You’ve read it once, you’ve read it a thousand times: Barack Obama is not Franklin Roosevelt. He’s no Lyndon Johnson. These were great liberal fighters who made no apologies for their liberalism and “welcomed the hatred” of the moneyed class.
There’s some truth to the statement. But it ignores some extremely important facts about the far less favorable political milieu of today—rabid and rigid conservatism, far smaller congressional majorities—in which Obama is forced to operate. And even more important: constantly comparing Obama’s hits and misses to liberalism’s greatest triumphs can only guarantee despair—and defeat.
In “Against Despair,” Michael Tomasky argue that progressives today misuse history, and that doing so leaves us desolate and enervated at a time when we need to be engaged in a long-term fight against an opposition that is (alas) joyously energized. With the Roundtable conversation about the future of defense and military policy, we introduce a new format and rubric, “America 2021.” Four leading progressive defense intellectuals discuss the issues we will face over the next ten years. We also offer a challenging piece arguing that the United States should open up a channel to Hezbollah; a probing report into the perils of international adoption; and the usual excellent assortment of book reviews.