Meta-Blog

SEARCH QandO

Email:
Jon Henke
Bruce "McQ" McQuain
Dale Franks
Bryan Pick
Billy Hollis
Lance Paddock
MichaelW

BLOGROLL QandO

 
 
Recent Posts
The Ayers Resurrection Tour
Special Friends Get Special Breaks
One Hour
The Hope and Change Express - stalled in the slow lane
Michael Steele New RNC Chairman
Things that make you go "hmmmm"...
Oh yeah, that "rule of law" thing ...
Putting Dollar Signs in Front Of The AGW Hoax
Moving toward a 60 vote majority?
Do As I Say ....
 
 
QandO Newsroom

Newsroom Home Page

US News

US National News
Politics
Business
Science
Technology
Health
Entertainment
Sports
Opinion/Editorial

International News

Top World New
Iraq News
Mideast Conflict

Blogging

Blogpulse Daily Highlights
Daypop Top 40 Links

Regional

Regional News

Publications

News Publications

 
No Enemies On The Left
Posted by: Jon Henke on Friday, June 23, 2006

He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you. —- Friedrich Nietzsche
I'm not particularly concerned about the recent Kos/Armstrong allegations, if only because (1) I fully expect the new wave of political power-players to engage in power-brokering, and (2) I'm not at all convinced that some of the activities are even remotely problematic. The Townhouse email group, for example, is not a "smoke-filled back room". It's an email group. Heck, I've set up one of those — called Blogosphere — and anybody is welcome to sign up, exchange links, make suggestions or otherwise exert your insidious influence to make the blogger-marionets dance.

That said, the apparent insistence on party and message discipline is worrisome. It indicates that the Progressive Movement has internalized the very flaws that so often characterized the Republican majority, and against which the Democrats have railed. Consider what Kos said recently on Meet the Press with respect to politicians who disagree with the Party...
They do not undermine the Democratic Party. That’s the litmus test. It’s a very easy litmus test for most Democrats to, to follow, because if they had that D next to their name, usually they’re working for the benefit of the Democratic Party because they believe in the strong, progressive principles that drive Democrats like, like myself and Kerry and Hillary Clinton.
The seems more like a fight over pique than principle.
The Progressive movement is certainly welcome to enforce ideological or partisan purity — the anti-tax movement often does (see: Toomey V Specter) — but Senator Lieberman, in toto, is quite solidly within the mainstream of the Democratic Party in much the same way that Senator McCain is well within the mainstream of the Republican Party. The objections to each appear focused on fairly narrow areas of disagreement, rather than actual ideological incompatibility. The seems more like a fight over pique than principle.

Jonathan Chait captures this well in The New Republic.
...the radicalism of the lefty bloggers lies not so much in their ideological platform but in their ideological style. They think like sectarians. And that style is on perfect display in Kos's attack on The New Republic.
The Reality Based Community's dispute with TNR appears to have little connection with political reality, either. While Kos sometimes argues that The New Republic is "a center-right publication" that "has more in common with the Weekly Standard and National Review than with the Nation or American Prospect", the fact is that the majority of TNR writers "published written endorsements of other Democratic candidates".

This kind of media and politician harassment is probably good short-term strategy, but it is ultimately destructive to democracy and freedom. I'll leave with a quote from Barack Obama, written, oddly enough, at Daily Kos...
The Progressive Movement has looked into the abyss...and they liked what they saw.
How can we ask Republican senators to resist pressure from their right wing ... if we engage in similar rhetoric against Democrats who dissent from our own party line? How can we expect Republican moderates who are concerned about the nation's fiscal meltdown to ignore Grover Norquist's threats if we make similar threats to those who buck our party orthodoxy?
[...]
But to the degree that we brook no dissent within the Democratic Party, and demand fealty to the one, "true" progressive vision for the country, we risk the very thoughtfulness and openness to new ideas that are required to move this country forward. When we lash out at those who share our fundamental values because they have not met the criteria of every single item on our progressive "checklist," then we are essentially preventing them from thinking in new ways about problems. We are tying them up in a straightjacket and forcing them into a conversation only with the converted.

