Posted by: mutantpoodle | December 8, 2009

Leaving the Left

Cartoon by Jack Corbett

Earlier today, Andrew Sullivan linked to a post explaining why the author of said post is “not a liberal anymore.”

Now, there’s been more of that on the right: John Cole, at Balloon Juice, fled the GOP around the time of Katrina; Little Green Footballs’ Charles Johnson took the plunge last week, after which Andrew Sullivan jumped in with his own manifesto (although he’d abandoned what people might refer to as the institutional right long ago). Both Johnson and Sullivan suggest that the right actually left them, and I think, in large part, that’s true.

Kung-Fu Monkey had a great post in 2004 called I Miss Republicans. A snippet:

Remember Republicans? Sober men in suits, pipes, who’d nod thoughtfully over their latest tract on market-driven fiscal conservatism while grinding out the numbers on rocket science. Remember those serious-looking 1950’s-1960’s science guys in the movies — Republican to a one.

They were the grown-ups. They were the realists. Sure they were a bummer, maaaaan, but on the way to La Revolution you need somebody to remember where you parked the car.

The post – much longer – ended with a plea to bring back the guys who were a “dull but crucial part of the national dialogue. (And they knew their scotches.)”

I can’t help the modern Republican Party, which seems to have reduced itself to a Palin-worshipping rump of its former self.

But leaving the left? “Not a liberal anymore?” Why?

Apparently, because Tom Hayden removed the Obama bumper sticker from his car (a savage act of protest I performed a few days after the election), because the Huffington Post has become insufferable, and because progressives have become as vitriolic as people like Glenn Beck.

No, really.

Here’s the thing: The Huffington Post has ALWAYS been insufferable in its self righteousness.  Tom Hayden – well, who cares about Tom Hayden. And I don’t know which progressives, in particular, have become vitriolic, but I know if you looked at Twitter and Facebook and the comment threads on lots of liberal blogs a year ago, there was vitriol a-plenty going around.

But it wasn’t coming from either (a) the Democratic Party establishment or (b) whatever you might consider to be mainstream outlets of progressive thought.

Yeah, I’m pissed off at idiots who don’t seem to understand the realities of politics, or the way the U.S. Senate acts like an anchor on progress. But none of them, to me, represent liberalism, or the left, or the Democratic Party. Why would I abandon principles with which I am completely comfortable for a few ill-informed lunatics?

So, no – I’m not leaving the left and I’m still a liberal. I’ll engage with people who choose to savage Obama from the left, if I disagree; if their rants become vitriolic, I’ll move on.

If the GOP had treated their crazies this way, they might actually have a viable political party right now – one ready to capitalize on the struggles of a new President battling gargantuan problems with no help from the opposition and not much more help from his own side. Instead of, you know, what they are.

People seriously need to take a breath.

UPDATE: Karoli has much, much more.



  1. 1) I love that you have a tag named “Fucktardary”

    2) This is an awesome post.Please to be writing more of them!

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