Happy Thursday, Michael Brooks hosts Paul Heideman to discuss his latest piece in the Jacobin, “The Third Way is the Past. Socialism is the Future,” which tracks neoliberalism’s failures, particularly its rejection of the left, and why Democratic Socialism is on the rise. Michael and Heideman begin their conversation tracing the history of Third Way politicians, keeping it limited to parties that had a history aligned with social democratic policies. Heideman highlights programs like federal block grants as a policy change that pared back the welfare state and allowed states to divert funds away from the people and to partisan political projects which functioned to open the free markets. Michael and Heideman shift gears to the UK and Tony Blair’s failure to maintain power after his blunders through the Iraq War alongside the marketization of the NHS and education policy in parliament. Heideman argues that Third Way politics in England imploded because New Labor had to own the Iraq War, while the Democrats could blame Republicans for our Mid East blunders. Third Way politics in America have eroded slowly during the Obama presidency after the 44th president’s limited bailout reforms and growing wealth inequality. And while Clinton’s loss in 2016 seemed like Third Way’s demise, it may last a few years longer if Joe Biden can win in 2020. Michael and Heideman conclude their conversation considering why socialism is the best antidote for a runaway capitalist system controlled by oligarchs.
And in the Fun Half: continuing the question of racism’s core, useful tips for Bernie phone-bankers, Jim Messina says Bernie is the least electable Democratic candidate, Amy Klobuchar gets the much-coveted Comedy Writers endorsement, a look back at Bernie’s consistency, TBT: Jim Messina’s homophobic political ad from 2002, a clip of Michael’s Lula interview, Zoe Lofgren makes a salient point–we need transparency in government, the Fox & Friends audience do not care about impeachment at all, plus your calls and IMs!
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