Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Democrats: Listen to Paul Krugman and keep losing

This column is revealing. Here’s one snippet:

Mr. Dean’s political rejuvenation reflects the new ascendancy within the party of fighting moderates, the Democrats who believe that they must defend their principles aggressively against the right-wing radicals who have taken over Congress and the White House.

It was always absurd to call Mr. Dean a left-winger. Just ask the real left-wingers. During his presidential campaign, an article in the muckraking newsletter CounterPunch denounced him as a "Clintonesque Republicrat," someone who, as governor, tried "to balance the budget, even though Vermont is a state in which a balanced budget is not required."

And here’s another:

In fact, by taking on Social Security, Mr. Bush gave the Democrats a chance to remember what they stand for, and why. Here’s my favorite version, from another fighting moderate, Eliot Spitzer: "As President Bush embraces the ownership society and tries to claim that he is the one that is making it possible for the middle class to succeed and save and invest - well, I say to myself, no, that’s not right; it is the Democratic Party historically that created the middle class."

Read the last sentence again. According to Krugman, moderate Democrats believe that the government created the middle class. So there was no middle class prior to the New Deal? I’m not naive about the role of public policy in promoting economic activity and influencing individual behavior, but this is preposterous.

Discussions - 2 Comments

The Democrats didn’t create the middle class, but the conventional wisdom is that the New Deal and the Fair Deal made it a lot bigger. Someone, I can’t remember who, said that the Democrats thereby dug their own grave. Once people become middle class they tend to vote Republican, hence the Republican ascendency of the last twenty-five years. Today the Democratic constituency keeps shrinking narrower. All that are left are race victimologists, public employee unions, academics and the cultural left.

Question: in ten years will the Democrats still be a major party? I believe the answer is yes, and that poor immigrants from south of the border will form its voter base.

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