What It Means to be a “Moderate Democrat”

Blanche Lincoln and anti-health reform Dems (and Joe) to Harry Reid:

Please give the insurance and Pharma lobbyists more time to tear down the Senate health care bill.

Blanche Lincoln and anti-health reform Dems (and Joe) to Harry Reid:

Please give the insurance and Pharma lobbyists more time to tear down the Senate health care bill.

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.

6 thoughts on “What It Means to be a “Moderate Democrat””

  1. Orwell is laughing somewhere, then coughing his lungs out and downing another pint.

    When "moderate" is somewhere to the right of Richard effing Nixon, it's a fine how-do-you-do.

  2. I am so sick of the term moderate being used to describe these corporate whores. They have no core organizing principles, save for raking in campaign contributions from their plutocratic pals. As someone who is fairly politically moderate (I used to be a GOP consultant many moons ago), I am sick and tired of that label being used to provide a veneer of respectability to these clowns' whoredom. I so wish there was a way to reclaim the political language such that the term moderate had some actual meaning. Alas, I'll just keep calling myself a liberal realist.

  3. Shorter Zasloff: "The only way I can win this debate is if the other side doesn't get a chance to speak."

    Look, the heart of the adversarial approach to truth, is that one side advances a proposition, somebody else tears it down, the first side defends… And if it's a sound proposition, the eventual steady state should favor it. If the eventual steady state opposes it, it's presumptively a bad proposition.

    It doesn't always work, but it's how you establish who's got the better case, in a democracy.

    You're the prosecutor who wants the jury to vote before the defense states it's case. The debater who wants the debate scored before the response. It's understandable that you'd want the automatic win, and to Hell with letting the other side get their licks in, but why would anybody who doesn't want you to prevail whether or not you're right respect this desire?

    Yes, by all means, give opponents the chance to tear the measure down. It's not like the bill's sponsors are going to identify it's problems.

  4. Brett Bellmore says:

    "Shorter Zasloff: “The only way I can win this debate is if the other side doesn’t get a chance to speak.”"

    It's not like they've had months of time, and millions of $$$$$ of privileged access.

  5. Look, if you were winning the debate, you'd phrase it, "giving us more time to build up the Senate health care bill." So, how should it be characterized when somebody wants to end a debate they're losing? Positively?

    I don't think so. There's no hurry here, we're talking about a bill major provisions of which don't, rather significantly, kick in until after the next Presidential election. Years from now, and there's this great freaking hurry to get it passed RIGHT NOW?

    The only hurry is to get it passed before the public turns against you too strongly to dare pass it.

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