Graham Firchlis has a blog

Rahm Emanuel was wrong: Leftists who target Democrats are not “retarded”

Posted by grahamfirchlis on March 10, 2010

Because the retarded mentally challenged have a legitimate physical reason for being sometimes slow on the uptake. Intelligent, educated, politically sophisticated Leftists have no excuse for their behavior.

Crossposted at Whenceforth Progress. Please leave any comments there.

I’ve had to step away from blogging for a while, as my temper had gotten the best of me. Full disclosure, that is indeed an uncertain struggle much of the time, but over the past few months as I’ve watched supposedly reality-based-sophisticated-educated-smarter-than-the-average-bear Leftist blogs attack Democrats incessantly not honestly on the basis of policy disagreement but rather more often malignly and falsely on character and intent, I have gotten so angry I couldn’t trust myself to keep even a remote semblance of civility. In short, I had temporarily become less than the person I wish to be.

I’m calmer now, although hardly simmered down; more like reduced to a steady boil. Probably fit enough for polite company, although I won’t guarantee it will stay that way. When I read arguments from the Left that repeat the worst calumny of the Right, that reinforce false Right-Wing memes and support defeat of admittedly flawed Democrats in favor of re-installing rule by malicious Radical Reactionary Republicans, my blood begins to boil and my bile rises and the chemical reaction that combination elicits is very unpleasant to experience.

Look in the posts and the largely-unrebutted comment threads of nearly any prominent Leftist blog and you will see a steady call for defeat of Democratic office holders. In some few cases, such as the entirely odious and apparently already doomed Blanche Lincoln, that might turn out to be a smart move. But across the broader spectrum of office holders it is entirely foolish and counterproductive to try and replace sitting Democrats, including Democratic-affiliated BlueDogs, with Progressive candidates if the outcome in November will be the election to office of more Radical Reactionary Republicans.

In many Leftist blogs it is the fashion to claim that Obama and the Democrats are no different than Republicans, a lie so vile it should bring down a rain of condemnation from anyone with a single functioning neuron capable of critical thought. Instead, we read a steady chorus of agreement and outright glee at the growing disaffection of Middle America, a disaffection directly traceable to the self-same Leftist attacks and in whose screeching falsehoods I see nothing less than a whooping hollering screaming call for a leap to political suicide, deranged at the best, shameful and foolish at worst.

Liberal stalwarts, long-serving true heroes such as Nancy Pelosi and Pete Stark along with newcomers like Anthony Weiner and Alan Grayson, are ridiculed because they are not “pure” enough for the self-styled “real” Leftist bloggers and scarcely a word is written in dissent. The people of San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area are neither fools nor raging Reactionaries. What we are, by a large majority, is solidly Progressive, fully Liberal and completely Enlightened, and we return Pelosi and Stark and others like them to Congress year after year with overwhelming margins because we know them well and trust them to represent the best there is in the human heart. Critics from elsewhere in the country, who don’t know these people as anything other than the cardboard cutouts portrayed by the Right-Wing-controlled MSM, should put their egos in check and consider that we in the Greater SF Bay Area do actually know what the hell we are doing. If you feel the need to make political corrections, look first to your own representatives; we’ll take care of ours, no outside advice needed thank you very much.

Actual Conservatives, decent people like President Obama and Hillary Clinton and Harry Reid, are the targets of apoplectic diatribes accusing them of being tools of big business repression and enemies of the working class when in fact they have spent their entire lives and political careers trying to counter the depredations of the Radical Reactionary Right and their criminal allies. While they aren’t my idea of true Liberals, they are still decent people trying to do reasonably right by the majority of the American people and we all, Leftists especially, should be grateful that people of such integrity and courage should choose to spend the better part of their lives in public service.

On reflection I conclude that what has particularly ground me down is the Left repeating one of the greatest Right-Wing lies, that Democrats are spineless cowards. It is this particular lie that the Right uses to frighten the Muddled Middle of the American electorate about “terrorists” and “immigrants” and assorted evil Others, to turn them in favor of the supposedly braver and more aggressive Republicans. But one only has to look at the records of FDR and HST and LBJ to see that modern Democratic politicians are certainly aggressive in matters of national security, while the Republican paper-tiger actor Reagan played footsy with a horribly oppressive Iranian regime while it held American citizens hostage and the supposedly manly but actually empty-headed posturing alcoholic coke-head GW Bush failed to protect American citizens in our own homeland from al Qaeda in spite of receiving ample warning of an impending attack.

Repeating the lie that Democrats are “soft” and “weak” and “cowardly” and “spineless” is not only false, it only serves the interests of the Radical Reactionaries. When a usually calm and thoughtful and kind – and Christian – Lefty blogger such as BlueGal feels free to casually say, just in passing mind you, that she hates* Harry Reid and portrays him as a timid bunny rabbit, I begin to fear that there is no longer hope for rational thought anywhere in the Leftist blogosphere.

Then I get pissed off.

Forty years of hard work to get to this point, where the long national nightmare of Nixon/Ford/Reagan/Meese/Bush/Gingrich/Delay/Rove/Bush/Cheney is on the verge of being turned aside in favor of rational thought and a return to broader equalitarianism, and now the damn Left seems to be as dedicated as the Right to finding some way to fuck it up. Irresponsible. Immoral. Unconscionable. Unacceptable.

I’ll come back to this theme in the near future, as the coming election will decide whether or not we return to the dark days of full-on Radical Reactionary rule or continue to try and turn the corner towards the light of freedom. The Left has a moral choice to make, whether to support the effort towards enlightenment or contribute to a resurgence of Radical Reactionary darkness. Right now I am not at all hopeful that the supposedly bright Left can figure out that Defeat is not Victory, Losing is not Winning, Lies are not Truth, and Backwards is not Forward.

Perhaps the core problem is that many on the Left appear to have developed a fanciful view of the American electorate, believing that the majority of voting Americans are somehow Liberal or even Progressive when that is so manifestly not the case. There also seems to be a general failure of the Left to understand the true nature of American governance, such that many on the Left think there is somehow even a shred of possibility that our form of government actually is designed to routinely serve the interests of most citizens when it is not and never has been. I’ll give some thought to how best to explain the actual political thinking of American voters, and the real structure of American governance. Maybe, just maybe, if we can all agree on Reality we can begin the process of agreeing on how to go about changing it.

In conclusion, let me be clear; Emanuel was incorrect in his assessment, and Leftists working to undermine Democrats in a way that facilitates Republican ascendency are not, generally speaking, “Fucking Retarded.”

What they are being is Fucking Stupid.

[* Dear Ms. Langum: Hate is such an awful feeling, and is most destructive to whoever holds it in their heart. As a committed agnostic, even I know we should strive to hate the sin and not the sinner. Regarding Reid’s courage, he is one of the bravest people around and he has proven that many times over throughout his lifetime. You speak in ignorance, out of a passion that is, however well intentioned, blind. You really should educate yourself about him, and then apologize.]

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