Tocqueville’s views were not without controversy at the time. They still are in some corners.
Author: Benjamin Domenech
President Obama’s speech yesterday on inequality is being lauded as one of the best of his life, by people who paid attention to it. It’s a sad speech to read, in some sense, since it contains within it the promise of a presidency that we never saw come to fruition – the sort of policy effort that might have been launched to bipartisan success in the first year of his presidency, instead of his effort on Obamacare.
Had the administration admitted its management failure before the exchanges launched, or traded a delay of implementation in the course of negotiation, it could’ve taken a political hit, but avoided the policy failure.
Whenever it comes to a clash between the donor class and the base, there’s all sorts of threats and exhortations about who’s going to take their ball and go home. The grassroots conservatives say they won’t be able to deliver the votes and the volunteers, while the donor community demands that they be logical and get on the team.
All that’s needed is for the right leaders to step forward who understand the importance of all of this, who aren’t all soft answers or hard-edged knife fighters. Why do we accept the premise that the GOP either needs to be all Fredo or all Sonny?
The balance of what’s possible with what the base wants is a delicate thing, and Republican leadership sure hasn’t figured out how to achieve it. That Bismarck line about politics being the art of the possible is being bandied about a lot lately… But I’ve always had a problem with it, because I think it ignores the reality of modern political tactics.