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Poppyseedman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 10:38 PM
Original message
The Bitter End of the Left: Scenes from a wartime inauguration.
http://newhavenadvocate.com/gbase/Cover/index

Every so often, a line of limos and cop cars would whiz by, and were greeted with more Sieg Heils than you'll find in a Leni Riefenstahl movie. Even Bill Clinton got the Heil Hitler salute. The old codger standing next to me at one point did a furtive little Sieg Heil, like he was some dirty little boy doing something that would make teacher mad, and capped it off with a giggle that made me want to grab his Medicare card and burn it in front of him.

Sieg Heils are no way for the Left to reclaim the moral, let alone the political, high ground. The cops aren't Nazis and Bush isn't Worse Than Hitler. He's worse than a lot of things, but Hitler is not one of them. If this were, in fact, Nazi America, the ANSWER people would've been sent to forced-labor camps in Nevada. As it was, this was the first inauguration in history where the moiling opposition was given its own temporary autonomous zone, right near the front of the parade, complete with a speakers' platform and viewing stand.

So stick your Sieg Heils up your ass, people, and get serious.

Earlier in the day, I'd run into the lovable whackballs of the "God Hates Fags" brigades, with their shocking (and, to me at least, darkly hilarious) signs reading Thank God For Sept. 11 and such. That's about as far right as you can get in this country these days without going and actually blowing up the Murrah Building. The Leftie Sieg Heilers were, to the average Republican, as repugnant as these genuine homebrewed fascists are--and that is bad news for the Left, despite what the Italian media might have said about it (the Italian media loved the protesters).

I did not. Keep your Native American hagiography and fanatical multiculturalism to yourself from here on in, okay? Ease off on the fizzbomb analyses of evil "globalization" and recognize that capitalism isn't going anywhere anytime soon. As they say in AA--deal with life on life's terms, not Marx's.

I want the old-timey, bare-knuckled, aggressively macho Left that doesn't call it a "guilty pleasure" when they watch trayf television or find themselves thinking that maybe executing serial rapists of 7-year-olds isn't quite such a bad idea, after all.

My left is the acerbic left, the porn-loving left, the Lenny Bruce left, the left that gladly offers observations about other-colored people without fear or concern about being called a racist. The Left that thinks Michael Moore is a Big Fat Idiot but grudgingly respects his movies. That thinks Jewish activists who make bad-taste complaints about the Advocate putting a Star of David on a Chinese-food container are humorless. (See the letters page this week.) That thinks people who say you are either part of the problem or part of the solution--are part of the problem. That actually respects Colin Powell, despite his shilling for Bush before the U.N. in the Iraq war leadup.


Foolish me, I'd thought I might find some of my scabrous and patriotic fellow travelers in Washington. Instead it was a ho-hum assemblage of the usual suspects, united in what must now be called a Hatred of America--since the opposition was not just to Bush, but to the whole Inaugural spectacle; itself an objectively wonderful and balls-out celebration of the true greatness that lies at the heart of this country. It struck me, as a fist might strike a septum, causing death, that the Left simply cannot handle displays of military might, or power and privilege generally, since it has written itself out of all of it through its incessant pandering to whiny interest groups, groups filled with repressed-memory syndromes and chronic fatigue, who cannot help but vaingloriously think that The Man is coming after them next. Join Al Qaeda and then we'll talk. Until then, enjoy your Volvo and your NPR and, sure, ladies, openly fantasize about what Barack Obama might be like in the sack.

This is not the Left I signed up with back in the 1980s. Nor is it the Left I'd like to associate with anymore. I've had it with this Left, and not just because I'm no longer a knee-jerking 23-year-old looking to score Hot Leftist Pussy at the Protest. It's because they are wrong--tactically, strategically, politically, spiritually.

The Left that showed up in D.C. is the jackbooted-thugs-maaaaan Left, the feral-cat Left, cornered and too scruffy, humorless and way-too-convinced of their own righteousness--and I'm not just talking about the shameful war.

The Left needs a "fourth way," and the contours of such a Left ought to begin with the proposition that if you're going to get your hands dirty, you ought to first take a shower. Burn your Rage Against the Machine albums while you're at it, and leave Larry Summers alone. Also: Eliminate the expression "people of color" from your vocabulary. The Left we ought to have subscribes to the Weekly Standard because it's an interesting and compelling read, and because it understands the fullness and reach of the term "liberal." This Left is American to the core, invests in the stock market, hangs an American flag from its window without a hint of contemptuous irony. It burns its copy of The Collected Works of Katha Pollitt . It's self-assured about its righteousness without being smug. It doesn't equate the police with Nazi stormtroopers, and it understands that Bush, too, shall pass, and the Republic will outlive him. In other words, this Left has not completely lost faith in the resiliency of this fine country of ours.

Hey, it's our America, too, and it's about time the Left started reclaiming it--proudly, patriotically, without apology, and without stooping to tactics that do nothing but give those red-staters good reason to continue thinking we're nothing but a bunch of filthy, ill-informed America-haters.






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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 10:40 PM
Response to Original message
1. Wordy bugger.
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Poppyseedman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 10:43 PM
Response to Original message
2. Interesting
Love it or hate it, this is the attitude the party needs to have to win.
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blurp Donating Member (769 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 10:44 PM
Response to Original message
3. He's a PINO: progressive in name only
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Poppyseedman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 10:50 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. PINO
PINO or not, this guy is a isn't pulling any punches.

