Frank Bruni Has Alzheimer’s Disease

It’s quite sad, actually:

Rare is the Democrat of plausible national ambition who tangles in a tough, meaningful way with labor unions or environmentalists, groups that President Obama has been loath to cross. Disappointing them jeopardizes the campaign infantry and financial contributions they provide, and as the sway of interest groups rises, the fealty of politicians to the ones in their corner grows with it.

Rare is the Republican of plausible national ambition who doesn’t kowtow to religious conservatives, a spectacle on florid display during the Republican primaries…

Remember how President Obama kowtowed to environmentalists on those ozone regulations?  He just did whatever the Sierra Club told him to.  And he also told the Supreme Court to uphold the Second Circuit on the climate change public nuisance litigation.  Oh, and labor, too: that Race to the Top could practically have been written by the NEA!

Then there’s Evan Bayh’s championing of the elimination of the estate tax: why didn’t he just stamp a hammer-and-sickle on his forehead? You no doubt also remember how Kent Conrad, Max Baucus, and Ben Nelson completely prostrated themselves in front of Democratic constituencies.  It’s abject!

Of course, Bruni might defend himself by saying that he is only referring to politicians of “plausible national ambition.”  Absolutely!  You remember how courageous George Voinovich, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins were in advocating for the Affordable Care Act, don’t you?

What does Bruni get paid for, again?

Author: Jonathan Zasloff

Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic - Land Use, the Environment and Local Government. He grew up and still lives in the San Fernando Valley, about which he remains immensely proud (to the mystification of his friends and colleagues). After graduating from Yale Law School, and while clerking for a federal appeals court judge in Boston, he decided to return to Los Angeles shortly after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake, reasoning that he would gladly risk tremors in order to avoid the average New England wind chill temperature of negative 55 degrees. Professor Zasloff has a keen interest in world politics; he holds a PhD in the history of American foreign policy from Harvard and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University. Much of his recent work concerns the influence of lawyers and legalism in US external relations, and has published articles on these subjects in the New York University Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. More generally, his recent interests focus on the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses. Professor Zasloff has long been active in state and local politics and policy. He recently co-authored an article discussing the relationship of Proposition 13 (California's landmark tax limitation initiative) and school finance reform, and served for several years as a senior policy advisor to the Speaker of California Assembly. His practice background reflects these interests: for two years, he represented welfare recipients attempting to obtain child care benefits and microbusinesses in low income areas. He then practiced for two more years at one of Los Angeles' leading public interest environmental and land use firms, challenging poorly planned development and working to expand the network of the city's urban park system. He currently serves as a member of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (a state agency charged with purchasing and protecting open space), the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (the leading legal service firm for low-income clients in east Los Angeles), and Friends of Israel's Environment. Professor Zasloff's other major activity consists in explaining the Triangle Offense to his very patient wife, Kathy.

4 thoughts on “Frank Bruni Has Alzheimer’s Disease”

  1. Be careful, Jonathan – there’s a regular poster on this site who gets hurt feelings when ‘progressive’ don’t suck up to punidts like Bruni.

  2. “What does Bruni get paid for, again?”

    Actually, this *is* what he gets paid for. He was due for a promotion to Op-Ed, and the 2 “liberal” spots were filled.

  3. When people write nonsense, I stop reading them. You’d be surprised how much better you’ll feel.

  4. Showing once again that political punditry is what you do when you can’t hack it as a reviewer of expensive restaurants.

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