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Saletan on a Roll

Will Saletan has some great blog posts on the Convention over at Slate. His reactions to Giuliani and McCain are spot on.

That said, he buys into two particularly pernicious GOP frames. First, he claims Democrats "bribe" special interest groups. How? Which special interest groups? There are two possible references: teachers unions and other unions. To call support for teachers unions "bribes" is to ignore the fact that their prescriptions for educational reform are strictly superior to anything offered by the GOP. To call support for collective bargaining and labor rights a "bribe" is to ignore the fact that they are, you know, rights. That is a pretty core part of our ideology, not a bribe. When I think of "bribes," my thoughts turn immediately to Bush's support for faith based initiatives, otherwise known as federally funded GOP party building, deregulation, otherwise known as Enron income support, and no-bid contracts, otherwise known as a wise investment by Halliburton.

Democratic constituencies are not special interests merely because Republicans identify them as such. Look at the GOP's assault on NIOSH:

"I can't fathom it because almost everyone works, so you'd think that healthy work would be important," said Dana Loomis, an epidemiologist and environmental health scientist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "But the unfortunate reality nowadays is that worker welfare, including worker health, is perceived by many as special interest," not worthy of federal protection.
Second, Saletan claims Republicans are stronger supporters of accountability:
Republicans had a better operating theory of human nature: People behave more virtuously and wisely when they bear the consequences of their actions.
Liberals value accountability more than conservatives. That's why we oppose Bush.


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