Newt Gingrich, on Saturday:
“I’m here to tell you that if you don’t start with values and you don’t start by establishing who we are as Americans, the rest of it doesn’t matter. Life is not just about money.”
Democracy, A Journal (No. 20, Spring 11, p. 8):
“No debate is more fundamental in politics than economics. It’s the sun; everything else revolves around it.”
I’m not saying that money doesn’t matter. I’m not even saying that economics are not fundamental to politics. I’m saying that progressives ought to know by now that political arguments have to be about liberty, justice, equality, and other ideals. It’s not enough to demonstrate—are you listening, Yglesias? Klein?—that a change in metropolitan parking policy or commercial zoning would be profitable. Economics isn’t enough to win an argument, because Americans don’t speak technocrat.