Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Liberal Challenge

Some days it feels like the United States is driving top speed into its own demise. And then we read the news and listen to another spineless democrat politician make another empty promise about reining the whole thing. Like clockwork, ten minutes later, another blog post comes up from another liberal, frustrated and angry, try to articulate the cognitive dissonance of asking for stronger support of the Democrats for just one more cycle while acknowledging that the party isn't doing anything other than talking tough and caving quick.

Forget the devil and his administration, forget the critiques, let's zero in on the substance. Bush has no interest in "benchmarks" for success in Iraq because success means war (got it), hegemonic control (maintaining it, but losing grip by the minute), and the oil pump (got it). Ending the war means surrendering his fortunes. But the Liberals, who seem like a nice group of people caught up in a group hallucination, need to begin copping some benchmarks. No revolutionary alternative can be explored because they "just aren't realistic." Instead, we're told to stay within the two party system, register voters, write letters, contribute, and occasionally march. They get mad at Pelosi for saying that impeachment is off the table and then take everything but Pelosi off the table.

What has to happen for them to say enough is enough? Do children have to be raped, or threatened, in front of their parents as part of policy? Does the war need to continue to its fifth year? Does, for the second election in a row, the power brokers of the loyal opposition (sic) have to mount a candidate that talks about more war instead of less (e.g., Kerry's promise to fight the war better and this season's crop of fools blustering nonsense about Iran)? Does any sense of justice have to be respected on any level or does it have to just be a return to the illusions of habeas corpus? Is there a standard liberals can demand that is more than "better than cheney?"

Whatever the standards are, can we get the liberals to just agree to what those standards are with a date attached? If Giuliani or Obama gets elected and keeps the war on, can we expect a new strategy? Not that the rest of us should stop what we're doing, but there is something ridiculous about the liberal's anger at the path we're on and their steadfast refusal to consider more radical options, often dismissing them as "unrealistic."

Kerry got the nomination largely because he sold himself as the "electable" candidate. Lefties get lectured about not achieving anything by working outside the system. And all the while, the most technologically insane war machine chews up country after country. We're told to grow up and be realistic by kids in their twenties with Obama buttons for saying that we need much more than a candidate with a stump speech. For years, we've listened to this. Kos, and Atrios, and all the big libral bloggers need to listen to their own advice for Bush on Iraq: quantifiable benchmarks, clear schedules, objective analysis, and a clear and attainable goal.

I know, I know. There are a lot of people out there who aren't liberals and who are pissed. Instead of whining about the short bus, we should acknowledge the great unrepresented many. Of course, many of these liberal machines, from the Daily Kos community to Moveon, didn't exist mere years ago, and so why can't we build a similar machine? Why can't we lose the petty infighting and the eighty year old debates and get to work on building a new kind of machine? Why can't we?

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Blogger Meg said...

This post has been removed by the author.

9:45 PM  
Blogger mythinfo said...

This post has been removed by the author.

9:57 PM  
Blogger mythinfo said...

Given we've had a series of e mails with your dismissal of me because of a 9/11 liberal litmus test...I have some remarks. Glad to see more good work on your site. Sorry about deleted comments, there were web problems and I edited for a few errors.

Move On has been around for years (and I'm in Berkeley)...and they, along with many other liberals are not getting us out of Iraq. Imperial wars of agression must cease in order for justice to prevail. No leading candidate for president has that as a policy. So, right now, you are tilting at windmills. You need to support third parties or institutional remedies like impeachment. That's what we have short of revolution.

That said...

I like your last commentary on stopping the infighting. Your site has much on it that is didactic. Further, Liberalism in America is wrought with problems, longstanding. I talk about this in my courses at length when dealing with the birth of American ideology. Few seem to know of it, and fewer still seem interested. People quote Adam Smith all the time without ever reading what he ACTUALLY says about the rights of workers to the fruits of their own labors. The left long suffers form the Monty Python disorder (Judean People's Front vs. the People's Front of Judea). We're fighting the same fights, but we all think WE have the best approach. We're often wrong. We all are splitters.

You are interested. And have good concern. So, why then will you not stop it yourself on the 9/11 front? 9/11 is the reason for everything Bush has done in the past 6 years and you decide not to examine it? Al Qeada was a CIA creation in the first place. How is that not at least blowback and even LIHOP? Remember the PDB from 8/01? What about that? Further, why do you attack and label anyone that questions 9/11 official views as you have in e mails? As if the govt. has any track record there of honesty, and you buy the self-admittedly bogus claims of the Zelikow Commission and the self-debunking NIST stories? Have you REALLY read them? Taking the Red Pill are we? Why is this not an issue here? This is not about moonbeams and closet nukes, nor about electro magnetic weapons. It's about physics,m empirical evidence, and common sense. There are reasonable doubts with the offical views.

I've written about this on my blog again and again...see below.

