COULD 2001 HAVE BEEN THE NEW 1937?Matt replies here to my post from yesterday about the 2000 election. There seem to be two separate arguments he's making here. On the less important issue of whether Gore squandered an opportunity because he failed to "propose a particularly ambitious domestic agenda during the 2000 campaign," I suppose that all things being equal I would have preferred that he do so.
BLAME WHERE IT BELONGS. I think I'm a little more sympathetic to the overall premise of Matt's argument than Ezra, although to me it's not so much about the war (arguably the greatest period of progressive policy-making in American history, after all, happened during the escalation of the Vietnam war) as a straightforward story about how American political institutions make major progressive reform very difficult under all but the most fortuitous circumstances.
WON'T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK ABOUT DESTROYING THE UNIO... I MEAN, THE CHILDREN?Kevin Drum has an excellent rejoinder to Megan McArdle's offer to support any and all liberal remedies, including "double spending per student" (with, presumably, commensurate tax increases I'm sure McArdle and her conservertarian friends will enthusiastically support!) if liberals will agree to bust teacher's unions.
THE GOODRIDGE BACKLASH? In response to my point that Mickey Kaus's nominal support for gay marriage was empty because he never finds any means of achieving it acceptable (the only meaningful difference between people who are flat-out reactionaries and people who support social change unless it might cause social conflict or affect entrenched interests is that the former are at least honest), a commenter at my other site asks: "There wasn't a massive backlash after the San Francisco and Massachusetts decisions?
THE INEVITABILITY OF ANACHRONISM. I wholly endorse Ezra's argument here, and also strongly recommend Sandy Levinson's book (although, as is often the case, his diagnosis is more convincing than his remedies.) Obviously, to defend an institutional feature as irrational and undemocratic as the electoral college (even though it produced a constitutional crisis in the third presidential election