Stephen, just how successful has the three-step process you describe — the one that magically transforms progressive initiatives into corporate welfare, and then into rationales for yet more progressive initiatives — been? The very first sentence of the very first user comment under Chait’s post is this:
“This strikes me as the opposite of socialism.”
The mind boggles.
I’m sure you’d agree that there has been something dishearteningly surreal about our little internet battles over just what “corporate welfare” means. When I called the student loans bill a “government takeover” in a Corner post, a disgruntled reader — who presumed to be to my right — called me a ’socialist liar.’ When you offered a thoroughly-qualified defense of a corporate prescription-drug subsidy as preferable to an overburdened Medicare Part D, Cody Willard — a Fox Business anchor who teaches a class called “Revolutionomics” – flipped out. When I stepped in on your side, Willard insinuated that I was a Communist.
How’d we get here?