I've been preparing a post on the split between economic and social liberalism. Usually when I write these commentaries, I have an idea of what I want to write, but that's all I have. I start with the basic idea, dash things off and see where they go. I review what I've written to make sure I haven't typed out something incredibly stupid, of course, but in the end what comes, comes.
Anyway, the whole economic/social liberal split has always fascinated me, and while the real big and well thought out post sits on the burner, I thought I'd preview things a bit with some thoughts on Chris Dodd. In a nutshell, American liberalism has always come in two flavors. Economic with it's emphasis on unions, wages, hours, health care, etc., and social with it's emphasis on identity politics. It's been my observation that economic liberals have a tendency to support social liberal causes, but that social liberals are often economic moderates or even economic conservatives.
For the first time since the 1960's, we're shifting away from social liberalism and back to economic liberalism. Many of today's liberal leaders have made their reputation on their social liberal stands. But are they economic liberals as well? Chris Dodd has always, right from the beginning of his career, been on the side of the financial institutions of the United States. He may be a reliable vote for things like civil rights legislation, and bravo for that, but he is also a reliable supporter of the banking and brokerage industry. I, for one, am not sorry to see him go. I just hope that his replacement is a liberal who cares about usury laws and will support strong regulation of the banking and financial sectors of our economy.
Ed Schultz for Senate in North Dakota.