How Obama Reconciles Dueling Views on Economy. Well before this point on the presidential calendar, it’s usually clear where a candidate fits within the political spectrum of his party. With Obama, there is vast disagreement about just how liberal he is, especially on the economy. My favorite example came in mid-June, shortly after Obama named Jason Furman, a protégé of Robert Rubin, the centrist former Treasury secretary, as his lead economic adviser. Labor leaders recoiled, and John Sweeney, the head of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., worried aloud about “corporate influence on the Democratic Party.” Then, the following week, Kimberley Strassel, a member of The Wall Street Journal editorial board, wrote a column titled, “Farewell, New Democrats,” concluding that Obama’s economic policies amounted to the end of Clintonian centrism and a reversion to old liberal ways. — NYT

Gore Vidal – The Last Republican. The American Conservative reviews Gore Vidal’s Selected Essays. “It should be noted that Vidal is conservative in many respects,” writes Parini. “He stands behind individual choice, the limitation of executive power, and preservation of the environment. Like his grandfather, he dislikes the empire. … He would return us, if possible, to the pure republicanism of early America.”  — [via Catallaxy]

Feminine Mystique revisited. It’s been 45 years since Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique. By the time Friedan’s book was published in 1963, capitalism was drawing married women into the expanding service, clerical, and information sectors. Friedan’s ideas spoke to a generation of women who were starting to view paid work as something more than a temporary break between adolescence and marriage, and were frustrated by society’s insistence that the only source of meaning in their lives should be their role as housewives. — The Guardian [via Larvatus Prodeo]

When did voting become like dating? And when did it become like dating yourself? The act of casting a vote is less and less about aspiration and more and more about self-identification. It’s morphed into a long, sweet smooch with the person in the mirror. We identify absolutely with our candidates; their struggles become our struggles, their suffering our suffering, their life history our life history. Who gets me? Who’s like me? With whom do I feel a deep personal connection? Issues? What issues? I’m voting for me this year. — Slate

Peter Fray

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