Michael Dukakis on the Bush family, Antonin Scalia, and Donald Trump. – Slate

You were famously attacked for having liberal views. Now progressivism seems to be taking off within the Democratic Party. Do you ever feel like you ran in the wrong era?

Look, it’s a different time. There are different conditions. We went through a terrible recession, largely, in my view, because of policies from a Republican president and Republican Congress. The guy in the White House did a lot to get us out of this thing, but when a country goes through something like this—well, the fact that the numbers are looking better doesn’t change the fact that people have gone through hell in the process. And they are still hurting!

There has been a lot of talk about why voters are so angry, but you seem to be saying that the recession was more catastrophic than people even realize.

Memories are short in some ways. We almost went into a great depression. If it hadn’t been for Obama and Bernanke and the Congress at the time, I think we would have. But the other thing is this. The international situation continues to roil the waters. At a time when the country ought to be feeling better about itself, we have this situation in the Middle East, and we all know where that came from, right?

From: Michael Dukakis on the Bush family, Antonin Scalia, and Donald Trump.

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6 thoughts on “Michael Dukakis on the Bush family, Antonin Scalia, and Donald Trump. – Slate

  1. The anecdote about Scalia in Fed Courts is interesting. He always preferred procedural due process (and the skimpiest version of it) over any notion of substantive due process. To Scalia, it was enough that criminal defendants in the South got a trial even in a Kangaroo court. This is despite the realities that Dukskis noted.

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  2. Memories are short in some ways. We almost went into a great depression. If it hadn’t been for Obama and Bernanke and the Congress at the time, I think we would have.

    I wish that he had been more specific than making this rather imprecise claim. What exactly does he think saved us from a full blown depression?

    On Bernanke, I agree that monetary policy made a difference in the long run, but monetary policy could have been much more accommodative in the immediate aftermath of the global financial crisis. Monetary policy didn’t really help start a recovery until 2013 or so.

    As for Obama and the Congress, what did they do? They approved a series of bailouts, that started under Bush and passed an $800 billion stimulus package that included lots of spending that was already in the works anyway. And then the Obama administration went almost immediately into throwing most of its political capital behind the Affordable Care Act. Maybe you think that the ACA was great, but it certainly had little to do with avoiding a depression.

    I’m not trying to imply that Obama did wrong, rather that McCain would have likely done pretty much the same thing. A Republican president probably would not have passed the ARRA, but would have passed some sort of fiscal stimulus measure, probably based more around tax cuts. Tax cuts have a lower multiplier, but the differences here are not enough to be the difference between recovery and depression.

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    • Depends on whether you base it on what the GOP said should be done when Obama and the Dems were in power or what one thinks the GOP actually would have done had they been in power. What they said should be done was tight monetary policy (inflation was always just a few days away!!!11!one!!) and reduced spending coupled with tax cuts. Had they done that then the depression would pretty unambigously been worse to catastrophic. What the GOP historically does, of course, is cut taxes, raise spending and start ground wars in Aisa Minor. It certainly would probably have been more stimulative than what they said should be done but it’d probably also have been less stimulative than what Obama and the Dems actually did.

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