Monday, December 01, 2008

Historians explain it all to you

In Washington, DC, the ruling concept is "team of rivals". Everyone observing Barack Obama's strategy in cabinet-picking explains by reference to Doris Kearns's book of that name from a couple of years ago on the Abraham Lincoln and his cabinet.

In Ottawa, the key explanatory meme is Naomi Klein's "shock doctrine," from her book of the same name. Klein argued that power often responds to crisis (or creates one) not by addresssing the crisis itself but by furthering its own agenda. How else do the commentators explain Prime Minister Harper, who considers the global economic meltdown, and responds with ... restriction on public service unions, attacking the funding of political parties, and cutting government spending?
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