. Stop saying Obama is tone deaf. He is exactly who he always was. No amount of pushing from the left will move him.

Nov. 21 2011 01:56 PM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

As long as "change" is pushed through two, entrenched, political parties -NOTHING WILL HAPPEN.

Nov. 21 2011 01:55 PM
anna from new york

OK, I rephrase.
Julia Drejfus, Katrina van den Heuvel, Nickolas Kristof (wife an executive of G&S), Michael Moore, Russell Simmons, Roseanne Barr, Paul Krugman and many, many, many other poor, poor, poor "progressives" without any money" are 99%. Yes, Sure.
Is Tea Party still hiring. I, a traditional Social Democrat, am ready to join. I know I can't be in group with "poor, poor, poor" Progressives. They are really repulsive.

Nov. 21 2011 01:52 PM
fuva from Harlemworld


Nov. 21 2011 01:51 PM
fuva from Harlemworld

Nothing new here, to satisfy the requirements of this unique moment.

Nov. 21 2011 01:47 PM
anna from new york

This woman is a monster.

Nov. 21 2011 01:45 PM
Bobby G from East Village

Ms. Vandel Heuval is right to describe the Republican Party as "nihilist." To pledge allegiance to someone who wants to drag the Federal Government, "into the bathroom and drown in the bathtub," is nihilism.

Nov. 21 2011 01:42 PM
don from brooklyn

This interview and personality provides the worst of biased NRP sanctimony. NEVER trust anyone with a 3 part last name. Nauseating!

Nov. 21 2011 01:40 PM
anna from new york

Yes, some two weeks ago, the Flotilla jet set (on a break from Flotillas) flow in in jets, was driven in limousines to Washington to protect ... the interest of ... the Arab countries to oil monopoly. Now, the billionaires (e.g., Julia Dreyfus, Katrina van den Heuvel, etc.) are celebrating the victory and continue bubbling about 1% (poor billionaires suffering among 99%) when not preparing the next Flotilla. Few people provoke a greater revulsion than these bastards.

Nov. 21 2011 01:37 PM
john from office

How does she feel about the three young african american males shot in brooklyn over the weekend?? With one death. How do you police that without some degree of intrusion??

Nov. 21 2011 01:35 PM
john from office

The Nation is one of the best written magazines in the world, even when I dont agree with the article.

Nov. 21 2011 01:32 PM
Barry from UWS

As a gay male I can say that Obama has done an incredible job for gay people in this country. His steps seem limited but if you look closely his maneuvers were very tactful. Ending Don't Ask Don't Tell and no longer fighting DOMA will are massive changes George Bush ignored for 8 years.

Nov. 21 2011 01:28 PM
Ed from Larchmont

The only thing that will change American politics is a repudiation of abortion, just like slavery in the 1850s. Until that is done, there is no hope. And this president is the most pro-abortion president ever, in the pocket of planned parenthood.

Nov. 21 2011 08:12 AM

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