David Brooks argues in today’s Times that John Kerry has an “inner Moynihan,” as when the Senator declared:

We have to ask ourselves in 1992 whether this social disintegration is merely a symptom of deteriorating values that has swept all of this country to some degree. We must ask whether it is the result of a massive shift in the psychology of our nation that some argue grew out of the excesses of the 1960’s, a shift from self-reliance to indulgence and dependence, from caring to self-indulgence, from public accountability to public abdication and chaos.

Brooks faults Kerry for talking the talk but not following through on his principles by actually working to halt affirmative action, dismantle Social Security, and punish public school teachers. Needless to say, I think that having an “inner Moynihan” is frightening enough. Although, to be fair, Kerry is not alone among the Democratic contenders in having made Moynihan-like remarks – and taken deeply problematic stances – in the ’90s.

(The answer to Kerry’s questions, by the way, is no)

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