New York Times opinion columnist Tom Edsall wanted to know how I thought Democrats should confront Republican attacks on culture war issues. I told him I have no idea, that’s not my job.
I told him I thought that GOP claims about “critical race theory”, trans rights and “defund the police” consisted of transparently bad-faith, bogus, manufactured scare stories intended to stoke white grievance and create fake moral panic.
I told him the burden of refuting these outrageous, mean-spirited, hate-filled deceptions and lies wasn’t on Democrats, it was on journalists.
I told him journalists should reject right-wing framing on these issues. They should refuse to write about them as if they had any merit.
Then — surprise! – Edsall went right off and did exactly what I advised against.
In his Wednesday column, headlined “Democrats Are Making Life Too Easy for Republicans,” Edsall – as he has many times before – amplified centrists who completely buy into Republican propaganda that Democrats have gone so far left that reasonable Americans are horrified.
Edsall started off by platforming the views of fellow self-described pragmatist Ruy Teixeira, who argued that “the cultural left has managed to associate the Democratic Party with a series of views on crime, immigration, policing, free speech and, of course, race and gender that are quite far from those of the median voter. That’s a success for the cultural left, but the hard reality is that it’s an electoral liability for the Democratic Party.”
Edsall quoted one professor saying that after the Black Lives Matter protests, “the conversation jumped to ‘defund the police'” which “sounded extreme and scary to a lot of people outside of places like Berkeley, Seattle, Minneapolis.”
He quoted another saying that Democrats are “seen as a party defined by ostensibly legalizing property crime, crippling the police and injecting social justice into math classes.”
This is all right out of the Republican talking points manual. It exaggerates, demonizes and misconstrues what the Democratic Party — or “the cultural left” — stand for.
For a brief interlude of reality, Edsall also quoted Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Will Bunch, who said too many Democrats are “rooted in a panic that progressive values will be seen as less American — when the reality is that ideas like academic freedom, preventing censorship and a belief in inquiry, including science, are the core beliefs of this nation.”
And Edsall quoted me complaining about credulous political reporting that amplified GOP charges that “critical race theory” is taught in public schools, when that’s an obvious, bad-faith attempt to manufacture white panic.
But then it was back to citing a Third Way report that “Republicans have been able to weaponize culture war issues in ways that significantly damage Democrats.”
Edsall ultimately concluded that “all Democrats pay a price for what a small but prominent group pushes for.”
I knew that when Edsall asked my views, he was setting me up to play the role of clueless lefty. But I engaged anyway, for old times’ sake.
I once had a lot of respect for Edsall. (This is now two days running that I’m writing about heroes who have sorely disappointed me. Yesterday it was Matt Taibbi.)
Edsall and I were colleagues of sorts at the Washington Post and briefly, believe it or not, at the Huffington Post. I found him brilliant, and a straight shooter.
Even in his latest incarnation, as a sort of explanatory blogger for the New York Times opinion section, Edsall used to put his big brain in the service of explaining reality. Consider this wonderful 2013 post delineating how “The War on Entitlements” threatens the basic security Americans deserve. Or, that same year, his terrific overview of “dark money” laundering, and his excellent dissection of how the GOP’s white strategy was working at the state level, reducing Black power, especially in the South. Great stuff.
But these days, almost everything he writes – much of it hugely repetitive – hawks his conviction that Democrats need to stop chasing after some sort of multiracial progressivism, tack to the right, and win back white voters.
A couple years ago I wrote about how the New York Times defines objectivity as the views of a well-off centrist white guy who doesn’t even exist. But maybe he does exist, and his name is Edsall.
What seems to animate Edsall the most is his view that Democratic “purists” are responsible for Trump’s success.
In 2016, he criticized Hillary Clinton for playing into Trump’s hands with comments on Twitter that he wrote “could be construed.. as admonitory.” They included: “I don’t think a nation can be great that turns its back on the poor and the unfortunate” and “We’ve got to do more to raise families’ incomes. We can start by raising the federal minimum wage.”
Trump has capitalized on the visceral belief of many white voters that government-enforced diversity and other related regulations are designed “to bring Americans to submission” by silencing their opposition to immigration — legal and illegal — to judicial orders putting low-income housing in the suburbs, and to government-mandated school integration, to name just a few of their least favorite things.
The refusal of Democrats and the American left to hear — or to grant some legitimacy to — the grievances of white America as it loses power and stature to ascendant minorities and to waves of immigrants from across the globe undergirds the Trump movement.
