It was none other than my favorite philosopher, Richard Rorty.Ok, so I like the rip on the palled around with, since it is sooooo much cutesyIer in this context.
As you might imagine, I'm now really curious to know if a well-thumbed copy of Rorty's Achieving Our Country is sitting on a bookshelf in the Obama home library. I'd be willing to bet folding money on the proposition. Rorty's critique of the American left sounds almost precisely like Obama's campaign speeches.
Suffice to say, I think Hayes might be right to notice that Obama is probably a Pragmatist with an upper-case 'P', but I suspect he's missing the connection. It isn't Dewey, James and Pierce. Obama is almost certainly more familiar with Rorty than those old dead guys from the previous century, having "palled around with him" in person on at least one occasion.
[ cf s9: Obama Is A Pragmatist? ]
What would be more interesting of course would be an actual discussion of Post-Marxianism as a relevant part of the modern era.
Should americans be willing to deal with the problems of living in the post-Factual world, and whether or not big-T Truth is worth the candle. ( cf What's the Use of Truth? ) or should we just put our fists in the Air like the other CiviliansUnderNavalTraining, and forget about Rehumanize Yourself, since, well, the most important thing in a time of war is Tax Cuts!!!
Ah yes... what if reading and reading with comprehension were more than merely an academic art... But a critical requirement in an actual Free Republic...