Watching the pundits and the politicians on the Sunday talk shows wrap up the year, I felt that 2013 was a far more dramatic turning point in American politics than either the party leaders or the assembled press realized. Both parties as well as the Washington punditocracy have lived in a curious consensus since the end of World War II; one that assumed America’s exceptional role in global political and economic governance.
Since his announcement of his first key cabinet appointments in December of 2008 (Tim Geithner, Bob Gates, Hillary Clinton, Larry Summers) it was clear that President Barack Obama was a creature of this establishment point of view, just like every Republican and Democratic president since Eisenhower’s election in 1952.
But during the course of 2013 citizens, from liberals to libertarians, have turned against the collective wisdom of both Wall Street and the Council of Foreign Relations and so historians will regard our current moment as the end of a 60-year reign of the American establishment over our national politics. But neither Obama nor House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) seem to understand that the ground had shifted under them and that we are entering a new age of reform.
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