I’m a little tired of hearing “well they’re activists” as an all-purpose response to criticisms that groups are spreading misinformation, picking counterproductive fights, and making progress on the issues they claim to care about harder.
The F- for Biden’s climate plan was risible. The hair trigger denunciation of Beto’s climate plan was absurd. Backing Weiner’s primary challenger was antithetical to climate goals. And the idea that Brian Deese is a major impediment to good climate policy is false.
And to be clear, I’m not saying that “activism is stupid.”
I’m saying that this specific activist group keeps doing stupid things, and you don’t get to say “well we’re doing activism” as an all-purpose excuse for saying and doing things that don’t make sense.
Like all else being equal Republicans would be better off with a nominee who can speak coherently and isn’t dogged by dozens of sexual assault accusations — but reverting to the Romney/Bush policy agenda wouldn’t help.
But to say that cutting taxes while increasing spending is popular if you’re not facing an objective budget constraint seems obvious?
Yet Obama didn’t see it that way and that’s why I worry about Bruce Reed at OMB. The federal government has access to free money — hand it out!
Arnold repeatedly concedes that there is no actual fiscal tradeoff here, but then simply pounds the table and insists that student loan forgiveness would be a bad idea if there *were* a fiscal tradeoff.
I think a lot of people would rather debate policy in a world where fiscal tradeoffs exist and cost-effectiveness is an important consideration.
But to get there you need to get the full employment.
So on one level I agree — Mitch McConnell should call Joe Biden and say he wants to negotiate details on a $5 trillion fiscal stimulus package but that part of the package will be taking the student debt idea off the table.
Co-founding @voxdotcom with @ezraklein & @MelissaBell has been one of the great adventures of my life but after 6+ years on the job I’ve decided it’s time for me to move on to something new that I’m really excited about.
I’ve been wanting for some time to reclaim what I had in my blog days as an independent voice, and a great opportunity has arisen for me to do that on Substack where today I’m launching a new site that you can find and read all about here:
The people who become members of congress are ambitious. But in the Dem system it takes forever to chair a committee, there’s no upward mobility in caucus leadership, and members have no ability to influence legislation.
So what do they do? Factional infighting!
You want to be able to say to people “hey if you chilled out, made a bit less trouble, put your head down, and really did the work you could _____.”