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What is the leftwing equivalent of someone who hates gays and Muslims

by: Eric B.

Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 10:38:24 AM EST

Nancy Kaffer concern trolls the Republican Party. It's about the problems that roil under the surface that are caused by cozying up to the Goat Killer's of the party. A couple of things worth bearing out, though.

And this is a problem. Some Republican national leaders are at least paying lip service to the notion that the GOP must become more inclusive, driven by poor performance at the polls. But folks like Sears and Agema seem to keep popping up — and contending for the right to shape party policy at the local and national levels.

It is lip service, which is the problem. There are at least two avenues the party could use if it wanted to embrace tolerance and broom Goat Killer out to pasture. It would require an internal fight and ultimately a vote that probably the party panandrums suspect might end in massive public embarrassment for them and the party. The reason for that is less than that Republicans are all bigots, and more that the far right, insane Tea Party activist base ensconsed itself in nuts and bolts party positions starting with the pro-choice purges of the 80s (they were the Moral Majority back then). The country club Establishment types did nothing to head this off because they needed the Moral Majority evangelicals. Now, they hold lots of votes at important party gatherings, and the party is held powerless to do anything because of three decades of cozying up to bigots because they needed their vote. Paying lip service to the idea of party diversity is the same thing as a princess held captive in the castle's tallest keep crying out for some non-white knight to rescue her, except that everyone remembers the times when she sent the ogre holding her there out to pillage the countryside (that said, I'd be surprised if the nut running for Terri Lynn Land's national committee slot actually wins). The state's political media seems unaware of this angle to the story, even though it's critically important to understanding what is going on right now.

One last beef:

Make no mistake, there are plenty of extreme left-wing Democrats — you just don’t find them in the party’s national leadership structure. But you don’t have to search long on the Internet to find GOP legislators and policy makers with extreme views dotted around the country.

I'm glad to see someone break out of the nonsense false equivalencies that both sides "do it" or are equally guilty or that both sides have fringe nutters amongst them, and it's very true that you don't see what most of us regard as "extreme left-wing Democrats" in national leadership positions, or even really in state of Michigan positions. That is, there are no genuine Marxists or even Socialists in party leadership positions and what very partisan Democrats occupy party delegate positions are mostly kept in line.

But, my question is this: Goat Killer and his like are intolerant of homosexuals, brown people (Latinos), Muslims and the poor. They also happily dabble in Birtherism and gun confiscation conspiracy theories. Who, exactly, is the left-wing equivalent of Goat Killer? Who on the Left occupies the same space of crazy and awful. It would have to be someone who genuinely believes that Christians should be rounded up and put into camps, and who really wants to confiscate guns and take private property away from everyone and redistribute it like we're all a bunch of Sandanistas.

The "crazy Left" that we've been led to believe mostly buys into the idea that wealth inequality has shorted a generation of opportunity and leaves us all poorer to the material benefit of a few, and that things like anthropogenic global warming (AGW ALARMISM!!!!!!!!!!!111!!!!1!) will require a sustained, serious answer and that embracing diversity is the best way to a more prosperous future for us all (these are the people who the right accuse of siding with the Reconquinistas). Not only is none of that the batshit crazy leftwing equivalent of thinking that homosexuals defrauded American Airlines out of health benefits because all gay men die of AIDS before age 40, but it's in line with empirical evidence.

So, once and for all, what say we stop with any pretense that there is a reliable comparison between the crazy on the right and the crazy on the left, 'cause most of "the crazy" on the left just ain't all that crazy.

Eric B. :: What is the leftwing equivalent of someone who hates gays and Muslims
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I thought Nancy Kaffer had a better grasp of history
She could search this country far and wide, and she'd still find no one remotely comparable to the Weather Underground, the Yippies, the Black Panthers, the SNCC in present-day America. That, is--or should I say, was--the Far Left.

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.

Kaffer & Henderson
This is actually better than most of the stuff Nancy writes.  This is about as few "both sides do it" as you'll find in her typical column, and about as strong and clear a rebuke as you'll get from her.

Still, to hear her call herself a liberal/progressive Democrat in her piece with a straight face, or some such bullsh%t, was just too much, for me.  If anyone reads them regularly, Kaffer & Henderson represent the most mushy, unassured kind of "progressivism".  They represent a really disingenuous journalistic "paper" progressivism.  And by that I mean a progressivism that is strong enough that it won't get them kicked out of decidedly liberal cocktail parties, but safe and inoffensive enough so that they can then cross the street and mingle with the conservative crowd.  

It represents the worst of what "paper progressivism" has become.  It's the kind of progressivism that allows for a paper like the Freep to on one hand endorse Rick Snyder for governor, and then hypocritically later complain that the scorpion who stung them is acting like a scorpion.  Kaffer & Henderson in their quest for respectability has rendered an already floundering outfit nearly irrelevant.  When you're more concerned about the response of the Very Serious People instead of what your paper claims to represent, that's what you purchase: irrelevancy.  

No one does irrelevancy better than the Freep, not even the News.

Editorial philosophy
The Freep has an editorial page philosophy that they are there to elevate and lead the discourse, not dominate it. It means always avoidance of being too strong in how you present yourself so as not to come across as shrill or overbearing. My conversations with her lead me to believe that she is personally a pretty liberal person -- liberal as defined in today's politics (essentially, anyone who isn't insane) -- but that the paper in general holds itself back because of how they choose to manage their role. It's also how you got Brian Dickerson a year or so ago not taking a stand on climate change himself, but instead taking the stand that because some tough guy thinks climate change is real, that you should probably listen to him.

Among the Trees

[ Parent ]
To be clear
I don't want the likes of Kaffer and Henderson to be the flip-side of Finley & Co. at the News.  But, the Freep plays it so safe that they've made themselves irrelevant.

I also really do question how committed Kaffer is to progressivism.  I've just seen way too much benefit of the doubt given to Snyder and the legislature even after the RTW battle, which should have been where even the most naive, well-meaning liberals should have jumped off defending his actions.

I'm not calling for the Freep to become Daily Kos, but I think it's a very tough argument to pretend that they aren't apologists for conservative power on many occasions.  I'd simply like them to be center-left.  Even when they have rebuked the right in this state, it's not nearly with the conviction appropriate for the offense.  The mincing, oh, the mincing.

[ Parent ]
A philosophy
that ends up making them look uncertain and tentative, and gives credence to the view that Republican crazy is a legitimate position, simply the other side of the argument.

The conservatives in Congress are more conservative than liberals are liberal
As I pointed out when I debunked the idea of Amash being a centrist, the most conservative Representatives are more conservative than the most liberal person in the House.  Voteview's DW-Nominate for the House in the 112th Congress lists Barbara Lee as the most liberal member of the House with a score of negative 0.746.  Meanwhile, 14 Republicans in the House were more conservative than she was liberal with scores of 0.749 to 0.988.  A perfect conservative score would be 1.000.

It's the same in the Senate.  The most liberal Senator was Bernie Sanders (no surprise) with a DW-Nomiante score of negative 0.541.  On the other hand, ten Senators were more conservative with scores ranging from 0.545 to 0.989.

Greetings from Detroit, Ground Zero of the post-industrial future!

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