Blaming John Rawls

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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.

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

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