Political opponents are arguing over a new Department of Housing and Urban Development regulatory directive quietly placed in the Federal Register July 19. Critics say it is “changing the way Americans live” and “part of a broader suite of initiatives designed to block suburban development, press Americans into hyper-dense cities, and force us out of our cars.”

Or maybe in practice it is going to be a rule about trying to create a financial incentive for communities to restrain themselves from engaging in restrictive zoning practices. “In other words, a bit of a deregulatory move.”

Wow.

What on the surface reads like a snooze-inducing new bureaucratic directive has one side accusing the Obama Administration of secretly imposing a “regionalist philosophy” on suburban Americans, and defenders implying the criticism is an overblown attempt to “whip up a little old-fashioned white racial panic.”

Stanley Kurtz attacks the plan in the National Review and Matthew Yglesias responds to Kurtz in Slate.com.

What do you think?

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