We took his book The People Want: A Radical Exploration of the Arab Uprising as a starting point from which to examine the roots of the Syrian uprising, the nature of the Assad regime, the different shapes of the uprisings across the region, and the fate of Syria.
I sat down with one of the coordinators, journalist and writer Costi Rogozanu, in Bucharest last May. At a café in the park across from the massive parliament building, he told me about his own political trajectory.
Obama's health care reform was supposed to include a public option, universal Medicaid expansion and exclude the Cadillac tax (which will hurt union workers who negotiated good health care plans). Ideally, of course, we would move to single-payer or socialized medicine, but this is America!
The Liberals, even though sunk, continue to be loyal to their Liberal economic agenda. The Christian Democrats (CDU) are not in great electoral shape but have Merkel at the forefront. So where does the SPD stand?
The pundits mostly are trying to figure out the president's tactics short term on the "next war" or "what this means politically." But Syria isn't the point. Politics isn't either. Our Constitution is.
The late 1960s, with the explosion of youth movements, the Vietnam War, and the transformation of popular culture, offered a grand opportunity for the reinvention of self. So, too, did the late 1980s, particularly in East-Central Europe.
In the same way that the New Left in the United States distanced itself in the 1960s from the old-style Communist Party and its fellow travelers, this new left in Eastern Europe has taken pains to distinguish itself from the Communist Party politics of the Cold War era.
Millions of Americans will start off their Thanksgiving statements with, "I am thankful Barack Obama will be our president for four more years. The biggest lesson we hope he learned from over the past four is to not start negotiating from a compromise position.
Conservatives inhabit the wide open countryside, mostly in the south and Midwest; Liberals inhabit the densely populated urban mega-cities concentrated in the northeast and west coast. How do these different landscapes affect their political beliefs?
Somewhere between the civil rights movement and the anti-Vietnam protest, liberalism lost its voice. And by tangible indicators it has yet to regain its voice -- at least not in any comprehensible way.
The Republican lawmakers who read the Constitution out loud as their very first act in the new Congress better bask in their Tea Party glow -- because they're not going to feel the love from Constitutional scholars.