Anyway Erik Kain wrote something, and Larison responded, and Larison is always worth reading. But then the commenters get talking about what liberals actually believe, and there's some neat stuff there. Here's Spiffy McBang:
More over, lefties today nearly always show awareness of the fact that the theory of government intervention to make lives better and the practical application do not match up, or even close to it. This seems to be what a lot of people look at when they scoff at liberal thinking- aspects of old-school liberalism like the beer regulation Kain wrote about not too long ago that made no sense at all. But the idea of government knowing what’s best is definitely not part of current lefty theory; you don’t read anything like that even from people like Digby or Glenn Greenwald, and you are more likely to see government bashing from them over issues like privacy and war than anything positive.
And Pacific moderate:
Indeed the notion that people on the left are automatically enamored of “ever-expanding government” is a clichéd accusation of right-wing bloggers, and unworthy of someone of Daniel’s intellect and temperament. In fact, my impression of plenty on the left is that they’re particularly suspicious of governmental intervention and control over individuals. Free speech, opposition to censorship, opposition to drug laws, etc., are pretty common themes on the left. Where I think liberals differ from at least movement conservatives is that the former dislikes regulation of individual people but feels that GROUPS of people require regulation (since the propensity for human evil is mainly an issue when they get together in the form of businesses, labor unions, religious groups, militaries, governments, etc.)
And Jim Kakalios:
I think your point, Mr. McBang, regarding liberalism distrusting corporations more than they loooooove big government is exactly right. The false choice opponents of HCR presented was between you, your family and your doctor versus the government making health care decisions. In reality, it is between you, your family and your doctor versus the insurance corporations. My sister in law has dealt with a husband’s cancer, and daughter’s diabetes and another daughter’s need for multiple serious surgeries. The time she has spent arguing with insurance companies, to get them to provide services that they agreed to and that they were paid for – well, she could have used those manhours to build a space elevator to the moon. It is hard to argue that the present system represents the finest of the free market, or that it would change in the basence of major government intervention. The completely rational (in my opinion) lack of trust in the behavior of corporations led many to argue for a single-payer system.
A lot of this resembles my own "liberal" drift. It's not that I'm suddenly OMG I HEART STATISM, it's that I distrust corporate power more than government power, and I would seem to have good reason to feel that way, both post-financial crisis and post healthcare "reform."