A comment on a Jonathan Chait piece

Published online 6 November 2014.

Readers of my diaries (and their associated links) may remember Jonathan Chait.  Chait is the guy who (along with David Roberts, unfortunately) thinks Barack Obama is the “environmental President” based on the fact that Obama is slightly better than other defenders of the capitalist system mainstream politicians at filing nice-looking papers.  As Joe Romm said, Chait and Roberts are grading Obama on a curve.

Well, now Chait wants to analyze the 2014 elections (“The Democrats Have Two Choices Now: Annihilation or Gridlock,” New York magazine, 11/5/14), and in so doing he shows a rather distinct inclination to grade the Democrats on a curve for not being Republicans.  So, for instance, Chait’s main thesis:

The next party to have a chance to impose its vision upon the federal government will very likely be the Republicans.

Isn’t this already happening to some extent?  You know, like, the sequester for instance, or endless war, or even the mandate in “Obamacare”?And then there’s the cute conclusion:

Hillary Clinton is the only thing standing between a Republican Party even more radical than George W. Bush’s version

More radical than W.?  You mean like chained CPI for Social Security?Now, I know already that only evil people like Ralph Nader will tell you that “The Democrats Can’t Defend The Country From The Retrograde GOP.”  Maybe Hillary will be a leftist or something.  So you be the judge.  All I am saying is that there were consequences to claiming that there were leftists in power, and you saw them Wednesday morning.


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