Tuesday, September 15, 2015


I'm no expert and certainly can't make this claim with any certainty, but I've long had a sense that the goo-goo reformers from the 70s onward have actually been "bad" from the perspective of working against enacting and implementing liberal policies. Generally sensible-sounding process reform has support, but nobody really cares. It doesn't build a movement. And often goo-goo types haven't been very liberal, really. In any case, my big question is, if your fantasy "get money out of politics" agenda is implemented, what awesome policies will get passed that wouldn't be passed otherwise?

Ultimately politics is going to be about working the margins as best we can. Maybe doing our best to reduce the influence of money is a good way to do that. But it'd be much more convincing if there was an actual policy agenda behind it. You know, "80% of the American people support X but Congress won't pass it because..." There are a couple of things that might fit "X" but not too many. The corruption is less about federal legislation and more about all of the other avenues for rent seeking.

Goo-goos are generally "sensible centrists." Take away all of the ickyness of politics, and then wise people will be able to do very sensible things. What are those things? Why they're sensible and bipartisany and suddenly this is all sounding a bit NoLabels and ThirdWayish and...you get the point.