Monday, November 16, 2009

Political analyst for The New Yorker Hendrik Hertzberg gives an account of the events that culminated in the victory of Barack Obama in last year’s presidential election. His book ¡OBÁMANOS! The Rise of a New Political Era, is adapted from his articles in The New Yorker’s "The Talk of the Town" section and in the blog he kept on the magazine's Web site.

Comments [24]

listen from manhattan

With respect, Peter from CT; that Bush was selected to the presidency by an ideologically-inflected, judicially-suspect narrow ruling by the Supreme Court; that Gore won the national popular vote in that election; and that the counting of votes in Florida was corrupted and distorted by the gubernatorial administration of Bush's brother--all of these are matters of historical record, and can fairly be described as a judicial coup d'etat. Imagine these same events in a stereotypical banana republic, and you might have an easier time seeing it. Whether one regards Al Gore's failure to resist these events as a sign of tragic passivity or of grace on behalf of the republic, and whether one sees the presidency that resulted as a disgrace for our country, that we can reasonably debate.

Nov. 16 2009 02:19 PM
john from office

Thank you peter

Nov. 16 2009 02:09 PM
Peter from CT

The second anyone claims that Bush became President by a "judicial coup d'etat" that person loses any chance at being considered rational and intelligent.

Nov. 16 2009 02:04 PM
t from manhattan

after years of listening to and even appreciating the leonard lopate show, i've accepted that the host's meandering non-sequiters [sp?] and auto-didactic conversational detours are all part of the package. but sometimes he just needs to do his job and be an interviewer. ask follow-up questions! this conversation with hertzberg is maddening, with so many failures by lopate to follow up on meaningful moments and critical points and assertions by the guest. examples: american politics as morality play, the electoral college and structural change, etc; when the guest says "the levers are broken", you ask "why", not just go down to the next question on your list. Please Leonard, listen to a little Terry Gross, and remember your job: you're a stand-in for the listener, and you should ask questions that emerge from what the guest is saying.

Nov. 16 2009 02:03 PM
Enrique from Elizabeth, NJ

"Judicial Coup" the best thing Hen' has said in the entire interview. Negroponte put that to practice in Honduras 4 months ago. VERY SUCCESSFUL.

Nov. 16 2009 02:03 PM
Judy from nj

The Republicans are now the party of "No".
They have not tried to come to the table with anything worth while.
Our President has many crisis to address. Recovery will take time-isn't that reality?

Nov. 16 2009 01:52 PM
Jeffrey from upper west side

The main problem with congress is that they are allowed to accept huge amounts of money from interests on which they legislate. The judiciary would recuse itself when there is a conflict of interest. Not so congress.

Nov. 16 2009 01:51 PM
Aaron from nyc

Hertzberg's Obama worship is every bit as fatuous as that of the worst Bush apologist. This kind of sycophantic talk should not take up valuable airtime on an otherwise enlightening program.

Nov. 16 2009 01:50 PM
Mary from Montclair,nj

why are the American people so afraid of change in health care? I don't understand why people aren't marching in the streets to protest drug companies and their maneuvers to maintain high profits no matter the cost to American's health. I just saw Sicko and I am amazed at our country's passivity.

Nov. 16 2009 01:50 PM
john from office

Len, ask him why is it alright for the New Yorker to publish secrets. When did they become the 4th branch of Government. Recently there was a disclosure of secret Amercain plans to seize Pakistani atomic weapons.

Nov. 16 2009 01:46 PM
Gary from Port Washinbgton

I am amazed that when we get a President who is a constitutional scholar and taught Constitutional Law and looks to follow and enforce the constitution so many Americans don't understand it. Maybe we need civic lessons. Obama was handed a broken country with the economy collapsing, two wars, no sound industrial policy. With the acts of Paulson, Brieneke and the Federal Reserve and Obama we avoided a second depression. We have repaired our relationships around the world, we are tackling global warming; we now allow stem cell research and have a President that believes in science and due process. Obama was a move back to sanity and progress. The world knows this and he has a Nobel Peace Prize to prove it.

Nov. 16 2009 01:45 PM
john from office

I am talking about the vast middle, between the east and west coast.

Nov. 16 2009 01:44 PM
Betty Anne from UES

What exactly is his reasoning for saying we will not get a public option.

Obama will NOT gain reelection if this does not happen.

Can you ask him about Obama and gay rights, does he foresee an end to DOMA?

Nov. 16 2009 01:42 PM
Janny from jersey city

Hey John I am a so-called 'average American' and I DO have a problem with Gitmo, rendition and torture!!

Nov. 16 2009 01:40 PM
Simon from New York

I consider myself one of those Democratic party leaning moderates you seem to revile I am not in favor (although I am withholding judgement until the final bill) of a public option. But it is a falsehood to say that the administrations' effort (to date) has been bi-partisan. There were so many measures (ie. market reforms, malpractice reform, broadening of HSAs) that would have been palatable to the Republicans which could have passed muster. To sneer at people like me who have a profound distaste for growing the government in a time when our other entitlements are out of control, is to alienate the middle.

Nov. 16 2009 01:39 PM
Susan Beola from Manhattan

WHY doesn't the government put the prisoners from Guantanamo in military prisons. Don't we have "brigs" ?

Nov. 16 2009 01:39 PM
Janny from jersey city

Hendrik is always, always, spot on. I find myself always thinking "YES! EXACTLY!" after reading him in the New Yorker.

Nov. 16 2009 01:38 PM
john from office

We are in a war, thats why we had Gitmo, rendition, and torture. Which the average American has no problem with, just ask them.

Nov. 16 2009 01:37 PM
john from office

Len, thanks for a good interview. No gushing, real questions, real substance.

Nov. 16 2009 01:35 PM
john from office

Why is it funny that Cheney, believes that he was defending the American People. Your guest laughed at that.

He and Bush maintained security for 8 years, now all of that work is going down the drain.

Nov. 16 2009 01:29 PM
Melinda Hunt from East Village

You mentioned a while ago that you felt that the U.S. Constitution needs to be rewritten. Is Could you expand on that? Do you think Obama could broach this issue?

Nov. 16 2009 01:28 PM
Gary from Upper Left Side

Oh Hendrik, you and the other Obama worshipers will be so, so disappointed when you discover the emperor has no clothes.


By the way, Gitmo is still open for business.

Nov. 16 2009 01:04 PM
Enrique from Elizabeth, NJ

The 7 military bases in Colombia (the new Israel on the hemisphere)* i meant to say.

Nov. 16 2009 12:25 PM
Enrique from Elizabeth, NJ

...and a few months later, we're back to square one: presidents are nothing more than the p.r. face of CIA (the bastard child of the elites). Negroponte's coup in Honduras (motoring on), the 7 american military bases, Afganistan, Irak (part 3, even though i already lost count) prove this perfectly.

The international community, scared by all this wars, self destruction et cetera, had no other 'timid' way of protesting, but by practicing some reverse psychology giving him the "peace" prize...

Nov. 16 2009 12:23 PM

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