Read that with the following inflection:

Milbank really frustrates me because he can be a smart and funny political observer, but, oh is he so Mr. Conventional Wisdom.  I clicked on this story because the link on the homepage suggested Austin Goolsbee was the only thing preventing Obama from “panic.”  Seriously?  Obama is many things– panicky is not among them.  To Milbank’s credit, the panic line was not explicit nor implicit in his column.  That said, it is an absolutely perfect example of “the left is wrong, the right is wrong, the answer must be somewhere in the middle” thinking.  This bit is what really got me:

But when he brought his family from Chicago to Washington two and a half years ago and joined the Obama administration, he found a culture based on ancient superstitions: liberals who think the government holds all the answers, and conservatives who adhere to a religious belief that all ills can be cured by dramatic cuts in government spending and taxes. Goolsbee is a voice of reason in a town that resists common sense.

No, no, no!  Liberals do not think government holds all the answers.  Liberals think that sometimes government holds the answers and sometimes the private sectors does, and more often than not it is the right combination of the two that holds the answers.  You know, nuance, situational complexity, ends over means, etc.  Now on the Republican side of things, this really is pretty much true.  If you don’t think so, just check out Tim Pawlenty’s laughable economic plan.


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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