David Walsh went to the Niskanen Center conference on Beyond Left and Right: Reviving Moderation in an Era of Crisis and Extremism. He got hives. Then his phone battery died: David Walsh: https://twitter.com/DavidAstinWalsh/status/1100040738371502080: "Guys, this is like if Green Book founded a thinktank. I mean, sure, I can get on board with the basic principle that 'we should all love one another and take care of our children', but... c’mon. When the way you want to do that is an EITC, you’re out of ideas.... Margaret Hoover is now talking.... She did lose me, though, when she called Rick Perry a thoughtful, principled conservative who should have been the future of the movement.... One of the things that strikes me, as someone who is a pretty bad leftie but is at least engaged in the debates on the left... is that none of the speakers here actually know what’s going on on the left! Like, they know the Bush administration and the GOP, but the last time they thought critically about 'the left' was when they were making fun of hippies in college..... Also, they’re really talking up Charlie Baker and Larry Hogan, FWIW...

...Another stray thought: the panelists keep going back to the principled conservatism from the Buckley years without grappling with either how white resistance to integration was one of the key political factors in the “rise of the right” from the 1960s through the 1980s, ...or just how much the “New Right” was just repackaged anti-New Dealism from the 1930s, often from the sordid “extremists” whom Buckley sought to distance himself from!....

Okay, after about an hour and a half, we’re finally getting a conversation about the Civil Rights Act and the fracturing of the New Deal coalition, and the chair even acknowledges the dog whistling! “We didn’t have to do it!” Margaret Hoover, sounding flustered: “Uh, well, I define myself as a Western conservative...” She acknowledges the centrality of race to the story of the “rise of the right” but does not dwell on it....

Elaine Kamarck is now 3 minutes into a defense of everything the New Democrats did in the 1990s, including suggesting that entitlements need to be cut today. I will give her credit for going after Obama for not going after Wall Street, but whereas I’m pretty sure Kamarck means the stimulus wasn’t big enough I think just as big of a deal was that nobody went to jail. That a political party build around entitlement cuts is not going to be the vehicle to take on Wall Street seems to have escaped her notice...


#noted

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