Why Obama can’t play every role at once

The Democratic Strategist has just posted a strategy memo by me on why Obama can’t be an activist, an organizer, a legislator and a president all at once.  It applies some of my ideas from Ruling Passions to what’s going on now.  My fans might find it of interest; my critics, great fun to insult.  Or the other way around—who knows.

Author: Andrew Sabl

I'm a political theorist and Visiting Professor (through 2017) in the Program on Ethics, Politics and Economics at Yale. My interests include the history of political thought, toleration, democratic theory, political ethics, problems of coordination and convention, the realist movement in political theory, and the thought of David Hume. My first book, Ruling Passions: Political Offices and Democratic Ethics (Princeton, 2002) covered many of these topics, with a special focus on the varieties of democratic politics and the disparate qualities of mind and character appropriate to those who practice each of them. My second book Hume's Politics: Coordination and Crisis in the History of England was published in 2012; I am currently finishing a book on toleration, with the working title The Virtues of Hypocrisy, under contract with Harvard University Press. A Los Angeles native, I got my B.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard. Before coming to Yale I taught at Vanderbilt and at UCLA, where I was an Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor; and held visiting positions at Williams, Harvard, and Princeton. I am married to Miriam Laugesen, who teaches health policy and the politics of health care at the Mailman School of public health at Columbia, and we have a twelve-year-old son.

One thought on “Why Obama can’t play every role at once”

  1. A distinct role for Obama in an era of legislative deadlock: "defender of justice under law"

    Dream on … there is NO role in which this president has shown LESS interest.

    That's not to say he might not position himself as "tough on crime" provided the "crimes" in question were committed by impoverished immigrants, indebted homeowners, etc. All corporate criminals are — naturally — above the law. To say nothing of state torturers in secret prisons and such.

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