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Why Haven’t Brogressive Libertarians Taken Over the Democratic Party? A Searching Inquiry

[ 353 ] October 29, 2013 |

The post by the esteemed Mr. Bogg Rob references below finds a couple more classics of the “why do rational progressives support the most progressive candidates possible rather than…something” genre in addition to Mr. Friedersdorf. First, Ian Welsh:

The reason is simple: we could not elect enough of our people. We could not instill sufficient fear. We could not defeat incumbents. We did not produce juice. Clark and Dean didn’t win the 2004 Presidential nomination. Dean was taken out in a particularly nasty fashion (via the manufactured Dean Scream.)

On a minor point, the idea that Dean wasn’t drawing dead as soon as he lost the Iowa primaries scream or no scream is exceedingly implausible. Much more importantly, the main problem with using Dean not winning the 2004 primary as the explanation for why the president and median member of Congress aren’t hard core left-wingers is that Dean is more conservative than Kerry or Obama. (He’s now working directly for health care rentiers, while at least most firebaggers are working for them only indirectly.) The Dean-was-our-savior argument is almost as bad as the Hillary-Clinton-is-the-new-Eugene-Debs argument.

After the 2006 House capture by Democrats, Pelosi’s democrats betrayed the fundamental principles that the prog blogosphere stood for: they did nothing to stop the war, for example.

Welsh, in other words, seems to look at Ted Cruz’s “defund Obamacare” strategy and sees a strategic genius rather than a grifter. Yes, it’s a real puzzle why Nancy Pelosi didn’t hold vote after vote attempting to defund the war that would have had no chance of passing the Senate or getting the president’s signature — if only crackpots with no idea how American government works had the same influence on the Democratic side!

In addition, it’s worth noting again that the goals of actual progressives and the Tea Party aren’t symmetrical. If you goal is to keep the government from being functional, a minority of the Senate might be enough. If you actually want to do things, you need majority coalitions, and these need to be won in two legislative houses in which urban progressives are inherently underrepresented, and an electoral college ditto.

Let’s turn things over to Jerome Armstrong, whose astrological charts have pointed him in a less compromising progressive direction:

I left the Democratic party after 2010– threw away the whole Gravy Train Democratic consulting gig. Sure, I didn’t like the way that my entire world got dropped. I too put some years into it. As a sort of cleansing, last cycle I went to work helping to primary some incumbents in both parties for a rich Texan PAC, and managing libertarian Gary Johnson’s internet campaign.

 

Real progressives want to restore the Articles of Confederation, you see. (Welsh is also a fan of this agenda, although he’s more of a Paul guy.) This is a way of vindicating Naderism — hey, at least it gave True Progressives the evisceration of the Voting Rights Act!

Speaking of which:

That’s what they are really good at– justifying why the powerful should stay so and attacking the ones who challenge power. And, if needed, providing a handy social lifestyle issue to keep the division.

Yes, it’s very hard to figure out why people who dismiss civil rights issues crucial to most of the Democratic coalition as “social lifestyle” diversions haven’t taken over the Democratic Party. Brogressives would totally be a majority coalition if it wasn’t for that meddling Nancy Pelosi. (As TBogg says, he should have gone all the way and used the phrase “gonadal politics.”

Comments (353)

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  1. Ronan says:

    Well thank God GG et al arent diverting US progressives from more important topics

  2. MattT says:

    almost as bad as the Hillary-Clinton-is-the-new-Eugene-Debs argument

    As bad as that argument is, I feel like I’m also starting to see the mirror of it, and I’m sure I’ll see it more as the primaries approach. There’s this idea of “my perfect imaginary candidate is to the left of Clinton, therefore everyone’s perfect imaginary candidate is to the left of Clinton, therefore this other person in the primary is going to be to the left of Clinton, regardless of their actual positions.” See Bradley, Bill for a previous example of this train of thought.

    It’s easy to imagine fantasy Clinton doing exactly what you want, as soon it is actual Clinton, it will just be fantasy someone else.

    • panda says:

      This is also why in 20 years or so, democratic presidents will be denounced as corporate sellouts, soiling the legacy of the great progressive BHO.

  3. FMguru says:

    I don’t know what’s funnier, touting the running Gary Johnson’s internet campaign as some sort of bragging point, or touting it as an example of your progressive bona fides.

    • sharculese says:

      The funniest part for me is that the only thing that Gary Johnson achieved was forcing a bunch of his right libertarian supporters to furiously handwave away his ‘life begins at birth. period.’ stance on abortion.

      • Halloween Jack says:

        See also Ron Paul. (“It’s ‘Google Ron Paul’, not ‘Google Ron Paul abortion.’”)

        • sharculese says:

          It’s actually the reverse of that. I was still in college during the ’08 primaries so I remember all the vaguely liberal college kids explaining why his anti-choice stance didn’t matter because it wasn’t like the President could do much about that (completely ignoring SCOTUS appointments).

          But Johnson is emphatically pro-choice. Like, there was an interview with Alex Pareene where he went out of his way to emphasize how readily available he thinks abortion should be. So you got dudes like fake hipster Jordan Bloom over at American Conservative, who never met an obviously fake abortion horror story he wouldn’t credulously recirculate, trying to explain how none of his really mattered because it’s not like the President can do anything about abortion.

          • Dana Houle says:

            Sorry, am I missing something? Are you saying Johnson is pro-choice, or are you parodying the beliefs of those who want to believe he is? Because as NM gov he signed a late-term abortion ban and ran as pro-life.

            • panda says:

              According to ontheissues.org, here are his positions:
              Q: Should abortion be outlawed in the United States?
              A: Let each state decide.

              Q: You have unorthodox takes, for a member of the GOP, on abortion.
              A: I support women’s rights to choose up until viability of the fetus. I’ve supported the notion of parental notification. I’ve supported counseling and I’ve supported the notion that public funds not be used for abortions. But I don’t want for a second to pretend that I have a better idea of how a woman should choose when it comes to this situation. Fundamentally this is a choice that a woman should have.

              In other words, he is not quite as horrible as Paul, but still extremely horrible.

              • Hogan says:

                But I don’t want for a second to pretend that I have a better idea of how a woman should choose when it comes to this situation.

                Which is why I think it should be left to the states to decide.

              • rea says:

                Q: Should abortion be outlawed in the United States?
                A: Let each state decide.

                Q: You have unorthodox takes, for a member of the GOP, on abortion.
                A: I support women’s rights to choose up until viability of the fetus

                Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. He’s claiming to be pro-choice, but he thinks it’s a regulatory matter properly left to the states–he does not accept that a constitutional right is involved–which means he is not really pro-choice at all. Is slavery okay if your present master is a kindly sort who would never whip you?

            • Sharculese says:

              Yeah, in retrospect I was confused on that one. Not sure how that happened, but I definitely remember watching a certain class of young, libertarian righty trying to run away from his position as insufficiently pro-life.

              • Sharculese says:

                Although thanks for explaining why NM has that late-term ban. It always puzzled me.

                • JL says:

                  Many states have late-term abortion bans, and NM has one of the only third-tri clinics in the country (i.e. the ban isn’t complete), so whatever I think of Gary Johnson’s abortion position, NM is better than a lot of states.

                • Belle Waring says:

                  You know, Sharculese, I only just now learned by reading links to an old comments thread that you are a GENDER TRAITOR of the rankest sort, and I wish to emphatically denounce you and your…peers around thread…enablers! Yes, denounce! I know laws named after cute things/people are nearly always awful, but my Pancakes Act of 2013 will require every internet commenter to replace their current Gravatar, or picture of Jesus peeing with a firehose, or little dealie-wobber, or whatever, with a picture of a penis or a vulva, so this type of base treachery can never again take root in the soil of our nation. Trans commenters will be allowed to use a series of changing elements that track their personal evolution and however they identify …I guess, under the Pancakes Act of 2013? Maybe I’ll have to go back into the huddle with my supporters and come to a consensus on that sticky issue. Thorny issue! What I meant was thorny! Yes. Anyway, just wanted you to now, you’re on the top of the list when the Pancakes Act of 2013 comes into effect.

  4. rea says:

    As a clue to what he means as a “social lifestyle” issue, he explicitly references abortion

  5. Lee Rudolph says:

    I think funnier than either by itself is how, taken together, they have cleansed him (presumably via high colonic?) of his “Gravy Train Democratic consulting gig” toxins.

  6. Superking says:

    Scott, where did you get this idea:

    Yes, it’s very hard to figure out why people who dismiss civil rights issues crucial to most of the Democratic coalition as “social lifestyle” diversions haven’t taken over the Democratic Party. Brogressives would totally be a majority coalition if it wasn’t for that meddling Nancy Pelosi. (As TBogg says, he should have gone all the way and used the phrase “gonadal politics”

    There doesn’t seem to be anything in the linked article that suggests Armstrong was saying that the Voting Rights Act is a social lifestyle diversion. In fact, he doesn’t mention the VRA at all. And while we can lament the fact that he doesn’t care about the VRA, you can’t blame him for calling it something he didn’t.

    The reality, as far as I can see, is that blogging alone is insufficient to effectuate change. Contrary to what Armstrong seems to suggest, the internet is a tool, not a movement. It can be used by organizations trying to affect politics, but it doesn’t represent a unified vision of what change is necessary.

  7. Shakezula says:

    The reason is simple: [simple reasons for simple people] we could not elect enough of our people [because they sucked]. We could not instill sufficient fear [in anything but our sucky people]. We could not defeat incumbents [because your people sucked]. We did not produce juice [after all that circle jerking, better see your doctor].

    and managing libertarian Gary Johnson’s internet campaign.

    So is this the dumbfuck responsible for sending emails to my work address? We get a laugh out of the irrelevancy of emails we get because people see we’re something to do with journalism and fire at will, but Johnson’s are on the outer fringe of having nothing to do with what we do.

  8. Can someone give me a short explanation of why anyone takes Ian Welsh seriously? People whose writing and opinions I respect link to him occasionally, and yet every time I read something of his my head begins to spin from the lefty millenarianism. I gave up completely a few years ago when he said that we should all be learning trade skills (he used sewing as an example) because the world was going to collapse and things like that would be very valuable.

    • Scott Lemieux says:

      Can someone give me a short explanation of why anyone takes Ian Welsh seriously?

      No.

    • Sockie the Sock Puppet says:

      I don’t know about seriously, but stuff can be interesting without being practical or particulary useful. There was a clique of writers Welsh was associated with — Sterling Newberry is the name that comes to mind — that for me fell into that category, back when the Netroots was a more-or-less Popular Front kind of place.

      I don’t have that sort of time for reading that sort of stuff anymore (that’s what kids do).

      • Manny Kant says:

        I can’t remember anything specific about Sterling Newberry, but the mention of that long forgotten name sent a shiver of disgust down my spine. He was terrible, right?

  9. Three-nineteen says:

    Isn’t the war funding situation the opposite of the Obamacare stuff? I thought that Congress had to continually pass bills to fund the wars. In other words, if Pelosi had done nothing, there would have been no more money (or radically less money) for Afghanistan and Iraq, but she actively brought funding bills to the House floor and made sure they passed so the wars were funded. Is that not right?

