Why a second Progressive Era is emerging- and how not to blow it
The first is that progressivism between 1890 and 1921 was bipartisan. Each party had its progressive wing, and each competed with the other in articulating a reform agenda. Today, progressivism is profoundly one-sided. It is the dominant force within the Democratic Party and at best a tiny, rump, besieged minority in the Republican Party. There are nodes of enlightenment on the right, visible at publications like National Affairs, at emerging think tanks like the R Street Institute, and in the odd David Brooks column. But generally the GOP has given itself over to know-nothing madness on the subject of government, especially the federal government…
…The current issue of the Monthly expresses that mission well. In it, Donald Kettl pens a memo to the next president on what he (or she) can learn from the management mistakes of Barack Obama and George W. Bush, and where the original source of most of the government’s systematic management problems can be found (hint: it’s a tall domed building on Pennsylvania Avenue). Kent Greenfield argues that the new progressive crusade against “corporate personhood” is not only legally naive but also a threat to a smarter emerging progressive campaign against the primacy of “maximizing shareholder value,” a campaign that might actually help fix what ails the economy. Kevin Kosar explains why dysfunction on Capitol Hill led him to leave a job he loved as a research analyst for the Congressional Research Service.