8. Zombie Politics and the Challenge of Right-Wing Teaching Machines: Rethinking the Importance of the Powell Memo
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Zombie Politics and the Challenge of Right-Wing Teaching Machines
RETHINKING THE IMPORTANCE OF THE POWEL MEMO
Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, echoing the feelings of many progressives, in 2009 wrote in The New York Times about how dismayed he was over the success that right-wing ideologues had in undercutting Obama’s health care bill—watering it down to a shadow of what it could have been before it finally became law. He further indicated how unsettled he was by the ability of conservatives to mobilize enormous public support against almost any reform aimed at rolling back the economic, political, and social conditions that have created the economic recession and the legacy of enormous suffering and hardship for millions of Americans over the last thirty years.1 Krugman is somewhat astonished that after almost three decades the political scene is still under the sway of what he calls the “zombie doctrine of Reaganism”—the notion that any action by government is bad, except when it benefits the military, corporations, and the rich. Clearly, for Krugman, zombie Reaganism appears once again to be shaping policies under the Obama regime.
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