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How The Left Views Dissent Today

If you've ever wondered what the Liberal view of what right wing pushback looks like from the Left's perspective then Rick Perlstein's piece in The Washington Post is a must read. The article is titled:

In America, Crazy Is a Preexisting Condition: Birthers, Town Hall Hecklers and the Return of Right-Wing Rage

How better to marginalize the opposition to ObamaCare and the President's other prolific spending initiatives than to stereotype so. But as far as the actual legislation...well, Perlstein doesn't want to engage on that level because it might ruin the ideological narrative he is weaving for his audience at the Post.

Here's another nugget from the Left's perspective of how to place the current political debate in historical context:

Before the "black helicopters" of the 1990s, there were right-wingers claiming access to secret documents from the 1920s proving that the entire concept of a "civil rights movement" had been hatched in the Soviet Union; when the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act was introduced, one frequently read in the South that it would "enslave" whites. And back before there were Bolsheviks to blame, paranoids didn't lack for subversives -- anti-Catholic conspiracy theorists even had their own powerful political party in the 1840s and '50s.
The failure of Perlstein's narrative is that he refuses to engage on the substance of real dissent. His focus is on the fringe, where, predictably, he finds more examples from the right wing than the Left wing. The giveaway on this is the following line:
The various elements -- the liberal earnestly confused when rational dialogue won't hold sway; the anti-liberal rage at a world self-evidently out of joint; and, most of all, their mutual incomprehension -- sound as fresh as yesterday's news. (Internment camps for conservatives? That's the latest theory of tea party favorite Michael Savage.)

The phrase "liberal earnestly confused" conveys a sense of honesty and straightforwardness that Perlstein doesn't afford the Right. This presumption explains why the Left doesn't understand why it is losing the debate in Washington today. While Republicans struggle to field an opposition to the Democrat majorities (and it remains to be seen if they can do that) it should be noted that Liberals are losing the intellectual debate in spectacular fashion.

A disorganized and fragmented opposition is destroying the political capital of Democratic majorities in both Houses of Congress. It isn't the birthers, the heckling or the right wing rage that is decimating the Democratic Caucus. The self immolation of the Democratic Party today is the result of shallowness at the top (Barack Obama) and inch deep roots in their base (Congress). Democrats like Perlstein are manifesting the classic symptoms of a terminally ill political machine. To borrow Elisabeth Kubler Ross' example, the ObamaCare debate has shown that Democrats are somewhere between Denial/Isolation and Anger in the process of assessing their political condition.

There was no viable political opposition to Democrats in 1976 when Jimmy Carter was elected but the condition of the Democratic Party that year was terminal, the result of a disease that first presented symptoms in 1966. That's where the Democrats are today: dead men walking.



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Comments (44)

The Left doesn't just view ... (Below threshold)

The Left doesn't just view DISSENT as un-patriotic..they view it as IMPOSSIBLE!

Obama is their GOD, and to dare to disagree with him is blasphemy!

The Left is so convinced of the rightness of their "causes" that ANY means used to achieve them is justifiable.

We're dealing with zealots and fanatics...and it is getting scary!

it should be noted... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
it should be noted that Liberals are losing the intellectual debate in spectacular fashion.

Likely because Obama's idea that promoting healthier lifestyles saves money has been debunked by a number of studies I have linked to before on these pages that show lifetime healthcare expenses increases with life expectancy regardless of the cause.

The way for the nation to save Medicare, Social Security, and reduce healthcare costs would be to promote smoking, drinking, and bring back trans-fat. We could at least get good tasting fast food during our shorter lives. To pay for healthcare the government should tax organic food, fresh fruits, fresh vegetable, and exercise equipment. Forget the Mediterranean lifestyle, the nation needs to adopt the Russian lifestyle.

Obviously Rick Perlstein ne... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Obviously Rick Perlstein never met anyone from the Daily Kos. Were I Ricky, I'd stay away from history for examples. The left hasn't always preached 'from the high moral ground'.

Forget the Mediterra... (Below threshold)
HughS:

Forget the Mediterranean lifestyle, the nation needs to adopt the Russian lifestyle.

Mac
William Buckley could not have said it better!

I finished reading Rick Per... (Below threshold)
Rockyfromcali:

I finished reading Rick Perlstein's book "Nixonland" about a month and a half ago, and I have thought about much of what he said in that book (it is horribly biased, but I thought illustrative of how a severely out of power party regains political momentum)...and I can't help thinking that maybe he should reread what he wrote.