The Progressive Movement has looked into the abyss...and they liked what they saw.
 
TrackBacks
Return to Main Blog Page
 
 

Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Barack Obama impresses again. I hope somebody listens.
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
Barack Obama impresses again
His legislative record certainly doesn’t impress
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
I’m trying to figure what happened to the "progressive movement". It wasnt that long ago that the progressive movement within the Democratic party was a moderate, reform minded group. At some point in time, I suspect around the time of the ascendance of blogging, the far left adopted the term and drove it into the ground.

I realize why they did it. The likes of Limbaugh, Hannity, and Coulter had turned the word "liberal" into a pejorative. It still annoys me to no end.
 
Written By: Rosensteel
URL: http://
I laugh at those who are amazed at the "Progressive" need for "party discipline." It’s a PART of being PROGRESSIVE, which emerged in the latter of the Cold War, meaning "Hard Left" Forces, to me. Certainly Trud, Izvestia, and Pravda certainly used them to describe themselves and their allies. Why it would be any different here is a puzzle. Sorry if that seems harsh, but Progressive has ALWAYS meant Party discipline and a Leftist worldview. It didn’t mean "I believe in Social Security." It meant "I believe in Socialized Medicine and ’Social Ownership’ of large swathes of the economy."

Oh and Rosensteel it wasn’t Limbaugh et. al. that gave "Liberal" its bad name, Jimmy Carter, Ted Kennedy, Tom Foley, Jim Wright, Jesse jackson, and Dick Gephardt did that THEMSELVES.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
shark - Given that he’s 1/100 of 1/2 of one out of three branches of the federal government, I’m more worred about the message the Dems take than his particular legislative record.

Rosensteel - Precisely why it’s time for the real liberals to take our name back.
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
OrneryWP you mean you all are going to force Zell Miller out of retirement and clone "Scoop" Jackson? And about that, if you look at Joe Lieberman’s woes I think you might realize that "taking back" your name is going to be a hard fight.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Wow, there is no winning for Dems on Q and O.

How many posts here have been about the Dems failure to stand for something, to have a message, a new set of ideas, or whatever, instead of merely being negative? I have never agreed with this notion - as I have said before, there is no need for these things when we are essentially living in a Democratic (yes big "D") era. The Dems do not need new big ideas when the government is essentially a Democratic government, if not in name. All Dems need to do is keep the nutballs on the far right from doing any serious damage, such as outlawing abortion, or imposing prayer in schools, or, for that matter, eliminating the estate tax or driving us even deeper into debt by cutting taxes even more for the rich, their paymasters.

So what do the Dems/activists do? They attempt to forge a message, a new set of ideas, a somewhat coherent ideology. Of course, without party discipline, such an ideology is merely window dressing; without some kind of uniform support for it, it is meaningless. What good is ideology or a message or a set of ideas if no one agrees about them? And so what is the response to these attempts? The Dems/activists are becoming too rigid in trying to stand for something.

Does that make the more like Republicans? I guess. But that has been the criticism on this website for years, Dems are losers because, unlike Republicans, they don’t stand for anything. Now, when the activists in the party are trying to do the very thing they have been criticized as not doing, they get criticized for doing it.

Stated another way, the criticism is insincere.
The Progressive movement is certainly welcome to enforce ideological or partisan purity — the anti-tax movement often does (see: Toomey V Specter) — but Senator Lieberman, in toto, is quite solidly within the mainstream of the Democratic Party in much the same way that Senator McCain is well within the mainstream of the Republican Party


I disagree.

The biggest issue out there right now is the War in Iraq. In the 2006 election, it will be the biggest issue of all, because the GOP will make it the biggest issue and the media will dutifully follow right along. So is Lieberman in the mainstream of the Dem party on the issue that will define the 2006 election? Not by a long shot. The mainstream of the Dem party - not the elites at the top, but the mainstream, was against the war in the first place. They certainly aren’t for continuing with More of the Same - more dead GI’s and more money poured into the cesspool that is Iraq.

