Klein, then at The American Prospect, a progressive D.C. opinion magazine founded in 1990, wanted Peters, founder (in 1969) of The Washington Monthly, to answer for the way neoliberalism had degenerated into lefty-on-lefty contrarianism. “What has happened, at least to some younger folks like me,” Klein said, “is that at times this appears to have become not an honest critique, but a positioning device. The idea that it’s not about the quality of the argument, but the display: You show honesty by attacking Democrats, you show independence by attacking liberals. At times I think that has been a damaging impulse on our side.”
Why? I'd say it's because the neoliberal project succeeded in weaning the Democrats of the wrong turn they took during the 1960s and 1970s. The Democrats under Bill Clinton -- and Obama, whose domestic policy is crafted almost entirely by Clinton veterans -- has internalized the neoliberal critique.Ed Kilgore, Washington Monthly: Do Progressives Need "Contrarians"?
Welch never entertains this possibility.
One important reason the tone of liberal “heresy” has changed is that the “contrarians” won a lot of battles, from the “reinventing government” movement to a more robust support for private-sector innovation to reforms of the “welfare state” to more regular engagement with actual progressive voters as opposed to self-appointed interest group representatives. An equally important reason, which is entirely missing in Welch’s analysis, is what happened on the Right with the gradual triumph of a conservative movement that was more interested in destroying the New Deal/Great Society legacy than in reforming it.Matt Yglesias, Slate: Presidential Elections Are Boring. Policy Is Interesting.
I think the monolithic nature of the Slate staff's voting behavior says more about the banality of presidential politics than it does about the range of public policy views one might debate. Lots of people in America are social conservatives who want to ban abortion and think legal discrimination against gay couples is a great idea. Many Americans also believe that anthropogenic climate change is a myth. But relatively few such people work at American magazines of any stripe or in any capacity. (Welch, for example, does not believe any of those things.)via Lefties: The Death of Neoliberalism Has Been Greatly Exaggerated, Because Neoliberals Won!
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