Can You Remember When Bipartisan Public Policy Once Mattered?

May 5th, 2016
51QZhKiN4HL._SX328_BO1%252C204%252C203%2It’s hard to believe from the rhetoric coming from both sides of the campaign trail this year, but there once was a time when policy mattered. When candidates on both sides talked about programs and public policy.

Perhaps it was Reagan wanting to shrink the size of government and drown it in a bathtub, or Bill Clinton declaring that the era of big government is over.  The fact is we have stopped looking to government as an institution of proactive change.  While it still may have a role in crisis, as we saw in 2008 and 2009, its larger role, to shape the betterment of life in America, has long ago reached a kind of perigee.

Perhaps the last time policy mattered was during the time of LBJ and the Great Society. A time when bipartisan politics really worked.  This is the era that Randall Wood takes us into in Prisoners of Hope: Lyndon B. Johnson, the Great Society, and the Limits of Liberalism.

My conversation with Randall Woods: