Whig Measures and Tory Men

Do I work for Clive Crook? Perhaps it's time to find out. I agree with Brad DeLong that Crook's Financial Times column on the trouble with populism is pretty odd (see extensive excerpts. Brad's wrong to say that "Crook approves 100% of the Democrats' substantive policy agenda" -- Crook doesn't approve of the China currency stunt legislation that many Democrats are pushing.

Still, he seems to approve of, say, 90 percent of the substantive agenda. But instead of praising it, he criticizes it. Brad says that "What Clive Crook wants, I believe, is Whig measures sponsored by Tory men (and women)." Perhaps. His complaint really does seem to be that Democrats shouldn't say mean things about business executives or rich people -- shouldn't employ the rhetorical language of populism. This, however, seems a bit like a demand for Democrats to play a Washington Generals role in American politics and just settle for being noble losers until the end of time. Well-crafted political rhetoric tends not to have the measured tone and rigorous exactitude of a seminar presentation.