Freedom from Blog

Don't call it a comeback . . . .

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Suburban Turmoil

Who wins the Hyperbole Bowl when Atrios has called this piece "completely idiotic." Kotkin makes some interesting (and not always wrong) arguments in defense of suburbia, but might I add to the objections already raised that it is a bit strange to assert: 1) that Obama is waging war on suburbanites, 2) that suburbanites are rebelling for having gotten nothing out of the bailouts, stimulus, etc., and 3) that suburbies want nothing more than leafy trees, smooth roads, and cars, cars, cars, when 4) Obama is the guy who bailed out the auto makers and their big, big cars while investing in roads, roads, roads!!! Or when 5) all those "green jobs" are just as likely to benefit edge cities as inner cores? Or when 6) vibrant, livable, accessible city centers benefit the suburbanites who surround them. I could go on (see the comments readers made to Kotkin's essay that come below it--often quite sharp). Kotkin's is a pre-formed narrative in search of pegs.

Might this also just be more of that grievance politics the right has so perfected? Take a dominant group (whites, men, Christians. . . suburbies!) and convince them they are being oppressed by their "other" at the exact moment said other has crawled out of the hole the more dominant group has dug for it? Not that I have any idea what this guy's politics otherwise are. It just seems like his argument is more an exercise in identity formation than an analysis of empirical realities.


Post a Comment

<< Home