neither of today's major parties reflects the aspirations, fears or will of the majority of Americans. Both have polarized and alienated the people.
He seems like an enthusiastic Dem. Nothing wrong with that! But aren't the best organizers people who actually believe in their cause? Are there so few people who do believe in your cause that you have to hire people who don't? Have the Democrats completely coopted or overshadowed your message? ... [via RCP] 11:28 A.M. link
"ID Sweep Triggers Protests": One reason to wait and see if immigration enforcement efforts work before granting an amnesty (that might encourage more illegal border-crossing): any federal crackdown will provoke protests. Not to mention litigation. Many of the groups that want amnesty do not really want enforcement to work, it's reasonable to suspect. ... 10:46 A.M.
Tuesday, Ap ril 24, 2007
Young Ezra Discovers 'Neoliberalism': On bloggingheads a while back, I called Ezra Klein a "young punk toeing the Bob Kuttner line cluelessly," a fit of unbloggish fogieness for which I paid a predictable price. Now Klein has embarked on a great voyage of discovery to learn about the political tendency--"neoliberalism"--on which he has already pronounced judgment so authoritatively. In the May Washington Monthly, Klein interviews Charles Peters, who coined the American version of the term, and wonders how he, Klein, could have gotten it so wrong.
EK: The roots of the Monthly and its version of neoliberalism were in the desire to make government work better. You have supported a national health care system for a very long time. That was not something the original neoliberals were afraid of. How did we get to this moment, where everyone thinks neoliberals want to chart a centrist, somewhat conservative course away from liberalism? [E.A.]
Because "everyone" consists of young punks who cluelessly toe the Bob Kuttner line? Just kidding! I've made similar mistakes about Dem tendencies about which I thought I knew more than I did (e.g., Markos Moulitsas' Kossacks, before I read his criticisms of Dem special interests). ...
P.S.: Klein raises a worry about "asymmetry in honesty," by which he seems to mean the possibility that Democrats will tell harsh truths about their candidates while Republicans say only nice things about theirs, giving Republican candidates a P.R. advantage. a) Is this factually accurate? It seems to me there is currently as much sharp criticism of the GOP candidates in National Review's The Corner, say, as there's been sharp criticism of Dem candidates at New Republic's The Plank--even the old neolib Plank; b) Do you want to get your political analysis from people who worry about "asymmetry in honesty"? The clear implication is that maybe Dems shouldn't tell too much truth (until Republicans do the same). No unilateral dis-smarmament! Maybe Klein isn't cluelessly toeing the party line after all. ... 11:42 P.M. link
Dealbreaker: Obama has apparently just endorsed one of the worst ideas of Carter era liberalism, "comparable worth," which would have lawyers and judges deciding what every job is "worth" according to some bureaucratic, non-market criteria that would inevitably punish "unskilled" manual work--i.e, the very workers who are screwed the most by globalization. Are truckdrivers really paid too much? ... [You are just refighting the battles of the '80s--ed Hard to avoid when the '80s keep coming back.] ... Too bad neoliberalism is dead, or else theremight be some Democrats pointing out what a dreadful, recycled idea this is. Even Hillary doesn't endorse it, as Ben Smith points out. ... Update: The N.Y. Sun's Josh Gerstein suggests Obama's move is just an attempt to suck up to Iowa Sen. Harkin, the sponsor of the bill. I dunno. Obama's also endorsed allowing unions to organize by "card check" rather than secret ballot. There's a pattern here--namely an interest-group-pleasing willingness to see the economy permeated by a legalistic adversarialism ("comparable worth" lawsuits, union-management negotiations) that might not trouble a president of the Harvard Law Review as much as the rest of us. ... P.S.: WSJ's Deborah Solomon presents a more moderate picture of Obama's economic policies, but she doesn't offer much in the way of telling detail. ... 2:29 P.M. link
On Real Time with Bill Maher, John O'Sullivan noted that his fellow conservatives haven't really liked Alberto Gonzales since Gonzales went all wet in the 2003 Michigan affirmative action cases, telling the Supreme Court it was OK not to strike down all race-conscious preference program s. But, given recent developments, isn't Gonzales' position looking politically, if not legally, a lot smarter these days--from an anti-affirmative action point of view? ... Bush has never made opposition to affirmative action a campaign issue, after all. The suspicion has always been he wanted the courts to do away with it while he stayed out of the fray. The Michigan ruling that followed Gonzales' milquetoast brief meant that the courts weren't about to do the job. Yet now race preferences--in Michigan, and maybe across the country--are being killed anyway, by the voters. That's even better for Bush. His fingerprints aren't on the corpse, and even Republican judges' fingerprints aren't on the corpse. The Democrats are left blaming the electorate. ... If the Supreme Court in the Michigan cases had struck down race preferences, wouldn't we be hearing ongoing, passionate Democratic (and democratic) attacks on unelected activists in robes, etc.? Instead, there's mostly ... silence. Affirmative action may be joining gun control on the list of liberal issues Dem candidates don't push very hard because they want to win. ... 1:51 A.M. link
Monday, Ap ril 23, 2007