Super Heroes Come to Feast

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Jonah Goldberg also has a column thwacking Time magazine's new cover package on Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mike Bloomberg, the "New Action Heroes" changing America while the beltway dithers. That's them on the right, looking like Rev. Run and DMC soaked in a vat of bleach.

Goldberg's beef is that Grunwald's idea of pathbreaking politicians are rather unremarkable liberals.

[T]hey're both fighting global warming, natch. And Arnold's fighting for embryo-destroying stem-cell research while Bloomberg, Grunwald gushes, has implemented "America's most draconian smoking ban and the first big-city trans-fat ban." 

Heroes indeed!

Aaaand cue the Simpsons references. Matt Yglesias mutters that Time's "lavish praise of moderate Republicans indicates a center-right bias in favor of the moderately conservative," but that isn't really true: Nothing Bloomberg and Schwarzegger do is moderate or conservative. Yes, right, Arnold reversed a car tax and hasn't raised any taxes, but he's been an incredibly liberal spender on health care, infrastructure, scientific research, etc. etc., papering over the gaps with enormous bonds. Bloomberg is an ex-Democrat who hasn't done anything particularly mod/con since he rescued the city from Mark Green.

I was all set to whine about how Time only wants to hear how liberals are breaking the molds out in the states and say something like "Hey, what about guys like Steve Goldsmith?" when I see Grunwald go and quote Steve Goldsmith:

As D.C. politics has become more of a zero-sum partisan game, Mayors and Governors in both parties have taken on predatory lending, obesity, energy, health care and even immigration. "It's innovation by necessity," says Stephen Goldsmith, a former Republican mayor of Indianapolis who oversees Harvard's Innovations in American Government awards. This year hardly any federal programs applied. "Very unusual," Goldsmith says.

It's obscured in Grunwald's "OMG Bloomberg should totally be president LOLZ!" frame, but there's an interesting story here. Cities and states were churning out free-market policies and reforms in the 1980s and 1990s that were adapted by Washington. That isn't happening anymore. The reverse is happening.

NEXT: Could National Health Care Be Behind Britain's Anti-Drinking Campaign?

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  1. A fascination with politicians is, I think, one of those psychological disorders Sullum was talking about in the post above.

    …you know, a temptation or diversion that “can become the focus of a hard-to-break habit leading to “social dysfunction/disruption” but usually doesn’t?

  2. “embryo-destroying stem-cell research”

    OMG–what horseshit. Jonah Goldberg doesn’t give a fuck more than I do about embryos, but he needs to babble about such shit because of the crowd he runs with. What a phony!

  3. This year’s oxymoron award goes to: “Innovations in American Government”!

  4. I read this Time article and thought OMG.
    I had been so happy that Washington was finally deadlocked. And here come these two “superheroes” making treaties with other cities, states and countries, passing incredibly intrusive and expensive legislation.
    Why were my priorities so backwards. I must go self flaggelate over the course of the weekend.
    Bye

  5. Bloomberg is such a grade-A asshole control freak. The only reason he won the mayor’s office is because Mark Green was twice as bad as him. I know; I voted for him*, just to keep Green as far away from power as possible. That’s the last time I voted for anything, by the way. I learned my lesson.

    * In my defense, he had not yet revealed himself to be the massively liberty-crushing shitbag he truly is. He honestly should be arrested by the ATF for his straw-purchase scheme, just so he can feel the pinch he wants to put on all lawful gun owners.

  6. Wow, a Rocky Horror reference and a Run-DMC reference.

    Well done, Dave.

    Too bad the analysis is so weak. Bloomberg and Ahnold are slightly to the right of America’s political center. Deal.

  7. Bloomberg and Ahnold are slightly to the right of America’s political center.

    I can believe that Bloomberg is to the right of New York’s political center (on a lot of issues, at least). What makes you believe he’s to the right of the country’s center though? He’s for gun control and smoking bans on private property, for example.

  8. Phil,

    On economic policy, he’s a classic Ike.

  9. Rev. Run and DMC soaked in a vat of bleach

    Thats some funny shit

  10. In other news, Schwarzzengroper got dinged last night on the LA news channels for suggesting that Latinos should turn off Spanish language TV and learn English.

    Heck, the way the news heads were spinning the news hooks (STORY AT 11:00) I figured the Gov musta called Villa La Grossa a greaser or something.

  11. Looks like we’re headed back toward the old city-state. All we need to do is abolish the elctoral college system and power will soon rest in a few large, corrupt, statist-run metropolitan areas.

    If I wasn’t already drinking, I’d grab myself a beer…

  12. But under Bloomberg fewer pot smokers are being arrested.

  13. Schwarzenegger was supposed to be economically conservative and socially liberal (ie, libertarian). Instead, he’s been economically moderate-liberal and socially conservative. Ugh.

  14. Goldberg’s definition of a liberal seems to be anyone who doesn’t worship embryoes. God! How horrible! Someone who thinks the life of an Alzheimer’s patient is more important than some blob of cells!

    What a moron…

  15. henry,

    The stem cell research in question does destroy embryos…I think we all agree on that, whatever our positions on whether such should be funded.

  16. Nothing Bloomberg and Schwarzegger do is moderate or conservative.

    So true. That includes New York’s $4.4 billion surplus and all-time high city bond rating. That liberal bastard!

    Actually though, I despise him for his abusive police tactics to suppress speech.

  17. “In other news, Schwarzzengroper got dinged last night on the LA news channels for suggesting that Latinos should turn off Spanish language TV and learn English.”

    The worst people give the best advice.

    The #1 radio and TV station in LA is Spanish, is it not? My neighbor is from Honduras, been here about 9 years and we have to get his son to come when we try to talk. He hires only Hispanics, watches dish tv in spanish, and doesn’t need no stinking English.

  18. “The stem cell research in question does destroy embryos…I think we all agree on that, whatever our positions on whether such should be funded.”

    Oh, I know that–I just don’t give a shit about embryos. And neither does Jonah Goldberg.

  19. The #1 radio and TV station in LA is Spanish, is it not?

    No, the top rated LA TV station is KABC.

    I don’t care much about what TV stations people watch, it was just the way the story was spun in the run up to the ten/eleven o’clock news.

    Personally, I think the whole dam country is circling the drain so let’s break out the booze. And have a ball.

  20. “Nothing Bloomberg and Schwarzegger do is moderate or conservative.”

    Uh, how about Schwarznegger’s veto of single-sex marriage? (Yes, Andrew Sullivan may think that a “true conservative” should support gay marriage but that is not the point–we have to start with the words as they are conventionally used nowadays.)

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