I don't know what happened on 9/11. I've studied it for 5 years. I teach a course on it. You think you know because you site the Bush Administration reports. You never sourced any of your claims to me. That's very funny. Very Republican, no? Then you whine about the liberal challenge? You are it.

FYI- People that question the offical view of the latest propaganda motherlode are not all tools you know. Done the research on Pearl Harbor yet? Know the history of false flags? Mexican American War, Spanish American War, WWI, WWII, Gulf of Tonkin, Kuwait and Gulf War I, WMD's? Come on, HIAW? I've lectured on History as a Weapon. You seem to be missing some things.

You talk of the failure of spineless Dems and then you tell me you won't talk to me because you label me a "conspiricist?" You won't return my e mails either. All scholarly, all civil. You ignore them. Is that part of the Liberal Challenge, too? I don't get it. I certainly don't understand how you could be seen as serious in this last post.

You need to get real. You are watching too much Faux Knews. You have their tactics down. Then you moan about the liberal challenge. You are part of the problem, my friend. You cut your own allies on establishment fed propaganda as a litmus test. That's not working together against a common problem. It's aiding the oppressor.

I hope you will reconsider my offer to share and work together for this cause you seem so sincere about: that of reclaiming the vox populi in our govt. You don't seem that serious to me on the basis of our interactions, nor your superficial analysis here.

It is my estimation that you are part of the problem you decry. It doesn't have to be and 9/11 doesn't need to be a litmus test. We can agree to disaggree AFTER you look at ALL of the evidence. Given our e mails and you curt discourse, I know you have not. But that's not the point. It's your dismissive approach of these views that are the underlying problem with your liberal challenge.

Take it yourself and then we can talk. Then you'll be the change you seek.

I hope we can meet there...I'm working on problems at my end, too. I think I can do it...I think I can put myself aside enough to be part of the solution. I can set aside my pet concerns. Can you?

I'll gladly e mail with anyone that has interest in this issue or correspondence. Thank you for your time and efforts, and for an otherwise wonderful site at HIAW. I appreciate the opportunity to opine, however unpopularly.

Take care.


10:01 PM  
Blogger History Is A Weapon said...

We did the research. We don't accept the conspiracy theories. It's tempting to respond to comments like "9/11 is the reason for everything Bush has done in the past 6 years and you decide not to examine it?" (wrong on both counts, of course, it isn't "the" reason and we examined it) and this treasure: "I don't know what happened on 9/11. I've studied it for 5 years. I teach a course on it. You think you know because you site the Bush Administration reports. You never sourced any of your claims to me. That's very funny. Very Republican, no? Then you whine about the liberal challenge? You are it." It's tempting, but we won't because there's no point. Even if we tried to, you can't be convinced. And if we agreed to disagree, as we had left it after a brief exchange, you turn up weeks later with a nonsense rant about how we're liberal because we don't accept your 9/11 rabbit hole. This is one of the prime reasons we think that the Left should cut ties with the conspiracy people.
Either way, please sober up next time you're tempted to leave a stoned ramble on the blog.

8:27 PM  
Blogger mythinfo said...

Thanks for the reply. And the ad hominem attacks and more assumptions. You never addressed any core issues of the post, nor did you provide more sources and background for your "argument." The reason I'm not convinced is yuou have not given a reason. There is no rabbit hole other than your own straw person. What is mine, anyway? You never mention. Just explain by naming fallacies. What is a stoned ramble? You never even defined, nor did you respond to any of the points. You don't address the issue, but attack non existent ones. Again, you are the problem you decry. You are not serious about having an even exchange. Proven yet again.

You are the treasure and you only seek yourself. Thanks for your time. Best wishes.

9:19 PM  
Blogger mythinfo said...

Just one last point...

"We don't accept the conspiracy theories."

Look at your own website. This is a descriptive term, not necessarily a pejorative one.

One of the best straw persons I've seen in a while...

"And if we agreed to disagree, as we had left it after a brief exchange, you turn up weeks later with a nonsense rant about how we're liberal because we don't accept your 9/11 rabbit hole."

Right. No discussion required, no answering of questions, no returning polite communiques. Just frame it as you will.

I hope you can deconstruct your own propaganda.

Take care.

9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your post, as I often do, but I wanted to point out a few spelling and grammatical errors. You need to capitalize Cheney in the third paragraph. In the fifth paragraph you left the e out of liberals. In the final paragraph eighty-year-olds should be written with hyphens.

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the liberal movement is going to make serious ground, it must move away from hating. It is tempting to buy into the emotion and bash those with whom we find no common ground. We can rationalize that is mobilizes the base. But it is also an indulgence and a hindrance. When we hate, we lose the objectivity that enables our intellect to properly articulate and persuade. The reduction of objectivity occurring since Bush took office is resulting in divisiveness in our own party. It will take a united front to open the eyes of the masses.

9:39 PM  

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