Tuesday, January 27, 2004

The Left the Left does not need

Eric Alterman on how unconstructive the radical left can be:

"I find I’m beginning to dislike Howard Dean a great deal. It’s my fault rather than his. I didn’t even have a problem with the scream. Presidents can scream every once in a while. It is—or ought to be—a hell of a lot more “presidential” than lying the country into an unnecessary, counterproductive war.

"Rather, it’s the Deaniacs -or a few of them. I suspect this is true for many other liberal journalists, and perhaps for a not insignificant number of primary and caucus voters. Undoubtedly it’s a tiny minority, but that’s all it takes. Every time I write something about Dean that is not from the Dean playbook, I receive a slew of nasty, self-righteous e-mail accusing me of “selling out,” “drinking the kool-aid,” or “taking my orders from Karl Rove,” as well lot of other unmentionable insults.

"I’m sure Dean has many idealistic supporters. And for all I know, he might make a terrific president. But my honest opinion is that he’d be a much weaker candidate against Bush than Kerry, Clark or Edwards, and since that’s the only issue that moves me, I think it would be a big mistake to give him the nomination. I’ve enumerated reasons for this in the past and I think they become more apparent every day. (And be honest, while he was brave and outspoken on the war when others were quiet and cautious, do you really think he would handle the current quagmire better than any other of his major rivals? Just what in his career as a country doctor and governor of Vermont leads you to that?)

"I suspect that some of these people did Dean more harm than good in Iowa. Moreover, it’s kind of pathetic that so many people on the left become so tied into hero worship—Nader, Dean, Chomsky, (and dare I say it, Stalin)—that they feel a need to abuse anyone who does not share their wide-eyed admiration. I expect this kind of vituperation for any kind of deviationism is what turns many leftists and liberals into conservatives. (It’s not working with me yet, but hey, I’m only 44 and Scaife hasn’t come up with an attractive enough offer.) "

If you're in NZ add Tariq Ali to the list of those worshipped.


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