    • Gregor Sansa says:

      If Pelosi had done nothing, there would have been a government shutdown. While her argument that it was Bush’s fault for vetoing bills passed in good faith might have been better, it would still not have gone well for Democrats I think.

      I’d still urge her to force a showdown, if I were back in that day, because life or death trumps politics. But I can’t really say I regret the fact that she didn’t.

      • Scott Lemieux says:

        If you wanted to keep troops in Iraq as long as possible, shutting down the government over a defending bill would have been the best strategy.

        • Pat says:

          Wasn’t there a lot of discussion of this idea at the time – that it costs money to move troops, and that it would be irresponsible just to order them all to come home? Plus, we’d be leaving a ton of crap for no reason?

          That’s the problem with us liberals right there – looking into the details and worrying about outcomes.

    • Dana Houle says:

      Pelosi actually did allow votes on getting out of Iraq, in particular Jim McGovern’s 2007 amendment for a withdrawal date. It lost 171 Y/255 N, with Dems going 169-59.

    • Random says:

      Ian or Jerome or whoever also seems to be having a gigantic, huge problem remembering the timeline of events.

      The Democrats won the election in late 2006 and assumed power in early 2007.

      That is well after the Bush Admin had fired Rumsfeld and begun drawing up a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq with the support and approval of most of the GOP’ Congressional leaders. Pretty much everyone agreed we were leaving Iraq at that point. Shutting down or defunding the government would have just prolonged the war at that point.

      • Dana Houle says:

        No. They were not drawing up a timetable for withdrawing from Iraq. In fact, it was early 2007 when they pushed the surge. And Rummy had been canned only after the election. He’d been gone less than two months when Dems took over the House.

        • Random says:

          Except the entire intent of the surge was a preparatory step to lay groundwork for a more full military withdrawal by the US. The surge was intended to briefly ramp up peacekeeping operations in order to leave Iraqi forces in a position where they would be able to maintain order without our presence. Hence why it was called a ‘surge’ and not ‘a permanent increase in US involvement in Iraq’.

          Gates was in office two months before Pelosi’s Congress. He had already who famously refused to state that the US was winning the war and who along with Petraeus had us actively withdrawing force from Iraq a year later.

          So no, I’m sorry but by the time Pelosi got back to majority status in 2007 everybody knew we were going to withdraw from Iraq and that only became more certain as the year progressed. That particular debate was already over and the only question was when and how.

          • Dana Houle says:

            This stuff isn’t hard to look up. Gates was not in office for two months before Pelosi became speaker, he was in office for 15 or 16 days, which included the holidays. And no, there wasn’t any understanding we were leaving Iraq. The Bush administration–including Gates–was vehemently opposed to any timelines or withdrawal plans.

            Are you familiar with the 2008 presidential election campaign, and a guy named John McCain? I guess not. I also think you’re untethered to any concern with factual accuracy.

            • Random says:

              This stuff isn’t hard to look up. Gates was not in office for two months before Pelosi became speaker, he was in office for 15 or 16 days, which included the holidays.

              I was going by memory and was off by a few weeks on events that happened 7 years ago. Fucking sue me.

              And no, there wasn’t any understanding we were leaving Iraq.

              No, really, the writing was on the wall by early 2007 and that’s when the exit strategy first began being put together by the military. In fact at that point the larger issue was so thoroughly settled that the Democrats were completely comfortable moving on bill after bill calling for explicit near-term withdrawal dates despite knowing that they wouldn’t pass. Everyone knew we couldn’t stay in Iraq.

              The Bush administration–including Gates–was vehemently opposed to any timelines or withdrawal plans.

              Well duh, of course they didn’t want to let Congress set the timeline for them. That doesn’t change the fact that the admin started moving towards the exit in 2007.

              The main argument by 2007 was not if we would pull out of Iraq but when and how.

              “Are you familiar with the 2008 presidential election campaign”

              You mean the one that didn’t end until after the Bush Admin officially formalized the withdrawal agreement with the Iraqi government that it had been negotiating for almost a year prior, after spending the year before that setting up the pre-withdrawal surge? That election?

              Yeah I’m familiar with it. I don’t think it’s very relevant though.

              John McCain

              disagreed with President Bush about the withdrawal.

              I also think you’re untethered to any concern with factual accuracy.

              Well now you’re just being bitchy.

              • Dana Houle says:

                The Republicans opposed any withdrawal. McCain won the Republican primary by campaigning on staying in Iraq for, iirc, “a hundred years” if need be. Withdrawal amendments failed in Congress. You make specific assertions twice, and when pointed out you were wrong both times, I’m supposed to fucking sue you. What doesn’t fit your proclamations gets dismissed. And I’m being bitchy because I’m right.

                Gotcha.

  10. Brogressive says:

    All your threads is mine.

  11. Gus says:

    Please, for god’s sake, stop using the “bro” prefix. Brogressive, brogrammers, etc. It’s unbearably annoying.

  12. Vance Maverick says:

    I take your point, but the things the prefix mocks are real and worse than annoying. I’m a programmer, and I deplore the machismo of the programmer’s world. Since I’m old enough to remember “bro” (rightly or wrongly) as a douchey appropriation of black slang, it expresses just the right contempt.

    • Vance Maverick says:

      (meant as a response to Gus, above)

    • CaptBackslap says:

      I’ve always assumed ‘brogrammer’ was a defense against the common perception of programmers as nerds.

      • Bijan Parsia says:

        That’s not my understanding. It helps capture the very common appalling sexism of programmers and the tech world. That that sexism is often nerd inflected is sorta irrelevant. There were always plenty of macho programmers (and nerd/bro really aren’t opposites).

        The body building programmer in Mircoserfs is a good example.

        • CaptBackslap says:

          Maybe we have differing definitions of ‘bro’ or something, because my mental image of one is essentially a beer-chugging frat boy with a seriously dirty-looking baseball cap, which is basically the opposite of a prototypical nerd.

          And I was under the impression that ‘brogrammers’ originally called themselves that (hopefully not with a straight face).

          • guthrie says:

            Ahh, well you’re halfway there – a brogrammer combines the worst aspects of both a heavy drinking sexist fratboy with the social skills of a nerd.

            • CaptBackslap says:

              My image of a brogrammer is that jackass who got himself fired on Twitter a few weeks back (which is like trying to open a bottle of wine and accidentally killing yourself with the foil cutter). But regular ‘brodom’ still seems like the opposite of nerddom.

          • Hogan says:

            Nonetheless, the essence of bro-dom is in the eye of the beholder: precisely what defines the subculture of bros depends on one’s position in time and place, ranging from flannel-shirted frat boys, to laconic surfers, to twenty-something investment bankers. The NPR Codeswitch blog recently delineated 4 basic aspects of bro-iness: jockish, dudely, stoner-ish, and preppy. Their analysis noted that today’s bro is typically, if not exclusively, white, an interesting departure from the earlier African-American connotations of the word. This is a level of nuance that a conventional dictionary entry is ill-suited to describe: the semantic boundaries are subjective and in constant flux.

          • Bijan Parsia says:

            Maybe we have differing definitions of ‘bro’ or something, because my mental image of one is essentially a beer-chugging frat boy with a seriously dirty-looking baseball cap

            Yes.

            which is basically the opposite of a prototypical nerd.

            Well, sorta. But prototypical nerds are hardly ubiquitous among programmers. The Microserf guy is my example, but there’s a ton of machismo in e.g., hacker subculture. (E.g., programming for days at a time.) Not to mention hardware hacking or gaming.

            I point again to this post of mine.

            (Now, maybe you’re right about the history. I’m a bit skeptical though.)

            • CaptBackslap says:

              But prototypical nerds are hardly ubiquitous among programmers.

              That was kind of my point: that some programmers who (rightly or wrongly) thought of themselves as more conventionally cool than the computer-nerd stereotype decided they needed a more “awesome” term for themselves.

              As for the history:

              At some startups the pendulum has swung so far in the other direction that it’s given rise to a new “title”: brogrammer. A portmanteau of the frathouse moniker “bro” and “programmer,” the term has become the subject of a Facebook group joined by over 21,000 people; the name of a series of hacker get-togethers in Austin, Tex.; the punch line for online ads; and the topic of a humorous discussion on question-and-answer site Quora titled “How does a programmer become a brogrammer?” (One pointer: Drink Red Bull, beer, and “brotein” shakes.) “There’s a rising group of developers who are much more sociable and like to go out and have fun, and I think brogramming speaks to that audience,” says Gagan Biyani, co-founder and president of Udemy, a startup that offers coding lessons on the Web.

              (of course, none of this is meant to deny that tech is, in fact, hell of sexist)

  13. Jerry Vinokurov says:

    The thing that really drives me up the wall about this whole business is the false dichotomy involved in having to choose between, say, civil liberties and an economic progressive agenda. As bspencer said in her previous post on this issue, it’s easy enough to acknowledge that there’s a large number of important issues and that people will focus on different ones, and that’s ok. There’s room in the progressive movement for people who care about all of these things, which are often actually the same people; it’s possible to care about reproductive rights and the NSA and all sorts of other things too. That’s just part of being a progressive, as opposed to a libertarian who cares directly about the things that affect them, and not about anything else.

    I’ve been around the liberal blogosphere a number of times, and I’ve yet to find any mainstream progressives that trivialize civil liberties issues (by which I mean things like surveillance, the drug war, and so on). It just doesn’t happen; what does happen is you lots of self-proclaimed civil libertarians who think that economic justice or the environment or reproductive rights are mere “lifestyle” issues. The trivialization of concerns runs entirely in one direction.

    • Dana Houle says:

      People who want “liberty” by discrediting the public sector and dismantling almost all functions of government (except maybe transvaginal probes) are not real allies of rational and aware progressives.

    • JTR says:

      Depends on how you define mainstream, though I agree with the general point.

    • DocAmazing says:

      You might have missed the posts getting laughs at those who oppose drone strikes, and at this site, no less.

      There are more than a few liberals who do indeed attempt to handwave away spying and war issues.

      • Murc says:

        You might have missed the posts getting laughs at those who oppose drone strikes, and at this site, no less.

        That’s an extremely narrow construction, Doc. Yeah, this site has gotten some laughs at those who oppose drone strikes, but not, to my knowledge, ever because they oppose drone strikes, but for their 1) their other kooky beliefs, 2) their self-righteous preening that opposing drones make them leftier-than-thou, and 3) their complete indifference and, often, outright hostility to other important issues.

        Speaking only for myself: if someone is opposed to the way we use drones, is in many other ways a libertarian reactionary, but thinks their stance on drones should provide them with instant left-wing credibility, I’m gonna mock the fuck out of that person and get some laughs at their expense.

        • Leeds man says:

          Actually, (1), (2) and (3) seem to have been assumed to hold for anyone who even mentioned drones. Or should I write DROOOOOOOONES.

          • Murc says:

            Well, I’m open to being convinced. Got some links where any of our hosts have done some pointing and laughing at people who oppose drone usage solely because they think having problems with our drone policy and usage is so laughable as to deserve nothing but mockery?

            I mean, hell, I hate me some drone usage, but I’ve never felt particularly unwelcome or mocked here because of it.

