T Nation

The Last Refuge of a Liberal


#1

Just returned from the Restoring Honor rally in DC - simply amazing. I just love how invoking "Fath, Hope & Charity" just pisses off the hordes of "useful idiots". Why? I don't really know. But still, it's hilarious.

I REALLY like this piece from the inimitable Charles Krauthammer. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/26/AR2010082605233.html

What dost thou think?


The last refuge of a liberal
By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, August 27, 2010; A21

Liberalism under siege is an ugly sight indeed. Just yesterday it was all hope and change and returning power to the people. But the people have proved so disappointing. Their recalcitrance has, in only 19 months, turned the predicted 40-year liberal ascendancy (James Carville) into a full retreat. Ah, the people, the little people, the small-town people, the "bitter" people, as Barack Obama in an unguarded moment once memorably called them, clinging "to guns or religion or" -- this part is less remembered -- "antipathy toward people who aren't like them."

That's a polite way of saying: clinging to bigotry. And promiscuous charges of bigotry are precisely how our current rulers and their vast media auxiliary react to an obstreperous citizenry that insists on incorrect thinking.

-- Resistance to the vast expansion of government power, intrusiveness and debt, as represented by the Tea Party movement? Why, racist resentment toward a black president.

-- Disgust and alarm with the federal government's unwillingness to curb illegal immigration, as crystallized in the Arizona law? Nativism.

-- Opposition to the most radical redefinition of marriage in human history, as expressed in Proposition 8 in California? Homophobia.

-- Opposition to a 15-story Islamic center and mosque near Ground Zero? Islamophobia.

Now we know why the country has become "ungovernable," last year's excuse for the Democrats' failure of governance: Who can possibly govern a nation of racist, nativist, homophobic Islamophobes?

Note what connects these issues. In every one, liberals have lost the argument in the court of public opinion. Majorities -- often lopsided majorities -- oppose President Obama's social-democratic agenda (e.g., the stimulus, Obamacare), support the Arizona law, oppose gay marriage and reject a mosque near Ground Zero.

What's a liberal to do? Pull out the bigotry charge, the trump that preempts debate and gives no credit to the seriousness and substance of the contrary argument. The most venerable of these trumps is, of course, the race card. When the Tea Party arose, a spontaneous, leaderless and perfectly natural (and traditionally American) reaction to the vast expansion of government intrinsic to the president's proudly proclaimed transformational agenda, the liberal commentariat cast it as a mob of angry white yahoos disguising their antipathy to a black president by cleverly speaking in economic terms.

Then came Arizona and S.B. 1070. It seems impossible for the left to believe that people of good will could hold that: (a) illegal immigration should be illegal, (b) the federal government should not hold border enforcement hostage to comprehensive reform, i.e., amnesty, (c) every country has the right to determine the composition of its immigrant population.

As for Proposition 8, is it so hard to see why people might believe that a single judge overturning the will of 7 million voters is an affront to democracy? And that seeing merit in retaining the structure of the most ancient and fundamental of all social institutions is something other than an alleged hatred of gays -- particularly since the opposite-gender requirement has characterized virtually every society in all the millennia until just a few years ago?

And now the mosque near Ground Zero. The intelligentsia is near unanimous that the only possible grounds for opposition is bigotry toward Muslims. This smug attribution of bigotry to two-thirds of the population hinges on the insistence on a complete lack of connection between Islam and radical Islam, a proposition that dovetails perfectly with the Obama administration's pretense that we are at war with nothing more than "violent extremists" of inscrutable motive and indiscernible belief. Those who reject this as both ridiculous and politically correct (an admitted redundancy) are declared Islamophobes, the ad hominem du jour.

It is a measure of the corruption of liberal thought and the collapse of its self-confidence that, finding itself so widely repudiated, it resorts reflexively to the cheapest race-baiting (in a colorful variety of forms). Indeed, how can one reason with a nation of pitchfork-wielding mobs brimming with "antipathy toward people who aren't like them" -- blacks, Hispanics, gays and Muslims -- a nation that is, as Michelle Obama once put it succinctly, "just downright mean"?

