This morning Harold Meyerson of the Washington Post laments that president Obama’s agenda may fail if the Left doesn’t manage to create some sort of “autonomous, vibrant mass movements, usually led by activists who stand at or beyond liberalism’s left fringe.” Without such mass movements, he explains, there won’t be another major liberal reform.
As evidence, he explains how Roosevelt was successful at putting in place his “progressive” agenda because of how many people were unemployed and unhappy. Same with LBJ, whose success in implementing reforms was the result of the true misery of a portion of the American people that led to the civil-rights movement and much street heat.
Today, things are different, he laments, and no such movements exist. And as he says: “Congress isn’t feeling much pressure from the left to move Obama’s agenda.” But while he claims that this lack of street action is the product of Obama’s unwillingness to call upon the activists, I suspect that it has more to due with the fact that no matter how much they claim they want to reform the country and regulate the market, liberals aren’t that eager to get out of their houses and rock the streets. Instead, they would rather stay home and enjoy the comfort that a capitalist life does provide.