Let the Games Begin

The GOP defensive strategy in the Abramoff case seems to be “Dems did it too.” It’s not much, but it’s all Wizbang and Hugh Hewitt could come up with. When cornered, righties will either fall back on “Dems” (or “Clinton”) “did it too,” or else feign boredom. (Yawn. So Washington is corrupt. Who cares?) Sure enough, Hugh Hewitt seems to be cultivating righteous indifference in this post.

But the ReddHedd says Abramoff did not give money to Democrats. Expect the Right Blogosphere to become mightily bored with this story.

What’s in a Word?

Steven E. Landsburg is an asshole. That’s my opinion. Ezra, on the other hand, says Steven Landsburg is a dick. Hmm, which is worse — dick, or asshole? I say asshole, but I’ll listen to arguments.

Max says he’s an idiot savant, but that sounds too grandiose. How about “morally autistic”? But in an earlier post Max said Landsburg has the “moral sensibility of a biscuit.” Better.

Kevin Drum came up with “condescending, juvenile, obtuse, and soul cankered.” Best comment: “Have we no workhouses?”

Somewhere There’s an Idiot

My modus operandi for blogging is to cruise around the web until I find something that pisses me off, and then I blog about it. Maybe I’m just tired, but this morning I was struggling to find something obnoxious enough to be worthy of a post. Then I found this.

Rightie bloggers just love to demonstrate how well they’ve been brainwashed by regurgitating the propaganda and misinformation about liberalism they’ve been fed all their lives. Correct exposition of groupthink is then rewarded with rightie group approval. And I know it’s futile to try to educate them, but just maybe if we speak up a few innocents might be saved from being assimilated by the rightie hive mind. So here goes …

First off, by now you probably know that whenever anyone says “I used to be a liberal, but now I’m a conservative,” that person is either lying or never actually understood what a “liberal” is. I’ll be charitable and assume this Fausta person falls into the second category.

Fausta begins by defining liberalism, thus:

Liberalism used to mean, as Friedrich Hayek put it, “the fundamental principle that in the ordering of our affairs we should make as much use as possible of the spontaneous forces of society, and resort as little as possible to coercion”. Sixty years ago Hayek was saying, “That socialism has replaced liberalism as the doctrine held by a great majority of progressives does not simply mean that people have forgotten the consequences of collectivism. It has happened because they were persuaded of the very opposite of what these men had predicted”, and that’s even more true nowadays.

Now, I know Friedrich Hayek was a famous guy and a big bleeping authority, but this definition sucks. It’s true that liberalism is about liberty. But Fausta’s citation of Hayek reflects the Libertarian Fallacy — that all authoritarianism and coercion come from government, and if we could get government off our backs we’d all be free as birds.

The real world, people, does not work that way. In the real world, oppression comes out of the private sector just as readily as the public. In fact, if government doesn’t step in and put a check on private sector oppression, ordinary people can become as powerless and persecuted in a “free” country as they would be in a totalitarian state. The most blatant examples of this in American history involve racial minorities, but there also has been economic oppression where the wealthy were able to mercilessly exploit the laborers of all races who created their wealth. But liberalism assumes that We, the People, are rational beings who can recognize problems and use representative government as a means for solving those problems, thus achieving systemic improvement in the human condition. Thus, in the 20th century We, the People authorized government to ensure fair labor practices, for example.

But in the conservative mind, all checks on the power of the wealthy to get wealthier amounts to “collectivism,” which is the same thing as Communism. Where ordinary citizens are able to use government as a tool to protect themselves from oppression, that (to a rightie) is coercion and just a step away from Stalinism. In a free society, government should step aside so that big corporations can shortchange their workers and rob them of their lives and dignity without interference. To a rightie, “freedom” means limiting the power of government, which sounds grand. But if government truly is of, by, and for the people, what righties really want to do is limit the power of the people.

But enough of my liberalism lecture; let’s crash ahead to Fausta’s next paragraph.

