Greider: Democrats Not Stalinist Enough

If you’re searching for a good piece of bizarre, whacked-out political “analysis,” look no further than William Greider’s latest column in the Nation. Greider, a veteran journalist, is known for coining the term “Nader’s Raiders” in the late ’60s, and for authoring a book on globalization, One World, Ready or Not, which even the progressive economist Paul Krugman described as “a thoroughly silly book.” Greider’s column is really just another bad sales pitch for his latest train-wreck tome, Come Home, America, but it should at least be interesting to see how many more times Nation editors are able to recycle and repackage it before their readers notice. I’ll let Greider speak for himself:

The party’s ideological intentions are being defined with greater clarity in these new circumstances, and so are the President’s. It’s still early, but the implications are ominous for other issues. If Democrats are reluctant to disturb the power of other major interests, it seems improbable that fundamental change will occur on healthcare, energy conversion or the restoration of work and wages. The problem now is the Democrats, not the Republicans. The party aids and protects its free-roaming entrepreneurial politicians and does not punish those who undermine the party’s larger promises. When Republicans were in charge, they enforced party loyalty with Stalinist discipline. Democrats are the party of safe incumbents, weak convictions.

Greider holds up the poorly-named “Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights” as an example of where Democrats have been too easy on industry and too light on anti-commerce ideology. Moreover, his real quest, as he describes it, is “to force a moral awakening on the narrow thinking of the status quo.” Huh? But none of this should be surprising coming from someone who once described economics as “not really a science so much as a value-laden form of prophecy.”