Thursday, August 31, 2006


[ overheard at Orcinus weblog ]

It's a widely accepted myth with liberals that noble Fighting Democrats brought about the Civil Rights Movement and equal protection under the law, when in fact the Democrats fought tooth and nail to stop the egalitarian measures for which the Far Left shed blood, sweat and tears in the Deep South. Read the accounts from those who were there risking their lives, not grandstanding from safe enclaves in Washington. James Forman, Jack Minnis, John Lewis, Diane Nash, Rosa Parks--these are the heroes of human rights in the US.

The fact that liberal Democrats lacked the moral fiber to stand firm against the conservative onslaught against these hard-won gains is no surprise; they never fought for them in the first place. Now you suggest that liberals express admiration for war-mongering racists like Richard Nixon, Billy Graham, and Teddy Roosevelt in order to prove how tough liberals are? Surely you jest.

The New Deal, if you do a little research, is considered communist to the Right Wing. Does the word Godless ring a bell? Using it as a bridge of diplomacy is absurd.

What you describe is a demonstration of weakness, not strength. Lining yourself up with warmongers who've betrayed the Constitution time and again--people like Murtha and Obama--defines you as a conservative, or neo-liberal, which is pretty much the same thing. What you advocate is a surrender of values while maintaining the public relations strategy of the Democratic Party and diplomacy with fascism rather than the courage to fight it.

In other words, more of the same.
Spartacus O'Neal Homepage 08.27.06 - 5:40 pm #
No one has yet been able to explain to me how these parody trolls is funny. And since it isn't funny without one I'm assuming that it's not funny with one.
I've been listening to anti-Democratic people on the left go on and on and on about their moral failings with some evidence. However, I look at John Lewis, George Miller, Maxine Watters, Barney Frank, Jerold Nadler, Henry Waxman, Dennis Kucinich and any number of other Democrats in office, something these pure as the drivel snow leftists will never achieve and wonder why I shouldn't follow them instead of the pie-in-the-sky bunch. That's another question I have yet to hear an answer to.
olvlzl Homepage 08.27.06 - 6:45 pm #
Thank you very much for these articles. They are sorely needed. And I agree, Al Gore has learned to put his heart and passion into his speeches since 2000. We desperately need new ways to reclaim people from the irrational fears and angers that are being stoked by the demagogues.
Mary Homepage 08.27.06 - 7:03 pm #
There are always exceptions to the rule. Some Democrats in Congress--very few--persist despite constant betrayal by Party leadership figures like Al Gore and John Kerry.

Did anyone notice how strong and dutiful Al was in denying a hearing to the Congressional Black Caucus over the stolen 2000 election? When cowardice becomes virtue, the delusional can celebrate achievements like a Democratic Congress protecting the Reagan/Bush administration from impeachment, thereby enabling the return of these felons under Bush II to commit even worse crimes against humanity.

Surrendering your way to power--what a concept.
Spartacus O"Neal Homepage 08.27.06 - 7:40 pm #
Spartacus, back off. Or at least read the posts before responding to them.
I'm talking about style here, much more than content. I am NOT talking about "lining myself up with warmongers." I personally find Obama a feckless DLC disappointment, and am well aware of Murtha's ties to the military-industrial complex.

But when these guys speak, they know how to use language in ways that convey moral authority and power. Obama is the first Democrat in years who can stand up and talk religion and sound like he actually means what he's saying. When Murtha stands up and says, "Iraq is a disaster," people believe him because a) he does have that military cred, and b) he talks like a Marine, straight and to the point, without doing that wimpy mushmouth thing every Dem presidential candidate from Mondale forward has been famous for.
I don't have to agree with their politics to admire the strong way they connect with people -- or suggest that we seek out more people with that same gift, and cultivate it in ourselves.

Nor is it "expressing admiration" for Nixon or Graham to quote them. When they're right, they're right -- and, in their long lifetimes, they actually did get it right on occasion. Nixon was called a communist for going to China, and worse for the environmental laws he signed.

The trouble with old activists is that the perfect often becomes the enemy of the good. Frankly, we may never pull any of these soft-core RWAs any farther left than the moderate GOP wing. But even that's a win -- at least we'll be working off the same Constitution again, instead of having to fight them off just to keep it intact. And if they move en masse just two steps back, the entire political center of gravity of the country will take a dramatic shift to the left again.
One more thing: it's always the anarchists and activist and "extremists" who start political movements; and senators and presidents who are finally persuaded to finish the job. The latter always get the credit -- even though they predictably come late to the party.

'Twas ever thus. In fact, the first job of activists is persuading the mainstream politicians to get on board with change. Either it happens that way, or it usually doesn't happen at all.

You can blame me for recognzing this, but it's like blaming me for recognizing the fact that the sun comes up and the tide comes in.
Mrs. Robinson Homepage 08.27.06 - 7:51 pm #
Thanks for the great series of articles, Sara.
On using strong language and talking about values: a couple of years ago, my fundy relatives were up in the Midwest for a wedding. I invited 'em all over to my house for breakfast. I don't agree with my fundy relatives on politics or theology, but I have great affection for most of them.

I'm now Episcopalian. My husband is an Episcopalian priest. Over breakfast, one of my cousins announced that she couldn't understand why our Episcopal church-"had decided to follow popular culture instead of the Gospel" and marry gay members and ordain gay clergy.

My cousin who brought this up is one of my more blunt and fundy relatives. She lives in a pretty small world and says all kinds of things that make me inwardly roll my eyes. But I also like how she's willing to say what she thinks and mix it up.

So I said, "But cuz, you know what? If we wanted to 'follow popular culture' we'd be out bashing gays. Because this culture is homophobic and that's where the votes are. But instead, we marry gay couples and hire gay clergy because we believe we're following Jesus. We take the life and teachings of Jesus seriously. And we think this is exactly what Jesus would do. "

Total silence. Now I don't think I changed anyone's mind by passionately stating my beliefs and what I valued. But I think my relatives respected what I said. At any rate, they never brought up the subject again. We went on to have a warm and wonderful breakfast.
In short, Mrs. R. is right!
Midwest Meg 08.27.06 - 7:51 pm #
If you enter the arena of ideas as a liberal apologist by red-baiting those who oppose criminal enterprise as a social movement, you should expect to experience ridicule. Spreading toxic ideas to a national audience, no matter how cult-like your immediate participants, opens you to accusations of indoctrination rather than scholarly pursuit.
Spartacus O'Neal Homepage 08.27.06 - 11:01 pm #


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