By Brent Budowsky - 03/02/09 04:54 PM EST
1. Policy realignment. In recent decades there were three great policy waves. FDR brought the New Deal and a generation of Democratic realignment. Ronald Reagan swept aside the New Deal and brought an interim political realignment and a three-decade policy realignment. Obama is the third wave.
When President Clinton said, “The era of big government is over,” he conceded the triumph of Reagan’s premise. Clinton won, but the Reagan policy alignment remained intact. Obama, by contrast, is transforming.
2. Realignment of interests: Reaganism is discredited by epic scandals of financial corruption that are the great cause of our crisis. Obama was not elected to better manage a corrupted system. He was elected to dramatically change it. Everything Obama is doing, he promised. What most Republicans advocate today, they promised in elections they lost by epic margins.
When CNBC’s guru of greed, Rick Santelli, pointed to traders on the floor of the Chicago Exchange and said, “This is America,” he was wrong about America. It is anathema to Main Street to suggest that Wall Street traders, bankers and wealthy citizens should not help jobless workers, homeless veterans or health-ravaged families. It is Obama who speaks for the vast majority who pray for his success, while many Republicans bet on his failure.
3. Demographic realignment: Women surge to a majority of voters and to the Democratic Party. The Hispanic wave turns increasingly blue. A generation of young voters is heavily Democratic. Black voting soars. Working-class voters see Obama championing jobs while many Republicans criticize jobless-worker benefits, better schools and healthcare reform.
Democrats are riding and Republicans are resisting every major demographic and population wave, every major gender and age wave, and the wave of revulsion against financial abuses after 30 years of Reaganomics and the notion that government should not protect Americans from abuse.
4. Realignment in fundraising, grassroots and political technology. Obama is revolutionary. Business money joins mass money for Democrats. Grass roots fight for change. Business bets on winners. These popular, demographic, technological, fundraising, political and voting waves create an electoral majority for Democrats that will deepen and widen as Obama advances his program and politics.
5. Realignment in industry. Obama champions the business sectors that will create the jobs wave of the future. New energy. Advanced medical technology. Green business. Electric batteries. Fuel-efficient cars.
Obama’s mission is to bring creative, dynamic and fair capitalism. To lead a return to optimism. To promote the next great jobs wave that is surely coming. To work with Republicans, capitalists, inventors and workers who have already begun to make it happen.
I will develop these ideas in an upcoming column and on The Hill’s Pundits Blog starting Tuesday. The blue decade has begun. Great change is happening. The next great jobs wave is coming. From crisis comes opportunity.
Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He can be read on The Hill’s Pundits Blog and reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.