Or take another example: The bankruptcy bill that recently passed. A very anti-progressive piece of legislation. While Lieberman voted against the final bill, he voted yes on the cloture vote when the progressive position was to vote no. Were the mainstream of Dems against the bankruptcy bill? Yes. Were the progressives? Yes. Was Lieberman? Apparently not.

There are a myriad of other issues where Lieberman has been out of touch. Indeed, just yesterday, Ann Coulter praised Lieberman and his stance on the war. If that doesn’t tell you how far out of the mainstream Lieberman is, nothing will.
Sorry if that seems harsh, but Progressive has ALWAYS meant Party discipline and a Leftist worldview. It didn’t mean "I believe in Social Security." It meant "I believe in Socialized Medicine and ’Social Ownership’ of large swathes of the economy."
Joe, you couldn’t possibly be more clueless about what it means to be a progressive.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
So MK, enlighten me...the War in Iraq, is that it? The war you guys keeping making YOUR centre-piece, every election cycle, the "Holy Grail" that cycle after cycle sees the Kossacs and their ilk lead the D Party into the Wasteland? ’Cuz if that’s it or a BIG part of being Progressive, dude, it might be where the Base of the D Party is, but it obviously ain’t where the median voter is...
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
No, Joe, that’s not what I mean. I didn’t say anything about Zell Miller. I don’t know why you bring him up at all, except for some stretched attempt at mockery. Same for "Scoop" Jackson.
I mean what I said: the real liberals should start calling themselves liberals again and let the Left call itself something more fitting.
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
How many posts here have been about the Dems failure to stand for something, to have a message, a new set of ideas, or whatever, instead of merely being negative?
I don’t know. Why don’t you tell me how many posts like that I’ve written. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.qando.net/
No, Joe, that’s not what I mean. I didn’t say anything about Zell Miller. I don’t know why you bring him up at all, except for some stretched attempt at mockery. Same for "Scoop" Jackson.

Well see OrneryWP there’s your FIRST problem, because Miller, Lieberman and Jackson WERE the Democratic Party, and WERE Liberals, until 1972. Jackson and Lieberman represented the dominant wing of the Party and the dominant influence in US politics until 1968. Social Security and Unions at home, fighting the Communists overseas. I really don’t know Miller’s domectic policy record so I’ll just include him in the "Activist Wing" in Foreign Affairs. So I’m not mocking so much as pointing out that being "Liberal" has two sets of meanings, Post 1972 it’s George McGovern, PRE-1972 it’s JFK and LBJ. Which Liberals are you figuring to revive? Personally, I’d go for the JFK Liberals, but if you do you’re going to have a fight.
I mean what I said: the real liberals should start calling themselves liberals again and let the Left call itself something more fitting.
But Ornery that was the POINT of "Progressive"! It’s the Alliance of the Leftist Democrats and the Democratic Socialist and other Marxian political groups, in the US. Progressives didn’t take you over, you guys joined THEM...Now you may not care to hear that, but it’s what happened, under, as the title of the posting states, "No Enemies to the Left." So to get Liberals to take back their name, FIRST you’re going to have define "liberal" as I said above, and then move to split the Liberals from the Progressives.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
(Insert Drudge Siren Here)

NEWSFLASH...NEWSFLASH...MUST CREDIT Q&O..

COLLECTIVISTS ACT LIKE COLLECTIVISTS

LEFTISTS ARE COLLECTIVISTS

LEFTISTS ACT LIKE COLLECTIVISTS

Thanks Q&O for pointing this out.
 
Written By: Newsflash
URL: http://
... you couldn’t possibly be more clueless about what it means to be a progressive.
Ah, the standard progressive party line retort!
 
Written By: D.A. Ridgely
URL: http://
Allowing that I’ve seen no such posts from Jon re: the part I’ve bolded — but such criticisms are widespread and somewhat valid — I agree with this:
So what do the Dems/activists do? They attempt to forge a message, a new set of ideas, a somewhat coherent ideology. Of course, without party discipline, such an ideology is merely window dressing; without some kind of uniform support for it, it is meaningless. What good is ideology or a message or a set of ideas if no one agrees about them? And so what is the response to these attempts? The Dems/activists are becoming too rigid in trying to stand for something.