The Democrats are going to get beaten badly in November. Not just because the economy is ailing. And not just because Obama over-read his mandate in governing too far left. But because a comeuppance is due the arrogant elites whose undisguised contempt for the great unwashed prevents them from conceding a modicum of serious thought to those who dare oppose them


#2

From James Taranto's piece in the WSJ, entitled Oikophobia...


In more cerebral moments, the elitists of the left invoke a kind of Marxism Lite to explain away opinions and values that run counter to their own.

Thus Barack Obama's notorious remark to the effect that economic deprivation embitters the proles, so that they cling to guns and religion. (Ironically, Obama recently said through a spokesman that he is Christian.) Here's Robert Reich, Bill Clinton's labor secretary, explaining "The Anatomy of Intolerance" to readers of TalkingPointsMemo.com:

And Reich doesn't just fail to see the obvious. He dehumanizes his fellow Americans by treating their values, feelings and opinions as no more than reflexive reactions to material conditions. Americans in fact are a very tolerant people. Even in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, there was no serious backlash against Muslims. What makes them angry--what makes us angry--is the bigotry of the elites.

The Ground Zero mosque is an affront to the sensibilities of ordinary Americans. "The center's association with 9/11 is intentional and its location is no geographic coincidence," as the Associated Press has reported. That Americans would find this offensive is a matter of simple common sense. The liberal elites cannot comprehend common sense, and, incredibly, they think that's a virtue. After all, common sense is so common.


#3

Hitting someone who fancies them self a great thinker with very simple reasoning that reduces their finely constructed and Oh-so complex argument to nothing more than a pile of useless words is too much fun for me to avoid when I talk politics with my sis (an open minded unless you disagree with her liberal), but doesn't bear much fruit.

Letting them suffer the consequences of their own decisions is better. Against my very strong warning that she was playing a fools gamble, She took a voluntary lay off from a very good position with a private sector energy company, thinking that Obama money and the bureaucracy that is the department of energy would save her. 2 years later, red tape so thick she will never see the end of it, and the magical Obama dollars running out, no job.

I recently explained to her that the panel which our pres. created has not even begun to investigate the removal of all of the red tape that has to be gotten through to get a public sector job, and even when they do, it will only be an investigation, not an action which will create real jobs other than panel members. She said I was wrong, misinformed, and ignorant of all of the good that our beloved Obama has done for this country.

My response- "Oh yeah? Well, where's that job?".


#4

You actually wasted valuable your time at a Glenn Beck event?
Sucker!

lol


#5

Nope. I didn't. 'Twas glorious my good man.

Between your beating off all weekend somewhere in New Jersey, whining about Glenn Beck to anyone who will still listen to you, and sneaking nervous glances at the gathering crowds on the television, I'm betting you're doing a little projecting about "wasting time."


#6

I worked all weekend. I'm a busy artist with back to back deadlines.

I'll bet you rubbed one out in the car on the way home from all the excitement Glenn Beck built up in your loins.


#7

In his defense, wasn't palin there?


#8

Right, I should have added fingerpainting to your busy, busy schedule of: jerking off, whining about Beck, and looking on nervously at the crowds on the Mall. And fingerpainting.


#9

I don't watch Beck but I don't understand why people hate him so much, or why people like him so much. I liken him to Limbaugh, in that people that hate him don't know why they hate him and people that like him like him don't really know why they like him.

You know what I noticed about the news coverage of the Glen Beck rally and the Al Sharpton rally? I was at home all weekend flipping back and forth between the cable news channels, I noticed that the "tone" of the Beck rally was about god, faith, feel goodiness, let's all get along and hold hands. It was kind of corny if you ask me.

The Sharpton rally was all about needing to fight back against some unseen enemy, how "they are still keeping us down" - typical Sharpton rhetoric. There was an undertone of hatred and animostiy.

I believe that the media was hoping for some sort of confrontation between the two rallys.

