Quote Of The Day

“I don’t feel any obligation to represent liberal Democrats. Over the years I’ve argued, for example, in favor of getting rid of the corporate income tax, creating school vouchers inversely related to family incomes, and extending free-trade agreements — positions not exactly favored by liberal Democrats.” – Robert Reich

10 Responses to “Quote Of The Day”


  • Interesting quote. The rest of the Reich article is right on in my view also. Frum seems to be learning from the crisis. I have a problem with people that don’t seem to be moved by disconfirming evidence ever. Humans seem to have an amazing capacity to rationalize and sustain their prior opinions. Frum still does this on war, but he’s maybe shifting some on economics.

    I’d be curious to see a well thought out leftist response to vouchers. Our grade school educational system is just not good. I can see that a voucher system would help in a lot of ways, though I think it would hurt in other ways. For instance I see it as an extension of the general right wing war on unions. They’ve won in the private sector and they want to move on to the public. So I don’t like the idea of paying teachers even less then they make now. I really don’t see them as overpaid based on how much they work. In my view the educational system defects could possibly be resolved in other ways. But strategically maybe vouchers is a more likely successful means then any of my ideas, because I think the problems are more institutional, and that’s not easy to fix.

  • Frum seems to be learning from the crisis. I have a problem with people that don’t seem to be moved by disconfirming evidence ever.

    I don’t think this is true. I mean, I don’t think there is anything in what Frum believes that would have been different before the crisis. This is standard economics he is arguing, not radical stuff. Most center right economists believe most of it, if not all, too, IMHO.

    What is different now is not Frum’s beliefs, but the voice of the Republican party. It’s much more populist now than when it was in power. You get more talking heads like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, etc. and less Milton Friedman’s.

    But this is normal when a party is in the minority. Look at how unhinged the left became when Bush and Republicans were at the peak of power. As a party reduces in power, you lose a lot of the moderates. And it’s a race for votes between those who could basically say anything and still get elected – and they usually do say anything to try and get more power. Basic politics power play here, as far as I see it.

    Regarding vouchers: I am not against paying teachers more. In fact, in my ideal world we would. But first, before we do that, we have to get rid of the 20% or so really bad teachers. And reform the system significantly. But unions prevents you from doing that. Do me a favor, if you have time, read this and this on the state of our current education system.

  • But this is normal when a party is in the minority. Look at how unhinged the left became when Bush and Republicans were at the peak of power. As a party reduces in power, you lose a lot of the moderates.

    Quite to the contrary, I do not remember the Democratic primary debates being an unhinged circus of crazy in 2004 as this year’s Republican debates are. Perhaps you could jog my memory with a couple of examples.

    (For example, did the Democratic candidates unanimously agree that a budget compromise with ten times as many tax increases as tax breaks just didn’t have enough tax increases. Because that would definitely make your case.)

  • Frum’s economic views are center right? There’s hope after all.

  • LaurenceB,

    It was so in different ways. Think of the MoveOn.org movement at the time. The references to Bush as Hitler, Fascists etc. The Michael Moore era, where sitting senators publicly applauded his movie.

    Regarding your particular example, “the Democratic candidates unanimously agree that a budget compromise with ten times as many tax increases as tax breaks just didn’t have enough tax increases.”

    Are you referring to the fiscal stimulus? If so, it’s interesting that you bring that up because some on the right argue that the fiscal stimulus was in fact the dividing point between cooperation and non-cooperation. The fiscal stimulus was sold as a fiscal stimulus – and certainly alot of the immediate tax cuts can be seen as such – but the actual spending, when you take into account the political timing of when it kicks in, the pet projects included as fiscal stimulus, etc it was the point at which Republicans decided to stop working with Obama.

    Jonah Goldberg, in his discussion with Frum on bloggingheads makes the point here. Start at the 33 minute mark and move forward to atleast the 38.50 min mark.

    Jon,

    I didn’t say that. Try to read me more carefully. I wrote, This is standard economics he is arguing, not radical stuff. Most center right economists believe most of it, if not all, too, IMHO.

  • HP,
    Not to be snarky, but as you mentioned earlier, I can see you’re really not following this year’s election, so to have this discussion, I’ll first need to bring you up to date.

    In the first debate, which was held during the debt-limit negotiations, the Republican candidates were sounding very strident in their opposition to almost any agreement with the President. So Fox News Brett Baier asked if they would accept a theoretical offer from the President that included ten times as many budget cuts as tax increases. Every one of the candidates indicated that they would reject such an offer. Which, I shouldn’t need to say, i crazy. Baier, and all other sane people, were a little shocked, so he asked again, giving everyone a chance to think about it some more. They all kept their hands raised. It was quite a moment. So much so that in the next debate, the candidates were asked the same question again, just to make sure they hadn’t changed their minds. Nobody had.

    A day or two later one of the writers at National Review made the huge mistake of politely pointing out that a ten-to-one proposal of that kind is exactly what true Conservatives should want, and to not vote for such a proposal would be something like dereliction of duty for a truly conservative congressman. He was, of course, shouted down for his “liberalism”.

    So… That’s the state of the current Republican Party.

    And now that I’ve brought you up to date, we can finally discuss my disagreement with your earlier statement that Democrats in 2004 were equally as insane as Republicans in 2012.

    That is clearly not the case.

    Feel free to google a transcript for a Democratic debate in 2004. Try to find something similar to the above in that debate. Please. I beg you!

    You won’t find it. Those debates were very, very dry. With most candidates playing to the general public, not the base. Nobody calls Bush Hitler.

    If I’m wrong, feel free to demonstrate it. Show me a quote from Wesley Clark or Hillary Clinton that’s as crazy as what the Republicans are saying today. Please! I’m dying to hear it!

  • Okay – maybe Republicans are slightly crazier this election cycle. But atleast we dont have crazy actors popularizing our dumb beliefs. :-P

  • I agree Frum is saying nothing radical. Sounds like what you’d hear from Krugman. If Krugman is center right then we’re in good shape. I don’t think so though.

  • I think on these points Frum is mainstream. Not center-right nor center-left. His comments here though are certainly center-right.

  • Let’s make a discussion about how we see a Obama today as hispanics
    Cosider him a Traidor to the Latino movment for refusing to stop
    The safe city program that has deported no only criminals but also a
    Minor infractors whith out a due proces or denying a legal representation. Yes traitor is the wrord don’t matter how he come with a mellow flower spech to adorn his inaction.
    Better Perry than him a least he is willing to consider
    The value of the unducomuntaded work in the state of texas that
    A least didn’t suffer in the economic down run like other states.

Leave a Reply