The Obama Gamble

Is Accommodation a winning hand?

When candidate Barack Obama emerged as a competitive presidential candidate early in 2008, he elicited two contrasting emotions—elation and apprehension. Both arose from the same perception: Obama was a lefty. The elated saw a candidate ready to press a progressive agenda, exactly what the apprehensive feared.

The debt-ceiling imbroglio that ended in the deficit-reduction agreement on August 2 has pretty much squelched that hope and eased that fear. The final bill veered so far toward...

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About the Author

Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages and blogs at dotCommonweal.