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Mirror Imaging?


From the Lowry-Ponnuru summation of the debt ceiling/shutdown fight:

It is a politics of perpetual intra-Republican denunciation. It focuses its fire on other conservatives as much as on liberals. It takes more satisfaction in a complete loss on supposed principle than in a partial victory, let alone in the mere avoidance of worse outcomes. It has only one tactic — raise the stakes, hope to lower the boom — and treats any prudential disagreement with that tactic as a betrayal. Adherents of this brand of conservative politics are investing considerable time, energy, and money in it, locking themselves in unending intra-party battle.

It’s an interesting passage because it makes me think of intra-progressive divides, and how similar differences play out within (what amounts to) the progressive coalition. Some of the same dynamics apply; fire focused on other progressives as much as conservatives (turns out the hippies can also throw a punch), satisfaction taken in complete loss on supposed principle, dismissal of avoidance of worst outcomes, etc. The biggest difference seems to be that left-progressives (or whatever other term you prefer), either lack the strength and interest to take control of any institutional veto points, have been shut out, or (most likely) some combination of the two.


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