About Me

I am Associate Professor and Chair of the History Department at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. I am also the Academic Director of the Clemente Course in the Humanities, in New Bedford MA. Author of "Social Security and the Middle Class Squeeze" (Praeger, 2005) and the forthcoming "Saul Alinsky the Dilemma of Race in the Post-War City" (University of Chicago Press), my teaching and scholarship focuses on American urban history, social policy, and politics. I am presently writing a book on home ownership in modern America, entitled "Castles Made of Sand? Home Ownership and the American Dream." I live in Providence RI, where I have served on the School Board since March 2015. All opinions posted here are my own.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bush won't be at the convention, but his disastrous legacy will be

GOP, party of fiscal responsibility?  Sorry folks, this isn't your father's Republican Party.  

We seem to have fallen into a twisted Alice in Wonderland version of Schlesinger's cycles of American political history.  

First, the conservatives hold power, and spend our national inheritance on the functional equivalent of coke and cars, like some kind of addle-brained trust funder.

Then, the voters select grown-ups (Democrats) to try to clean up the mess.  Because Democrats today are -- virtually without exception -- fiscal conservatives, their attempts to do so tend to be cosmetic and inadequate in scale, if well intentioned.

Finally, unable to find a ladder tall enough to get us out of the hole dug by the Republican predecessor, the Democrats are accused of presiding over 'socialism,' and the American people vote for more frat boy madness.  

With each cycle, the madness seems to get, well, madder (note this year's GOP platform, which calls for a return to the gold standard).

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