I saw my friend and
Tom Geoghegan speak in L.A. at a fundraiser for his Congressional run.** He wasn't as good as I expected. He was much better. The joy of Geoghegan is that he usually has a big interesting new theory, often a (dare I say it) contrarian one. He can be earnest, but that's soon subverted by a fleeting isn't-this-all-absurd smile. What I didn't expect is that he'd be tightly focused--paring his pitch down to three points. You can
hear them here
. At least two of them aren't things you'll find in the official Ambitious Dem Playbook.. ... Plus he's able to disagree with his audience in an agreeable way, a non-trivial gift ... Plus he only mentioned "card check" once. ...
Katha Pollitt got it right, I think, when she said that Geoghegan could be the next Paul Wellstone--meaning a left-liberal who's liked and respected by those to his right (i.e.,everyone). ...
Geoghegan is pro-union but he's
well aware of the deficiencies of "interest group liberalism."
**-- I gave $250. ... 1:59 A.M.
That welfare-expanding provision remains in the Senate stimulus compromise, alas, the language of which has now been released. (You can read it here .) I can't help but think that if even a few Republicans squawked the potentially damaging publicity might force the Dems to drop it or at least rewrite it (to fund hard hit states, for example, whether or not they expand their welfare caseloads). ... Update: The New York Times gives the game away by explicitly calling for "rolling back work requirements" in an editorial endorsing the stimulus welfare provision. These are people who never liked welfare reform's work requirements in the first place. ... 1:16 A.M.