Anyway, I don't think this Glen Beck guy is half as bad as everyone makes him out to be. He's goofy and corny, but I really don't think he's this "threat to America" like a lot of people make him out to be.


#10

Quoted for awesomeness.

It's just unbelelieveable how threatened people are by that guy! What's the deal??? He's just a kooky media figure.

He has no militia. He's not a politician. He's just a TV talking head with some unpopular ideas, and frankly just not all that well known

And yet everybody hates him with all these untold amounts of passion.


#11

"He's just a TV talking head with some unpopular ideas"

I think they are more popular than you are giving them credit for. I think a lot of what we are seeing isn't the spreading of some new idea, it's people who have typically been silent finally speaking up.


#12

When Sharpton claimed that some people were trying to highjack the civil rights movement I almost rolled on the floor laughing.


#13

GOOD! More of the folks getting invovled is exactly what is needed anyway.

But still I just can't account for all the vitriole. I mean people that I know talk about it on Facebook all the time. At work. On other forums. It's freaking everywhere now. "Beck is an idiot" "Beck should be sterilized", "There's no one more stupid than Glen Beck" "Beck is the antiChrist" blah blah blah

I mean I like the guy, but I havn't had the chance to catch his show even ONCE. It comes on while I am still at work. To me he seems more or less invisible.

Does anyone know what he has said that is supposed to be so bad? What's with all the hype?


#14

"Threatened?" Who is threatened by Glenn Beck? I hate Barney the Purple Dinosaur with the fire of a thousand suns, but I don't feel threatened by him either.


#15

If he's no threat then why so much hate?


#16

If he's just a nobody, why does he get soooo much attention? Barney isn't on the news every 15 minutes. Liberal bloggers aren't calling for barney to die a painful death. If barney held a rally, they wouldn't label it "controversial" in every headline.

So, what then, is the difference?


#17

Beck is a phony.

He doesn't care about restoring "honor to DC" but rather just the Rs back to congress y Casa del Jefe.

I don't consider a person honorable that waves the flag for war but does not himself volunteer his own life and limbs to the cause.

Hey Mr Beck, let me drive you over to the recruiting depot right now. I got time.


#18

From all I've seen of Beck, he is a true limited government conservative. He's also far from the interventionist that you make him out to be. In fact, I'm pretty sure I remember some people on here complaining that he wasn't aggressive enough with his foreign policy (he had some episode I think where he went over this). Unfortunately, I feel like many of his followers are the type you are describing.


#19

I saw this coverage of the rally -- it seems not worth fussing about, really.

A bunch of churchy, flag-waving types getting a whole lot of churchy talk and flag-waving done. They're not dangerous, they're not criminal, they're not using racist rhetoric. They'd alarm me if I were really invested in the Democrats maintaining control of Congress, but at this point I figure our current crop of bums deserve to be kicked out. And it would be intolerant to object to the reality that large populations in the US have always been into displays of religion, patriotism, and support for the military. It's not my bag -- it's really not at all -- but it's a long-standing feature of this country. And not everything associated with that worldview is bad: raising money to help veterans is an unambiguous act of compassion.

I find op-ed writers who freak out about Beck tiresome too. They always seem to fall short of saying something serious and interesting. (I think Krauthammer does too.)

I've watched an episode or two of Glenn Beck's show. What stood out to me is that he presents himself as a teacher. He breaks out the chalkboard frequently. He recommends books (some of them classics like The Road to Serfdom.) There's plain old misinformation on the show -- but his popularity tells me that there's an audience that's hungry for information. People want to learn, from someone who's on their side and not patronizing. Sometimes he's teaching good old-fashioned free market stuff, straight out of Hazlitt, and I almost want to cheer for him... and I'm astonished that there's a TV audience that actually wants to know this. If only it weren't mixed in with gold scams and the conspiracy circuit, it would be a good thing. I have the feeling that if Beck told people to go read Tom Paine or Longfellow or something, they would.


#20

Except when it come to war. One cannot call for limited government without addressing the expanding war machine. He does not. He ignores it altogether.