Does that make the more like Republicans? I guess. But that has been the criticism on this website for years, Dems are losers because, unlike Republicans, they don’t stand for anything. Now, when the activists in the party are trying to do the very thing they have been criticized as not doing, they get criticized for doing it.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Joe -

I’m talking about what liberals were before the collectivists crashed the party and made the word mean something else entirely; hence, the term "classical liberal."
You seem to have misunderstood me entirely. Yes?
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
The Progressive Movement has looked into the abyss...and they liked what they saw.
Pretty melodramatic for a Liberatrian!
 
Written By: davebo
URL: http://
I don’t know. Why don’t you tell me how many posts like that I’ve written. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
I didn’t say you wrote them. I said they were written here. If you read what I wrote, it was 100% correct. Here means "in this (virtual) place."

It’s really sort of immaterial if you wrote them or Mcq did or Dale did. Indeed, if you haven’t written any, it sort of reinforces my point" Dems are dammed by some if they do, by others if they don’t. And on this very website.
So MK, enlighten me...the War in Iraq, is that it? The war you guys keeping making YOUR centre-piece, every election cycle, the "Holy Grail" that cycle after cycle sees the Kossacs and their ilk lead the D Party into the Wasteland? ’Cuz if that’s it or a BIG part of being Progressive, dude, it might be where the Base of the D Party is, but it obviously ain’t where the median voter is...
Aint enough wattage out there to enlighten you, Joe. But here are a few numbers, from June 8, 2006, CNN:
The death of al-Qaida leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq came as more Americans than ever thought the war in Iraq was a mistake, according to AP-Ipsos polling.

The poll, taken Monday through Wednesday before news broke that U.S. forces had killed al-Zarqawi, found that 59 percent of adults say the United States made a mistake in going to war in Iraq — the highest level yet in AP-Ipsos polling.

Approval of President Bush’s handling of Iraq dipped to 33 percent, a new low. His overall job approval was 35 percent, statistically within range of his low of 33 percent last month. The poll of 1,003 adults has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Among other findings:

_More than half, 54 percent, said it’s unlikely that a stable, democratic government will be established in Iraq, a new high in AP-Ipsos polling. The survey was completed before Iraq’s parliament approved three key new government ministers. Just 67 percent of Republicans, 63 percent of conservatives, and 57 percent of white evangelicals believed a stable, democratic government is likely.

_Only 68 percent of Republicans, 57 percent of white evangelicals and 51 percent of self-described conservatives — key groups in Bush’s base of support — approved of his handling of Iraq. Those most likely to disapprove are Democrats (89 percent), women (70 percent), minorities (84 percent), city dwellers (72 percent), those with household incomes under $25,000 (71 percent), and unmarried men (70 percent).

_Those most likely to believe the war in Iraq was a mistake are Democrats (84 percent), women (63 percent), especially suburban women (67 percent), minorities (76 percent), city dwellers (66 percent), self-described liberals (82 percent), moderates (64 percent), and Catholics (62 percent).
So over 6 out of 10 moderates believes the Iraq war was a mistake. Over 6 out of 10, Joe. And 84 - yes 84 - percent of Dems think it was a mistake.

To then turn around and assert that Joe Lieberman, who does not believe the war was a mistake, is somehow within the mainstream of the Democratic party is ridiculous. Simply ridiculous.

History will eventually show that the Iraq war was a foreign policy disaster of the first order. That’s why wingers don’t want to pull out of Iraq. Not because they think we are going to win, but because they don’t want to be seen as losers. And for now, they will milk the war for all its worth. Accuse anyone who wants to pull out as a traitor, or a cut and run type, or whatever. But that cow - like all cows - will eventually go dry. More dead and more money don’t make a victory. It’s just More of the Same.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
OrneryWP : I understand the point that you are making in your discussion with Joe, however I do have a question here.

How do we define classical liberal?

That is an honest question because so many seem to want to claim that title. For example, many libertarians claim to be "classical liberals". Also many others on the right (some Republicans for example), claim this title. I have even seen a few on the left claim to be "classical liberals." About what exactly are we talking here, though? Are we talking Adam Smith/David Ricardo classical liberal or are we talking John Locke/Thomas Jefferson classical liberal? Like many other labels, it has no meaning unless clearly defined.

