Now no one tell


Now, no one tell Josh’s wife that he sneaked away to post during his honeymoon. While Josh was posting from an undisclosed, but sunny, location, I was reminded of a much colder time: the weeks after the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994. Democrats were devastated; pundits were gabbing hysterically about the dawning of “prime ministerial” government in the US. That December, I returned from England and had a conversation with the historian Fred Siegel, a friend and mentor of mine. Fred said not to worry; he wished control of the House of Representatives on the GOP as, eventually, it would turn them into what the Democrats on the Hill had become by the late 1990’s — an out-of-touch, Beltway party focused on the needs of the donors who fund their campaigns.

In Slate this week, Jacob Weisberg notes that this prediction has come true. “Interest-group conservatism,” he argues, has replaced interest-group liberalism — with all its accompanying pathologies. Weisberg’s piece underscores what many across the party have argued: that Democrats must seize the mantle of reform. Embracing a reform agenda — along with developing a forward-looking public philosophy — will not only rid Democrats of the worst excesses of interest-group liberalism, but put us on track to do what the GOP did a decade ago: win.