Thursday, October 15, 2015


From the Washington Post's Wonkblog:

Raise your hand if you had "Hillary Clinton defends capitalism, and/or criticizes Denmark" in your office pool for the first on-stage debate fight of the Democratic primaries. That's right - you didn't. But Clinton's extolling of the free-market economic system, and her critique of Democratic socialism, was her first open attack on the man closest to her in the polls, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. It showed an important fault line in this primary campaign.

More here.

If the GOP really has betrayed conservatism, as David Brooks wrote in the New York Times a couple of days ago, and they have instead become a party of reactionary destruction and anti-democracy, then where has actual conservatism gone? Tuesday's Democratic presidential debate makes the answer to that agonizingly clear. Traditional political friction mixed with compromise between left and right is now firmly situated within the Democratic Party. That's where normal American politics dwell these days.

Hillary Clinton, who thinks that we can't have better social services because we're not Denmark, or something to that effect, represents normal American conservatism. Bernie Sanders, who thinks Americans ought to lead lives reflecting their nation's economic success, like every other industrialized democracy in the world, of course, represents American liberalism. Left and right in one party. That's where all the sane and relevant political action is found these days. I mean, if the crazies hadn't hijacked the Republican Party the way they have, Bernie versus Hillary is very likely what mainstream politics would look like in this country.

Instead, mainstream American politics is totally incoherent, all because of the Republicans, with the only adult conversation in the room occurring among the Democrats. Needless to say, grownups talking with two year olds who think they're grownups is rarely a coherent conversation. But that's what we've got.