Friday, December 21, 2007

Wexler, Cheney, this and that: 12.20.2007

1.Wexler and company now have over 100,000 signatures for their impeach let's-have-hearings-regarding Cheney website(previously discussed here.) In spite of the (substantial)skepticism I feel regarding whether such gestures as signing an internet petition actually worth a tinker's dam to characters like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, I recognize that it's that same skepticism that leads some people to support "viable" candidates like HRC and other ostensible progressives who are just kinder, gentler war boosters.

Nevertheless, signing an internet petition isn't the same as supporting phoney-baloney liberals with votes and money, so there's something to be said for signing them, as long as you don't allow yourself to be suckered by a broader-- and mostly false-- sense of optimism about the democratic party as a whole.

I'd like to revisit this topic later- actually I think it's two topics:

1.How can one be a liberal when the figureheads of liberalism*, generally speaking, aren't particularly liberal?

(*I would say "progressive," which for better or worse is presently trendier, but the word has begun to bug me as it's begun to have a "better-management-of-failed-policies" stink about it of late. Call it not wanting to belong to a club that would have someone like Joe Biden as a member, to paraphrase Groucho Marx. Liberalism.)

2. How do you explain to ordinary, non-wonkish people why, to so many of us,** "The Left is the New Right"? (And definitely not in a good way.)

A lot of decent, reasonably smart people who mean well and don't necessarily want the US to be a bloodthirsty empire only understand things in terms dictated by CNN and their ilk, and think someone like Mike Gravel or Dennis Kucinich is too liberal, as if everything political could be measured on a simple two-dimensional continuum, but if you ask them what "too liberal" means they either don't have a clue or only understand the concept in terms of assertions they've heard regularly spouting out of deliberately ignorant big-media loudmouths like Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity.

(**Maybe it goes without saying, but even though I tend to identify certain bloggers and others as being part of an informal association of like-minded persons who look at it this way, I will only presume to speak for myself. Maybe I should just wish that Arthur Silber might tackle a general field theory of why the left is the new right, as I imagine he'd do it ten or twenty times better than I could-- but to paraphrase Rob Payne's friend Charlie Parker, I will light my fire, set up my skillet and see what I can cook up with this weekend.)

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