Available Now! (click cover)

America's Counter-Revolution
The Constitution Revisited

From the back cover:

This book challenges the assumption that the Constitution was a landmark in the struggle for liberty. Instead, Sheldon Richman argues, it was the product of a counter-revolution, a setback for the radicalism represented by America’s break with the British empire. Drawing on careful, credible historical scholarship and contemporary political analysis, Richman suggests that this counter-revolution was the work of conservatives who sought a nation of “power, consequence, and grandeur.” America’s Counter-Revolution makes a persuasive case that the Constitution was a victory not for liberty but for the agendas and interests of a militaristic, aristocratic, privilege-seeking ruling class.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Did She Really Say That?

Obama transition co-chair Valerie Jarrett let this slip yesterday when talking to Tom Brokaw on Meet the Press:
It's ironic that you would say that it's the Democrats that are responsible for big government because government has grown enormously over the last eight years.
I thought the Obama position was that we've had eight years of laissez faire under George II.


Reformed Patriot said...

Welp... she wasn't lying.

Edward said...

She wasn't lying, to her big government and laissez faire are probably the same thing.

Tim Stonesifer said...

That's our sad state: laissez faire has been dismissed from the discussion, and is only invoked when some absurdly disrupting policy's negative consequences (read: financial crisis) require a scapegoat.

And the term 'big government' has become meaningless on its face. Today it's not big or little government, it's 'my big government or yours'. What a shame.

Nick said...

A positive way to look at this: the Obama camp may know that big government sort of presents problems.

TokyoTom said...

I fail to see the inconsistency; the Bush administration is certainly responsible for making government much bigger generally, even as it deregulated or held back pressure for further regulation in others.

And it's certainly fair for Dems to accuse Republicans of the pot calling the kettle black.

I think it's more the Obama position that Republicans did not regulate well, and that somehow Obama and the Dems can do much better. Hopefully there will be some Dems who see big government as the problem rather than the solution (as nick suggests), but I'm not holding my breath.

Sheldon Richman said...

Tokyotom, it may not be a logical contradiction, but there still is a problem with the dual claims. Obama surrogates said all campaign that it makes no sense to put people in charge of the government who hate the government and favor laissez faire. People who hate the government don't "grow" the government, spending the most money since LBJ and doubling the national debt. Besides, Republicans did no deregulation to speak of, although some tried to revamp the regulation of the GSEs. (Not that that would have helped.) The Dems and lots of Repubs, fought this. It was the Democrats under Clinton who repealed parts of Glass-Steagall. (That was a good thing.)

Robert said...

Paul Krugman: Franklin Delano Obama?


Who has Krugman's ears?

Gore and Krugman advising Obama...

Belinsky said...

She is right...government did grow over the past eight years. Both parties are responsible for "big government". The differences lie in which parts of government grow.

TokyoTom said...

Sheldon, the problem isn't with dual claims by the Dems, but that voter dissatisfaction with misrule by the Republicans has led voters to turn the candy store completely over to Dems, who are now in a position where - without an effective check in either the executive or legislative branches - they are set to compound the Republicans' mistakes and further grow government.

Sheldon Richman said...

I think we've drifted off the subject. I thought you were arguing that there is no conflict between saying the Bush administration expanded the government and that it practiced laissez faire.