Earlier today, I mentioned a column by Dick Meyer of CBS about the Democrats and their “we know what’s best for you” politics. The column is well worth reading. It is prompted by a piece in which E.J. Dionne argues that Democrats should pitch their ideas less as a “politics of the common good” and more as promoting “self-interest rightly understood.” Meyer considers this posture “morally diseased” because it is a fancy way of saying “I know what is in your interest better than you do.” Meyer also thinks the posture is “politcally stupid” to the point that it likely will prevent Democrats from building on the gains they can expect to achieve in 2006.
I confess to being less sure than Meyer that Americans will consistently reject the politics of “we know what’s best for you” (call me a defective Reaganite in this regard). But I do think that Meyer gets the better of Dionne on this issue.