Over and over, Edsall returns to the same tedious argument, often appending a question mark for cover.
In one column headlined “Should Democrats Embrace the Center or Abandon It?” Edsall’s framing made the answer a foregone conclusion: If the party went too far left, it would lose votes from the center.
“Insofar as Democrats place a higher priority on purity than viability,” he concluded, “they may be risking an indeterminate extension of the Trump era.”
(Edsall himself is no purist. Here he is in 2014 on “The Value of Political Corruption“.)
In April 2021, Edsall asked: “Should Biden Emphasize Race or Class or Both or None of the Above?” He then quoted a scholarly paper’s conclusion that “linking public policies to race is detrimental for support of those policies.”
To Edsall’s credit, he included several quotes from Ian Haney López, a law professor at Berkeley who brilliantly mocked the view that “Democrats can maximize support among whites, without losing too much enthusiasm from voters of color, by running silent on racial justice while emphasizing class issues of concern to all racial groups.”
As López wrote: “Since at least 2017, this conclusion is demonstrably wrong.” Rather, he wrote, “the most potent political message today is one that foregrounds combating intentional divide-and-conquer racial politics by building a multiracial coalition among all racial groups.”
Nevertheless, Edsall ended up concluding — once again — that racial issues are losers for Democrats:
Donald Trump, running explicitly as the candidate of white America, won 74,216,154 votes. The fact that Trump was narrowly defeated in the Electoral College remains the salient point, but the burden falls on the Democratic Party to keep Trump and the Republican Party he continues to lord over from regaining the White House and Congress.
In a December column, Edsall asked a question that answered itself:
If, as much evidence shows, working-class defections from the Democratic Party are driven more by cultural, racial and gender issues than by economics — many non-college-educated whites are in fact supportive of universal redistribution programs and increased taxes on the rich and corporations — should the Democratic Party do what it can to minimize those sociocultural points of dispute, or should the party stand firm on policies promoted by its progressive wing?
Edsall is one of those folks who hype the threat of “cancel culture.” (See my column from last week excoriating a New York Times editorial in a similar vein.) The right wing of this country has gone full racist/nativist/authoritarian, but in September, Edsall wrote that the real “driving force” in the country’s polarization is liberal intolerance and white people who are ashamed of their race.
He can also be shockingly reactionary. In January, he decried – believe it or not – the “exceptionally large increase in foundation grants and pledges to criminal and racial justice reform groups and other causes” driven by the killing of George Floyd and the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests. He explained:
There are Democratic strategists who worry about unintended political consequences that could flow from this surge in philanthropic giving. Rob Stein, one of the founders of the Democracy Alliance, an organization of major donors on the left, argued in a phone interview that while most foundation spending is on programs that have widespread support, “when progressive philanthropists fund groups that promote extreme views like ‘defunding the police’ or that sanction ‘cancel culture,’ they are exacerbating intraparty conflict and stoking interparty backlash.”
Edsall quoted a few dissenters, but it was clear who he agreed with. And his position was, as usual, based on what he considers pragmatism: Those lies about critical race theory were really effective, Edsall argued. He based that conclusion on a New York Times article by Jeremy Peters, a news-side colleague whose credibility on that issue I demolished in a November 2020 post.
As Dean Baker, co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, pointed out in early 2021, Edsall is also one of many media luminaries who “act like they are innocent bystanders in the rise of an anti-democratic right-wing movement that constantly lies to advance its agenda. The media have agency but have thus far largely sought to pretend to just be observers. As a result, they allow themselves to be played endlessly by liars.”
Edsall quoted me accurately – albeit in the tiny section of his column he devoted to dissenters – but I thought the entire exchange might be worth putting on the record.
First came Edsall’s query:
As a regular reader of your columns, I have a couple of questions.
1. Are the culture war issues of critical race theory, transgender rights and defund the police real or phony issues?
2. Have these issues hurt Democratic candidates?
3. How should Democrats deal with these issues?
4. Is there a way for Democrats to gain support in the white working class?
Any thoughts welcome.
I’m a press critic and political writer who pursues accountability, not a partisan or a strategist. So I couldn’t begin to answer your questions about what Democrats could or should do.
Also, I worry a bit that you’ve lumped together such diverse issues in one question about the culture wars, but I’ll take a stab at addressing that one.
