Saletan is correct: the Dems must stay in the center. What he is omits is this: the drift over the last twenty years, where the policy spectrum has lurched so far to the right that center positions [on health care, tax reform and education—J.D.] are deemed leftist, is what must be corrected. It's not a crime to advocate that the gov't use resources to help just plain folks, damnit. It's smart policy. It's time that the Dems and their supporters stopped apologizing for populist programs, and stopped tolerating their mischaracterization as leftist policies.
(Adam Masin has a similarly aggressive plan for the middle here.) …
The souls of plants, II: The Dear Prudence letter that has elicited the most response comes from a man whose wife's newfound vegan radicalism threatens their marriage. Should he give up meat? Is this a deal-breaker? Is meat even the issue? (MOH here.) There are several other good long discussions, begun by Tina's here, Joe here, and EE here. (Looking for "Souls of Plants, I"? Here.) 11:00 a.m.
Thursday, Nov. 7, 2002
Wonks and wives: Chatterbox asks whether Kathleen Kennedy Townsend lost the gubernatorial race in Maryland because "soccer moms" were angry with Parris Glendening for dumping his wife. Baltimore Aureole has half-a-dozen other reasons why KKT deserved to lose here. One reason:
as the only kennedy without charisma, her policy-wonk persona should count more than it did. but voters rejected wonkism with ("lieutenant president") gore also, didn't they?
Red tide: It's hard to pick the best Kausfiles Fray posts these days, but The Slasher has a more convincing argument about the change of Senate control than I've seen elsewhere. He sees no major shift in the electorate. Instead, he emphasizes the electoral map:
The situation in which a Census reapportionment occurs between the election of a new President and an off-year election happens only every 20 years. In all other cases, the off-year election uses the same electoral map as the Presidential one which preceded it …
Bush won in 2000 for the same reason Southerner Bill Clinton did in 1992 and 1996 -- the electoral map was moving in his direction and that, in combination with other base areas, carried him over the top. It moved even more so in 2002. If Bush carries ONLY those states in 2004 that he won in 2000, the resulting electoral college victory will represent an increase about the same as that in the House this year -- even if not a single vote changes …
Jimmy the Celt does his own Diary Fray editing here, and sticks up for Anthony Lane. Kinda:
So let me just say that I really enjoy most of Lane's movie reviews, and that it must be tough publishing a public diary when one's life external to one's writing is as profoundly unremarkable as Tony Lane's. I'd have booked passage to Patagonia.
TODAY IN SLATE
Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.
The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly
How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.
A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently
How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully
On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.