: More on the hijacking of liberalism and its values (not to mention its pragmatic politics), first from today’s New York Times:
The moderate Democratic group that helped elect Bill Clinton to the White House in 1992 warned today that Democrats were headed for defeat if they presented themselves as an angry “far left” party fighting tax cuts and opposing the war in Iraq….
“It is our belief that the Democratic Party has an important choice to make: Do we want to vent or do we want to govern?” said Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana, chairman of the organization. “The administration is being run by the far right. The Democratic Party is in danger of being taken over by the far left.”
When a reporter asked a panel of council leaders whether Democratic woes were a result of Republican attacks or Democratic mistakes, Senator Bayh responded with a curt two-word answer that silenced the room.
“Assisted suicide,” he said.
But what these critics of the war thereby wished for was a spectacular triumph for the regime in Baghdad, since that is what a withdrawal would have been. So much for solidarity with the victims of oppression, for commitment to democratic values and basic human rights….
That is caring more to have been right than for a decent outcome for the people of this long unfortunate country.
How horribly true: In the PC era, it is better to be right than to be moral.
If you want to natter at Bush’s butt, how much better it would be to natter not about the war but about doing a better job at building an economy and democracy in Iraq.
Geras delivers deeper thrusts of the knife regarding the left’s reaction to September 11:
The response on the part of much of it was excuse and apologia.
At best you might get some lip service paid to the events of September 11 having been, well, you know, unfortunate – the preliminary ‘yes’ before the soon-to-follow ‘but’ (or, as Christopher Hitchens has called it, ‘throat-clearing’). And then you’d get all the stuff about root causes, deep grievances, the role of US foreign policy in creating these; and a subtext, or indeed text, whose meaning was America’s comeuppance. This was not a discourse worthy of a democratically-committed or principled left, and the would-be defence of it by its proponents, that they were merely trying to explain and not to excuse what happened, was itself a pathetic excuse….
Why this miserable response? In a nutshell, it was a displacement of the left’s most fundamental values by a misguided strategic choice, namely, opposition to the US, come what may.
What’s most pathetic is that one hears this even from the American left.
But this isn’t the left. This is a crackpot cult that calls itself the left and the real crime is that liberals let them.
That is why I won’t yet give up on the liberal label.