Let’s start with critical race theory, which in itself is really two questions. Are you talking about critical race theory as it exists, as a legal theory? Or as it doesn’t exist but is a scare story concocted by Republicans as a racist dog-whistle to rile up their voters?
The former is a well-documented and important way of making sense of some otherwise inexplicable aspects of our society and laws, and certainly worthy of discussion in higher education and policy circles. I would like to see political reporters writing more about the real critical race theory, and questioning newsmakers about it.
But I assume you mean the latter, in which case my answer is: It’s a phony issue. What far-right Republicans mean by “critical race theory” is that white children are being taught at public schools that they should be ashamed of being white. This is a made-up issue that serves as a stalking horse for inciting white grievance. Like so many of the far-right accusations against their opponents, it really couldn’t be less true. The reality is that public schools writ large don’t teach nearly enough about the sordid aspects of American history, or culture, as you well know. As a press critic, I have been horrified at how credulously many political reporters have written about Republican lies – and how impressed they were at their alleged (but entirely unproven) effectiveness. They wrote about it as if it were a real problem, rather than an obvious, bad-faith attempt to manufacture white panic. I wrote about that here and here and here and would frankly rather you quoted (and linked) to what I wrote there than here.
Transgender rights is obviously a real issue. But the way the far-right Republicans describe the issue – concocting scare stories about trans people stalking children, attacking them in the bathroom, threatening the future of women’s sports – is phony. Trans people deserve the full protection of the law and the constitution. Again, the right is using this issue to scare people and manufacture panic. Generally speaking, American society has moved far and fast on this issue, so I don’t doubt there are people who are genuinely not OK with transgender rights. They are real, and shouldn’t be ignored. But that doesn’t mean right-wing politicians’ anti-trans arguments are in good faith.
Reporters should be writing about the right-wing attack on trans rights because it is inhumane, rather than chasing after right-wing storylines and using their talking points to frame the issue. When reporters write about it being used as a culture-war wedge issue, they should put it in the context of previous right-wing crusades against civil rights, women’s rights and gay rights.
Police funding is a real issue, but “defund the police” is a fake issue to the extent that the far right characterizes it as the dominant Democratic view, which it is not. There is – or at least was – an emerging progressive view that the U.S. needs to reassess policing, to make it more effective and fair. That could mean shifting some duties (and budget) to social service agencies and the like. It certainly means a change in certain rules, and better training. That’s a real issue. But railing against the strawman of “defund the police” is really saying “don’t change anything,” which should be accurately depicted by reporters as nonresponsive to the legitimate concerns of the Black Lives Matter movement.
I hope that helps.
Edsall asked for more:
You make interesting point on how the press has often mischaracterized these issues and granted conservative arguments credibility when none is due, but you don’t address the question of how Democratic candidate or elected official should address these issues when raised by Republicans.
Should a Democrat just say these are phony issues, racial scare tactics without merit, bad faith attempts to stir up white panic? On transgender issues should the Democrat counter that Republicans are concocting scare stories about trans people stalking children, attacking them in the bathroom, threatening the future of women’s sports.”
That’s when I tried to save him from himself:
Yes, I intentionally didn’t address those questions because that’s not what I do. And frankly I have no idea. My job is not to get Democrats elected, it’s to call out lies and hypocrisy and so on, wherever they are.
So I know what reporters should do: They shouldn’t amplify what are clearly bad-faith Republican arguments. And frankly, Democrats shouldn’t have to say whether an issue is phony or not, journalists should make that clear on their own.
Does that make sense? I’m sorry if I’m disappointing you.
Thank you for clarifying for me why I can’t read Edsall’s columns anymore. Depressing, out of kilter.
Wow, got me some major goosebumps! Froomkin just knocked it out of the park! Calling out Edsall in particular and the NYT in general on responding to invented-out-of-thin-air astroturfed issues like “Critical Race Theory” (as being something actually taught in public schools) or “Defund the Police” (as merely a fringe Progressive reflex to getting stomped on by riot cops during BLM protests) is absolutely necessary.
But what Edsall or even Dan Froomkin are still not mentioning is the central role of FOX News–and all of its smaller offspring like OAN, Breitbart, etc. as the drivers–or even outright inventors–of pretty much every made up GOP culture war story. Tucker Carlson, for example, is still pushing the Kremlin-invented falsehood that the US government has bioweapons labs in Ukraine, to justify Putin’s invasion. Just as he and FOX have relentlessly pushed other fakeries, like the January 6th crowd being just innocent tourists.