            • njorl says:

              I might be the only commenter who does that regularly. I think it’s ridiculous to get worked up about drones. We have cruise missiles, the F-117, long range artillery, spy satellites and commandos. Anything unsavory that we are doing with drones can be done without them.

              If you don’t like our assassination policy, oppose that, not drones.
              If you don’t like targeted attacks in Pakistan, oppose them, not drones.
              If you don’t like war, oppose it, not drones.

              If you’re opposing drone use, you’re saying that our country should be doing all of those things, we should just do them more poorly.

              • Dana Houle says:

                I’m going to only sortakinda agree with you. Yes, drones are a tool, not a policy, but too many people treat them like the actual policy. However, they are a tool that changes the perceptions of risk and reward, and responsibility and confidence of success. I think it’s possible they could be too heavily relied on, because they never come back in a body bag, so the immediate costs of using them seem lower than they probably are. But just as they can aid the USG in attacking people we perceive as threats or enemies, they can also create huge problems, by also killing innocents, and by fostering real hatred against the US. It’s the low immediate cost I worry about, it creating a backlash. Just like an easy proxy war against the USSR helped created AQ.

                • Manny Kant says:

                  You are never going to get anywhere arguing that the US needs to use military tools that are more likely to kill Americans because that would make us less likely to go to war. And for good reason.

                • Dana Houle says:

                  Where did I make such an argument?

                • Pseudonym says:

                  I understand the argument, but on the other hand the people taking military risks and paying the direct costs are never ever ever the same ones making policy decisions.

                • njorl says:

                  That’s essentially the same argument used for banning the crossbow. It might be a good argument, but we know it won’t work.

              • Murc says:

                Well, I am, primarily, against the policy, not the tool. It’s convenient shorthand, but you are indeed correct that words have meanings and misusing them dilutes those meanings. That said, you’re a commenter, as opposed to a front-pager, njorl. Doc seemed to be taking issue with editorial policy here, not the commentariat.

              • Jerry Vinokurov says:

                I’ll sign on to this, modulo Dana’s caveat below.

              • Pseudonym says:

                If you think we still have the F-117 you should pay more attention. Otherwise I pretty much agree with you.

          • joe from Lowell says:

            Actually, (1), (2) and (3) seem to have been assumed to hold for anyone who even mentioned drones.

            That’s odd, because Farley, Lemieux, and Campos have all written anti-drone war pieces.

      • Jerry Vinokurov says:

        Doc, I read this blog every single day. I am, as the people say, aware of all internet traditions. Yes, some of those people have gotten laughed at, but not because they oppose drone strikes, which is a pretty common position throughout progressive circles. They get laughed at because they believe that opposition to drone strikes is the most or only important issue and nothing else matters. And that’s nuts.

        • J. Otto Pohl says:

          It depends who you are. If you live in Waziristan it may very well be the most important issue in your life. On a global scale it isn’t, but then again neither is health care or food stamps in the US. In fact drone strikes are probably from an international point of view considerably more salient than any domestic US problems. But, sure drone strikes don’t directly effect anybody in the US or Africa or Europe or most of Asia. I don’t have a problem with people focusing on what they want to focus on even if others don’t think it is important.

    • NewishLawyer says:

      I concur. I suspect that a lot of people who think it is libertarian or nothing in terms of civil liberties never really liked welfare or the safety net to begin with.

  14. Dilan Esper says:

    Dean was left of Kerry on foreign policy. Just like Obama and Clinton in 2008.

    You only get these “left wingers should have no objection” arguments if you pretend that the left doesn’t care about the evil we do in the world.

    • This isn’t actually true; Dean had been to the left of Kerry on foreign policy prior to the Iraq War, but by 2004 he was calling for escalation, although in fairness he was trying to invent several divisions of foreign troops to conduct that escalation.

      http://www.antiwar.com/frank/?articleid=5349

      • Dana Houle says:

        I love when unreconstructed Deaniacs claim “the media” or “the establishment” were threatened by his positions so they did him in my making the scream in to a big deal when it really wasn’t.

        Whenever someone says that, instead of engage the conspiratorial silliness of their claim about why anyone would want to take down Dean, I ask them to watch the film of his speech with the sound off, and tell me he didn’t look nearly deranged by the end.

        • Dilan Esper says:

          To be clear, Dana, I think Dean partisans need to stop screaming about the scream. I didn’t like that Kerry beat Dean, but he beat him fair and square.

          • Dana Houle says:

            Maybe you have pushed that “the establishment needed to take down Dean” stuff, but I’m not aware that you have, and I did not intend to associate you with that particular belief.

            • Dilan Esper says:

              I don’t think the establishment “needed” to take down Dean. The establishment definitely did believe that Kerry, the war and anti-war hero during the Vietnam era who cast the “tough vote” for the war, was a better candidate on foreign policy than Dean. But that’s just another way of saying Kerry was the favorite. Every election has a favorite, and most of the time the favorite wins. (Obama beating Clinton was a very rare exception, and Obama had plenty of establishment types on his side.)

              As far as I am concerned, they held the primaries and caucuses, Kerry won them, and despite the fact that I thought Dean was the superior candidate, Kerry’s victory was legitimate. I don’t view primaries as an establishment conspiracy against all that is right and good. Party actors have reasons for the decisions they make. They have views as to which candidates are more electable. And they have the same right to try to persuade the electorate that the left does.

          • You do remember that Peter Jennings later admitted that the TradMed had it out for Dean, right?

        • Aimai says:

          He’s not deranged and he didn’t look deranged–he looked like a guy who was shouting over a large crowd. The media absolutely took him down by using recordings which left the viewer with the impression he was shouting over a silent crowd.

          • Dana Houle says:

            I was on a conference call with about 30 political operatives about 10 minutes after the scream. Everyone was stunned at what he’d just done to himself.

            As for what he looks like, I’m pretty confident that if you put that to a focus group with the sound off it would still be incredibly negative.

            But why would the media need to take him down? He’d taken himself down, even before he walked on that stage after a third place finish and didn’t have a written speech and his campaign was nearly broke. He was already doomed before he screamed.

            • Manny Kant says:

              All of this. I watched the Scream live and thought it was mildly ridiculous, and it didn’t matter, because what cost Dean the nomination was losing Iowa, not the Scream.

              • Aimai says:

                For kicks because the media likes to play kingmaker. They didn’t need to do it but they always pick winners and losers and dean was treated as well out of the respectable range for a candidate. The fact that you and your friends fell for a contrived media event like the scream –which was produced by using the feed from one microphone instead of the audio portrait of the room as its occupants experienced it isnt proof of anything but how gullible people are and how easily manipulated.

                • Pseudonym says:

                  Maybe the argument is that that’s just how the Iowa primaries work, or how the media works. Fairness has nothing to do with politics.

                • Dana Houle says:

                  Ahh, I gotcha, the fact that a whole bunch of people who do this for a living were immediately convinced that Dean had nailed the last nail in the coffin he’d been buidling for weeks, and that they decided it BEFORE the media had a field day with it, means we were all a bunch of media dupes.

                  And of course, that had the retroactive effect of making him finish a distant third, of having such an unorganized campaign that he didn’t even have a speech prepared, it had the retroactive effect of his campaign spending more before Iowa than any primary campaign had ever spent for an entire campaign, but then ending up broke, yeah, that was all the media.

                  It was also the media’s fault that a few years earlier on Canadian TV Dean had maligned Iowa and said it didn’t deserve to have the first caucus, he didn’t remember it, it was easily found by opposing campaigns, and his most trusted adviser drove around with the tapes in her trunk for months and didn’t share the tapes with anyone–and his own campaign was apparently incompetent at self-research–because she was afraid someone would find out. And that meant when the issue arose that nobody on his team was even prepared for it.

                  No, it wasn’t because of the media or the scream that Dean imploded. Dean collapsed spectacularly because he was a weak candidate who, despite some important innovations, ran a bad campaign. By putting resources in to state parties, data improvements and cycle-round organizing, he was actually halfway decent at DNC chair, as long as he wasn’t talking to the media; he was a disaster when it comes to any semblance of message discipline, and that showed during the campaign. If it hadn’t been any of the thousand things that contributed to his plummet from the top of the polls, it would have happened later, over Social Security.

                  The weekend his son got arrested, in, iirc, May 2007 (shortly after his kickoff event where the photos were marred because they allowed someone to get right in front of the podium with a Nader 2004 sign), instead of clearing his entire schedule to deal with the family matter, he canceled all his public events–a great move, as a candidate and as a dad, and also smart, since it was apparently really important to him to deal with the kid. But not really, he didn’t cancel every event, he decided he still wanted to go on Russert, for which he was evidently unprepared. During the segment Russert got him talking about deficits–Dean was a major deficit scold–and about Social Security, and Dean blithely tossed off that he’d be in favor of raising the retirement age. Nobody needed to use that against him in the primaries, because he was going down due to his own weaknesses as a candidate and to the colossal blunders of his campaign; there was no reason for anyone else to alienate his supporters, who were the most zealous donors and energetic activists committed to defeating Bush. But had he remained a threat any longer, somebody would have kneecapped him with the Social Security stuff.

                  And how would he have been kneecapped? Probably by one of the opposing campaigns turning their research over to a reporter, which is how most stories about candidates come out: reporters seldom have the time and resources that a campaign can, over months, devote to opposition research. What they find sometimes is used in paid voter contact–TV, radio, mail, phones, digital–or in a debate, but if not–especially if it’s a bit complicated to get in to a soundbite–they’ll pitch it to reporters. That Dean was so bludgeoned by the press shows that there was a decent amount to use against him, it wasn’t hard to find, and that his campaign did a crappy job of working the press behind the scenes to squelch or mitigate the damage from negative stories, often, it appears, because they had no plan in place because they didn’t know as much about their own candidate as did the opposition. That’s one of the worst forms of professional misconduct for a candidate and her campaign staff.

                  Believing he was done in by a media cabal gives way too much credit to a guy who’s currently a not-quite-legally-defined-but-de-facto lobbyist for PhARMA and who also shills for a cult-like group in Iraq rejected by almost all Iranian exiles and whose anti-Iranian government activities were sponsored by Saddam Hussien. He was just a guy who was right to oppose the Iraq war, took it on as a cause because he probably sincerely believed it but also because he had nothing to lose, who let people–some earnest and responsible, others for reasons more about themselves than the candidate and cause–take over his candidacy and use it for some good innovations in campaigning and political organizing but also committed horribly irresponsible blunders, and whose recklessness had the virtue of pushing the rest of the field to be a little less timid on Iraq and on confronting Bush. His candidacy was incredibly important and on net did Democrats and the country a tremendous amount of good. But he was never going to be the Democratic nominee, not because there was some cabal against him or because of unfair treatment–I hope nobody thinks Gore or Kerry or post 2008 Obama has gotten fair treatment from the media–but because he wasn’t a good enough candidate, too many voters didn’t like him, and his campaign, despite some clever and groundbreaking moves, was woefully unprepared for the pressures and demands of a national campaign.

                • Dana Houle says:

                  BTW, to believe the scream was invented by the media and attributed to bad acoustics has always seemed to me a strange argument; it makes me wonder whether the assumption is that no other candidate has ever had bad acoustics/sound system, or that it’s common for them to make similar screams but they’re ignored by the media.

