The Locker Room

Why Democrats should be all for smaller, more effective government

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 07:02 AM

Read James Bennet’s editor’s note in the latest issue of The Atlantic, and you’ll leave with no illusion about his disdain for Republicans.

Still, he offers a valuable insight about the party that “believes government can and should be a force for good.”

In theory, no one should be angrier at wasteful, clumsy government than Democrats, since it undermines their political principles and appeal. In practice, since the 1960s, Democrats’ defensiveness about government, driven partly by fealty to public-service-employees unions, has turned them into the party of bureaucracy, rather than of effective government, just as Republicans’ fealty to incumbent interests has turned them into the party of Big Business rather than of free markets and innovation.

It’s an idea that might come in handy the next time you hear pleas to protect current spending levels for this or that government program.

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