In your support, however, I would very much like to see a rise of a non-collectivist, non-progressive left. I’ve seen a few at TNR who seem to represent this (Martin Peretz and Peter Beinart for example), but nowhere near enough. Although I sometimes disagree with them, at least I understand and respect the points that they make. I can’t say that about David Corn and the "progressive" The Nation guys.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://
"Classical Liberal" so you’re a LIBERTARIAN? Or you’re just an FDR Keynesian? You’ll have to define that a bit. I say "drive on Troop." We libertarian-conservatives say, "Bring it on". We’ll beat you STILL on domestic policy.

MK what you say is TRUE, BUT saying something was a Mistake doesn’t mean that they support the Kossac/Moveon.org/Murtha/Kerry/MK position. See the difference. It’s not WATTAGE, my man, it’s FOCUS.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I didn’t say you wrote them. I said they were written here. If you read what I wrote, it was 100% correct. Here means "in this (virtual) place."
Then you should respond to and disagree with those posts.


I’ve no problem with the Democrats criticizing their own — indeed, I think it’s vital. But creating a party loyalty litmus test reeks of the kind of partisan discipline that the Republicans have enforced for awhile now, and that’s been bad. Disagreement is good, but excommunication over marginal disagreements are bad for all involved. (see: Libertarian Party)
To then turn around and assert that Joe Lieberman, who does not believe the war was a mistake, is somehow within the mainstream of the Democratic party is ridiculous. Simply ridiculous.
Funny, how that one issue supplants everything else. I pointed out recently that, according to the National Journal vote rankings, Lieberman is almost exactly in the middle of the Democratic Senate. Outlier statistics are just that...outliers.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Joe and Omar-

I have a problem with the word "Libertarian." It doesn’t describe me or many people who call themselves political libertarians; the word comes from the free will/determinism debate, in which libertarians are those who believe determinism is false. I, on the other hand, am a hard determinist. I don’t believe free will is necessarily central to believing society and the individual both would benefit from more empowered, more personally accountable individuals.

However, I am a liberal in that I want the individual to be more free across the board (let’s not get into free will versus political/economic/societal liberty). I think a number of different philosophies can fall under the title "liberal," but the political Left in the US does not center on a liberal philosophy — they tend to promote collectivism over individualism, economic control over private property, etc.
Many people who describe themselves as Conservatives today are anything but conservative, while many who describe themselves as Liberal are anything but liberal on a wide range of issues. However you define classical liberalism, there are more liberty-minded people in the libertarian camps than in the Progressive/Left fold. We liberty-minded people, people who really believe in rights and in individual freedom, by all means are better described as liberals than the Left is; therefore, we should take back the name.
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
Obama is a very smart guy, or at least he has been given speechwriters of comparable quality to some of Reagans and MLK’s as a rising Dem star.

Obama is referencing the Dems suicidal insistence on "litmus tests".

Which lead to Dems trashing their Southern white base be effectively sneering down on them as being "too morally unfit" to be in the same room as Massachusetts Democrats by the late 60s.

Which led to them refusing funding and Convention slots for Pro-life Democrats.

Which have adopted anti-gun, anti-Christian, pro-gay absolutes that killed Gore in Arkansas and Tennessee at the price of getting the Hollywood Jewish heavy donor dollars, and then, cost him the Presidency. Partially why they ended up with an empty stentorian windbag named Kerry who it turned out is detested by most Senators and even more so by most officers he served with in Vietnam.

Now the pro-Insurgent Left has made Iraq ANOTHER Democratic Party litmus test on top of all the other pre-existing litmus tests.

Jon Henke -
But creating a party loyalty litmus test reeks of the kind of partisan discipline that the Republicans have enforced for awhile now, and that’s been bad


John, Republicans impose tactical loyalty requirements. Moderates are expected to follow the conservative majority in all but the most important matters of conscience or when local interests demand that they inform Rep Leaders they will commit political suicide in Maine if they follow Texas values on Terri Schiavo. Importantly, the Republican leadership grits their teeth and hopes one day to get rid of moderates, but not at a price of handing a State to the Dems.