I think that the portrayal of Nixon as a man who used anger and bitterness as a tool to win his position, who then felt compelled to strike out at those who opposed him with frequently foolish and venal actions...and who squandered an advantageous position, is one that seems all too similar to the way Barack Obama has conducted himself since '04.

Obama = Nixon? Watch out R... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Obama = Nixon? Watch out Rocky, they'll be turning your post over to Linda Douglass, Reich Minister of (Dis)Information.

Mac Lorry: The way for t... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Mac Lorry: The way for the nation to save Medicare, Social Security, and reduce healthcare costs would be to promote smoking, drinking, and bring back trans-fat.

HughS: Mac, William Buckley could not have said it better!

You both must be kidding, or you underestimate Buckley who had much more sense at the end of his life, than either of you.

Stick me in a confessional and ask the question: Sir, if you had the authority, would you forbid smoking in America? You'd get a solemn and contrite, Yes. Solemn because I would be violating my secular commitment to the free marketplace. Contrite, because my relative indifference to tobacco poison for so many years puts me in something of the position of the Zyklon B defendants after World War II.

These folk manufactured the special gas used in the death camps to genocidal ends. They pleaded, of course, that as far as they were concerned, they were simply technicians, putting together chemicals needed in wartime for fumigation. Some got away with that defense; others, not.

Those who fail to protest the free passage of tobacco smoke in the air come close to the Zyklon defendants in pleading ignorance.


#7Ha ha ha "those ... (Below threshold)
914_62:

#7

Ha ha ha "those who fail to protest the free passage of cigarette smoke in the air come close to the Zyklon defendants in pleading ignorance." Ha ha..Ok.

Then those profiteering thru ever increasing racketeering fees/taxes aka Government, are downright conspiring to profit from death... Just like Obama wants to do with healthcare.

"You both must be kidding, ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"You both must be kidding, or you underestimate Buckley who had much more sense at the end of his life, than either of you."

People today can't seem to appreciate sarcasm when they see it. Perhaps it's because Buckley did it so well.

GarandFan,I already ... (Below threshold)
Rockyfromcali:

GarandFan,
I already ratted myself out last week. Even sent a letter to the editor of our local paper about my reasoning for turning myself in.

I told my wife if they show up and want me...she should probably not interfere... :-)

The comparison is of course not perfect though...one of them actually had experience in governing before reaching the highest office in the land.

Rockyfromcali: "I told m... (Below threshold)

Rockyfromcali: "I told my wife if they show up and want me...she should probably not interfere..."

I told my wife if they show up and want me...she can load for me! :)

The 2nd Amendment was put in place for a "rainy day". The storm clouds are forming.

Trying to think, when was t... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Trying to think, when was the last time a U.S. President told the American people "To shut up!".
Bueller? Bueller?

Looking at it from the othe... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Looking at it from the other side - The Reclusive Leftist, 50 years of Black Helicopters.

One of the things that annoys me about the healthcare circus is the claim by the White House that conservative opposition is based in racism. Yes, that is a White House claim, carefully and covertly fed to friendly media outlets: hence the spate of articles and blog posts simultaneously sounding the same note.

It bothers me, first of all, because it's wrong. I don't like wrong things. They chafe. Opposition to healthcare reform is as old as the concept of healthcare reform, and unless Harry Truman was a black man, it has nothing to do with racism. It's part of the rightwing proletarian fear of government -- a fear that is cynically stoked by rightwing elites who rely on control of that same government for their own power and profit. (Caveat: no doubt there are some racists involved in the town hall disturbances, just as there are racists everywhere in America. But to claim that racism is the driving factor behind these demonstrations is absurd.)

Rick Perlstein's essay in the Washington Post, In America, Crazy Is a Preexisting Condition, recaps the last 50 years of rightwing panic. Read it; it will give you a better perspective on what's going on right now than a thousand hysterical blog posts from the Obama noise machine.
Not much lurve for Obama there, either. They think he's a sellout.

"The storm clouds are formi... (Below threshold)
Rolfe:

"The storm clouds are forming" and Justrand's "wife" is duly armed.

(Patriots rightly flee the scene).

Was the second amendment put in place "for a rainy day?"

Justrand gibbers while Mrs. Gibber can load for forming storm clouds. Or something.

Good luck with that.

