Blaming John Rawls

I would take issue with a variety of things Linda Hirschman says in her article bashing John Rawls, but surely it's obviously insane to blame Rawls for Democratic Party electoral defeats. I read it again, because I thought Hirschman might be making a more subtle claim, but, no, she's actually describing a causal connection between Democratic defeats and Rawls' philosophy, arguing that "It is not a coincidence that the only successful two-term Democratic presidency of the Age of Rawls was engineered in part for Bill Clinton by Bill Galston, a political theorist with a background in classical thought. "

I'm reasonably confident that this actually is a coincidence. You can read the classic essay on political strategy that Galston wrote with Elaine Kamarck "The Politics of Evasion" and you'll see it has very, very, very little to do with the sort of philosophical issues that divide him from Rawls.

Presented by

Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open for 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in Politics

Just In