FOX and its imitators make up the issues, and throw them out into the RW mediasphere to see what sticks. Once something gets some traction, Edsall welcomes said nonsense into the mainstream, by first not calling it out for what it is; and then later crowing about the degree to which his silence–or complicity–has resulted in how well such drivel has seeped into the mainstream.
Because it always comes back to FOX. And its mini-FOX imitators. Roughly a third of the entire American media ecosystem. Dedicated to inventing GOP culture war content. Please, can we just start by calling out FOX?
1. Critical Race Theory was first discussed in law schools in the 80s. It’s hardly a recent happening.
2. The US actually does have bio-weapons in Ukraine. We use them in every war.
3. Ukraine military are Nazis (the Azov Ballalion, Right Sector, Svoboda..Fasccist Stefan Bandera followers). They’ve murdered around 15 thousand Russian-Speakers in the Donbas and Crimea in the 8 years since the US threw out Yanukovych. These Nazis scared Zelensky so much, he lets them run Ukraine, which, BTW, is the most corrupt country in Europe.
4. Putin tried diplomacy for 30 years, to no avail until the US decided it was time to grab Sevastopol for a US base. (!)
5. The brutal wars in many innocent countries are by the US, not Russia, not China. We kill people by the millions, then leave the rest to starve to death.
6. Don’t you just hate being an American?
PS Petty squabbles by excellent reporters should fall by the way. There’s mor important stuff to write about.
Critical Race Theory isn’t being taught in schools as academic theory, but the conclusions that are drawn from it are taught: Kendi’s anti-racism ideology (“Capitalism is racism”) D’Angelo’s White Fragility, and The 1619 Project all contribute to instructional materials and none of them could have been written without Critical Race Theory. If most parents had their way, their kids wouldn’t be learning this stuff in elementary school. So you can make fun of people for thinking that Critical Race Theory is taught, but it would serve you well to remember that THEY know what they mean when they say “Critical Race Theory” and they don’t like it.
Please tell us in what grammar school “Capitalism is racism” is being taught.
In the US, I mean.
Mark, these are your people.
I read this and have no idea why you think that’s an example of “capitalism is racism.” The main quote that has even a tenuous connection is:
“There’s been a lot of inequities that have been brought to the light in the pandemic that we have to address,”
Well, that’s objectively true. Death rates for Covid among non-whites are far greater than among whites. https://covidtracking.com/race
Are you really complaining about the notion of schools teaching what is true?
Charles, it’s an example of how your “progressive” antifa rioters who are destroying Portland are a pack of smug white racists. They are your people, and you tiptoe around it because you think you are better than everyone else.
The cop in that story wound up quitting the Portland Police Department. Guess where he went? Boise, Idaho. That’s right: The “progressive” white racists of Portland chased a black police officer to … to … Idaho. By the way, Boise is a liberal town, but they’re not THAT stupid.
Portland now has a huge police shortage because of your crowd. Same in Seattle, where the police have all but stopped investigating sex crimes, including rape, because the P.D. is at half-strength. They can’t recruit, because no one wants to work in that department given the hostility they face from top to bottom.
Portland? Well, how about this: The Las Vegas P.D. sent recruiters there to poach officers. The city council offered bonuses to officers who left after your crowd chased them out, but there aren’t any takers. Nor did it help that the city decided to disband their gang crime unit and their gun crime unit because your crowd thought it’d be better if those didn’t exist.
The result? Skyrocketing gang shootings, burglaries, and vehicle thefts. That’s what YOU wanted, and it’s what Portland and Seattle got. In WA State, YOUR people actually want to reduce the criminal penalties for drive-by murders because more blacks and Latino gangs commit them.
Your crowd is nuts. See ya in November.
I am a Democrat living in a red state but outside the red bubble. This gives a good perspective of why Democrats are trapped in their own, urban blue bubble. They think they lose elections because they are not blue enough. Call it the Blue Bubble Fallacy.
Consider this: Nancy Pelosi is Speaker today because enough purple Seats flipped to Democrats from previous Republican incumbents. She did not win because the Democratic victory margin went up in deep blue states. So yes, Edsall’s complaints are inconvenient, but they are the ground truth. Far left Democrats think ad infinitude analysis and describing a problem is tantamount to solving it.
