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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Big, Fat Government That Hardly Does Anything

Sheryl Gay Stolberg’s feature-length raspberry mocking the small-government pretensions of the GOP in today’s New York Times doesn’t blaze any new paths, but it’s fun reading anyway, full of quotes from past and present Republican “revolutionaries” deploring the party’s current addiction to raw red ink, straight up. My colleague The Moose, who was present at the creation of the Republican Revolution of 1995, gets off the best line: “The era of big government being over is over.” But there’s a sober point here that shouldn’t be forgotten. A big, fat federal government that tries to do too much is arguably a bad thing. But a big, fat federal government that fails to meet all the big national challenges, and hardly does anything well, is far, far worse. And the trajectory of Washington in the Age of Bush is the worst possibility of all: a big, fat government that hardly does anything other than paying off debt and serving the interests of the nation’s wealthiest and most powerful citizens.

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