2012: talk is cheap

The Democrats are circling Zucotti Park like cold-eyed vultures hungry to feed on the flesh of its idealism and passion. Already, bits and pieces of the heartfelt conversation inside the Occupy Movement about purposes and principles are being cut-and-pasted into the stump speeches of Democratic pols from Barack to Barney. But we are long past talking about hope of change.

"The country needs," Franklin Roosevelt said in May 1932,
and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands, bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it: if it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something. The millions who are in want will not stand by silently forever while the things to satisfy their needs are within easy reach.
Roosevelt in 1932 was no more a radical than was Obama in 2008. But FDR demanded solutions. He made plenty of mistakes in his fight for a new deal for the American people, but unlike Obama he was hamstrung neither by lack of imagination nor an obsession with process. It's still a long time until the 2012 election. Are we in for another 12 months of homilies about the need for change? Or will Barack Obama flex the powers of his office and "try something?"

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