                • Aimai says:

                  You know–the argument that you “do this for a living” and therefore are not as gullible as the rest of us just strikes me as weird. Professionals can be just as foolish as regular people or, if the world is any evidence, even more so. I’m not arguing and no one has argued that Dean wouldn’t have lost without the scream–I’m just arguing that the scream, like Kerry’s flilp flop “problem” was a media manufactured non event that became a media event and a synecdoche for him which was undeserved (he’s not, in fact, crazy) and entirely fake. That should be obvious, even to a professional. The fact that the same trick hadn’t been played on another candidate previously doesn’t mean it wasn’t done to Dean and won’t be done again to another candidate.

                  Professional though you are you don’t seem to have noticed that every year the Press picks favorites and fools and basically wil parody the ones they don’t consider legitimate contenders until those people are laughed off the stage. They don’t perfectly control this process, of course, and will support candidates who are absolutely inappropriate (like Palin) until they are forced by public opinion or events to retreat.

                • joe from Lowell says:

                  Insisting that Dana and his colleagues didn’t actually recognize the Scream as a big deal immediately, but only came to conclusion because of teh media, is remarkably presumptuous.

                • Dana Houle says:

                  You know, the argument that we were duped by the media in to believing something that we believed before the media did anything with it is far weirder.

                  As for the rest, Weber had it right:

                  If an action of good intent leads to bad results, then, in the actor’s eyes, not he but the world, or the stupidity of other men, or God’s will who made them thus, is responsible for the evil. However a man who believes in an ethic of responsibility takes account of precisely the average deficiencies of people…he does not even have the right to presuppose their goodness and perfection. He does not feel in a position to burden others with the results of his own actions so far as he was able to foresee them; he will say: these results are ascribed to my action.

                  The press does what the press does, and it’s irresponsible for any professional pol and his staff to assume they won’t do things like mock someone who looks like a bit of a lunatic while randomly shouting out the names of states after just getting crushed in a contest in which he’d led the polling for months. Let’s say a guy covered in raw meat sneaks in to a lion’s exhibit at the zoo. It’s narrowly correct to say he was killed by lions, but it’s not as meaningful as it is to say he essentially killed himself. It was the easily preventable and easily foreseeable result of his actions. Blaming Dean’s demise on the press is like blaming the lions for the guy adorning himself with meat and getting across the moat.

                • Dana Houle says:

                  Actually, blaming the press for Dean’s demise is like focusing only on the fact that the lions killed the guy and ignoring the fact that he adorned himself in meat and got across the moat.

                • Dana Houle says:

                  Joe, here’s what happened; we got on the call right after the scream, and for a few minutes the people running the call weren’t on it. While we were waiting, a bunch of people were going YEEEAAARRRRRRGGGHHHHH! and shouting out names of states. Everyone was just flabbergasted at what we’d just seen. Then the person running the call came on and said, very calmly, something like “ladies and gentlemen, seldom in life will you watch in real time the self-destruction of someone’s political career. Remember where you were tonight, because that’s what you just saw.”

                  Again, that was maybe 10 minutes after the scream.

                • joe from Lowell says:

                  …which doesn’t refute the claim that the press picked up the story and ran like hell with it, or even that they did so out of animus towards Howard Dean in particular.

                  But one needn’t ignore the problems with the speech in order to understand those things.

                • Dana Houle says:

                  My point isn’t that the press didn’t run with it, but I will say it made that impression on a lot of people who saw it as it happened, and didn’t need to be brainwashed by the media in to thinking it reflected badly on Dean. And it was obvious that it would happen, and it didn’t require animus toward Dean on the part of the media for it to happen. In fact, whether there was or wasn’t animus toward Dean is, imo, ultimately irrelevant, because what Dean got nailed on wasn’t tiny things blown out of proportion, or complete fabrications, both of which happened with Gore. Dean went down because of his campaign, because of his on screen persona, which was very “hot” and turned off a lot of voters, because of his attacks on other candidates (which can be very dangerous in a primary), and also because of some issues (like being found to have slagged Iowa and then not being prepared to deal with it when it surfaced during the campaign).

                • Rigby Reardon says:

                  You know–the argument that you “do this for a living” and therefore are not as gullible as the rest of us just strikes me as weird.

                  Mark Penn does (did?) politics for a living, which I think proves the point that arguments from authority (“I do this for a living”) should always be deeply scrutinized.

      • Dilan Esper says:

        Robert, that’s a strange comment. The left in 2004 (and 2008) was really pissed off that a bunch of Democrats supported the Iraq War (and indeed, supported an endless series of US wars and a strategy of US military domination of the world). They were also pissed, especially in 2004, that SUPPORT for the Iraq War was still seen as the politically sane position. They wanted to reward politicians who actually got the Iraq War right.

        Dean got the Iraq War right. Kerry voted to murder hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. There was definitely a perception that Kerry did this for political reasons. The left cared about this and wanted the incentives to be changed.

        • I’m sorry that you think it’s a strange comment.

          • Dilan Esper says:

            It’s strange because you seem to think that everyone voting in the 2004 primary was comparing the substantive plans going forward on Iraq, rather than comparing the candidates’ actions at the start of the war.

            That was the issue both in 2004 and 2008. In 2004 the left lost the intra-party debate. In 2008 it won it.

            • Hogan says:

              Dean in 2004 had never had to cast a vote on the Iraq war, so I’m not sure what you mean by “actions.” And if you’re going back to the start of the war, neither had Obama.

              • Dilan Esper says:

                Obama and Dean both publicly opposed the Iraq War at the same time that Clinton and Kerry were supporting it.

                It’s true that it was “easier” because they weren’t in Congress, but that cuts both ways– Kerry and Clinton were exercising the constitutional power to kill Iraqis.

            • joe from Lowell says:

              So, just so we’re clear: Mr. “The Evil We Do In World” wasn’t actually concerned with what the next President would do in Iraq, but rather with how he used his public platform to engage in symbolic public shaming of political figures Dilan Esper didn’t like.

              • Dilan Esper says:

                No, I was concerned with setting a precedent so that the next time that a George W. Bush came around and tried to do an Iraq, Democratic politicans knew that they better listen to the anti-war left and not support the thing.

                • joe from Lowell says:

                  …instead of actually dealing with the problem you feign such concern about, the Iraq War, what was really important was I Will Not Be Ignored.

                  Gotcha.

                • Dilan Esper says:

                  The damage was already done on Iraq. And at any rate, I think the political pressure on Kerry to do the surge would have been enormous anyway (see Nixon, Richard, Vietnam).

              • Dilan Esper says:

                I should add, by the way, that since you use scare quotes, the fact that we are one of the most warmongering countries in human history, going to war an average of every 18 months over the last few decades and murdering hundreds of thousands of foreign civilians is undeniable.

                America is, as far as foreign policy is concerned, profondly evil. We aren’t Nazi-level or Stalin-level evil, but our body count is way up there. We’ve certainly murdered more innocnent civilians than Ghengis Khan, for instance. And liberal hawks are enablers of that evil.

                • J. Otto Pohl says:

                  US military intervention abroad has arguably been less than that of Europe in the post-WWII era. Not including the bloody war in Algeria, French military intervention in Africa from 1959-1980 alone involved ten different African states.

                  http://jpohl.blogspot.com/2013/01/nothing-new-under-sun.html

                • junker says:

                  This is absolutely, completely absurd, and it’s why it’s impossible to take you seriously. The US could literally have killed every person in Iraq – leveled the entire country down to the last person – and it still would have been less than the Mongols under Genghis Khan.

                  It’s notable that you never actually cite statistics about US deaths vs. other countries – including relevant stats like percentage of population – when you make claims like “The US is one of the most warmongering countries of all time.”

                  The fact that you need to resort to ridiculous hyperbole completely undermines your credibility.

                • rea says:

                  We’ve certainly murdered more innocnent civilians than Ghengis Khan, for instance.Have you actualy checked the figures on this? Because it isn’t remotely true.

                • junker says:

                  Well Rea, each US caused death count for 1000 deaths, because all of those deaths were obviously in the name of evil and Imperialism.

                  When you properly weight for motive, I think you’ll find that “Existence of the United States” is one of the top five most deadly things in the history of the world.

                • joe from Lowell says:

                  You and your apolgetic numbers enable EVIL, junker.

                  EEEEEEEEEVILLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!

                • joe from Lowell says:

                  Well Rea, each US caused death count for 1000 deaths, because all of those deaths were obviously in the name of evil and Imperialism.

                  In one of Dilan’s pissier moments, when a debate was going especially poor for him, and came out and acknowledged that he doesn’t care about people getting killed overseas, just that Americans not be the ones that kill people, regardless of numbers.

                • Dilan Esper says:

                  Start with Vietnam (a war given to us by JFK and LBJ, both liberal hawks). Add the two Gulf Wars. Add World War I. Add Korea.

                  Were getting into the several million range right there, aren’t we? (And I’ve left out the few just wars we have fought and focused solely on unjust ones.)

                • Dilan Esper says:

                  In one of Dilan’s pissier moments, when a debate was going especially poor for him, and came out and acknowledged that he doesn’t care about people getting killed overseas, just that Americans not be the ones that kill people, regardless of numbers.

                  That’s correct. For the same reason that I think the death penalty is our government’s responsibility in a way that the private murder rate is not.

                • Dilan Esper says:

                  US military intervention abroad has arguably been less than that of Europe in the post-WWII era. Not including the bloody war in Algeria, French military intervention in Africa from 1959-1980 alone involved ten different African states.

                  At BEST, that means that until 1980, we had competition for the worst democracy in the world.

                  In the post-1991 era, we have no competition– we have murdered more foreign civilians than any other sovereign state. Because liberal hawks and right wingers get erections every time we can go to war and push the world around.

                • junker says:

                  You apparently think it’s beneath your time to actually check any of the things that you spout off as “truth,” and prefer to just keep digging yourself a hole. And yet, I have the time to fact check you! So, let’s go.

                  It’s hard to state with certainty exactly how many deaths in WW1 were caused by direct US intervention. The numbers I found suggest that over the course of the war, about 4,500,000 central power citizens, civilian and military, died as a result of direct military action. The US participated
                  for about 1 year of the war; assuming that those casualties were spread over the 5 years of the war equally, that would mean about 900000 dead during the last year of the war. If we “give” those casualties to the big European/US allies evenly, we get about 225,000 casualties assigned
                  to the US.

                  For Korea, the estimates I found suggest that about 650,000 were killed on the North Korean/Chinese side of the war. If you want, we can assign whole blame for all of those deaths on the US, though I think that is non-sensical.

                  For Vietnam, a quick estimate would suggest around 500,000 deaths caused by US action, including both traditional military attacks and the use of agent orange.

                  I assume you left out WW2 because you think that was an acceptable war to participate in and cause civilian deaths for.

