DeLong’s message is pretty grim: reckless fiscal irresponsibility, a la Reagan I and Bush II, may be a better political strategy than fiscal responsibility. When are we going to hear about Republican members of the Concord Coalition walking away from the candidate of the credit-card conservatives? Not soon, I’d bet.
One factor DeLong doesn’t mention: tight labor markets make free-trade policies politically palatable. For a while, the Democrats were returning to their free-trade roots. Now it looks as if Dean and Gephardt trying to lead them back into the protectionist wilderness.