Beads on a String
Michael Barone’s analysis of American political history sounds Chinese. Two steps forward one step backward. Forward of course is the direction of “progressive politics”. Backward is that momentary check that occurs when progressive politics takes the curves too fast. These actions alternate every decade or so. But Barone implies that for all the apparent flux one thing remains constant: it’s a brake and throttle world. The liberals hit the throttle and the Republicans sometimes step on the brakes. Republicans haven’t noticed the steering wheel. He’s wondering whether this time they’ll at least notice the carpet.Liberal historians like to depict the past 100 years as a story of step-by-step progress from small government to big government, a progress they see as both inevitable and desirable.
But another way to look at it is to note that after each spasm of big government legislation, there has been a strong voter backlash.Backlashes don’t change the direction of cars. They only alter the rate of acceleration. (RC emphasis) With congressional victories staring the Republicans in the face Barone says they’re faced with the same problem as the dog that caught the car.
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