Monday, April 27, 2009

The Problem With Democrats

According to Jonathan Chait, in a piece titled "Why Democrats Can't Govern", the problem with Democrats is... Democrats. They're too independent minded, he argues in the recent New Republic, and it's just these flights of independent fancy that cause Democrats to defect when a Republican would be more likely to take one for the team.

A few Republicans no doubt felt some qualms about supporting Bush's regressive, extreme pro-business agenda, but their most influential donors and constituents pushed them in the direction of partisan unity. Those same forces encourage Democrats to defect. That's why Ben Nelson is fighting student-loan reform, coal-and oil-state Democrats are insisting that cap-and-trade legislation be subject to a filibuster, and Democrats everywhere are fretting about reducing tax deductions for the highest-earning 1 percent of the population.
In other words, if the most powerful lobby in Washington DC was the Proletariat instead of Big Business, Democrats would be working together like a well-oiled machine. So when the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee stalls the president's budget because he wants federal payments to continue going to farmers in his state that gross over a half a million dollars, it's an aberration, a departure from the party line, which is otherwise scrupulously reform-minded.

So says Jonathan Chait.


  1. To paraphrase Reagan, "the problem with our liberal friends isn't that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn't so"

  2. That's like a hypodermic needle full of Twain straight up through Reagan's brain and out of his mouth. But did he write it?

    I don't doubt that he COULD'VE, he was a hell of a sharp wit, but I'm always interested in the etymology of these things.

  3. You know me and my Twain quotes, almost as good as Reagan. It's from "The Speech" at 1964 RNC Convention in Los Angeles.