Liberal Heresy

by matttbastard

Via Greg Sargent:

dnA speak, you listen:

Lord I really don’t like Ronald Reagan. And despite how much I hate the Clintons right now, Bill was a better president than Reagan, by a long fucking shot.

With that said, I dunno if I’d go so far as to single out Obama as a “Lieberdem”, as Natasha Chart does. Now, as Noam Scheiber notes, despite utilizing narcotic, substance-free transformational rhetoric about hope and change that can intoxicate even a perpetual cynic like yours truly, “rather than tacking left, the Obama campaign went straight up the middle, where a much larger universe of potential voters awaited.” And it is a matter of record that Joe Lieberman mentored Obama in the Senate.

ZOMG, d’ya know what this means?! Obama, a proud member of the not-even-remotely-Progressive modern Democratic Party, is just another pro-establishment pol! Please, no earth-shattering revelations about wet water or Popes wearing funny hats; I don’t think my delicate constitution could take any more.

Still, the DLC-Dem charge seems ironic coming from a self-professed “spiteful” Clinton supporter. Um, so, let me see if I’m following: Chart, who claims to have always “disliked Democrats who tore down the Democratic brand, trashed progressives, and praised Republicans”, is standing up to the establishment by supporting a Triangulating perennial DLC favourite/defender (who counts Newt Gingrich as a fan club member) whose husband endorsed Joe Lieberman in ’06 and, during his tenure as both Governor of Arkansas and POTUS, essentially wrote the book on kissing GOP ass (when politically expedient) and eating your own (again, when politically expedient) in order to stake a claim on the mushy middle. All “out of spite”.


Shit, show me a viable Donkey candidate in this election cycle who isn’t a “Lieberdem.” And don’t say “John Edwards”, whose voting record belies his recent populist re-branding as Huey-Long-in-wingtips. Hopefully somebody somewhere is drafting a wide-ranging eulogy for common sense and intellectual consistency during this primary season–to say nothing of bullshit detectors.

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3 thoughts on “Liberal Heresy

  1. Head-meets-desk, indeedy. Simplistic as this sounds, all I can say is–don’t believe a farking word these politicians say, ’cause they’ll say just about anything. What have they done? The truth is that there probably wouldn’t be much difference between a Clinton, Obama or even Edwards presidency, but there’s really no way in hell of actually knowing that. All the pledges, endorsements, B.S. stuff is meaningless. My hope is that the fundies are right and that both Hill and Barack are “secretly” more liberal (“ssssssssocialissssst!“) than either one of ’em is letting on, but it really just comes down to 100% projection on my part. I’ve absolutely no evidence on which to pin such hopes. In all honesty, none of us really know what they’ll do…we only know what they’ve done.

    As for what they’ve done? I think you’re totally right–none of the top three have much to brag about in terms of their legislative/Senate records.

    *sigh* Reagan. And here I thought that necrophilia was illegal.


  2. Wait… where did he say that Reagan was a better president than Clinton? I didn’t hear that, not even once.

    I did hear him say that Reagan altered the trajectory of the nation in a way that Clinton and Nixon didn’t, and I don’t think that’s very controversial at all.


  3. It was the subtext to his comments. He is courting independent and Republican voters in a caucus state where registered Independent voters are allowed to participate. And he’s doing so by obliquely fluffing the Sainted Messiah of the modern USian conservative movement (and, consversely, playing upon partisan hatred of Clinton).

    Which is fine if one is thinking ahead to the general election. But it’s a strategy fraught with peril in the highly partisan primary season. Also, I don’t know about the wisdom of accepting and legitimating the popular (conservative) narrative re: Reagan’s presidency being a posititive occurance. He is trying to use the right’s own rhetoric and mythology to the left’s advantage, which may be too clever by half. Wait until the gatekeepers of Reagan’s legacy decide to sink their fangs into the meat of Obama’s words if he manages to secure the nomination. I consider this interview to be a tactical error of the highest order.

    We hear nuance; the average voter just hears a Dem saying “Reagan” without subsequently spitting. Contributing to the haigiography of Reagan may play well in the short term, but it only makes shifting the centre that much more difficult overall.

    Bill Clinton’s third way presidency and the subsequent Republican ascendency shows the danger of even giving an inch to conservative framing.


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