You may have heard recently about the interesting case of Chip Saltsman, the candidate for chairman of the Republican National Committee, who as part of his campaign sent around a CD of song parodies, including one called "Barack the Magic Negro" that came from Rush Limbaugh's radio show.
Since the remarkable results of Nov. 4, there has been much discussion about the new progressive moment in which America finds itself. But it has actually been evident for some time that we're talking about old issues in new ways. Let's take just one -- health care reform-- which could actually happen next year. One thing we know is that there will be a serious, even vicious fight over the issue. What we don't know is whether President-elect Obama will seize the moment, or succumb to the same fear that has stayed Democrats' hands for so long.
President-elect Barack Obama, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Barack Obama hasn't even taken office yet, and progressives have been debating his presidency with such energy it almost feels like it's time to start arguing about his legacy. Let it never be said that we're not forward-looking.
When the latest issue of The American Prospect came out -- with a picture of Barack Obama on the cover, and the headline, "Our Moment" -- occasional TAP contributor Spencer Ackermanwrote that although the headline referred to progressives in general, it might have referred to TAP itself. "Right now I think it's fair to say that the Prospect best captures the political zeitgeist of any opinion magazine out there."
Years from now, we will look back on Jan. 20, 2009, as the day the era of conservative dominance we might call the Age of Reagan finally came to an end. Twenty-eight years ago, the 40th president looked out over the National Mall and proclaimed, "Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem." He went on, "It is no coincidence that our present troubles parallel and are proportionate to the intervention and intrusion in our lives that result from unnecessary and excessive growth of government."