                  Added up, and I would estimate from these conflicts that the US caused about 1.5 million deaths. The biggest US wars that weren’t in this class are Iraq/Afghanistan. These are also tough to estimate but most of the Iraq estimates are around 100,000-150,000 dead. I couldn’t get a good number
                  for Afghanistan so far but I think that the 150k-200k number for Iraq is not a terrible comparison. Let’s max them out to be conservative. That would add another 350,000 dead to the total, to around 1.85 million total casualties in five of the biggest conflicts of the 20th century that
                  the United states participated in. Nothing else that the US has done has come close to these five, plus world war 2.

                  Now these are rough estimates, of course, but notice that I actually researched my claims before making them.

                  By comparison, the Mongols under Khan killed an estimated 40,000,000 people; that is, almost 10 times the number of US casualties. In the grand scheme of war and death, the US is a small time perpetrator. A cursory glance at the deadliest wars listed here:
                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_and_anthropogenic_disasters_by_death_toll
                  Shows that the US either didn’t participate or didn’t exist for most of these conflicts. The Iraq war, which you apparently think was one of the most horrible and evil wars in history and deserves to make the US recognized as one of the evil nations of history, killed a tiny, tiny fraction of
                  these conflicts, and there were many of them.

                  You are terribly, embarrassingly wrong when you try to claim that the US is an almost unique evil and bringer of death to the world. You have failed to demonstrate even a basic grasp on the facts in this area. The fact that you refuse to back down from your ridiculous claims underlines these facts.

            • Scott Lemieux says:

              There’s a rather obvious problem with comparing the 2004 and 2008 campaigns. In 2008, the Iraq War was the only important substantive difference between the candidates. In 2004, Dean was better on the war (at least in retrospect), but Dean is a Clinton/Lieberman DLC type on domestic policy while Kerry is close to an actual liberal. So making Dean the example of the last best chance for Real Liberals to take over the party is nonsensical, especially since whether to invade Iraq isn’t an issue that’s likely to come up in the foreseeable future and Dean isn’t any more dovish than the Democratic norm otherwise.

              • Dilan Esper says:

                I’m actually not claiming that the left was right or wrong about Dean for purposes of this argument; only that the left did care about the war and that had a lot to do with Dean’s success.

    • sharculese says:

      if you pretend that the left doesn’t care about the evil we do in the world.

      Implicit in this is that it’s the right of people who’s primary issue is war and the security state to define who ‘the left’ is.

      Which is exactly the style of bullshit that’s on trial here.

      • Dilan Esper says:

        I don’t understand your comment. My point is that most of the left in this country is seriously opposed to the US dominating the world and engaging in warfare.

        And therefore, one of the reasons why Dean (and Obama) was popular among left-wingers is because the left felt they were right about the Iraq War and the more conservative parts of the party were wrong about it.

        Saying that is not saying that war is a pure “left-right” issue. It’s just saying it’s a salient issue among people who consider themselves left rather than liberal, and that both Dean and Obama gained support on the left because of that issue.

        • sharculese says:

          Actually, looking back I think I misread your comment. I saw the ‘we’ and filled it in as ‘the evil we do [care about] in the world’ when I suspect you meant ‘the evil [America does] is in the world.’

          And then I read that ‘we’ as exclusionary, as an insider talking to an outsider.

          Is my second interpretation better than my first?

  15. benjoya says:

    is it fair to assume that anyone who advocates medicare for all is inoculated against being called a libertarian? or do comments in support of greenwald overwhelm said inoculation?

    • Sharculese says:

      Just because they support Medicare for all? No, I would have to know more about the totality of the things they support. Using one issue to ward of criticism is not an argument I find particularly convincing.

      • benjoya says:

        it just seems that libertarian gets thrown around a lot, intra-left. i was just using medicare as an example. can you be pro-medicare for all, anti-concentration of wealth, pro-VRA, and still be a libertarian? i know you can be called a libertarian, but really, does the word still mean anything in that case? medicare is a good example, cause it’s, face it, socialism (not that that’s a bad thing), so calling someone who supports massive expansion of this program a “libertarian” is a bit, i don’t know, adolescent?

        • Gregor Sansa says:

          I think that when people call GG “Libertarian”, it’s mostly shorthand for “such a simplistic view of the world that he’d rather make common cause with libertarians than with Democrats.” I don’t really care what blue-sky policies he’s spoken for once, I care whom he’d rather have as friends and as enemies. Because it seems to me that he cares more about that.

          • DocAmazing says:

            I can’t speak for anyone else, but when I call Greenwald a Libertarian, it’s because he has a track record of working for Cato.

            • And then there are the Ron Paul shout-outs.

            • I can’t speak for anyone else, but when I call Greenwald a Libertarian, it’s because he has a track record of working for Cato.

              Track record? So working with them on one project about how the drug war is dumb makes one a Glibertarian? Have anything else? What about other DC Democrats who have spoken at CATO or Heritage? What are they?

              • DocAmazing says:

                Which DC Democrats have cashed Cato checks?

              • joe from Lowell says:

                So working with them on one project about how the drug war is dumb makes one a Glibertarian? Have anything else?

                The frequent shout-outs to Rand and Ron Paul and the embrace of their foreign policy?

                Is this going to turn into the Spanish Inquisition sketch?

                • Hogan says:

                  More like “What have the Romans ever done for us?”

                • joe from Lowell says:

                  Dammit.

                  I hate being out-Pythonned!

                • Manny Kant says:

                  Greenwald is certainly Libertarian-curious, but I don’t think he’s ever clearly exposed himself as a genuine libertarian. As I think others have said, it’s really hard to see Greenwald as having any kind of consistent political philosophy at all. Basically, he only cares about certain civil liberties and foreign policy issues. To the extent that he discusses other issues, like health care, it seems to be entirely instrumentally and opportunistically. I’d also say that he’s so dishonest in his advocacy of the issues he cares about that I have a hard time crediting his sincerity in general. But I don’t see any real reason to think he’s a full on libertarian who opposes a social safety net or economic and environmental regulation or whatever. He just doesn’t care very much about those issues, or only cares about them when he can use them to beat up on someone he dislikes.

        • CaptBackslap says:

          Someone who supports a massive expansion of Medicare is probably not an axiomatic libertarian in the classic Nozickian sense (that is, someone who believes that freedom is properly understood as a constraint on, rather than a goal of, the state). But they could still be libertarian on enough other issues that the term would be a useful description of their overall views; even Hayek mentioned health insurance as something the state could provide without perverse consequences.

          • benjoya says:

            i guess it comes down to: if you’re upset/surprised at the reach of the NSA, you’re a libertarian/naïf. if your other positions are on the left, you’re a “brogressive/emoprog/firebagger” (i.e., not Serious).

            IOW, if you’re aligned with rand paul on issues like the NSA, you’re a libertarian, but if you’re aligned with dick cheney on these issues, you’re not a war criminal. funny how that works.

            • CaptBackslap says:

              That’s not accurate. People who side with Rand Paul on the NSA and then jump to “therefore, Obama = Romney” are the ones who get tarred with the libertarian brush. There are a whole lot of people here who are disappointed in Obama’s civil liberties record.

              • sharculese says:

                and I’m not sure why I’m supposed to be impressed with people who look at, on the one hand, people who are good on pretty much every issue that matters and bad on one, and on the other hand, a dude who is actively opposed to the entirety of the 20th century but (selectively, when it’s profitable) good on one issue) and pick the latter over the former.

                • CaptBackslap says:

                  For the same reason they do it in the first place: to establish your own bona fides as an iconoclast.

            • stepped pyramids says:

              You think a Democrat saying “I stand with Dick Cheney” in support of the NSA would skate by without criticism?

            • Random says:

              Child pornographers, child sex traffickers, militia groups, Los Zetas, Stormfront, the Klan, and al-Qaeda are all also vehemently opposed to the NSA.

              I don’t believe in playing the guilt-by-association game, but if we’re playing by those rules then bringing up Dick Cheney is just bringing a knife to a gun fight.

            • brad says:

              I’m not a firebagger, I consider Tbogg to be newly liberated.
              Yet I was concerned about the NSA a fucking decade ago. And a decade before that, too. It’s creepy, un-American, and easy to look at and find problems with.
              But I’m not at all aligned with Rand Paul because his concerns are not genuine and his entire existence is about continuing the family con by playing on the fears of conspiracy minded gulls.
              GG is genuine, yes, and even loathing his style and being unable to stomach reading him anymore have to admit he’s doing some important things. But he’s also unable to distinguish the personal from the political, and zealous advocacy from being a huge dick to anyone with any degree of divergence from his views.
              And yet he’s able to find common cause to work with right leaning libertarians while spewing invective at the general left for not sharing his limited priorities to the exclusion of all others which have more direct bearing on….

              why am I bothering, all I’m doing is poorly summing up the words of SL and countless others in countless threads, the fanboys won’t grow up, it’s not what fanboys do.

              • sharculese says:

                Every time I think about taking Rand Paul seriously, I remember that he once berated a woman on the Senate floor for suggesting that her control of her own body was more important than him being able to buy whatever kind of toilet he wanted, and that he thought this was evidence that he was a brave truth teller.

                It’s been a while since I thought about taking Rand Paul seriously.

              • Random says:

                the NSA a fucking decade ago. And a decade before that, too. It’s creepy, un-American,

                It’s substantially less-invasive than the perpetual espionage machine that we had at the founding of the country, so in that sense it’s un-American I suppose.

                • brad says:

                  It’s obviously a loaded phrase, but anyone who claims to love FREEDOM (sorry) would easily be forced by said rhetoric to admit the NSA isn’t fitting with their ideals.

                • DocAmazing says:

                  But no one would try to paper over the abuses of the intelligence community.

            • joe from Lowell says:

              but if you’re aligned with dick cheney on these issues

              No, Joe Lieberman did not get a pass.

              Describing everyone who doesn’t march around with giant puppets as “aligned with Dick Cheney on these issues” makes you sound like you march around with giant puppets.

    • Scott Lemieux says:

      is it fair to assume that anyone who advocates medicare for all is inoculated against being called a libertarian?

      Not when 1)as a practical matter they support the pre-ACA status quo 2)they consider neocofederates interchangeable with Obama or actually work for them.

      or do comments in support of greenwald overwhelm said inoculation?

      Since I in fact have done so many times this would be an odd criterion for me to use.

  16. [...] Armstrong John Cole (responding to Jerome Armstrong) Booman (also responding to Jerome Armstrong) Scott Lemieux (Responding to Ian Welsh and Jerome Armstrong) Pachacutec [...]

  17. Random says:

    Ian’s wrong in so many ways, but the fundamental thesis is also completely wrong.

    If you remember what it was like in the late 90′s/’00/’01, then its hard to argue that the netroots didn’t create sweeping, permanent changes to the political culture in the US.

    Prior to netroots, you never saw liberals or liberal viewpoints presented in the media. All political conversations started with the assumption that the Democrats were irresponsible hedonists who hated America, and Republicans were down-to-Earth adults who loved their country and sensible economics.

    Just having a venue where anyone who wanted could actually hear/read liberals defend their positions and their views on an equal footing with conservative views was a *massive* shift in the political climate in the US.

