David Brooks says it's the The Gang System

New York Times Online Opinion | David Brooks | Fri- Feb 6, 2009

The substance of the legislation set up the polarized debate that followed. Liberal interest groups were happy. Conservative Republicans were united in opposition. But something interesting happened this week. The momentum of the debate was set by moderates. Conservative protests wouldn’t have amounted to much without nagging moderate unease.

Moderate economists looked at the package and complained about the vast parts that don’t even pretend to stimulate. Education reformers took a look at the education section and noted that the huge amount of money is not leveraged to produce any real reform.

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