Liberal economics and anti-liberal economics

The New York Times also brought a rather dubious article on so-called Macho Dems, the new breed of tough, masculine Democratic politicians. I say dubious, because I thought the Republican talking point, post-midterm debacle, had been extensively debunked. The Democratic party has always housed a wide range of characters from plenty of macho pols to the limp-wristed, smell-the-flowers types we prefer out here in the Bay Area.

But what really got my goat in Ryan Lizza’s article was the following sentence: “Ideologically, many Macho Dems are culturally conservative and economically liberal — making them odd ducks in a party that since the Clinton years has been defined by cultural liberalism and Rubinomics.”

Shouldn’t someone at the Times understand that Rubinomics is all about economic liberalism? Shouldn’t someone know that there is a whole stream of thinking about economics that uses the term liberal in a very specific way? I think what Lizza was trying to say is that some of these newly elected politicians are anti-free trade. In other words, anti-liberal.

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