Over at correntewire.com, there are two excellent links to articles analyzing the collapse of the American empire. First, Paul Rosenberg takes on E.J. Dionne's recent column about how the news media's regard for conservatives are blocking much needed discussion of more progressive policy options:
The only real problem here is the fundamental one: what works politically in Versailles has no relationship whatsoever to the real world. Politically acceptable health care reform will not actually reform health care, any more than a politically acceptable approach to global warming will actually save the planet. This has been seen repeatedly throughout history: Empires fall in large part precisely because of this-elites grow increasingly insular and out of touch until the whole thing falls apart. Obama has shown himself masterful at elite politics, he has, as dday points out, the best enemies he could possibly hope for. And he's equally adept at pleasing the masses. But the one thing he can't do is actually solve the problems America faces, because to do that he would actually have to stand for transformational change. And that is the very last thing that he has in mind.
Second, Eriposte considers why progressives are able to get people (other than conservatives) elected, but are unable to actually get some progressive policies enacted into law:
The progressive movement in the United States might be very effective in fighting Republicans and electing Democrats to office but it is nowhere near being able to drive a truly progressive agenda in some key areas [like banksters, single payer, Af-Pak, the restoration of Constitutioal government]*. The main reason for this is that many of the key players in this movement are not really leaders. It remains to be seen how that changes in the coming years.
Have a nice weekend!