Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The common good

A spirited discussion, arbited by Robert Borosage, took place today between Michael Tomasky, editor of The American Prospect, and writer Barbara Ehrenreich at the Take Back America conference. The volley focused on Tomasky's premise that, if they care to win elections and generally do the right thing, Democrats need to articulate their vision in terms of the common good. (Tomasky first put forth this idea in his piece, "A Party in Search of a Notion," for the Prospect's May issue, on which your blogstress has previously riffed.)

Ehrenreich appeared to take issue with Tomasky's point, though it was hard to discern on what grounds. Her problem with Tomasky's notion appeared to be that with the gulf that now exists between the haves and have-nots, there's no common ground to be had. Tomasky countered with an anecdote about how President Lyndon B. Johnson presented the 1965 Civil Rights Act to the American people: Johnson introduced the topic in a nationally televised speech by explaining what the bill would mean "for all Americans" -- not just blacks or minorities.

Your blogstress, being all about spreading the love, is still diggin' the notion of a common goodness.

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