The oil barons and financial wizards and labor unions all use the same maximalist tactics on their targeted politicians: If you oppose us, even a little bit, we'll slide the slippery slope toward socialism (or whatever)--and you will pay come election time.
06 May 2013
Climbing up the slippery slope: do we need to get angry first?
The Time magazine columnist Joe Klein was thrilled to see the President get angry about something after the failure of the recent gun-control bill. Klein believes that more Americans need to get angry, and not just at the Senate or the National Rifle Association. He hopes that Obama's outburst will spark more widespread anger at "the plague affecting--no, paralyzing--our public life: the ability of well-funded extremist groups to thwart the will of the overwhelming majority. This is a problem that goes well beyond the gun issue." He'll certainly offend Democrats by writing that the problem " has infected liberal and conservative lobbying groups alike." He has in mind anyone who opposes any cut to entitlements, as well as "public employees' unions that won't change their work rules." He typifies the "both sides are at fault" approach so despised by Democrats by damning "both sides of the abortion debate" and characterizing the "civil-libertarian lobby" as a doppelgänger to the gun lobby. But Klein's target isn't really "both sides" but a particular tendency that can be seen everywhere: a "maximalist" resort to slippery-slope rhetoric that predicts the worst-possible results from the mildest-possible reforms. In his own words: