The New Change Deal and Great Hope Society


In a blog post this morning, Matt Welch noted "something that has received precious little attention this election cycle: The Democrats, while eyeing the prize of a unified Donkey government, have jerked themselves to the significant economic left of John Kerry and even Howard Dean of 2004, not to mention Gore 2000 and the two Bill Clinton terms." Welch quotes the ubiquitous liberal blogger Matthew Yglesias acknowledging that "the 'center' wing of Democratic Party economic thought has shifted substantially left over the past few years."

On CNN this weekend, historian Douglas Brinkley made a similar point—one that should terrify libertarians and limited government advocates. Because the Clinton administration "did triangulation," Brinkley said, America "ended up not having a progressive movement, but kind of playing the middle centrist ground." But Barack Obama, "if he becomes president, if he wins, he will have a Democratic Senate and Congress. They're going to come in with the first sweeping legislative agenda which will be Johnson-like or New Deal like. That will be a big moment in this country." David Gergen nodded his head in agreement.

So H&R Obamaphiles and Obamaphobes: Would President Barack unleash upon a wobbly American economy a "Great Society"-like expansion of government? Is Clintonian triangulation dead? Is Obama tacking too far to the left on the economy?