On the more general issue of our different approaches and stances to politics generally, I regard myself as an empiricist and a pragmatist, just as you regard yourself. If slamming the rich for wanting to abolish the estate tax turns out to be counter-productive, I'll abandon the slamming. But liars are liars. When someone is lying, is it demonizing them to point out that they are lying? I'm not wedded to intemperate rhetoric because it makes me feel good, although in the context of a board like this I do like to vent. In any case, I am not a politician, I am a citizen and amateur polemicist. If you think that your gently, gently, hypermoderate and sensible approach always gets the results you want, or that no other approach could produce results that are equally good or better, that's your thing. I'm not going to pretend that I know what to do in the face of the recalcitrant fact that people tend to be both selfish and stupid at least 51% of the time.
Heh, this is about the reaction I predicted, and I really am not certain which of us is correct. I don't know either. I'm certainly not claiming to know the most effective approach to take. I'm just sick of the right successfully portraying what is a very moderate Democratic Party (too moderate for my own, quite moderate, taste) by basically lying and claiming that the real argument is between those who hate the rich and those who don't or the like. Of course, it's entirely possible that those kinds of arguments, inaccurate as the accusation is, would be more successful in achieving liberal policies, in that the public does seem to respond more to anti-elitism and populism and just general hatred than policy-based arguments. Certainly the right has been banking on that for some time, even when it involves stirring up the masses against the very folks that their own policies most help.