Pur Autre Vie

I'm not wrong, I'm just an asshole

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Los Gatos Gordos

Yglesias has a post about right-wing populism:

A right-leaning populism would start from the (accurate) premise that some of the privileges of the few derive from their use of the power of the state and would seek to dismantle these instances of big government privilege. But who is doing this? You can read a fair number of blog posts and even the occasional speech or article about it. But where’s the governor or mayor who’s going to town on this agenda and succeeding? Clearly there are any of number of people who you might claim have done something or other along these lines. But generally speaking GOP governors seem pretty focused on making the tax base regressive and cutting social services for the poor.

The answer to Matt's question - who is doing this? - is that, by the lights of American conservatives, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is doing this. What Matt fails to appreciate is that to the conservative movement, public-sector employees are the privileged few. The abusers of government power. The fat cats.

I don't really want to address the merits of this viewpoint. But Yglesias is being disingenuous - he might as well say, "Are there any conservatives out there who are admirable from a liberal perspective, he asked, expecting the answer no?"


Blogger Sarang said...

Yeah I think the Yg post is pretty silly though not entirely for the reasons you suggest. I.e., given his notions about what a right-leaning populist "should" do I am not sure Scott Walker is doing it right; the objective is to free up/shift resources and a Willie Sutton principle applies at some objective level, the public sector employees simply aren't a useful target. But of course the point that Yg is missing is that the people susceptible to right-wing populism are actually motivated by status more than by wealth.

3:31 PM  

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