hard heads soft hearts

a scratch pad for half-formed thoughts by a liberal political junkie who's nobody special. ''Hard Heads, Soft Hearts'' is the title of a book by Princeton economist Alan Blinder, and tends to be a favorite motto of neoliberals, especially liberal economists.

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Friday, June 14, 2002
I strongly think you're overreacting over Gephardt's
recent statement that we shouldn't revisit the Bush
tax cut.

I think what he's said is that it's no use talking
about revisiting the tax cut *while Bush is in the
White House*. He's also said "Bush wants to cut
taxes. So do I. *But I want to cut them for different
people*" This is not necessarily the rhetoric of a
moderate squish. It depends on what he's proposing.

More than positioning himself for 2004, I think
Gephardt is obsessed with winning back the House in
2002. Given the artful Republican manipulation of key
house seats, this probably means, or at least Gephardt
thinks it means, having to appeal to low and
middle-income white conservatives with no love for

In other words, a tough consituency to reach. Maybe
Gephardt isn't following the best strategy. But what
would be the best strategy for the Democrats to take
back the House in 2002?