You find liberals defending Mao, and splitting hairs over whether it’s fair for a book to claim that Mao was responsible for the deaths of 70 million people, when in fact it was “only” 20 million. The same people who claim to be against homophobia and injustice in this country choose to ignore the persecution of gays in Castro’s Cuba (where men have been sent to concentration camps for being gay, and AIDS patients are compulsorily interned) and in Muslim countries, where it gets you a death penalty.

You will not find liberals defending Mao. Maoism is not liberalism. Righties think everything identified as “the Left” is the same thing. It is not. One might find self-identified lefties defending Mao, but those people are not liberals. Period; end of argument.

As far as liberals “splitting hairs over whether it’s fair for a book to claim that Mao was responsible for the deaths of 70 million people, when in fact it was ‘only’ 20 million” goes, an example would have been nice. But one suspects this is a snip of historic scholarly argument taken out of context and has nothing to do with “liberalism.”

Regarding “ignoring” injustice in Cuba and elsewhere, in fact through “liberal” organizations like Amnesty International liberals have tried to make a difference for many years. Fausta is clearly not aware of these efforts, but he should educate him- or herself before he/she spouts off again.

Fausta continues,

Liberals rant about the glass ceiling in our country while not speaking a word against women being killed for having been raped in Iran – at times by being buried in the ground up to their necks and having small stones thrown at them until they die. That countries like Iran stand against the modern world poses no contradiction to liberals, even when liberalism used to be synonymous with modern ideals back when the very definition of modern stood for liberal.

In fact, the Feminist Majority Foundation and other feminist organizations were speaking out in opposition to the oppression of women in Afghanistan long before righties noticed that the Taliban was our enemy. And it is interesting that the rightie mentions Iran, a “bad” country, and not rape in Iraq (which I blogged about recently), or our “ally,” Pakistan.

Liberals rant about 2000 soldiers dying in Iraq while dismissing 2,996 murdered on the morning of September 11 by saying it was just “sand thrown in America’s eyes”.

As an eyewitness to the collapse of the WTC towers, I’d like Fausta to say that one to my face. Even better, Fausta should come to Manhattan and spout off about liberals “dismissing” the dead of 9/11 to an audience of liberal New Yorkers, most of whom knew at least one of those 2,996. The audience reaction should be, um, interesting.

In the rightie mind, whenever one self-identified “leftie” expresses an opinion, he speaks for all “liberals.” So because (I assume) somewhere in America a half-dozen crackpots might have “dismissed” the deaths of 9/11, ergo, all liberals think this way. In fact, if anything, “liberals” may be more genuinely concerned about the deaths than conservatives. Most of us believe we should have used all of our resources to destroy al Qaeda instead of being sidetracked into deposing Saddam Hussein, who had nothing to do with 9/11.

Liberals fuss about one CIA agent’s cover being blown, which in their eyes warrants an investigation, while leaks on confidential information on the war against Islamic fascism are applauded and any investigation should be called off.

Liberals object when administration officials conspire to manipulate the press by spreading rumors (which, incidentally, included revealing classified information). And liberals object when information is leaked that genuinely injures national security. However, leaks that reveal corruption, despotism, and illegal activity being perpetrated by our government are gratefully appreciated.

Liberals believe that the USA has no enemies, that there is not much in the way of danger, and that we’d all live in peace if only we’d turn our swords into plowshares, no matter how much evidence there might exist to the contrary.

The above needs to be filed under “outrageous hyperbole.” It’s too irrational to actually address. In fact, that pretty much encompasses the remainder of this little essay. Liberals, we are told, encourage ten-year-olds to have sex, hate the work ethic, and live to oppress Christians. The usual garbage that has no basis in reality.

Part of me feels sorry for Kool-Aiders like Fausta, but such brainless little robots are ever the soldiers of despotism. Pathetic as they are, they must be corrected, and opposed.