November 28, 2018

OUR TWO REPUBLICAN PARTIES:

High hopes for Hakeem Jeffries (The Economist, Sep 27th 2018)

Mr Jeffries is not a member of the moderate New Democrats faction, but he often sounds as if he should be. He is a fan of charter schools and fiscal rectitude. Though he supports the principle of universal health-care coverage, he speaks of "the importance of market forces and getting things done in a responsible fashion". Quoting Ronald Reagan approvingly, he suggests this means promoting a flourishing private sector outside the "legitimate functions" of government. The eternal quest to strike the right balance between the two "is the American dream", he muses.

His pragmatism is as striking as his moderation. He praises Jared Kushner as a "tremendous partner" in his support for a bipartisan criminal-justice bill that Mr Jeffries co-sponsored. It was derided from the left as too weak, including by two Democratic senators with presidential ambitions, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris. They probably also minded the fact that President Donald Trump praised the bill. Mr Jeffries gives them short shrift: Democrats should back useful legislation whoever is president, he says, and a stronger bill was impossible under Mr Trump. He also questions their political judgment. Allowing criminal justice to become a partisan issue has handed the Republicans an offensive weapon, he says. "If we can make this a non-partisan issue, that is to Democrats' advantage."

Yet despite his bold attachment to the real world, Mr Jeffries is not merely unchallenged by his party's Utopian wing. He is admired.

Posted by at November 28, 2018 4:56 PM

  

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