With the Dems, you have true ideological litmus tests where apostates like Casey, non-PC Southern Dems not beholden to Jesse Jackson, now Lieberman - are targeted for political destruction for failing a single litmus test. And on a Presidential level - why Democrats force out the stronger candidates for "purer" Left candidates from the Northeast or people out of touch with the States they reside in. No accident that Dem Presidential candidates who fail after learning to bark right and jump through hoops on cue from Hollywood donors frequently are rejected by local voters next time out.

The Republicans MAY be whores to the rich, may be forced to toss red meat to their Rube Religious Right base members - but they are not stupid enough to blow off whole regions of the country by insisting on national litmus tests.
 
Written By: C. Ford
URL: http://
Well Ornery you’re in for one H$(( of a fight, for "Liberal"...I am probably close to you on Liberty. I’m a Utilitarian libertarian. I generally find that libertarian policies work better, than other policy options.

From what I can tell, from your short description, you’re going to have to turn the clock back to an era of "liberalism" before 1932. So Good Luck.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Well, the word seems to me to be worth it. It’s been dragged through the mud by the collectivists for way too long now.
I wonder how they would respond to a Liberal Party challenge to the Unity candidate in ’08... :)
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
I had decided to stay out of this thread after agreeing with a partial MK quote, but something has been nagging at me, and I just decided to spit it out. Jon’s original quote of Kos on Meet the Press was this:

We have Joe Lieberman, who has consistently undermined Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats’ efforts to remain unified on issue after issue. [...] He consistently undermines the caucus, and we understand, just as the Republicans do, that a strong, unified party will be much better in opposition and much more likely to actually win and take over the Senate, and the House, for that matter, than having a party that has its members constantly undermining it.
[...]
They do not undermine the Democratic Party. That’s the litmus test. It’s a very easy litmus test for most Democrats to, to follow, because if they had that D next to their name, usually they’re working for the benefit of the Democratic Party because they believe in the strong, progressive principles that drive Democrats like, like myself and Kerry and Hillary Clinton.
Nowhere, in any of that, do you hear Kos say the issue with Liberman is just the war. He is claiming that Joe Lieberman "on issue after issue" undermines the Democratic caucus. Whether that is true or not, it seems to be a widely held perception in the Kos-osphere. After all, in that same quote Kos pulls Hillary Clinton to his bosom, hugging her for being among those who join him in advocating "strong, progressive principles" — and she has been quite the Iraq hawk.

God knows, I’m not a "progressive" as that term has ever held meaning in 20th century American politics, and am quite perplexed, actually, as to what precisely the term is considered to signify these days. But I do have some interest in seeing progressive Democrats succeed in order to restore some partisan balance in the federal govt, and also because they tend to be better on civil liberties and fundamental human rights — all of which I deem to currently be matters of the highest priority. So, my motive in defending them is that I think their partial success is crucial to the overall political health of my country as a corrective/counter-weight to the current crop of the populist GOP.

And, try tho I might, I just don’t see that Kos is staring down any sort of abyss, much less liking it’s looking back. A big chunk of his book (according to reviews; I’ve not read it) is about abandoning "special interest" politics for the greater good of the Party. After all, he loves Harry Reid, and Reid is pro-life. Reid also tenaciously fights the Republicans and does not undermine the Democratic caucus, which, according to Kos, makes him different from, and infinitely preferable to, Lieberman.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Ornery, thank you for defining your position more clearly. Although I certainly don’t walk the same road that you do, I think that we arrive at similar (if not perhaps identical) destinations. I agree that the real enemy here (speaking from a political theory point of view) is collectivism and all that it represents. The modern leftist is, at heart, a collectivist. Although all of his particular policies may not necessarily broadcast collectivist leanings, the underlying philosophies upon which his views are based can be very easily traced back to collectivist roots.

I’m glad to see that you are truly trying to reclaim the idea of liberalism as it once existed in this country. Certainly Congress could use more old-fashioned liberals. I wish you the best of luck, but here I must agree with Joe : this is going to be a tough row to hoe.

