From the Jon Chait link:
To make a long story short, prohibition led to the dismantling of many small breweries around the nation. When prohibition was lifted, government tightly regulated the market, and small scale producers were essentially shut out of the beer market altogether. Regulations imposed at the time greatly benefited the large beer makers. In 1979, Carter deregulated the beer industry, opening back up to craft brewers. As the chart below illustrates, this had a really amazing effect on the beer industry:
The above blockquote and chart come from an E.D. Kain link in Chait’s post.
Here’s Chait’s take on the topic:
It’s worth noting that Carter got no political credit for this move, and that the benefits didn’t appear until long after he departed. Some policy successes — like a successful war or peace treaty — yield immediate political dividends. But others produce little change until many years later, by which time everybody has forgotten your policy had anything to do with it.
In related news (and the reason for the linked posts — today is International Beer Day (well at least for another hour or so.)
Andrew Sullivan brings some insight and asks a very valid question about the Bush 43 years put into a different perspective:
Imagine that Bush is a Democrat (not that hard when you consider his fiscal record). Now imagine that a Democratic president had presided over the worst attack on American soil in history, a far stronger Iran on the brink of nukes, and a resurgent, aggressive Russia, willing and able to invade and terrorize a neighboring country in part because the president long believed that its president was a good man, and had looked into his soul.
I think they would have impeached him a few years ago, no? He would be viewed as the Carter to end all Carters. But they are actually arguing that the man who has held no executive power these last seven years is responsible for the triumph of America’s rivals around the world. And they describe everyone who is dismayed at Bush’s Carter impersonation as leftist.
The superdelegagte attrition has been ongoing in terms of supers openly endorsing Obama over Clinton, and in some cases switching to Obama’s camp. With the Pennsylvania vote looming, and Obama gaining in those polls, it looks like the supers are ready to join his team in larger numbers.
From the second link:
WASHINGTON — Nearly three weeks remain before the next Democratic primary, but the results are rolling in from another part of the presidential contest — and they signify trouble for Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Democratic Party officials and insiders known as superdelegates are jumping to Barack Obama’s camp or signaling that’s where they are headed, including such prominent figures as former President Jimmy Carter. Some superdelegates who back Clinton have begun laying out scenarios under which they would abandon her for Obama.
“My children and their spouses are pro-Obama. My grandchildren are also pro-Obama,” Carter told a Nigerian newspaper during a visit to Africa. “As a superdelegate, I would not disclose who I am rooting for, but I leave you to make that guess.”
Clinton trails Obama in fundraising and in the total number of delegates awarded in state primaries and caucuses. One bright spot for her campaign had been the quest for superdelegates — the nearly 800 elected officials and Democratic activists who are not bound by election results and are free to vote at the party’s nominating convention for the candidate of their choice.
Because neither Clinton nor Obama may emerge from the primary season with enough elected delegates to lock down the nomination, the endorsements by superdelegates could be the key to victory.
And recently, more superdelegate support has been going Obama’s way.