Of course Pelosi is Speaker today because purple seats flipped. The real question is WHY they flipped. My answer: they realized how far Republican candidates had fallen away from any kind of reasonable politics. And the “they” in this sentence doesn’t refer to Republicans who were suddenly converted to the Dems; statistical analysis of the returns shows that they were: (1) Democrats who hadn’t turned out before; and (2) Independents who switched their votes. Surrendering to absurd GOP stands on cultural issues had little or nothing to do with it.
Pelosi is Speaker because of Trump, and McCarthy will be Speaker next January because of Biden. People seldom vote for whom they like. A small margin of suburban independent voters elects presidents, and then usually votes for the opposition party two years later because the person they selected for president governs very differently from how they said they’d govern. Biden promised to unite the country and then tried to govern as though he was as popular as FDR. This is why the GOP will win this November, if it wins.
Dan: I, too, have wondered about three of my previous go-to political analysts — Edsall, Taibbi and Greenwald — moving decidedly to the Right in the last few years. Edsall apparently thinks values and policy preferences are only important as vote-getters or vote-losers. He seems blind to the idea that real people are suffering every day from the Right Wing’s cockamamie crusades. Taibbi and Greenwald, on the other hand, seem to cherish their reputations as disrupters and intellectual gadflies so much that they turn against their previous allies to show just how independent and open-minded they are. But we progressives can always cheer ourselves up by recognizing emerging young talent in the commentariat. Nathan J Robinson of Current Affairs Magazine is one good example!
Taibbi, Edsall and Greenwald haven’t moved to the right. The Democratic Party has moved to the left, far to the left of the majority of the country. Just as the Republican base doesn’t understand why the rest of the country isn’t in love with Trump, the Democratic base can’t understand why the rest of the country doesn’t want to defund the police and teach their kids intersectionality in first grade. If you have problems with what Edsall is warning the party about, just look at polling data. It won’t tell you what you want to hear, either, but a good doctor doesn’t always tell you what you want to hear, either.
Your contention is completely false. Polls consistently show that progressive policies have lots of support with heavy majorities.
Thanks for taking on Thomas Edsall. I recoil at his blaming liberals/progressives in the Democratic Party for the party’s failure to reach its previous base, blue collar worker and unions.
As Thomas Frank has reported (see the Young Turks interview, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4VxmAIzKCM, the Democratic Party’s problems started in 1968 when, because Hubert Humphrey lost so badly, the party pivoted to the entrepreneurial class.
Oddly enough, Humphrey came close in 1968. He was defeated because of the violent “progressives” at the Chicago convention. Anyone with a brain would’ve run a centrist campaign in 1972, but the “progressives” aren’t nearly as smart or as good as they seem to think they are. Froomkin & Co. are going to run the party off the same cliff, just as the Repub crazies did in 1964. Once they get control of a party, that party is doomed.
“A couple years ago I wrote about how the New York Times defines objectivity as the views of a well-off centrist white guy who doesn’t even exist. But maybe he does exist, and his name is Edsall.”
How does this comment relate to Edsall and the Times generally since he is not supposed to be objective as an opinion writer? Seems you might have slipped into a sideways association with unfounded criticism yourself.
The whole concept of objectivity in reporting is under deep challenge and is likely to fall, soon. The public never accepted it. As a journalist myself (trained in history and literature and self trained, from teenage years on, as a reporter/editor/manager) I never accept objectivity as being something that could be accomplished. Where do you get it? How do you know you have it? And, most importantly, how can you cast off your viewpoints in consideration of what is important from your life experiences, social background, etc.? You can’t. You can work to be fair, to include ideas and points of view with which you disagree but you can’t be objective.
The reason reporters and media people are considered important, manual laborers, is they influence and shape public opinion. They do so by granting space, access, to those with whom they tend to agree and downplaying those they don’t like. If they were not shaping public opinion, they wouldn’t be considered anything special in our society nor would people be eagerly seeking such jobs.
Objectivity is, unfortunately, a lie. It was most likely invented as a concept when newspapers in the early 20th century grew to be highly successful, profitable businesses. They had to play it straight to keep readers and keep the money flowing.
Objectivity may be unattainable, but not calling out falsehoods by politicians and media is a sure way to sow confusion and set people adrift on the stormy seas of alternative “facts.” One political party in this country, with their own media cheerleaders, has become unmoored from fact-based reality and has, essentially, declared war on democracy. And that party ain’t the Democrats.
