After the failure of my race book, I turned my attention again to economics...
After careful research, I came to the annoying conclusion that Keynes had been 100 percent right in the 1930s. Previously, I had thought the opposite. But facts were facts and there was no denying my conclusion. It didn’t affect the argument in my book, which was only about the rise and fall of ideas. The fact that Keynesian ideas were correct as well as popular simply made my thesis stronger.
I finished the book just as the economy was collapsing in the fall of 2008. This created another intellectual crisis for me. Having just finished a careful study of the 1930s, it was immediately obvious to me that the economy was suffering from the very same problem, a lack of aggregate demand. We needed Keynesian policies again, which completely ruined my nice rise-and-fall thesis. Keynesian ideas had arisen from the intellectual grave.
...I even wrote another op-ed for the New York Times in December 2008 advocating a Keynesian cure that holds up very well in light of history. Annoyingly, however, I found myself joined at the hip to Paul Krugman, whose analysis was identical to my own. I had previously viewed Krugman as an intellectual enemy and attacked him rather colorfully in an old column that he still remembers.
For the record, no one has been more correct in his analysis and prescriptions for the economy’s problems than Paul Krugman. The blind hatred for him on the right simply pushed me further away from my old allies and comrades.
The final line for me to cross in complete alienation from the right was my recognition that Obama is not a leftist. In fact, he’s barely a liberal—and only because the political spectrum has moved so far to the right that moderate Republicans from the past are now considered hardcore leftists by right-wing standards today. Viewed in historical context, I see Obama as actually being on the center-right.
MonkeyToes: liever! But then I had an intellectual crisis. What I thought was a clever plan was actually irresponsible policy! And the scales fell from my eyes. And as I explained my doubts at great length, I was ignored, de-friended and set adrift, politically and intellectually. SHOCKING! But worst of all, I found myself joined at the hip with PAUL KRUGMAN. My feelings are hurt that because I now spe
Didn't the DLC do this, except in reverse?
Of course it does. Find yourself a straight-ticket Democrat, like me for instance, and ask 'em how they feel about Ralph Nader.
You won't find too many Democrats asking for large increases in the anti-poverty welfare state anymore (as opposed to the old-person welfare state). You won't find too many Democrats talking about how we need to bring back the New Deal and the Great Society. You won't even find too many Democrats saying things like "deficits don't matter". They used to.
I'm fairly certain that the anti-abortion left has very little place in the modern Democratic party. I suppose they're accepted in some limited fashion but don't really have much of a chance to affect party policy or platforms.
Take, for instance, a measure to allow visitors to national parks and wildlife refuges to carry guns. It was attached to a bill to tighten regulation of credit card issuers in 2009. President Barack Obama signed the measure into law.
On the decisive vote in the House, the tally was 279-147. In all, 105 Democrats, including Giffords, Peterson and Walz, voted for it. Only two Republican voted against the measure: Mike Castle of Delaware, who was defeated in his bid for the GOP Senate nomination last year by (the ultimately unelected) Christine O'Donnell, and Mark Kirk, now the Republican senator from Illinois.
In all, the NRA contributed to 54 Democratic House candidates in 2010. Half of them won, including Donnelly, Altmire, and Walz, all of whom survived close races.
The point is, up until the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Democrats never did jack for black Americans aside from some big-city-machine patronage jobs.
Plouffe added that while the White House wants to engage in comprehensive tax reform, they know they must also "carefully" address the "chief drivers of our deficit": Medicare and Medicaid.
A symptom I have noticed is being totally unaware of epistemic closure and thinking one came to the conclusion that their side is always more right in a fair and balanced manner. If someone seriously can't throw a bone to the opponents on having even a couple better ideas, that is pretty clearly not a very open point of view.
Second, while both parties participate in tribal warfare, both sides are not equally culpable. The political system faces what the authors call “asymmetric polarization,” with the Republican Party implacably refusing to allow anything that might help the Democrats politically, no matter the cost.
Thoughtful Republicans know that their party base is crammed full of people, some of them out-and-out tea party types, some not, for whom the 47 per cent comments were catnip. Lots of the activists or partisans who turned up to Republican campaign events were very angry indeed about redistribution and welfare, and convinced that America had been rotted from within by a vast expansion of welfare, paid for by ever-rising taxes (and never mind that the overall tax burden is broadly lower now than a generation ago)...
There is a case to be made that the 2012 election was lost by Republicans during the presidential primaries, precisely because candidates had to push the buttons of those sorts of activists. Locked into angry, sour rhetoric about a country being wrecked by the feckless, the Republicans ended up looking like angry men who more or less resented the extension of the franchise beyond white male property-owners.
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