  18. pk scott says:

    Hoo Boy, read the posts you are quoting and honestly how the HELL do you conflate Progressive and Libertarian. Libertarians are NOT social liberals they just HATE the Federal government they are A-ok with the State government restricting pot, abortion, and the gays. Unfortunately the whole “stated rights” thing has become code for racism and bigotry since we had that little dust up called the Civil War. I’m southern and I HEAR the dog whistles. The whole “personal responsibility” that they preach requires a level playing field to work and they are preaching it from the top of a mountain of white male hetero privilege. That said I always had soft spot for Ron Paul, he was kind of the kookie uncle at the family reunion, peculiar but harmless. RAND on the other hand has AMBITIONS and is a whole other kettle of fish.

    • pk scott says:

      Oh, and one more thing. I am no big fan of the neo liberal, but let me tell you, I live in Texas and compared to the lunatics in charge of the asylum I would love me some of that LESS EVIL.

    • sharculese says:

      It’s because this post is about concern trolls and brogressives arguing that the progressive thing to do is to side with the neoconfederate libertarian because all the issues where he’s terrible don’t really count.

  19. Samuel Knight says:

    There’s another way of looking at this.

    1) Friederdorf is a David Brooks in training. Start with pseudo fact or analogy, leap a few non sequitors, and presto – argument to basn progressives.
    2) Jerome Armstrong used to be a decent writer and went off the rails years ago, sliding into irrelevancy. Like Nader he’s reduced to desperately clawing for attention by saying stupid provocative things. You know that contrarian, TNR, Andrew Sullivan schtick. Sad troll bait nothing more.
    3) The world is not black and white. There was really no one Netroots, nor unanimity in what everyone wanted. A few wins, a few disappointments.

  20. MG says:

    It failed because it’s just chatting at your leisure to some other nameless entity. No time conflict with other fun/work stuff, no travel involved, no thought of consequences, no compromise. I’ve been to actual primaries and caucuses and people’s houses and I know my fellow citizens. I might not agree with them but I don’t call them names — I recognize when we share certain values. And I use the strength of these weak ties when I want allies (Tiny example: I was on a committee to resolve user conflicts between dog walkers, walkers, nature lovers, bicyclists, runners, tourists at a local park. We all gave up something to have a policy we all could live with)

    Also, I think that people like Nader or people who voted for Nader or people who are pro-Occupy have values (and votes) that are more in line with progressive Democrats than with Republicans. You can’t get these people on your team by continually telling them what morons they are, you know? I don’t think that’s a winning strategy.

    • brad says:

      So the response of those of us who have always been disturbed by the existence of the NSA, including many here who I have confidence had those concerns while I was in elementary school, to a new generation of loudmouth post adolescent males of varying libertarian to firebagger nature telling us we don’t understand why DRONES! means for some reason Obama is going to blow me up in here in Brooklyn next is to apologize to them for our error and ask for them to further explain our position and its errors to us?

    • sharculese says:

      Why is always on Democrats to make concessions to Naderites and never on Naderites to budge even the slightest on their scorched earth approach to politics?

      I would be happy to welcome Naderites back into the Democratic party, as soon as they concede that not every election is a dick swinging contest.

      • Random says:

        The really really stupid thing about Naderism is that it’s stated goal is to push the Democrats to the left, while engaging in a strategy that is guaranteed to push the Democrats to seek votes from the middle.

        • Aimai says:

          Naderism isn’t “left” in any meaningful sense. Libertarianism isn’t left since it comes in two varieties: left and right. The left used to mean tending towards socialistic or communistic or at any rate communal goals. Naderism is not a communalist philosophy of government even though it can seem anti corporate at times.

          • Random says:

            The really really stupid thing about Naderism is that it’s stated goal is to push the Democrats to the “left”, while engaging in a strategy that is guaranteed to push the Democrats to seek votes from the “middle”.

            There, fixed it for you. Happy? :-)

          • DocAmazing says:

            The use of the term “libertarian” to describe any leftish bent–the way the term was used by anarchists at the beginning of the 20th-c.–has long since been abandoned. Capital-L Libertarianism is a right-wing philosophy, at its economic roots.

            If the Dems seek votes from the middle when there are enough on the Left to swing close elections, I would posit that it isn’t the Naderites who were stupid.

            • UserGoogol says:

              The phrase “left-libertarian” is still used, it just doesn’t have much of any actual political influence in practical American politics. There’s plenty of tweedy academics who like to think of themselves in those terms.

            • MG says:

              “If the Dems seek votes from the middle when there are enough on the Left to swing close elections, I would posit that it isn’t the Naderites who were stupid.” This!

              Look, not all people are (D) or (R). Some people have their own personal causes — the environment, social justice, feminism, civil liberties — which they value more highly than party affiliation. Let’s try and get common ground.

              Also, this movie was incredible:
              http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/an-unreasonable-man/

      • Gregor Sansa says:

        OK, here comes an offensive metaphor:

        “I would be happy to welcome Christians to my house, as soon as they concede that there’s no reason I should bow and scrape to their sky fairy.”

        Strike 1: Labeling the person, not the activity.

        Strike 2: Anybody who doesn’t see I’m right, is stupid…

        Strike 3: … and deserves to have their nose rubbed in that fact.

        Nader would make a horrible president. And even if he’d be great, voting for him, at least in a swing state, is probably counterproductive; no more likely to elect him than not voting at all, but far more likely to make a lot of people hate you. These are all facts, with plenty of supporting evidence. But name-calling just makes people defensive and hostile.

  21. Hey All,

    I am a former left-of-center, turned paleoconservative.

    Can ya’ll read this?

    My take on the subject.

    Thanks,

    -Pat

    • sharculese says:

      Two things:

      1.) I suspect your underestimating the degree the money wing of the GOP will put their gripes aside when it comes to making sure people who won’t raise their taxes get elected.

      2.) This:

      Lack of novelty status – Blogs aren’t new anymore. Blogs are just one of many social media “Thingamabobs” out there now. We’re competing with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and the rest of ‘em. As bloggers, we should use them to promote postings and so forth. Like they say, adapt or die.

      Definitely. I was in a social media presentation about a year and a half ago where we had to go around the table and talk about where our focus was, and when I said mine was still on blogs it sounded fucking old fashioned. There are people who have made careers out of this shit and their way ahead of where the Netroots used to be, because that’s how fucking fast the internet moves.

      • NewishLawyer says:

        And then there are people like who still find it odd that people can build their brands and careers via tweeting. I find somewhat long conversations between freelance writers tweeting and re-tweeting over the controversy of the day or week to be really odd especially. A bakery tweeting “cookies just came out of the oven” is more understandable to me.

        I’m not exactly old either.

      • I hear ya. It does move fast. I was blogger before Facebook and Twitter! I started in 2006. It’s helped my promotion.

        As for the GOP. Yeah, they do have all that. But, like I said, I think the Tea Party and Cruz, made a big error; and they’re gonna pay for it. You watch.

        • Gregor Sansa says:

          I had a blog back in late 1998. “Blog” wasn’t even the dominant word. I think that was the year I first contributed to a wiki, too…

          And we had to code our own html from 1s and 0s.

          And now I’m not even on facebook.

          How time flies.

    • Random says:

      I am a former left-of-center, turned paleoconservative.

      Wait wait…that is actually a thing that happens?

      • CaptBackslap says:

        Paleos are actually fairly close to liberals on quite a few issues.

        • Paleos are actually fairly close to liberals on quite a few issues.

          Yep. Populist on free trade and labor issues. Populist on Wall Street. Populist on Civil Rights. (NSA)

          Pat Buchanan has written some very good articles on Detroit , the labor movement and other such stuff.

          I just don’t get the hate towards people like me. I really don’t. :(

          • You’d jail some of my friends and let some others die. Why wouldn’t you get the hate?

          • Malaclypse says:

            Yea, I don’t know why progressives don’t respect Pat Buchanan. That’s like asking the square root of a million. No one will ever know.

          • J. Otto Pohl says:

            Looking at your blog I can think of a couple of things that a number of people including reactionaries on the extreme right like myself find objectionable. One the constant harping about Black on White crime following racist tropes. The religious exclusivity condemning people of the Jewish faith for their historical refusal to convert to Christianity. The harping on homosexuality as a great sin. The end result is that your blog appears hostile to Blacks, Jews, and Gays on the basis of their race, religion, and sexual orientation.

            • NewishLawyer says:

              Oh I didn’t check out his blog before listing my problems with old Patsy.

              Now I see he believes the same things.

          • Brien Jackson says:

            “I just don’t get the hate towards people like me. I really don’t.”

            Allow me to help.

            Pat Buchanan has written some very good articles on Detroit , the labor movement and other such stuff.

          • NewishLawyer says:

            Pat Buchanon is still a massive anti-Semite and homophobe. His 1992 speech at the GOP convention is not exactly the height of liberal or progressivism.

            The isolationism strikes awfully close to the American Fisters who called WWII “a Jewish war.”

            So says this Jewish guy.

      • dn says:

        Among religious folks who are not prosperity-gospel kooks (esp. Catholics), paleoconservatism and what you might call “paleoliberalism” are two tendencies that actually have a fair bit of crossover. The common thread is communitarianism – hence, moderate economic leftism based on a generalized sympathy for the “working man”, mixed with a big dose of social conservatism. Basically, imagine a politics based on Merle Haggard lyrics and you’ve got the gist of it.

        • Among religious folks who are not prosperity-gospel kooks (esp. Catholics), paleoconservatism and what you might call “paleoliberalism” are two tendencies that actually have a fair bit of crossover. The common thread is communitarianism – hence, moderate economic leftism based on a generalized sympathy for the “working man”, mixed with a big dose of social conservatism. Basically, imagine a politics based on Merle Haggard lyrics and you’ve got the gist of it.

          My biggest issue with the progressives or neo-liberals is that they believe that big government is the “end all” solution to the world’s problems. I just don’t agree with that at all.

          Furthermore, I disagree with the notion that big corporations are the threat to American freedom and the American people. I believe that big Government is the threat.

          Plus too, I am a social conservative. I believe that Abortion is murder; and no I don’t apologize for it. I happen to believe that Homosexuality is an abomination to God. I also think that traditional marriage is something that should be defended. (Unlike Christie.)

          Now, what sets me apart from the Neoconservatives?

          This:

          I believe in “Peace through Strength” and NOT domination of the world, by Military might. I believe that America should NOT be the World’s policeman.

          My attitude is this: If the Saudi’s and Israel want to bomb Iran. Let THEM do it and leave us out of it.

          We are 17 trillion buckaroonies in debt. Thanks to the spending of Bush AND Obama BOTH! We don’t need to be in any sort of Military action, unless there is a DIRECT threat to our Republic. (like on 9/11) and no, I don’t think 9/11 was an inside job either. That’s pure idiocy.

          Now then, did I explain myself good enough?

          • …and yes, I said Republic, not Democracy.

            America is a Constitutional Republic. Not a Christian Republic, like the Christian Right likes to call it.

            I just don’t understand why the why I believe is considered abnormal. Democrats of the Roosevelt and Truman eras believed this too. Too bad the Marxists cast we old left types out of that party. :-(

            • the why WAY I believe is considered abnormal.

              Oops.

              • dn says:

                Whoa, Patrick, slow down man. No need for a big manifesto; everything you just said is pretty much exactly what I just described. I happen to think most of it is badly wrong, but I get it. I really do. (That line about Haggard was not a throwaway – is there anything in the lyrics of “Are The Good Times Really Over” that doesn’t fit in neatly with everything you’ve told us?)

