改革不可承受之轻

马德里 —— 巴拉克·奥巴马执政的第一年发人深省地告诉我们总统权力也是有限度的。这一年还让我们看到,客观而适应性极强的历史的力量是怎样限制领袖对于改革的追求。现在摆在奥巴马面前的“不满的冬天”真实地反映了他在执政第一年的是非功过。马萨诸塞州的选举惨败只不过真实地反映了总统议程和公众感受之间矛盾的日益深化。

没有人否认,奥巴马继承的是濒于崩溃的金融系统、日趋衰落的世界秩序和无所不在的全球恐怖主义威胁。在遏制下滑及改革美国现有体制的巨大努力中,奥巴马表现出了远见和才干,但同时也通过失败的教训艰难地体会到亨利·基辛格在回忆录中的那句名言 —— 新政府的承诺几乎无一例外如同“漂浮在波涛汹涌的海面上的落叶”。不可能完成的最后期限、向总统呈报的永远含糊不清的信息、以及他必须完成的复杂决策几乎注定会与政治束缚和敌我双方对于改革的抵制发生冲突。

总统的国内议程大胆而富于革命色彩,但与支撑美国自由而个性化社会道德的最根本的原则发生了正面冲突。正如马萨诸塞州投票所表明的那样,他的医疗改革计划被普遍看成是一种个人化的迷恋,将人们的注意力从金融危机和失业等急迫而重要得多的问题上毫无必要地转移开去。

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