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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Thursday, December 19, 2002

The Evolution Of A .... Oh, Call Him A Liberal

Yes, it is a mite unfair to liberals. Currently, Brad DeLong is quite proud of his stand on the Republican "southern strategy". Here he is on Nixon and the South:

Richard Nixon's Greatest Treason

I've said it before and I will say it again: Richard Nixon's greatest treason was his transformation of the Republican Party from the Party of Lincoln to the Party That Doesn't Like Black People (TM).

But a "Southern Strategy" may not always be a bad idea:

Senator John Edwards

Well, he's not an unknown southern governor--and it has been thirty years since the a majority of the voters chose... someone who was not (a) an incumbent, (b) a sitting vice president, or (c) a largely unknown southern governor or ex-governor.

But he is the next best thing: he's a largely unknown southern senator. And he's thus the Democrats' best hope for getting the most votes in the election...

Hold on! Surely, "unknown" and "Southerner" are not the sole basis of his appeal! DeLong will deplore this, one presumes.

Well, perhaps the new DeLong would. But he clarifies his position in the comments:

You miss the point: we have a system in which the relatively-unknown southerner seems very likely to win. It thus behooves us to learn as much about relatively unknown southerners as possible--if only so that we can figure out whether this is what we want to do.

Well, that is not exactly a model of moral clarity - maybe pandering to southerners is OK, I'll get back to you. As I said, however, this is an evolutionary process - the new DeLong may have made up his mind on Edwards by now.

And a bit of reassurance for Dems contemplating thirty years in the wilderness: it was 1960 when the nation last elected a non-Southern Democrat to the White House. However, Reagan, well known as a two-time Governor of California, was elected in 1980. Perhaps DeLong's "thirty years" represented some sort of averaging; perhaps it was simple repression, although he seems to have been able to count back to Nixon in 1972. Well, this psychological analysis is beyond me.

However, as we attempt to track the intellectual progression of Bradford DeLong, we are stumped by this:

I kind of think periods of Republican political dominance should be like abortions--safe, legal, and *rare*. You see, I believe that Republicans--in my particular issue areas, at least--were put on earth to take power occasionally and clean up the broken crockery dropped on the floor by the Democrats as they prepare the great social-democratic feast.

Well. As of that writing, back in what must seem like the mists of time, but was Nov 7, 2002, DeLong was evidently unconcerned about occasional periods of rule by "The Party That Doesn't Like Black People". A surprising and selective sensitivity. Or perhaps the news about Nixon's election in 1968 only reached Berkeley in the last few weeks. Whoa, wait until they hear about Reagan!

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