‘Our long term project must be the destruction of the state’

In a coda to a NYT Magazine essay about the corporatism of the American university, Fredrik deBoer writes: The central quandary for today’s left is that we need to use the state for various essential functions, such as providing free public education and preventing racist housing discrimination, while recognizing that our long term project must… More ‘Our long term project must be the destruction of the state’

Centrism: ‘anti-ideology’

Mike Konczal could have written this piece in 2011 but being Cassandra is a drag: Centrists position themselves as anti-ideology, representing a responsible compromise between liberals and conservatives. The word conjures sobriety and restraint, caution and moderation—all of which sound compelling in uncertain economic times. We live in uncertain economic times. When competence and centrism… More Centrism: ‘anti-ideology’

‘We invite you to luxuriate in secrecy’

On the centenary of Orson Welles’ birth, I thought it appropriate to mention the least heralded part of his career: the political activist, columnist, and radio personality whose liberalism, according to a new biography, drove him out of an increasingly mad United States during the McCarthy years. Setting aside the histrionics in the last third,… More ‘We invite you to luxuriate in secrecy’

The differences are the differences

So, uh, please note the difference between HRC and Bernie Sanders’ donors: The most notable difference is the Vermont senator’s reliance on the old FDR coalition: unions like the UAW, the Teamsters, and United Steelworkers. It’s Walter Mondale running against Gary Hart. Does anyone remember when the commentariat considered “Atari Democrats” a legitimate moniker? What… More The differences are the differences

Reclaiming the left

The political terrain since Teflon Ron and heir Bill Clinton has shifted rightwards so gradually that what once seemed bedrock Democratic philosophy looks like lunacy through the Coke bottle lens of the Beltway commentariat. Actually, I’ve heard little chatter about Bernie Sanders outside liberal blogs. This must mean the chattering class has decided he hasn’t… More Reclaiming the left

The Democrats’ local election problem

Like the GOP in 2012, the DNC commissioned a study of What Went Wrong following congressional losses in 2014. The conclusion, as Chris Cillizza sees it: Traditionally, Democrats — and, in particular, the party’s major donors — have not been terribly good at either a) seeing the big/long-term political picture or b) getting excited about… More The Democrats’ local election problem