                • dn says:

                  Also, you might want to drop the old “Democrats = Marxists” canard; it is even less true today than it was in the 60s and 70s, which is to say it is unalloyed bullshit and always has been. Only someone with no meaningful understanding of Marxism could possibly think that (for example) President Obama even vaguely resembles a Marxist.

            • Jesse Ewiak says:

              Because most of us “old left” types figured out that womens reproductive rights were morei important than blastocysts and the relationships of our gay friends were more important than what a bunch of old men said 2,000 years ago?

              • J. Otto Pohl says:

                Wouldn’t the “Old Left” be from the Stalinist 1930s? The USSR outlawed abortion in 1936. It was only relegalized in 1955 after the death of Stalin and the ascent of the “Revisionist” Khrushchev. Stalin also uniformly banned male homosexuality in the USSR in 1933 with article 121 which carried a five year prison sentence. The law was only repealed in 1993 after the collapse of the USSR. So I am not seeing any “Old Left” support for either abortion or homosexuality. Maybe you meant to type New Left?

                • Warren Terra says:

                  Golly, Otto, it’s almost like you never fncking pay attention when people tell you that you come across like a shrieking loon when you attempt to impose a definition upon the American Left based on Stalinist Russia.

                  And: have you met my friend Godwin? Because you seem to be basically living in his Rule (albeit with Stalin rather than Hitler).

                • Manny Kant says:

                  Warren – Otto is obviously riding his hobbyhorse here, but the term “Old Left” really does have connotations of the old CPUSA and its fellow travelers.

            • Malaclypse says:

              Too bad the Marxists cast we old left types out of that party. :-(

              Name an actual Marxist in the Democratic Party. One. We’ll wait.

              • Name an actual Marxist in the Democratic Party. One. We’ll wait.

                Well, your President, for starters.

                The dude went to a Church that preached liberation Theology. Which was denounced by the Roman Catholic Church as Communist.

                I heard that ENTIRE sermon that Obama’s Pastor preached, like 3 days after 9/11. Any man that goes to a Church like that, is a freakin’ Marxist/Communist in my book. He ain’t fooling this old man, sorry.

                • You heard that entire sermon, ergo you are a Marxist/Communist in my book.

                • J. Otto Pohl says:

                  ?????

                  Actually existing Communist regimes were generally highly anti-religious and atheistic. The Catholic Church which is where Liberation Theology sprang from was severely persecuted in Soviet occupied Lithuania, Latvia, Western Ukraine, China, and Vietnam. Granted, Liberation Theology supported a version of Christian Socialism. But, orthodox Marxism-Leninism was pretty hostile to Church goers.

                • Jordan says:

                  Well, that didn’t take long.

                • Malaclypse says:

                  The dude went to a Church that preached liberation Theology.

                  Wright was a Catholic? Damn, he sure kept that under wraps well.

                  Alternatively, you don’t understand Wright’s religious tradition, you don’t know what Liberation Theology is, you don’t understand the relation of Liberation Theology to mainstream Catholic doctrine, and you rather obviously don’t know anything about what Marxism is.

                • dn says:

                  Oh good. Not only do you know nothing about Marxism, or the President, but you also know little about Catholicism or “liberation theology”. (Hint: as far as I know, Gustavo Gutierrez, who invented the concept of “liberation theology”, has never been condemned by the hierarchy and remains a priest and theologian in good standing.)

                • Malaclypse says:

                  Since he cites Jack Chick tracts (and Day by Day cartoons, because he’s an intellectual-type) on his blog, we can assume that he knows all he needs to about the Vile and Pernicious Whore of Babylon the Catholic church.

                • Dana Houle says:

                  Hey dn, maybe you saw this: Francis, who was supposedly so anti-Liberation Theology, according to fantasizing conservatives, recently invited Leonardo Boff to the Vatican to discuss something Francis is writing RE protecting the environment.

                  As for our friend Patrick, the world is a simpler place when black man, Catholic and communist all mean pretty much the same thing.

                • dn says:

                  Dana Houle – Didn’t hear it, but doesn’t surprise me. The man may be personally conservative but it’s been pretty clear that he’s not much for inquisitions.

                  (And of course, theological conservatism has little to do with political conservatism, as anyone who actually paid attention to Benedict could have seen. I wonder how many American Catholics are aware of how much of a raging anti-capitalist and environmentalist Benedict is.)

                • Rigby Reardon says:

                  Well, your President, for starters.

                  You’re an idiot. You clearly don’t know what Marxism is. I’m quite certain you couldn’t define it without looking it up.

                  He ain’t fooling this old man, sorry.

                  I’m the exact same age you are, and this schtick of yours is both transparent and tired.

          • Hogan says:

            My biggest issue with the progressives or neo-liberals is that they believe that big government is the “end all” solution to the world’s problems.

            No, we really don’t. We believe other institutions like labor unions, cooperatives, neighborhood town watches, etc. can make valuable contributions to solving problems. But big national-level problems need big national-level solutions, and it takes a big government to apply them.

            Furthermore, I disagree with the notion that big corporations are the threat to American freedom and the American people.

            I disagree with the notion that there is one and only one threat to American freedom and the American people. Government can also be a threat, but as threats go we have many more tools to deal with it than we do with corporations.

            [T]he history of the Erie corporation offers one point in regard to which modern society everywhere is directly interested. For the first time since the creation of these enormous corporate bodies, one of them has shown its power for mischief, and has proved itself able to override and trample on law, custom, decency, and every restraint known to society, without scruple, and as yet without check. The belief is common in America that the day is at hand when corporations far greater than the Erie—swaying power such as has never in the world’s history been trusted in the hands of private citizens, controlled by single men like Vanderbilt, or by combinations of men like Fisk, Gould, and Lane, after having created a system of quiet but irresistible corruption—-will ultimately succeed in directing government itself. Under the American form of society no authority exists capable of effective resistance. The national government, in order to deal with the corporations, must assume powers refused to it by its fundamental law—-and even then is exposed to the chance of forming an absolute central government which sooner or later is likely to fall into the hands it is struggling to escape, and thus destroy the limits of its power only in order to make corruption omnipotent. Nor is this danger confined to America alone. The corporation is in its nature a threat against the popular institutions spreading so rapidly over the whole world. Wherever a popular and limited government exists this difficulty will be found in its path; and unless some satisfactory solution of the problem can be reached, popular institutions may yet find their existence endangered.

            Henry Adams (not a Marxist), 1869

          • Crazy Uncle Pat says:

            Now then, did I explain myself good enough?

            Someone who understood what I’m trying to accomplish would speak English better. Are you maybe a wetback?

            • Are you maybe a wetback?

              No, but, you do sound like a racist bigot. I’d like to see you call my Mexican friends “wetbacks” to their faces. You wouldn’t walk away alive, I will tell you that. :-/

              • Jordan says:

                So says the person who writes this:

                When that happened, the Christian world began to compromise, and take up the Jewish cause. We true believers have nothing, at all; in common with the Jewish people. They are the ones who bought Jesus Christ to a rigged trial; and couldn’t even agree on the accusations against him — they are the ones who ordered the Romans to carry out his death sentence, and they are the ones that will pay the final price for being the devil’s useful idiots.

                • J. Otto Pohl says:

                  To be fair this could be interpreted as religious bigotry rather than racism. Not that is much better. He may not have anything against Jews that have converted to Christianity. The old Russian Tsars also had a similar enlightened policy of accepting Jews that were converts to Orthodoxy as officially equal subjects.

                • Malaclypse says:

                  Look, can someone who cites Jack Chick tracts be completely stark raving loony?

                  Actually, I guess that question kind of answers itself.

                • Hogan says:

                  they are the ones who ordered the Romans to carry out his death sentence

                  “Ordered the Romans”? Holy mother of Ganesha, that’s some hardcore crazy.

                • Jordan says:

                  Otto: He also wrote this:

                  So, if I believing the Bible makes me a Jew-hater, an Anti-Semite, someone who hates Israel, then I am guilty as charged. I will not stand idly by and act like this never happened, I will not sit here and play footsie with murders. They killed my Lord and Saviour and then covered it up!

                  As for this jerk’s comment, I went into my spam folder, read his idiocy and deleted it. I also laughed at his stupid accusations. He needs to actually read the Bible and see what his forefather’s did to my Messiah

                  That is straight up racist regardless of religion (not that, as you say, that makes it any better or worse or whatever, really).

                • Jordan says:

                  Everyone knows the Jews control the media, the banks, the Romans!

                • Malaclypse says:

                  They killed my Lord and Saviour and then covered it up!

                  Least effective cover-up ever.

                • J. Otto Pohl says:

                  Jordan:

                  I did not see the second anti-Jewish quotation before which does look like straight up racial anti-Semitism. So I stand corrected.

                • Yeshua ben Yosef says:

                  They are the ones who bought Jesus Christ to a rigged trial; and couldn’t even agree on the accusations against him — they are the ones who ordered the Romans to carry out his death sentence, and they are the ones that will pay the final price for being the devil’s useful idiots.

                  For the love of Me, cracker, please…

                • dn says:

                  they are the ones that will pay the final price for being the devil’s useful idiots

                  Guy apparently hasn’t read too much St. Paul either. Romans, Ch. 11:

                  I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! … in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written … as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers, for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable … they also may now receive mercy, for God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.

                • Rigby Reardon says:

                  This block quote demonstrates why amateurs should never use semi-colons. Leave it to the professionals, kids.

              • Pseudonym says:

                So now you’re arguing that Mexicans are violent? Or just your friends?

          • joe from Lowell says:

            My biggest issue with the progressives or neo-liberals is that they believe that big government is the “end all” solution to the world’s problems.

            Um, neoliberalism is defined by its support for markets and privatization. Its primary distinction from ordinary liberalism (or progressivism) comes in areas where it argues against big governments.

            • Hogan says:

              I think by “neo” he means “post-LBJ.”

              • I think by “neo” he means “post-LBJ.”

                Jeez…. are you people that unfamiliar with your own side?

                Old-left: Dem part founding till the death of Kennedy

                New Left: LBJ till the defeat of Hillary Clinton

                Neo-left: Obama forward.

                Wow… Just wow…

                • Malaclypse says:

                  Those words do not mean what you think they mean. I’m trying to decide if the actual New Left would laugh or weep at seeing LBJ listed as one of them.

                • J. Otto Pohl says:

                  That is not how the terms are generally used. Old Left generally refers to the Communist Parties, Popular Front groups, and affiliated organizations and labor unions in the 1930s-1950s. Things like the CPUSA, League Against Imperialism, and Red International of Labor Unions (Profitern. The New Left arose in the 1960s and was much more varied and less centralized in its organization. It also tended unlike the Old Left to reject Soviet leadership and was critical of the failings of the Soviet model under Stalin and his successors. Instead they tended to look more to Cuba as a model although some preferred China.

                • dn says:

                  So Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Stephen Douglas, Grover Cleveland, William Jennings Bryan, Woodrow Wilson, and Franklin Roosevelt all shared an essentially coherent ideology?

