Sunday Night Blog Fights
What started it: This post by Jane at HuffPo suggesting progressives align with libertarians to defeat the health care bill. [More...]
There is an enormous, rising tide of populism that crosses party lines in objection to the Senate bill. We opposed the bank bailouts, the AIG bonuses, the lack of transparency about the Federal Reserve, "bailout" Ben Bernanke, and the way the Democrats have used their power to sell the country's resources to secure their own personal advantage, just as the libertarians have. In fact, we've worked together with them to oppose these things. What we agree on: both parties are working against the interests of the public, the only difference is in the messaging.
...time and again, we're told "Obama retains his popularity with liberals" and that "screeching liberal bloggers" aren't having an impact. Nobody seems to notice that the "screeching liberal bloggers" are reflecting the very same sentiments of the vast majority of the country, whether the very small segment of the population who self-identify as "extremely liberal" holds the President responsible or no.
The Dkos diarist writes if you lay down with dogs, you wake up with fleas. I think he's confusing "teabaggers" and the radical right with libertarians. I think that's painting with too broad a brush. Liberal alliances with libertarians are nothing new. Many progressives are libertarians on many issues.
In 1994-95, when defense lawyers mobilized to defeat Newt Gingrich's Contract on America that would have eviscerated many of our constitutional rights, we teamed up with the Second Amendment groups. We did the same when we were pushing for forfeiture reform. Both efforts were successful.
I haven't made up my mind on the health care bill. I think the ship sailed long ago on a real reform bill and I'm not clear enough on the details of the new one, which apparently has the votes for passage. But if you are one who believes the health care reform bill is not reform, if you believe it is not better than what we have now, then you should be working towards its defeat. And you find your allies where you can. So I side with Jane.
As for the diarist's personal attacks on Jane, I think those ruin his post. Jane has never claimed to be a pied piper for liberals, she's just fighting her hardest for what she cares about and believes in. She's taken what began as a small blog and built it into a huge online community, filled with passionate writers and readers and intelligent discourse. That she's become a dominant voice and force in the progressive movement is the result of her hard work, and the diarist's snipes read like sour grapes to me.
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