Happiness is an Improvement Over the Status Quo

Ezra Klein pronounces himself basically happy with the three major Democratic candidates. Matt Stoller responds with a proclamation of unhappiness, citing a variety of objectionable elements of the status quo than none of them dare tinker with. Matt's right, I think, to outline an agenda that goes well beyond the list of things Democratic Party politicians are prepared to tackle -- the related problems of America's crazy drug regulation regime and America's horrific prison system are, rightly, going to look like huge scandals to future generations and the odds of any of the major Democratic contenders doing much of anything about any of it are tiny.

That said, happiness is relative. All three of the potential nominees seem like they would make the country a better place. Hence the "fairly common sentiment among both Democratic base voters and Democratic elites" that Stoller bemoans. "Better than what we've got" seems like a kind of low bar to cross. And yet, in politics it's really the only bar that matters.