November 27, 2006


Here Come the Economic Populists (LOUIS UCHITELLE, 11/27/06, NY Times)

FOR years, the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party, exercising a lock on the party’s economic policies, argued that the economy could achieve sustained growth only if markets were allowed to operate unfettered and globally.

Overcoming protests from labor unions, a traditional constituency, the Clinton administration vigorously supported free trade agreements like Nafta and agreed to China’s admission into the World Trade Organization. If there was damage to workers, then the Clinton camp proposed dealing with it after it occurred — through wage insurance, for example, or worker retraining and other safety-net measures.

This approach coincided with a period of economic prosperity, low unemployment and falling deficits. Over time, this combination — called Rubinomics after the Clinton administration’s Treasury secretary, Robert E. Rubin — became the Democratic establishment’s accepted model for the future.

Not anymore.

Because he refused to talk about it, the President has allowed the election of Democrats who oppose the economic prosperity he and fellow Third Wayers fostered. Fortunately they're powerless to do much damage.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 27, 2006 8:50 AM

OJ, the President was smart not to talk about the economy. If he even said one positive peep about it, the rest of the campaign season would've been nothing but "Housing Crash" stories every day.

Sometimes, if the deck is completely stacked against you, you have to take your lumps and regroup to fight on your terms some other day.

Posted by: Brad S at November 27, 2006 9:05 AM

Had the Republican majority supported the president vigorously, they would have been unstoppable. However, they reverted to their cozy comfortable position of going along to get along and the result was predictable.

The Dems can't do much but pound Bush 24/7 with a score card tabulating their "wins" on the front burners of all the print and electronic media. That'll be damage a'plenty.

Posted by: erp at November 27, 2006 11:17 AM