The New Deal: 1932-2011.

R.I.P, or R.I.H., depending on your point of view.

Such a quiet death rattle, all things considered:

As a practical matter, the Obama campaign and, for the present, the Democratic Party, have laid to rest all consideration of reviving the coalition nurtured and cultivated by Franklin D. Roosevelt. The New Deal Coalition — which included unions, city machines, blue-collar workers, farmers, blacks, people on relief, and generally non-affluent progressive intellectuals — had the advantage of economic coherence. It received support across the board from voters of all races and religions in the bottom half of the income distribution, the very coherence the current Democratic coalition lacks.

You’d expect more of a reaction from the New York Times, all things considered. After all, the New Deal coalition has not just existed and affected American politics for my entire life; it’s done that for my parents’ entire lives.  Which is not to say that it’s particularly surprising that the New Deal coalition would eventually dissolve, of course; it’s almost eighty years old, and been taking body blows for the last thirty.  Political alliances and movements come in and out of existence all of the time, and that’s just the nature of things.  There still should be less of a shrug about it all, though.

Continue reading The New Deal: 1932-2011.