WaPo Still Running from the “L” Word

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liberalism and progressivism, Obama Administration

Political commentary that makes me wonder if anyone at WaPo has a measurable IQ (from about five days ago, but I’m just now noticing it) — Zachary A. Goldfarb writes,

If there was one word that was used most often to describe President Obama’s second inaugural address Monday, it was “liberal.” Obama supposedly tossed away the post-partisan efforts of his first term and embraced big government, fully committing himself to the cause of gay rights and showing a Gore-like dedication to the climate-change fight.

Yet the next day, the White House expressed surprise at the notion that the president’s speech amounted to an affirmation of liberalism. Press secretary Jay Carney told reporters that he rejected “the idea that this was an ‘ism’ speech.” He added, “It’s on behalf of ideas that represent who we are as Americans.”

In a narrow sense, Carney was right. Opinion polls show that on almost all of the major positions Obama espoused in his speech — entitlements, immigration, climate change and same-sex marriage — a majority of Americans agree with him.

By that measure, Obama did not advance a liberal agenda.

Or maybe, dimwit, by that measure we see that Americans are coming back around to embracing liberalism, the way they used to. Let us consider the words of President John F. Kennedy –

President John F. Kennedy on being a liberal (via)…

“I believe in human dignity as the source of national purpose, in human liberty as the source of national action, in the human heart as the source of national compassion, and in the human mind as the source of our invention and our ideas. It is, I believe, the faith in our fellow citizens as individuals and as people that lies at the heart of the liberal faith. For liberalism is not so much a party creed or set of fixed platform promises as it is an attitude of mind and heart, a faith in man’s ability through the experiences of his reason and judgment to increase for himself and his fellow men the amount of justice and freedom and brotherhood which all human life deserves

I believe also in the United States of America, in the promise that it contains and has contained throughout our history of producing a society so abundant and creative and so free and responsible that it cannot only fulfill the aspirations of its citizens, but serve equally well as a beacon for all mankind. I do not believe in a superstate. I see no magic in tax dollars which are sent to Washington and then returned. I abhor the waste and incompetence of large-scale federal bureaucracies in this administration as well as in others. I do not favor state compulsion when voluntary individual effort can do the job and do it well. But I believe in a government which acts, which exercises its full powers and full responsibilities. Government is an art and a precious obligation; and when it has a job to do, I believe it should do it. And this requires not only great ends but that we propose concrete means of achieving them.

Our responsibility is not discharged by announcement of virtuous ends. Our responsibility is to achieve these objectives with social invention, with political skill, and executive vigor. I believe for these reasons that liberalism is our best and only hope in the world today. For the liberal society is a free society, and it is at the same time and for that reason a strong society. Its strength is drawn from the will of free people committed to great ends and peacefully striving to meet them. Only liberalism, in short, can repair our national power, restore our national purpose, and liberate our national energies.

What do our opponents mean when they apply to us the label “Liberal?” If by “Liberal” they mean, as they want people to believe, someone who is soft in his policies abroad, who is against local government, and who is unconcerned with the taxpayer’s dollar, then the record of this party and its members demonstrate that we are not that kind of “Liberal.” But if by a “Liberal” they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people — their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties — someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a “Liberal,” then I’m proud to say I’m a “Liberal.”

Deal with it, Goldfarb.

BTW, here’s my new roomie, Sadie, courtesy of Bill Bush. Someday maybe I’ll get a photo of her when one of us is no t moving.

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. c u n d gulag  •  Jan 31, 2013 @12:13 pm

    Sexy Sadie!

    The problem is that the idiots on the right don’t have a clue as to what “Liberalism” means, so they take whatever it is that they don’t like, don’t understand, or are against, and label them as “Liberal.”
    Mostly having absolutely nothing to do with actual Liberalism. We’re just the catch-basin for all of their various fears and hates.
    And then, they project their own assorted personal inadequacies onto Liberals, and Conservatisms inadequacies, onto Liberalism.

    And then, my favorite part – having no idea of Liberalism, or of what we Liberasl stand for, they then have the temerity/audacity to try to explain what they have no clue about, in public.

    I always laugh when they try to “Concern Troll” us!
    ROFLMAO!!!

    Conservative Boiz and Gullz – ask us REAL Liberals.
    What?
    Are you afraid to talk to us, since we’re not part of you echo chamber, and will take you too far out of your comfort zone?

    When you say that, if you have to choose, that David Brooks is your favorite Liberal columnist, you’ve just shown that you have as much of an idea about Liberalism is about, as a rock does of Quantum Physics.

  2. c u n d gulag  •  Jan 31, 2013 @12:13 pm

    Sexy Sadie!

    The problem is that the idiots on the right don’t have a clue as to what “Liberalism” means, so they take whatever it is that they don’t like, don’t understand, or are against, and label them as “Liberal.”
    Mostly having absolutely nothing to do with actual Liberalism. We’re just the catch-basin for all of their various fears and hates.
    And then, they project their own assorted personal inadequacies onto Liberals, and Conservatisms inadequacies, onto Liberalism.

    And then, my favorite part – having no idea of Liberalism, or of what we Liberasl stand for, they then have the temerity/audacity to try to explain what they have no clue about, in public.

    I always laugh when they try to “Concern Troll” us!
    ROFLMAO!!!