Now on to Mona. I am quite glad to hear that you do not identify with modern progressivism, however having read both this post and many of your other posts (including your Hypatia posts), I am not entirely sure where you fit on the political spectrum. You have claimed in the recent past to be a pro-federalism libertarian. Honestly, I don’t think that quite hits the nail on the head. You seem to be more of a constitutional literalist (or to use the law school term, a strict constructionist). With this in mind, I am forced to question your support of so-called "progressive" Democrats. They are hardly champions of strict constructionism. Further, as I mentioned above, "progressives" are at heart collectivists. Now this may be confusing the issue by jumping tracks a bit, but I find your support of these types of candidates to be very surprising giving the previous posts which you have written. The only justification which I can find in your posts is either a deeply rooted support for identity politics (such as pro-abortion and pro-euthanasia positions) which you seem to cheer Kos on for opposing or a desire to see absolute balance in government which leads to complete gridlock. Now perhaps one can find certain elements of both motivations in paleo-libertarian positions (such as many at Cato seem to take, whom you have quoted in the past). From a strictly theoretical viewpoint, by all means your views are as valid as anyone else’s, however from a practical (neo-libertarian) point of view this merely reinforces the idea that the LP is an old dog that simply cannot learn new tricks. Is this the position that you identify with (paleo-lib)?
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://
"The Progressive Movement has looked into the abyss...and they liked what they saw."

.. and God said "Let there be light."


A little sunshine is a good thing.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Isn’t it amazing how far down into a comment you have to read before you can determine whether it is from Mona or MkUltra?
 
Written By: Terry
URL: http://
Jon, I appreciate your basic honesty in framing the issue as:

"The democrats are moving towards doing what the republicans have been doing for some time, and what they (the Democrats) have also complained about and considered bad for democracy."

I think this point can be heavily overblown. The Kossacks are certainly not imposing any form of ideological litmus test. They went out and endorsed Jim Webb for VA-Senate - former Secretary of the Navy under Reagan. They’re not after Bob Casey or Ben Nelson of Nebraska. They’re after Lieberman because, as Mona mentions, they think he sucks up to Bush and disses Democrats on national television. And I agree with them.

However, the Republican party as a whole does not enforce a litmus test to be a candidate for office as a Republican, either. to be fair. However, they do enforce message discipline on the issue of the day in public and media settings, and as much as they can in voting.

Yes, after years of vacillation and some prodding from the netroots, the Democrats are catching up with the Republicans’ ability to do this. Is it a little sad for absolute clarity, objectivity, and nuance of the message? Yeah, it is. On the other hand, Jon, the Republicans have used message discipline and volume repetition to win just about everything over the past 20 years. They use it because it works. You can’t ignore the pragmatic reality that message discipline works. If you do, you commit suicide as a viable political force. And Republican one-party dominance continues.

Jon, which do you think is worse for the competent governance in our country: the step down in objectivity that comes with message discipline, adopted by Democrats: or the continued one-party Republican dominance of our government?

Genuine question.

 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Jon, which do you think is worse for the competent governance in our country: the step down in objectivity that comes with message discipline, adopted by Democrats: or the continued one-party Republican dominance of our government?
I’m not sure that’s necessarily a binary question. I mean, in any given election, it may be, but over time there’s a spectrum. I think both enforcing strict Party discipline — and, more importantly, a sort of ’message McCarthyism" directed at independent organizations like TNR — and one-party domination are problems, but I wouldn’t know how to compare them.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net

 
Add Your Comment
  NOTICE: While we don't wish to censor your thoughts, we do blacklist certain terms of profanity or obscenity. This is not to muzzle you, but to ensure that the blog remains work-safe for our readers. If you wish to use profanity, simply insert asterisks (*) where the vowels usually go. Your meaning will still be clear, but our readers will be able to view the blog without worrying that content monitoring will get them in trouble when reading it.
Comments for this entry are closed.
Name:
Email:
URL:
HTML Tools:
Bold Italic Blockquote Hyperlink
Comment:
   
 
Vicious Capitalism

Divider

Buy Dale's Book!
Slackernomics by Dale Franks

Divider

Divider