Saturday, May 21, 2016

Good incrementalism and bad incrementalism

The Hillary wing of the Democratic Party is so far off the rails now, it's hard to even understand them anymore.  We hear a lot from them about how important it is to "work across the aisle" and get things done incrementally.  Obamacare is supposedly a good example of incremental change.  Sure, it's fundamentally bad policy. It's an insurance reform that technically extends (poor) coverage to more people but mostly it favors insurers and Big Pharma.  It's not single-payer, say the Hillary wingers. But it's the best we could have gotten until.. someday*

The New Deal, on the other hand, is apparently bad incrementalism now
Covert’s beef is that to get the votes of racist Southern congressmen, FDR had to craft his programs to exclude black workers. This is both true and awful, though it’s not clear how they would have gotten through Congress otherwise.

But instead of saying that the New Deal was a good partial model, something that should be built upon — probably the only period in American history when a sense of the collective, and not competitive individualism, dominated our political thought — she emphasizes only the exclusions, and identifies them as the source of the nostalgias that Donald Trump, not previously known as a friend of social programs, has been basing his campaign on.

Neither Bouie’s tweet nor Covert’s op-ed makes any sense unless they’re trying to discredit an ambitious social agenda. That is precisely what the Hillary Democrats are doing to fight off the persistent Sanders threat that just won’t go away. (That despite the fact that, as Gallup recently reported, a majority of Americans support a single-payer system. The least popular option is Hillary’s position, keeping Obamacare largely as is.)
I have no idea what these people actually believe in besides keeping their own donors happy.

*Spoiler: Someday is actually "never ever"

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