BipartisanThink and the Principle of Seriousness
From Slate Articles
February 20, 2013 - 12:25pm
A certain strand of Beltway political thought has a problem with the budget deficit. By definition the failure of the parties to agree to a balanced deficit reduction package is equally the fault of both Democrats and Republicans. That's a core element of BipartisanThink. At the same time, deficit hawks actively want to get politiicans to agree with their prescriptions. So the risk always exists that the hawks will get what they want and someone will agree with them. That's what's happened with Barack Obama and most of the Democratic Party congressional leadership. At that point, a paradox occurs since again by definition both parties are equally to blame.
Jonathan Chait notes that the Washington Post editorial page has seized the bull by the horns today, blaming both sides equally for the sequester standoff even though the GOP's proposed sequester offsets (deep cuts in programs to poor people) are things the Post thinks are bad policy while the Democrats' proposed sequester offsets (cuts in farm subsidies and the "Buffett rule") are things the Post favors. But where Chait sees illogic, I see the exploitation of an important principle. It involves the use of the word &qu...
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