Good descriptive post illus... (Below threshold)
epador:

Good descriptive post illustrating the title well, Rolfe.

The left is scared witless!... (Below threshold)
Grateful Al Author Profile Page:

The left is scared witless!
The claims of the "vast majority" this and that all through the campaign and first six months is crashing down upon the promised Obama Utopia. The vast majority is awakened again from the past apathy because of the betrayal by the Republicans.
The First Mulatto, Nasty Nancy, Hairless Harry and the worst of them all, George Soros and his shadowy, ball-less wonders, DO NOT hold a vision for this nation that most hold very dear.

"Then those profiteering... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"Then those profiteering thru ever increasing racketeering fees/taxes aka Government, are downright conspiring to profit from death... Just like Obama wants to do with healthcare."

914_62, when you consider the legendary amount of graft and corruption inherent in Chicago politics, it's perhaps not surprising that such gets written into nationwide law. We're already at a horrendous level with Medicare - from $50 billion to $200 million annually - so naturally the cure for fraud in Medicare is to EXPAND the system to cover everyone.

The larger the system, the easier it is to hide the theft.

The left's response on this... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

The left's response on this issue has been standard for them. Their opponents are, in sequence, Nazis, racists, stupid, manipulated, selfish, and, now, crazy. They need a new script--the old one is too predictable.

iwogisdead: "They [the L... (Below threshold)

iwogisdead: "They [the Left] need a new script--the old one is too predictable."

This time their "script" has retirees, older Baby Boomers getting ready to retire, and those with debilitating afflictions cast as the villians. Those folks [they calmly point out] "consume 80% of all Health Care costs".

Have told us where they think the bigger costs are, and that they are determined to SAVE MONEY...they then turn around and say: "But we're not going to ration care to those folks we just pointed out!"

And they wonder why support for their "plan" is in the toilet?!?

<a href="http://jimtreacher... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore,<bloc... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Steve Crickmore,

Those who fail to protest the free passage of tobacco smoke in the air come close to the Zyklon defendants in pleading ignorance.

My point is that the ignorance is on the part of Obama in that he's claiming that better healthcare ultimately reduces costs.

Study: Good health costlier in long run

Cancer incidence, except for lung cancer, was the same in all three groups. Obese people had the most diabetes, and healthy people had the most strokes. Ultimately, the thin and healthy group cost the most, about $417,000, from age 20 on.

The cost of care for obese people was $371,000, and for smokers, about $326,000.

The results counter the common perception that preventing obesity will save health systems worldwide millions of dollars.

The point that Obama doesn't seem to get is that everyone eventually dies, if not from some acute injury or disease, then of some chronic condition they develop in old age.

Van Baal described the paper as "a bookkeeping exercise," and said that governments should recognize that successful smoking- and obesity-prevention programs mean that people will have a higher chance of dying of something more expensive later in life.

Yes, there's room to improve the healthcare system in the United States, but Democrats should stop the bull shit and just admit that it's going to cost a lot more money and then find an equitable and scientifically defensible way to pay for it. Those who suggest putting a tax on soft drinks and fast food only demonstrate their ignorance.

William P. Goode,<blo... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

William P. Goode,

Rupert kept their careers alive in the face of sinking ratings and loss of advertisers but he REFUSED to meet the starting bid on this caught on tape video. Bidding starts at $175,000 for this revealing look into Conservative pathology.

blackmail: Extortion of money or something else of value from a person by the threat of exposing a criminal act or discreditable information.

hypocrite: "Ever since the Republicans used me as a scapegoat when the Party funds came up missing I have dedicating my life to get rid of Republican criminals. . ."

It seems to me that at this point the author of that comment can give the video to some outfit like the NYT, if it actually exists, or they'll be going to jail for blackmail whether or not the video exists. What was that part about Progressives being smart?

In America, Crazy ... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:
In America, Crazy Is a Preexisting Condition

Sad but true, and proven out on a daily basis.

Moderates saw the craziness and the hypocrisy and moved towards the center as far back as 2005, as was reflected in the 2006 election. In 2008 the move away from the foaming at the mouth crowd reached the point where a majority of the electorate finished the job of sweeping the Republicans out of office.

Seeing this, the Americans who still foment hatred in America increased their volume, squealing like stuck pigs. 2010 will show a further move towards the center.

It's a cycle that the hate mobs just can't break. The more that America turns their backs on them the angrier they get.

