Ed Driscoll

''You Are a Pyromaniac In a Field of Strawmen'

Former Obama booster Robert Reich, later yet another self-identified rube, has always had a way with words, as Jonathan Rauch spotted in a 1997 Slate article when he compared what Reich wrote in Locked In the Cabinet, Reich’s memoirs of his days as Bill Clinton’s labor secretary, with videotapes and transcripts of the actual events. Reich describes himself, as Jonah Goldberg wrote in Liberal Fascism (where I first discovered Rauch’s Slate article), as trapped in a Thomas Nast cartoon, “in constant battle with greedy fat cats, Social Darwinists, and Mr. Monopoly.” The actual transcripts and tapes describe a reality that’s far more pedestrian.

I wonder how Reich will morph this exchange:

George Will on Sunday marvelously told liberal economist Robert Reich something that many conservatives have been dying to say for years.

During a fascinating Right vs. Left debate on ABC’s This Week, after Reich predictably pined for higher income tax rates to solve all that ails us, Will struck back with the line of the weekend, “You are a pyromaniac in a field of strawmen” (video follows with transcript and commentary):

See, it’s all true! Robert Reich really did debate the man on the Monopoly box top — he just did so 15 years after writing his book. But what’s a decade and a half amongst postmodern fabulists?