Got ideology? Not so much.
... .. The Clintonites were moderates, but they were also ideological. They explicitly rejected the liberalism of the 1970s and '80s. The Obamanauts are decidedly non-ideological. They occasionally reach out to progressive think tanks like the Economic Policy Institute, but they also come from a world-- academic economics--whose inhabitants generally lean right. (And economists at the University of Chicago lean righter than most.) As a result, they tend to be just as comfortable with ideological diversity as the candidate they advise. Just before the Iowa caucus, I saw Goolsbee approach New York Times columnist David Brooks in Des Moines and gush when the quirky conservative agreed to pose for a picture.
And yet, just because the Obamanauts are intellectually modest and relatively free of ideology, that doesn't mean their policy goals lack ambition. In many cases, the opposite is true. Obama's plan to reduce global warming involves an ambitious cap-and-trade arrangement that would lower carbon emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. But cap-and-trade--in which the government limits the overall level of emissions and allows companies to buy and sell pollution permits--is itself a market-oriented approach. ... ..
The Audacity of Data
by Noam Scheiber
Barack Obama's surprisingly non-ideological policy shop.
This is nothing new to me, because Mr. Obama's lack of ideological compass is something I've talked about many times. Obama comes at many economic issues through a "market-oriented approach." It is my belief that's what drives his health care policy, which is not universal. In addition, it's also why I believe he stepped into the Social Security discussion. I think Mr. Obama will also apply a market-oriented approach to "solving" the Social Security "crisis," which he seems to believe, however mistakenly, is more in need of intervention than Medicaid or Medicare.
It's now that I again feel compelled to write that this post has nothing to do with Hillary; it's also not about helping her win. It's looking at the man who now leads in the race for the Democratic nomination.