When you just can't let go
Posted by aogMonday, 03 March 2003 at 07:09 TrackBack Ping URL
In my opinion that biggest reason that the Left is losing the current political battle is that its proponents don't seem to be able to let go of failed ideas or people. A classic case in point is this discussion. Oliver Willis starts with the very reasonable observation that the Augusta golf club should make some effort to disown the KKK clan members protesting on behalf of Augusta. Of course, the first comment draws the analogy between this and the anti-war protestors (which is actually favorable to some extent because it implies that there exists a reasonable opposition that is being tarred by marching with Communists). This highlights the key difference between the modern Left and Right — the Right is slowly but surely dumping its fringe allies while the Left continues to embrace its ugliest members and causes. But Willis completely misses this and dismisses any accusations of Communism or fellow traveling with the claim that the Communists just aren't dangerous:
If you think that communists are worse than the Klan, you need to get out more.
There you are: an ideology that enslaves over a billion people and is the core of the most repressive regimes on the planet is not as bad as the Klan, which consists of a rag tag bunch of loonies who are objects of public ridicule and hostility. One can of course argue that the Klan used to be dangerous, but of course back in those days the Communists were even more so. Willis and his cotierie switch back and forth about whether they mean actual Communists or just "some bored, dumb-ass students". The two are used interchangeably but I can't tell if this is a slick rhetorical technique or true Lack Of Clue™.

The real question here is, why can't Willis just cut loose on the Communists? What is it about them that makes him willing to effectively defend Communism, dismissing its crimes and labeling its opponents as "people who actually bought Ronald Reagan's bull"? One of them, "Dakota", comes closer by resorting to the relabeling trick and denying that North Korea is a Communist regime, but can't quite make the leap.

Of course, I don't view this as a problem, that even articulate and intelligent supporters of the Democratic Party are unable to see that this refusal to see any enemies on the Left is what's killing them off politically. The Right has learned. It dumped Buchanan, the Klan and Lott when they went over the line. Yet the Left holds on and so discussions of this nature generally lead to the Left having to openly defend or dismiss some of the greatest atrocities of history.

The most bizarre disconnect, though, is over Iraq. One of the best attacks of the Left was the support of the Right for oppressive dictators (e.g. Saddam Hussein). I'm not going to argue the morality of this (my blog isn't big enough for that) but even the Right primarily saw it as a bad choice over a worse one, justified by the Cold War. Now that the Cold War is over that justification doesn't fly. To his credit, President Bush is starting on the long road to cleaning up some of the toxic waste we left behind during WWIII and people like Willis are objecting to this! Now those thugs are toxic waste for the Left, not the Right. The Leftists are setting it up so that having shed most of its domestic garbage, the Right is now poised to dump its foreign garbage in the lap of Left. This is on top of the fact that the Left is finally getting smeared for its support of other mass murdering regimes like the USSR or Cuba. Can we really call the Republicans the Stupid Party anymore?

Comments — Formatting by Textile
Oliver Monday, 03 March 2003 at 09:48

So by saying that I find the imminent threat from the KKK to be more pressing than the Communist Party, I support Communism? And they say all the crazy hyperbole is on the left.

Oliver Monday, 03 March 2003 at 09:49

By the way, the Right certainly hasn’t disavowed the Lotts, Falwells, Robertsons and Bob Jones Universitys of the world.

Annoying Old Guy Monday, 03 March 2003 at 11:08

I didn’t say support, I said “defend”. And it’s not the “more imminent” part, but the cavalier dismissal of the history of communism, for instance describing Communism as “some bored, dumb-ass students”. Communism is still the ruling ideology of nuclear armed powers. Could you not make your argument while acknowledging that, or does that question answer itself?

As for not disowning Lott, I guess that’s why he is still Senate Majority Leader and none of the right wing bloggers or leading magazines would denounce him. I don’t recall mentioning any of the other people you list but who listens or talks about them except their opponents trying to score cheap points? They’re hangers-on, not the ones organizing the VRWC.

GMAN Tuesday, 29 April 2003 at 23:26

Hey Oliver you forgot about my favorite! Robert C. Byrd. What about him? Huh? I guess we can be selective when it comes to Democrates. I really think you should read “Radical Son”. You may learn something. Hey, do you have the street address for the Religious Right?

End of Discussion