Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for "Robert Paul Wolff Kant." There they will be.

To contact me about organizing, email me at rpwolff750@gmail.com




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Saturday, December 18, 2010

63-33

Just moments ago, the Senate voted 63-33, with six Republicans in the affirmative, to invoke cloture and effectively guarantee repeal of DADT. This is an historic moment in America, in a league with the Civil Rights Act and other major rectifications of injustice in America. My son, Professor Tobias Barrington Wolff, has worked tirelessly for this victory over many years, and I am prouder of him than I can possibly say for the role he has played.

With this victory, Obama fulfills a major campaign pledge, and a massive injustice is rectified. It is worth reflecting on the skill with which the Obama White House handled this extremely divisive issue. Those who wanted Obama simply to cancel the policy by Presidential fiat were either confused [a President cannot cancel a duly enacted law, George W. Bush to the contrary notwithstanding] or deeply politically naive. There are unilateral in-your-face steps Obama could have taken with regard to this matter, but they almost certainly would have provoked a Congressional backlash that would have killed all chances for repeal for many years. Instead, he engaged in the six-months long process of study, in effect polling the military, until he had the Joint Chiefs and the Republican Secretary of Defense on board. That boxed in large numbers of Senators who make a fetish of military opinion, and isolated McCain and other die hards, making them look foolish and petty in the process. It is a tribute to Obama's patience and political skill that this moment has occurred, and I for one consider it a triumph.

Now, let us hear some words of praise from the Left, please.

11 comments:

M said...

Here's to your son for his very laudable work on this matter.

English Jerk said...

Congrats!

Brenda said...

Very good news! Now for a dash of cold water---this will just give the hawks more people to throw into Afghanistan and wherever else they choose.

Chris said...

And, any of other 850+ military bases occupying over 60 countries...

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Quite true. And freeing the slaves just provided more proletarians for capitalists to exploit. So it was a bad idea to free the slaves?

Get a life! This is a victory for the left. if you cannot see that and enjoy it, you are not serious about politics.

Murfmensch said...

This is an important victory. And Obama clearly played this well.

There are many people who still live and work in lifeworlds where gays in the military are considered impossible.

This was won in part through years people coming out and showing colleagues that their perceptions of gays and lesbians were off the mark.

Eggs Maledict said...

Great news. Congratulations to your son.

(And to Obama).

charles.pigden said...

As a non-American (but leftie) philosopher, this is not really my issue. Nonetheless congratulations on your son's splendid success (and a small cheer for Obama).

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Thank you all. I have not yet talked to Tobias, but I hope to later today. This is not the end of the struggle, by a long shot, but it is a major victory. And it had the added side benefit of making McCain look absurd and vindictive. Can one even imagine a McCain-Palin administration?

The Repubican torpedoing of the DREAM act was shameful. It will be a long time before it is possible to try again. The Republicans seem to have decided to do everything they can to ensure that no Hispanic-American ever votes for them again. Not a shrewd move.

By the way, on another matter entirely, here is an odd fact. I was called a short while ago by a NEW YORK MAGAZINE writer who is doing a profile of Marty Peretz. He interviewed me for a while, and I imagine some of what I said will make it into the article. Then, two days ago, I was contacted by a NEW YORK TIMES reporter, doing a profile on Peretz for the Sunday Magazine section. I will talk to him at 2 pm today. Apparently, if one wants to be or become famous, the best move is to say despicable things.

Chris said...

I know your disdain for whole foods, and since I'm an employee there on break... I feel comfortable bitching on this blog...

Working 7am this morning to 11pm tonight, and
I have a respiratory infection, and my nose is starting to bleed.... Oh where for art thou Dickens and Marx, to see how little has changed.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

That's awful! I hope you are slipping away with some of the produce.