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Comrade, What a Storm!

The usually bitter William Greider is ecstatic about the Katrina disaster. The former Rolling Stone editor believes the storm has handed Democrats the keys to the glorious return of the WPA and CCC. But before that bus leaves the impound lot, he admits that Democrats must first re-educate the electorate and get the media to, ahem, pay attention:

This new ferment is only just beginning, but the crisis is young, and the hunger for big reform is rapidly gaining momentum. The media haven’t paid much attention so far because the New Deal proposals probably sound like historic relics. But the aptness of the ideas–aggressive government intervention, integrated across many fronts–will become clearer to people if Democrats re-educate the electorate. That re-education can begin if progressives first provoke a big argument among Democrats themselves. What do they now believe about government’s obligations to society? This is a good fight to have and, besides, intramural political spats are always newsworthy. This one will be substantive as well. Terrible events have handed Democrats the material for a strong and enduring governing agenda.

Note to Bill: Don’t use the phrase “historic relics” when you write for The Nation. Maybe just don’t use it at all. You also write, “The government, meanwhile, must quickly become the employer of last resort across the region.” Bill, government is already the employer of last resort nationwide.

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Mr. Moffat is a freelance writer in Bethesda, Md.

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