Here’s the thing. Truly serious times and events (like UKR and COVID) that demand serious analysis make it impossible to ignore that most pundits are intellectually shallow and don’t know much about anything. An exhibition of this can be found any day in the NYT & WAPO op-ed pages –Guys like Douthat and Bedbug writing about what’s going on inside Russia, Rattner writing about inflation, Brooks writing about anything, etc.
But the one thing all pundits CAN do is tell the difference between the truth and the bad faith colossal lies of the GOP. If they can’t even point those out, then what purpose do they really serve?
Yes, and you’re a “progressive,” and therefore you think you are smarter and better than everyone else. We could cut your arrogance, smugness, and obnoxiousness with a chainsaw. By all means keep it up. See ya in November!
It’s sadly amusing to see the “progressives” do their best to destroy the Democratic Party. That sort of thing takes time, and isn’t clearly apparent until it’s too late. The “progressive”-run Democrats will be crushed in ’22, but the result will be the loss of their remaining “moderates.”
After they lose 40 in the House and 4 in the Senate, they’ll ease Joe outta there and install Kamala, and then see a 1972-level landslide. After that, the Democrats will be in the political wilderness until at least 2040. All the media’s pixels and all the mediia’s genders will noit put Humpty Dumpty together again.
The exiled moderates will try “Democratic Leadership Council 2.0,” which got Bill Clinton elected in ’92, with the help of a recession much milder than what we’re going to be seeing this year and next year. The “progressives” will reject all of it with great anger. Once a party’s nutcases get control, that party gets whipped. Happened to Goldwater in 1964 and McGovern in 1972, and it’ll happen again in 2024.
Not to matter, though. The Froomkin wing won’t care, because in the end they hate this country’s guts. It’s all about themselves and their “democratic socialism” fantasy. Good luck, kids. You’ll need it.
Thomas Edsall tells the Democratic base what it doesn’t want to hear. But sometimes we have to listen to what we don’t want to hear and learn from it. But most of what he tells them isn’t his opinion, but that of political scientists who are use data for their conclusions. Every time the Democrats somehow win a presidential election, they take it as a sign that the country wants to implement the wishes of the Democratic base. But the country is seldom in sync with the Democratic base. In fact, most people now don’t identify with either party. But discourse is still dominated by the Republican and Democratic bases. Edsall’s work is a window into what the majority of the country thinks.
The two parties think that the independent voter doesn’t exist, even though it’s the largest cohort. Independent voters are hardly new. Their influence waxes and wanes. Independents who voted for Ashcroft in 1980 did majior damage to the Democrats; Perot, for all his goofiness, had a bigger impact on the politics of the 1990s than “progressives” will ever admit; Trump’s win in ’16 came from the independents as well.
The real Progressives, as opposed to today’s fashionable “democratic socialists,” had a very large influence between the mid-1890s through the 1930s, and beyond. They never succeeded as a durable party, but they were behind a lot of the New Deal, and before that they were crucial in the Teddy Roosevelt era. They were independents, and when they didn’t get enough traction they were strong enough to force both parties to bend in important ways.
Then, and I think going forward, independents will have a lot more influence than Kooil-Aid drinking zealots like Froomkin and his friends in the declining legacy media want to admit. Already, we’ve seen independents defeat the Dems in Virginia, and have played pivotal roles in the Great Plains and what was the industrial Midwest. The Froomkins think that their insuts willl stop them, but in the 2020s they will learn just how wrong they are.
I wonder how long it will take for those smug, condeacending “progressive” to face the fact that they are less than 10% of the electorate. American politics is far from smooth, but one thing endures: Americans in the places that the Froomkins routinely disparage are quite slow to anger, but when they do get angry, better watch out. One last thing as it concerns Edsall’s mild attempts to refer to the real world: Of all the people who want to shoot the messenger, you’d think that a media type like Froomkin would kniow better.
To me, it shows how far the liberals have strayed. They are smug, condescending, arrogant, snotty, and radical. Anyone who differs is a racist, a Trumper, a Russian, you name it. That’s the law of negative returns writ large. November ’22 and its aftermath will be quite interesting for “progressives,” in the Chinese sense of the word.
Edsall has become monumentally tedious, and quoting corporate grifter group Third Way should make one a parody. Unfortunately, there are at least a dozen of these past-their-sell-date white guys who were once credible at the NYT. It’s getting harder and harder to avoid them.