The Economist‘s Democracy in America blog has a fascinating post on the shift that seems to be happening in the thinking of the moderate, lefty blogosphere from process-oriented gradualism towards what you might describe as a kind of revolutionary cynicism. In a different era, if you were less kind, you might even describe Ezra Klein’s and Matt Yglesias’s recent claims—that our political system is irrevocably broken, that we won’t do anything about health care costs or global warming—as “shrill.” DiA compares Klein and Yglesias to Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi, which is another way of saying the same thing. The (anonymous) DiA blogger points to this post by Klein as evidence of a near-total loss of faith in the system:
The country, and the system, will continue to whistle while our wages get eaten up and our government tumbles further into debt and our interest rates rise and other priorities get squeezed out and a serious and painful fiscal reckoning inches ever closer.
Meanwhile, as DiA notes, Yglesias has been calling for the abolition of the US Senate. That’s not moderate wonkery. It’s radicalism. (That doesn’t mean Yglesias is wrong.) DiA thinks “there’s something going on with these guys,” and it could lead to “the kind of thing you saw happen to those clean-cut moderate liberal kids who wrote the Port Huron Statement.”
So I say to the Juicebox Mafia et. al.: Why not? Sure, no one appointed you or elected you. But that didn’t stop the kids at Port Huron (or in Sharon, Connecticut, for the matter). You’re in leadership positions whether you like it or not. I’m serious. Set up a wiki and get to work. I’m sure the wider lefty blogosphere would be happy to help. Get some sort of statement together, and let DiA and others know for sure exactly how radical (or not) this generation of young liberals really is.