after the DNC

From the Olympian heights of The American Conservative, Michael Brendan Dougherty announces that Romney v Obama is a “small election.”  Chait thinks Obama has “learned” that the notion of Americanism as a “blend” of individualism and communitarianism is not a widely held or consensual predisposition but rather the perspective of only an “embattled half of America,” but Chait is half-half-right – the American Republican coalition, if schizophrenically, embodies a displaced communitarianism, the sacrificial socialism of faith, family, flag, and freedom, and one day again, perhaps soon, we may find ourselves again under a realized and broadly shared blend, for better or for worse, rather than under this half-and-half pseudo-polarity… Corn understands what Chait understands, but understands it better. Obama had to be to flat enough to offer a reflective surface, or blank enough to offer a page of history, or small enough for a citizen to matter – what his politics actually represents he perhaps cannot quite say, and Americans cannot quite hear: They must come to realize it. Quoting singer Mary J Blige, who also spoke at the convention: “‘The message: We are all in this together.’ Obama is asking voters to determine if that’s an American reality or just a hope.” Tweets @eliasisquith to @chrislhayes and @ezraklein I’m struck by how small-c conservative the Dems have become—no romance, no big ideas, willfully uninspiring, and I say aestheticize your nausea – the world cannot handle the wrong “big ideas” – but why should they understand?… Why should Frum understand that his twice-tweeted formulation of “Japanese economics and Italian politics” is the shape of an ideal, at least when compared to other available nightmares? Perhaps we’ll be able one day soon to discuss why the philosophy of history holds that every civilization gets only one idea, and what that means for Americans and the American idea, never just the last best hope but also the absolute danger, impossible to be one without also being/becoming the other…

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