Historians of the future may one day write that the death of the New Deal began this year. If so, it goes without saying that corrupt forces like the Chamber of Commerce will be a big part of the story. So will billionaire ideologues like Pete Peterson, and greedy politicians looking for a handout. Unfortunately, so will a lot of reasonable people whose biggest problem is that they're temperamentally inclined toward being reasonable and moderate - even when circumstances don't warrant it.
The problem's become so severe that it will take more than one day to address it. It will require criticizing people that I respect, and who in some cases I've met and like personally. A great many moderately-minded individuals seem to have been lulled into accepting a Washington consensus in which the "new normal" means accepting that only remaining choice is between a radical assault on the middle class and a moderately radical assault on the middle class. In that world, a "judicious" assessment of Republican radicalism can easily turn into accommodationism. That can lead in turn to bad deals that create needless suffering.
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