Blame The "Counterculture" First
If I am understanding this argument correctly, Booman is saying that the South was not lost to Dems by the Civil Rights movement, it was lost by the Vietnam War. That is a pretty stunning claim it seems to me. Ridiculous even. What happened since the 60s, at least in terms of politics, is that the South became solidly Republican and the rest of the country became more Democratic.Booman ignores my point, and instead continues discussing "countercultural" progressives:
[T]he post-Vietnam War progressive movement grew out of the counterculture, and you can't make a very good case for running the country if your disposition is counter to the culture and power structures of the country.
[MORE . . .]
That's why I say we need to get over being countercultural. I don't mean that we should change our values. I am talking about our disposition, our attitude, the way we carry ourselves, what we expect of ourselves. When I say that we should make the countercultural cultural, I mean that we should have the confidence to behave like our values are mainstream and that we want to and deserve to govern with our mainstream values.
I'm not even sure what that is supposed to mean. Slapping the label "countercultural" on people disagreeing with THE POLICIES adopted by the "power structures of the country" is not meaningful to me. Perhaps Booman means to object to the "protest" culture (seemingly the reference here is to the Occupy Movement.)
Perhaps Booman, like Markos Moulitsas before him, disapproves of protests. Maybe that is what he means by "countercultural." Personally, I'm not much of a protest person myself. But that does not mean I do not appreciate the political space protests create.
I'm not a big fan of empty labels, and to me, "countercultural" is a particularly empty label. When Booman asserts that "[T]he post-Vietnam War progressive movement grew out of the counterculture," what does that mean? Did the progressive movement not also grow out of the Civil Rights Movement? Or the Women's Liberation Movement? Or the environmental movement?
And in case you are wondering, I think it is indisputable that in terms of electoral politics - the "winning power" thing -the aftermath of the Civil Rights and Women's Liberation movements had much broader effects on elections than the Vietnam War protest movement.
Booman's argument does not seem to say anything concrete to me, other than adopt the Right Wing idea that "progressives hate the culture of America." I'm not seeing that as a helpful insight.
One final note, it is rather ironic to me that I am ostensibly being placed in the position of "defending," such as I am, the "countercultural" idea. It reminds me that not only is Booman echoing the critiques of Chait against opposers of the Iraq War and Joe Lieberman, but also those of Ann Althouse:
You'd think that if Armando was going to bother to link to this, he'd respond to the point that matters so much: it's dysfunctional to alienate the people you need to win over in order to gain majority power. But, though he goes on for 725 words, it's all just about how angry he is at the Bush Administration and don't I ever think about why he's so angry?
Yeah, well, but you linked to me. Don't you ever think about why your side can't seem to win elections, despite all these deficiencies in the people you are so angry at? Can't you distinguish between them and people like me, who represent the votes you need to win?
Althouse was responding to this post by me in February 2006. You can read it and see what a crappy "hippie" I am. And, obviously, Democrats found ways to win elections without the support of the Ann Althouses of the world.
I guess the "countercultural" thing was not as big a problem for those elections.
Speaking for me only
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