Criticizing Democratic status quo


September 28, 1997|By Scot Lehigh | Scot Lehigh,BOSTON GLOBE

Robert Reich, President Clinton's former labor secretary, and Jeff Faux, president of the Economic Policy Institute, have written cogent critiques of the Democratic status quo in the November-December issue of American Prospect. "How the debate is framed -- what options are put before the public -- makes all the difference," writes Reich, who contends that Democratic timidity has, in a few short years, telescoped the debate from the high purpose of whether to provide universal health care to a wrangle on Republican turf over how taxes should best be cut.

Why has the Democratic Party become so quiescent? Because its paladins don't dare challenge the basic Reagan story-line that paints big government as the root of all evil with a compelling political narrative of their own, says Faux. But one exists, as Faux demonstrates.

Should the president put down his Elmore Leonard detective stories and pick up the American Prospect, he might just solve another mystery: How to impart some real meaning to his second term.

Risky business

"What Is Risk?" Icon magazine asks on the cover of its October issue. In highly readable interviews, Icon lets risk-takers from Evel Knievel to Harry Wu to Joycelyn Elders to Kerri Strug tell what motivates them to do what they do (or did) and why. Icon also has a probing profile of filmmaker Oliver Stone, tracing him through his days as an imploded narcissist whose disappointed hopes as a novelist drove him to Vietnam as an infantry grunt courting (he claims) his own death, to his emergence as one of America's most noted filmmakers. A strong effort, the profile is well worth reading, as are several other features in this quirky, eclectic new magazine.

Pub Date: 9/28/97

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