Saturday, September 26, 2009
Mr. Fried Wire has a new blog!
Let’s help grow the community over there.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Anyone else tired of worrying that Obama and the Dems are going to screw us on healthcare reform?
It shouldn't be this way.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Right-wing racists haughtily deny they are right-wing racists?
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
This is dead on the money:
When I first started blogging, I too was taken in by folks like McCain. I thought they were serious people interested in a genuine meeting of the minds. I was dying to have useful conversations with intelligent conservatives, who knew how to write and also knew how to debate.Bingo.
It has never happened. It will never happen with the McCains of the world, for they are not what we think of as conservatives. They are probably best described as part of the group that flirts with what David Neiwert calls Eliminationists and eliminationist ideas, but the standard term, when being polite to them, is "movement conservative." Whatever you call them, they hate liberalism with a passion. And by "liberalism" I mean liberalism as in the Enlightenment and the American Founders such as the Jefferson of the Declaration and the letter to the Danbury Baptists. These are people who are still fighting the battles lost by the Federalists in the earliest days of the United States. These are very, very strange people and there is no common ground to be reached between liberals and them. They can only be defeated and their ideas relegated to the margins of modern American political discourse, where they belong. Fortunately, as powerful as they are, there are not too many of them. Unfortunately, they are extremely good at disguising their extremism; many decent Americans have been bamboozled. (One of the major reasons I started blogging was because, at the time, very few people other than Krugman seemed to be onto their game. Many more are now, but not enough.)
Among the most important ways to defeat movement conservatives is to refuse to take their bullshit seriously, even for a moment. In fact, when they are given undeserved influence and respect, as they were in the months before Bush/Iraq, innocent people die.
On the other hand, dialogue with conservatives, genuine conservatives, is not only possible, but something liberals are having right now, every day. A prime example is the intense argument many in the blogosphere are having with the current president of the United States. I'm not kidding or being a smarty-pants: Whatever his personal beliefs, Obama governs as a centrist and even, in some areas, like a conservative. Therefore, it is no surprise at all that it has been very, very difficult to introduce genuinely liberal ideas into this administration, and that Van Jones' resignation is a genuine loss to liberals.
That said, the Obama administration has not heaped the kind of eliminationist scorn on us that McCain and his fellow brown shirt wannabes have. It is with Obama and other Democrats that you will find the discussions you want to have. You may not like what they're doing, but they are not in the grip of a genuinely creepy ideology.
Indeed, most top Democrats adhere to what used to be called "conservatism," including the Clintons, Reid, and of course the even-more-conservative blue dogs. It has been noted, often with amazement, that today's Democrats are to the right of Nixon on many issues; needless to say, that is pretty damn far right.
With movement conservatives, however, there is not a chance of a real discussion. And yes, what that means is that to the (nearly complete) extent that Republicans have become synonymous with movement conservatism, they are, as Van Jones rightly said, simply assholes.
That’s what I’m told to expect from Obama tonight.