    Conservative Boiz and Gullz – ask us REAL Liberals.
    What?
    Are you afraid to talk to us, since we’re not part of you echo chamber, and will take you too far out of your comfort zone?

    When you say that, if you have to choose, that David Brooks is your favorite Liberal columnist, you’ve just shown that you have as much of an idea about Liberalism is about, as a rock does of Quantum Physics.

  3. c u n d gulag  •  Jan 31, 2013 @12:13 pm

    Oooops!

    My comment wasn’t so good that I meant to repeat it.

    Sorry…

  4. justme277  •  Jan 31, 2013 @1:13 pm

    sweet sadie,,,,awwww,,,way to go bill bush! And Maha , Congrats on the new shop kitty! I will be looking forward to her guest blogging on issues that matter to the progressive feline. It is nice that you are both getting use to the new place together! May your new lives together be purrrrfect!

  5. paradoctor  •  Jan 31, 2013 @1:22 pm

    Awww! Who’s a tiny tiger? Who’s a tiny tiger? You are! Yes, you!

    Obama didn’t “advance” a liberal agenda; he didn’t have to push an inch; most of us are already there.

  6. Rick Massimo  •  Jan 31, 2013 @1:38 pm

    So Goldfarb is now trying to enshrine the “libruls are stoopid” talking point by saying that “If it’s not stoopid, it can’t be librul.”

    Changing the rules of the conversation is all they have.

  7. Swami  •  Jan 31, 2013 @1:55 pm

    OT…But, if anybody needs clarification on exactly what constitutes an obnoxious asshole, or has difficulty understanding why our political system is in such a decayed state..Well, here’s a visual that will help fine tune those areas of understanding that are out of focus.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/31/chuck-hagel-john-mccain-iraq_n_2591001.html

  8. joanr16  •  Jan 31, 2013 @2:02 pm

    Aw, shucks. Adorable kitty! Lovely quilt! What more does one need? Nothing, says I!

    Well, OK, maybe a ball of yarn.

  9. Bill Bush  •  Jan 31, 2013 @2:07 pm

    These people have no shame. They are like McCain running away from his own immigration reform plan when he was the R nominee for President. Now he is all for it again.

    And thanks for giving Sadie a home. We are down to 7 cats at the shelter and another 7 living in foster homes! Look at my FB to see Chris and Tabb, who we are fostering. Two just got spayed a couple of hours ago, and will go to our cooperating pet store Sunday or Monday, I hope. This week, 33 puppies (yes, 33) went to a NJ shelter, thanks to Bonnie’s Animal Rescue Kingdom, whose transport van carried Sadie to her new home also. Everybody has a new best friend waiting at the shelter!

  10. Swami  •  Jan 31, 2013 @2:28 pm

    Bill Bush… That was very nice of you to bring Sadie and Maha together. I enjoyed watching your efforts and love in making that happen.. Thanks for your kindness.

  11. joanr16  •  Jan 31, 2013 @4:53 pm

    THE BALLAD OF JOHN McCAIN

    Second-highest office in the land
    And you called on Mooselini
    Caribou Barbie
    The Snowbilly Grifter….

    “Were you right? Were you correct in your assessment?”

    A heartbeat away from red buttons and
    Red telephones, she’s more concerned
    About red shoes; thanks for that….

    “This country deserves your judgment, whether you think you were right or wrong.”

    What the hell were you thinking
    Loosing that woman on the 21st Century
    Like some new form of herpes?
    There is no cure for her
    We are stuck with her forever
    And by the way, old man,
    You never apologized….

    What the hell were you thinking?
    Were you thinking at all?

    “That’s a direct question; I expect a direct answer.”

    [An original poem! Sorry about the goofy line breaks; I couldn't fix em.]

  12. goatherd  •  Jan 31, 2013 @5:19 pm

    Sadie has already staked out the bed and quilt, she adjusting just fine to the new digs.

    I am very grateful for people who work towards finding good homes for our animal friends.

  13. erinyes  •  Jan 31, 2013 @5:27 pm

    There is a popular bumper sticker in these parts which reads “Annoy a liberal, work hard and be happy”. Somehow, this illusion has gained traction, My observations are quite the contrary; the righty guys I work with are miserable and sure seem to go way out of their way to avoid all but the plumb assignments.I’m a proud liberal, and call the boyz on it when they use the term like a swear word. I remember that ad from the united council of churches when I was a child that said “forgive him, it will teach him a lesson”.My, how things have changed.
    Cute kitty, Barbara. I have one just like her. She was a flying buzz saw when she was a kit, but she is now about 15 yrs old and slowing down.
    Kudos to Bill Bush for his efforts with pets!
    As far as Chuck Hagel goes, I’m blown away by the line of questioning from the right. It seems like you have to subscribe to the neoconservative mind set and profess unconditional love for Israel.WTF??

  14. Swami  •  Jan 31, 2013 @6:25 pm

    joanr16…Nice work on that poem.. Excellent analogy of McCain’s hypocrisy and patriotic concern for the American public…McCain has done more for our current political circus than John Ringling ever did for the American Circus.

  15. Stella  •  Feb 4, 2013 @12:57 am

    Sadie! I am so pleased to see this post. All is finally well. A tabby is always a blessing – hope you’ll both be very happy together.



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