Sunday, May 26, 2019

Beinart: "Will The Left Go Too Far?"

I like Beinart (have I mentioned that I miss the old New Republic?) and there's good stuff in here, but it's rather skewed.
The left has already gone too far. And Beinart doesn't even really mention the social issues about which the left has become truly unhinged. He's right that the Dems are less reckless about the deficit than the Pubs. And that's huge. I don't really understand the economic debates; but when socialism is even on the table for discussion, I don't see how blue-team radicalism isn't sending everyone to red alert (as it were) on that front, too.
   This seems true and important to me:
But who wins an election is often less important than who sets the agenda. And ideologically, the Democratic Party has veered so sharply that “establishment” or “centrist” Democrats now frequently support larger expansions of government, and more vehemently scorn Big Business and Big Finance, than most liberal Democrats did a few years ago. [My emphasis]
Many argue that the Dem base is still much more centrist than its vanguard. That's probably true--it'd almost have to be. But the vanguard is setting the agenda--and that agenda is skewed so far to the left that it's basically in political outer space. And, again: much, much more radical with respect to its social agenda than its economic one. And so Beinart's strong focus on economics ends up soft-pedaling blue-team extremism.
   I hold out hope that the Dems will stiff-arm their radical left and tack back toward the center. But I wouldn't bet a lot of money on the proposition.


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