I still don’t think that liberals and Democrats have any idea what’s facing them. Below are a series of posts I made at Crooked Timber . I’m just republishing them almost verbatim because I have some other things going on right now. I also participated in a debate on Matt Yglesias‘s site which was entirely taken over by trolls. Ivy League liberals are really too nice to live.
People have to figure out that we’re dealing with enemies, and vicious ones. This is not business as usual.
The original question was, “Why are liberals so feeble in dealing with the viciousness of the opposition?”
“Maybe it’s because, like Max Sawicky suggested, we dislike being assholes.”
Max should speak for himself.
I’ve thought for a decade that civil discussion of politics is no longer possible in the US. Liberals pitifully look around for dialogue partners, and what they get is stubborn, incorrigible gameplayers who are willing to affirm any sophistry and deny any fact.
In other circumstances the odious bigmacattack will self-righteously demand fairness and civility from others, but he personally is not capable of it and doesn’t try. Mentally the guy seems to function at the level of a football fan talking trash.
I date the end of civility from Newt Gingrich’s accession as Speaker of the House. Newt made a large number of over-the-top, scurrilous, ludicrous, dishonest smears of the Democratic Party, and that worked very well for him.
Some purported Republican moderates and rational conservatives are just stealth Republicans doing as much damage as possible in disguise. Others are pitiful lackeys who are in denial about the actual nature of their own party. Cutthroat movement conservatives run the Republican Party and the US, and the rest of them are just deluded irrelevancies.
My favorite example of Gingich’s nastiness was his attempt to blame the Democrats for the fact that Susan Smith murdered her two children.
Completely unjustified and loathsome, of course, but the kicker is that Smith had been sexually molested by her stepfather, Beverly (sic) Russell, who was a Moral Majority functionary and a member of the South Carolina Republican Party Central Committee.
Except for Robert Scheer, no one picked up the story. If the party affiliations had been the opposite, Gingrich and Smith would be linked in everyone’s mind, like Mary Jo Kopechne and Ted Kennedy.
I, personally, like the odious bigmacattack, am willing to be an asshole. But the Democratic party to which I nominally belong is incapable of functioning in the real world of today.
The treason talk is not new. But since Bush won, it’s spreading into more respectable conservative circles. There’s blood in the water, and the people who call themselves conservatives want it all. Now.
Talk to me in a couple years, but I expect that the treason talk is going to become reality, with actual prosecutions (not necessarily specifically for treason) and physical attacks. It will start with strongly antiwar people who aren’t even Democrats, but the Democratic Party will always be in the sights.
I don’t actually think at all well of Ward Churchill, but I now regret attacking him a week or so ago. He’s just the first of a long list of names that they’re going to go after. They’re smart enough to attack the least appealing individuals first, in a classic salami-slice operation.
If I turn out to be wrong in this, I will be very happy and will let the whole world insult me with impunity.