1. Obviously the MEAN between the delusional extremes of ESTABLISHMENT REPUBLICANS and TEA PARTIERS has become Pete-ism/Yuvalism.
2. Anyone who has taken American Government 101 should have known that the SHUTDOWN would culminate in Republican/House capitulation and the resulting blame game.
3. In all the fascinating comments in the THREAD below on the most recent version of Carl on liberty, there’s no one really taking on his provocative (because, in my opinion, TRUE) assertion that NATURAL RIGHT vs. HISTORY was both a largely true and polemically powerful contrast during the Cold War. But it has lost both its power and truth since 1989. That’s because, for one thing, 1989 was the year History (HISTORY with a capital H or HISTORICAL IDEALISM in the Marxist mode) died. Strauss wouldn’t publish a barnburner (which NR and H really was when it came out) called NATURAL RIGHT AND HISTORY today.
4. As Yuval has said, those who call themselves PROGRESSIVES today are really mostly reactionaries, defending entitlements and such that are basically unsustainable. There are several reasons for their unsustainability, but here are the top two: 1. The tough demographic realities (too many old people and not enough young—see Capretta for evidence). 2. The atomizing and depoliticizing tendencies of the 21st century competitive global marketplace. The libertarians, such as Cowen but many others—including those of the Silicon variety, are trumpeting themselves, not without reason, as the true progressives—the techno-progressives. History, so to speak, is on their side.
5. So the Republicans, as Pete says, can’t really say that the old-fashioned progressives are the main reason the middle class is vanishing, although they are one reason.