                  Can I try what you’re smoking?

                • Yeshua ben Yosef says:

                  J Otto, there are times you are full of Win, and this is one of those times.

                • Yeshua ben Yosef says:

                  And coming from Me, really, you are Favoured Among Commenters. This was not at all a nym fail from a regular. Thou art blessed.

                • joe from Lowell says:

                  You are making shit up, without even the slightest connection to reality.

                  Wow, just wow, yeah.

            • J. Otto Pohl says:

              True, but all markets regardless of how “free market” depend upon strong governments for their existence. Otherwise you have Somalia not Hong Kong or Singapore. Neo-liberalism has had a lot of state power behind it. This is especially true in the international arena. The IMF, World Bank, US, and EU have forced African and other governments to dismantle things like tariffs, food and fuel subsidies, and universal fee free health care.

              • joe from Lowell says:

                Granted, to all of that. Nonetheless, we can acknowledge that there is a meaning – the modern welfare/regulatory state – behind the phrase “big government,” and that neoliberals envision a smaller role for it than traditional liberals.

              • The IMF, World Bank, US, and EU have forced African and other governments to dismantle things like tariffs, food and fuel subsidies, and universal fee free health care

                Which is exactly why the US GDP is so low. We need to get rid of our trade agreements and bring back tariffs to stem the tide of imports into this Country.

                Furthermore, we need to tell our allies overseas that the free ride is over. You want our Military presence in your Country? You pay us, and I mean pay us well. Otherwise, we are leaving.

                It would pay down our 17 trillion dollar debt and fund the entire social safety net.

                • Hogan says:

                  You want our Military presence in your Country? You pay us, and I mean pay us well. Otherwise, we are leaving.

                  It would pay down our 17 trillion dollar debt and fund the entire social safety net.

                  My bad. I thought you might be worth engaging politely.

                  “Ignorance is a condition; stupidity is a strategy.”

                • Rigby Reardon says:

                  Which is exactly why the US GDP is so low. We need to get rid of our trade agreements and bring back tariffs to stem the tide of imports into this Country.

                  And now I can cross economics off the list of things you might actually know something about ….

            • Um, neoliberalism is defined by its support for markets and privatization. Its primary distinction from ordinary liberalism (or progressivism) comes in areas where it argues against big governments.

              I call B.S. on that one. What was TARP all about? Government interference in private industry.

              …and don’t get me started on Obamacare. Government intrusion into a private industry.

              • joe from Lowell says:

                In both cases, government intervention involving a much lighter touch than those interventions – nationalization of the banks, single payer health care – supported by traditional liberals.

              • Hogan says:

                You could even call it regulation of interstate commerce. The horror, the horror.

          • Origami Isopod says:

            Plus too, I am a social conservative. I believe that Abortion is murder; and no I don’t apologize for it. I happen to believe that Homosexuality is an abomination to God. I also think that traditional marriage is something that should be defended.

            BUT WHY DON’T PEOPLE LIKE YOU?!?!

          • Pseudonym says:

            Your biggest issue is that you are an idiot. You have no clue what neoliberalism actually denotes. You think that traditional marriage is being threatened when the only traditional marriages in danger of being outlawed are the polygynous ones and the ones involving child brides. You think progressives see government as a kind of utopia rather than just a mechanism for improving the human condition. Maybe you’re just a bigot, but I prefer the explanation that doesn’t require active malice.

          • Brandon says:

            Why oh why would progressives dislike somebody with these views?!?! It is a mystery.

      • Wait wait…that is actually a thing that happens?

        Yes, some of us actually think for ourselves.

    • sharculese says:

      Guys I’m really sorry for taking Hitler McBeardo seriously at first.

      Hitler McBeardo, you are a gross angry person who should probably not be allowed in society.

  22. NewishLawyer says:

    I think the issue with Connor and some other libertarians (and maybe some lefties) who sort of care about civil liberties is that they have a very narrow casting of what counts as a civil liberty. It largely seems to be about the NSA and ending the war on drugs and maybe a little anti-drone/isolationism thrown in. This is largely okay to good except the isolationalism.*

    Libertarians also seem to be closer to single-issue voting that all others.

    Most people are not single issue voters so I get into conversations with anti-NSA types about “Why did you vote for Feinstein?” “Why did you vote for Obama?” and they jump up and down and hold their breath about the War on Drugs and NSA and seemingly don’t understand the idea of voting for someone even if you disagree with them on certain issues. Why would I vote for someone who is good on the war on drugs and NSA but bad on everything else over someone is good on everything but the NSA and War on Drugs?

    *I’m an ardent anti-isolationist.

  23. joe from Lowell says:

    It’s very odd to claim that the progressive blogosphere failed, and to cite President Obama’s foreign policy as evidence of that, when his foreign policy is virtually indistinguishable from the front page of Daily Kos in 2003-2006.

    People like Ian Welsh have continually moved the goalposts further and further towards Dennis Kucinich since then, but have convinced themselves that it’s actually the great mass of people who joined them in opposing the Iraq War who moved, and opposing counter-terror operations aimed at al Qaeda was a unifying core belief in the old days.

  24. It’s obvious I don’t belong here.

    tootles to you all.

  25. On Dean, isn’t the best argument in favor of a progressive/libertarian alliance, actually, exactly that the progressive candidates often turn out to be more conservative than the candidates they were opposing? I’ve only heard of this so-called alliance today, though, and it’s hard for me to take a position on it when the meaning of “progressive” seems to have changed a lot in the past few decades, since I first thought I understood what it was..

    • To be clear, I don’t mean an argument from what I would consider a progressive (I think) point of view, I just mean that it would be logical.

      • J. Otto Pohl says:

        In the late 1960s Murray Rothbard proposed a Libertarian-New Left Alliance based upon opposition to US interventionist foreign policy and militarism, particularly in Vietnam. But, it never got anywhere.

        • DocAmazing says:

          Not for lack of trying. That’s a lot of what powered Reason Magazine back in the day.

          Mark Ames over at nsfwcorp.com has written some good history on the subject.

        • Manju says:

          In the late 1960s Murray Rothbard proposed a Libertarian-New Left Alliance

          Well, I guess “Students for Bill Fulbright”** is maybe a 1/2 a step better than those for Strom Thurmond.*

          *Murry organized a “Students for Strom Thurmond” chapter at Columbia U because he believed in, errrr, States Rights.

          **Fulbright was a staunch segregationist and anti-war hero. Don’t make me pull his DW-Nominate score, kids.

  26. philadelphialawyer says:

    Not sure what the point of all this is…the Mr. Bogg article, the Connor whoever he is being critiqued there in, the whining of the bloggers formerly known as the big name bloggers, or all the sturm und drang here.

    Is it stupid to wish that our Democratic officeholders in DC were more progressive than they, in fact, are? I don’t think so. On the other hand, I agree, just wishing doesn’t make it so.

    And, of course, the bloggers formerly known as big name bloggers are, and always were, mostly full of shit. They had less to do with anything than they thought, and their failure in ’06 to oust Lieberman from the Senate pretty much confirmed that, if any one needed that confirmation.

    So, yeah, Obama did by pass them. They are right about that. They are wrong, though, if they think it was any great shakes to do so, or that it took “paid” bloggers or whatever. The bloggers formerly etc do not, and never did, own the intertubes, and the Obama team saw that they could handle it all on their own, with their own email lists, series of websites, on line forums, and so on. Shoot, the Hillary people were so clueless that they thought that Obama was relying on “MoveOn,” of all things, to do his internet organizing and dirty work. Obama’s crew blew them, and Jerome, out of the water, and they hardly needed paid bloggers to do it. I recall quite well when Jerome’s site was the last of the Mohicans, with all the other big sites having gone for Obama, including the Big Orange Machine, whose fearless leader was actually an Edwards man. After that, only the “Party Unity My Ass” (PUMA) Hillaryites were left.

    But, even given all that, I’m not sure what all the excitement is about here. Yeah, folks who just bellyache that the DC Dems are not their Social Democratic Peace Party Big Green Dream Team Machine are annoying, I agree. On the other hand, I too would like them to be that, and take no joy in rubbing in the fact that they are not in the faces of people who were just dumb enough to think that they could make that happen merely by posting on, or even running, Daily Kos, et al.

    • Pseudonym says:

      I think the complaint is not with bellyaching progressives in general but specifically those who go on to support Gary Johnson et al.

      • philadelphialawyer says:

        But then why all the focus on who is or is not going to be the next Debs, what a “real” TM progressive would be like, etc, etc?

        Sure, progs who turn glibertarian deserve a certain amount of scorn, but it seems to be going deeper than that.

  27. Ronan says:

    So it seems GG has pretty much single handedly brought about a Senate Com hearing into the NSA?
    Perhaps he has it right on the best way to be politically effective? (oohh, controversial)

    • joe from Lowell says:

      Dan Burton held how many hearings into Vince Foster?

    • joe from Lowell says:

      Shouldn’t it be “Bronan?”

    • Aimai says:

      I think you’ve got LGM confused with Balloon Juice, where GG is a designated enemy. I don’t think anyone here thinks that holding hearings on the NSA is a bad thing–but you do kind of have to look at the people who are doing it and ask yourself whether they are the kind of people you want to get into bed with politically. As for me, in politics I don’t generally find that the enemy of my enemy is my friend when that enemy is also the enemy of my other friends. Is that too recursive? Beware of greeks bearing gifts is another way to look at it. As Joe from Lowell points out hearings get held all the time–especially hearings delving into the nefarious doings of democratic presidents–without revealing anything useful other than how to shoot a watermelon and/or without substantially changing the power mechanisms. If you think that any hearing that a Rand Paul type holds into the NSA will limit the security state in any way you have another think coming. If the Paul’s have shown anything over time it is that they can be bought off with money and or power. Paul will get close to his real objective, which is kneecapping the current President, but he will do nothing to harm his own imagined future presidency.

      • Ronan says:

        Ive never read Balloon Juice, and Im only being hyperbolic with the ‘he beat the NSA thing’..obviously little to nothing is going to change (perhaps stop listening in directly on other world leaders? Or maybe Im being overly pessimistic and theres room for change?)I just dont get the hostility..the fat that he’s a libertarian? Who cares? Arent libertarians pretty minimal. isolated figures in the US more likely to steal votes from Republicans? Surely thats in the Dems interest to encourage..?

        One or two caveats (1) I dont know – nor care really – how this hostility between GG and LGM developed (2) he’s a deeply problematic journalist in a lot of ways, as are maybe 95% of high profile journalists ..
        and a last one – having a progressive/libertarian alliance does seem idiotic..

        But he obviously knows something about political activism, and he seems quite effective at getting his message across (even if it is simplisti and shallow at times)

    • Hogan says:

      Yeah, I’ve never heard of Edward Snowden either.

  28. Jesse Levine says:

    Close your bluebooks. Now that the purity and anti-purity tests are over,I would like to see some predictions /opinions on what part of the safety net the Democrats will or should sacrifice in order to get “something” in the budget deal.

    • Scott Lemieux says:

      My answer is the same as the past several hundred times you’ve asked this question — “none.” Fortunately, as long as Obama makes any “entitlement reform” contingent on tax increases that’s his position as well.

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