I find very little to disagree with him.
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Laurab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 11:18 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. I find very much to disagree with
matter of fact, most of it. A couple of things that stand out are the fact that he thinks we should still "actually respect" Colin Powell. What the hell for? For helping to sell the unnecessary and illegal war to an unsuspecting public that thought they COULD respect him? Sending countless people to their deaths? I think not.

"Bush, too, shall pass" - not if he can help it, and if/when he does, how many innocent lives will he have taken, and how much damage will he have done to this country? We're not talking policy change here - we're talking about world domination, endless wars, and lots of LIVES here. He may not be worse than Hitler - yet. Just give the guy time.

I could go through it paragraph by paragraph and say what I disagree with, but those were the most glaring. Of course, I don't "grudgingly respect" Michael Moore's movies, either. I don't think he's "a big fat idiot". I think he pointed out the truth to a lot of people who would never have noticed if he hadn't shown them. No, I think he's more of a hero, and certainly not an idiot. I am indebted to him for fighting to get that story told.

Being quite familiar with AA, I am also familiar with "dealing with life on life's terms". It doesn't say "deal with life on Bush's terms". That, I cannot do. Therefore (in AA speak), I will try to have the courage to change the things I can.

He may not be pulling any punches but I say he's WAY off the mark.


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mitchum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 01:43 AM
Response to Reply #7
11. What she said!
Especially "he's WAY off the mark"
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mitchum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 01:44 AM
Response to Reply #3
12. Lo, we agree on something!
And you have accurately nailed him as a PINO :)
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LibertyorDeath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 10:55 PM
Response to Original message
5. This person is a fucking joke WTF is he talking about
"The Left that thinks Michael Moore is a Big Fat Idiot"

Then they wouldn't be left would they.

Complete fucking A hole

"Burn your Rage Against the Machine albums "

He's psychotic also.

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Poppyseedman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 11:11 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Then they wouldn't be left would they.
Moore is a controversial figure. I'm not so sure he is universally loved by all people of the left.

I know some very progressive people (typically older) who would rather see Mike make movies and stay out of party politics, instead he should let his work speak for itself rather than make himself the center piece of attention or allowing himself to be placed there.
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LibertyorDeath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 11:54 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Michael Moore is loved by millions on the left
Tens of millions.

If anyone ever achieves this

"universally loved by all people of the left."

hell will have frozen over.

& to dis Rage Against the Machine a band who's lyrics are all about questioning and Fighting for your rights against un-just Authority.

Well that's just flat out un-American. IMO

There is much truth in their lyrics & those that say otherwise are either Lying or Ignorant.

From their self titled album

Rage Against The Machine

Take the Power Back

In the right light, study becomes insight

But the systems that dissed us

Teaches us to read and write

So-called facts are fraud

They want us to allege and pledge

And bow down to their God

Lost the culture, the culture lost

Spun our minds and through time

Ignorance has taken over

We gotta take the power back

Bam! here's the plan

Mother fuck Uncle Sam

Step back, I know who I am

Raise up your ear, I'll drop the style and clear

It's the beats and lyrics they fear

The rage is relentless

We need a movement with a quickness

You are the witness of change

And to counteract

We gotta take the power back

Chorus:

We gotta take the power back

We gotta take the power back

The present curriculum's

I put my fist in 'em

Eurocentric every last on e of 'em

See right through the red, white and blue disguise

With lecture, I puncture the structure of lies

Installed in our minds and attempting

To hold us back

We've gotta take the power back

'Cause holes in our spirit are causin' tears and fears

One-sides stories for years and years and years

I'm inferior? Who's inferior?

Yea, we needa check the interior

Of the system who cares about only one culture

And that is why

We gotta take the power back

Chorus

The teacher stands in front of the class

But the lesson plan he can't recall

The student's eyes don't perceive the lies

Bouncing off every fucking wall

His composure is well kept

I guess he fears playing the fool

The complacent students sit and listen to the

Bullshit that he learned in school

Europe ain't my rope to swing on

Can't learn a thing from it

Yet we hang from it

Gotta get it, gotta get it together then

Like the mother fuckin' weathermen

To expose and close the doors on those who try

To strangle and mangle the truth

'Cause the circle of hatred continues unless we react

We gotta take the power back

Chorus
No more lies
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gordianot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 11:19 PM
Response to Original message
8. Do not underestimate George Bush or his sponsors.
Bush has some better advisers than Hitler. He is probably less literate than Hitler but does require intelligence either native or acquired. He like Hitler is a tool of a criminal cartel. They are much more effective this time than they were in Nazi Germany.
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tomreedtoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 11:20 PM
Response to Original message
9. Wordy, a little too cute, but the right direction.
The fact is, there are lots of people on the left that want to depose Bush because their tactics didn't work against LBJ or Nixon. They want to get even for Kent State. That's no better than the real reason the Bushies got involved in the Iraq War, to prove that they would have won the Vietnam War by being tougher than the Democrats of the time.

In other words, progressive thought can't be dominated by old hippies and old SDS'ers nostalgic for the good old days. There was a group of left-wing folks who tried to do that - the Weathermen - and they ended up being a circular firing squad, eliminating each other for "betraying the revolutionary cause."

The only way to bring America back to balance is to address our current needs and reality, and bring American power back to its average citizens. Canonizing Jerry Rubin and refusing to treat people of every color as equals isn't the way.
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