Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Bankruptcy of the Left

While serious liberals like Peter Beinart and Ed Kilgore are trying to rebuild the Democratic party and create a liberalism for the post-9/11 era, Markous Moulitsas is intent on reducing the Democratic party to rubble. I note this, not triumphantly, but with some worry: A faltering Democratic party merely provides room for Republicans to get by without doing the intellectual heavy-lifting. I think most of us would agree that the marketplace of ideas works best when we have two healthy, intellectually vibrant political parties.

So read this "litmus test" for Democratic candidates from Daily Kos:
Does candidate 'distance himself' from the party and/or its leaders, or is he proud to be a Democrat?

Does he talk like a bureaucrat or like a regular person?

Does she make it clear that she opposes Bush and the Republicans?

Does she back down when the corporate press/media or Republican pundits attack him, or does she stand by her words?

Does he sleepwalk through the campaign, or does he act like he wants to win?

Kos goes on to add, "Notice the complete lack of ideology."

It is this lack of ideology, of which Kos is so proud, that spells certain doom for Democrats if the Kos-wing of the party is allowed to continually cow the party establishment, despite their minority status. The far-left has waged an anti-intellectual assault on liberalisms best thinkers, which has lead to this tyranny of obstructionism-as-ideology.

Note the wording of this litmus test: "Does she make it clear that she opposes Bush and the Republicans?" Oppose Bush and which Republicans? Tom DeLay? John McCain? Oppose them on what? The principles of preemption and democratization? Energy policy? Support for the Texas Rangers? Opposition to steroids? Everything?

And oppose them with what, exactly.

The fringe of the Democratic party isn't interested in any of these questions. But if the Democrats want to return to power, eventually this fringe will have to be cut loose, and not wooed.


Aaron said...

The problem is that liberals deny that the right is sincere in it's ideologies. The left finds all of the discussion on the right shallow and disingenuous--greed and intolerance disguised as ideology. Using this logic, they believe that they can use the same ruse. I always tell my liberal friends that if they would only recognize the intellectual sincerity of conservatives, they would have much more success fighting it on election day.

Anonymous said...

aaron, shush! You are going to give it away.

Just have the left keep thinking George Bush (Evil Mcchimpy BusHilter) is stupid and conservativism is simply greed and intolerance.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't worry about Aaron giving away the game. I've made the same point he did over and over again to my liberal friends and acquaintances without ever once pentrating their Invincible Forcefield of Self-Regard.

Something about being a liberal makes it impossible for them to acknowledge that conservative ideas may actually be better at solving the world's problems.

Instead I tend to get a lot of "You're actually a nice guy. So why are you a right-winger?"