We Can’t Go Home Again: Why the New Deal Won’t Be Renewed

Spilled across the title pages of progressive journals are demands for a new New Deal, a global New Deal, a New and Improved Deal, a reNewed Deal, and even New Deal 2.0. After Obama’s election, political cartoons—most notably, but not exclusively, on the cover of Time magazine—featured a jubilant, toothy Barack Obama with a cigarette holder, posing confidently in an open limousine à la FDR. Elsewhere, otherwise sober commentators began speaking of “Franklin Delano Obama.”

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Engaging with Democrats

Disillusionment with Democrats is one of the oldest—and most familiar—sentiments of labor progressives. Sadly, the first twenty-one months of the Obama era haven’t done much to alter those feelings. Without question, there has been progress on a number of critical issues—economic stimulus, health care reform, financial reform, key appointments at OSHA and the National Mediation Board (which oversees railway and airline labor relations)—which would have been unimaginable in a Republican presidency.

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