At least it proves out the theory of the fittest of the species. The GOP seems unable to adapt to the changing world. Extinction for the GOP lies ahead.

But Hugh misses the mark (as usual) with his broad-brush stokes of hatred against the left:

How better to marginalize the opposition to ObamaCare ...

How better of Hugh to marginalize the majority of Americans who sided with the left in the least two elections. Perstein's comment that

In America, Crazy Is a Preexisting Condition: Birthers, Town Hall Hecklers and the Return of Right-Wing Rage

is not only about the opposition to ObamaCare.

The Birthers are a prime example of modern-day racism in the guise of right wing faux rage, and the right wing foaming-at-the-mouth rage that takes place on a daily basis on this blog's comment threads isn't only about ObamCare, it's people like Hugh who rise up and foam at every single chance they get, whether the issue is the economy, Michelle Obama, Immigration, etc.

Some lie about facts in order to marginalize the left - we've seen some amazing lies lately - Ashley Todd was only the tip if the iceberg - there are people on the right who ahte so much they seem totally unable to tell the truth anymore.

It's amazing to watch the right wing rage, and Perlstein is right -- we're all shaking our heads at the craziness that spills out of the right wing blogosphere and places like Fox News.

In Pennsylvania last week, a citizen, burly, crew-cut and trembling with rage, went nose to nose with his baffled senator: "One day God's going to stand before you, and he's going to judge you and the rest of your damned cronies up on the Hill. And then you will get your just deserts." He was accusing Arlen Specter of being too kind to President Obama's proposals to make it easier for people to get health insurance.

That's just plain crazy. Americans in other Americans' faces claiming God is going to judge them poorly because they support health care for poor Americans.

You have to be crazy to not see the craziness.

Vic

Rupert kept their ... (Below threshold)
Stan25:
Rupert kept their careers alive in the face of sinking ratings and loss of advertisers but he REFUSED to meet the starting bid on this caught on tape video. Bidding starts at $175,000 for this revealing look into Conservative pathology.

What has this guy been smoking? Fox News declining in rating? Advertisers leaving in droves? Not hardly. Beck. O'Reilly, Hannity and Greta are beating out their competitors every weeknight. Fox is also kicking ass in most of its daytime and weekend shows too. It seems to me that the ones that are losing all of the above, are the ones that support Barry and the bullshit that he is trying to shove down the American people's throats

Clean Up aisle 24, major sp... (Below threshold)
epador:

Clean Up aisle 24, major spill of NewSpeak and Projection.

What has this guy ... (Below threshold)
What has this guy been smoking?

Who knows? This spam has appeared on other right-of-center blogs this morning, so it's best ignored.

vio,It's ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

vio,

It's a cycle that the hate mobs just can't break. The more that America turns their backs on them the angrier they get.

It is a cycle and the polls show Obama and Democrats dropping dramatically. It's wishful thinking on your part to believe 2010 will be good for Democrats. It might be good for Obama to lose the house in 2010 because then he can blame Republicans for his failed first term in 2012. Of course Obama's undefined Hope and Change shtick won't work in 2012, so he'll have to come up with some other way to deceive voters.

Americans in other Americans' faces claiming God is going to judge them poorly because they support health care for poor Americans.

The anger is toward those who ignorantly support an ill-conceived healthcare reform that will bankrupt the nation. Helping the poor is good, but not if you destroy the livelihoods of twice as many to do it.

Clean Up aisle 24, major... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

Clean Up aisle 24, major spill of NewSpeak and Projection.

Ain't it the truth. He manages to get all of the buzz words and phrases into one post: "foaming at the mouth," (twice!) "Americans who still foment hatred," "pigs," "hate mobs," "lies," "rage," "crazy" and "craziness," (twice each!), and (just in case you missed the first two references), "foam."

Hysterical, isn't he?

Oregon Muse is right. Will... (Below threshold)

Oregon Muse is right. William P. Goode is a half-wit troll that's hit a few websites today.

What's so nice about this one is that it's like every feverish leftist revenge fantasy wrapped up in a tin-foil hat full of dogshit.

It looks like they have bac... (Below threshold)
RicardoVerde:

It looks like they have backed-off of (their) "public option", at least for now. In a way, we have won the first battle, but I don't think now is the time to let up. They can still sneak a lot of mischief in what would otherwise appear to be a reasonable bill.

Keep attending the town halls! Keep reading the bills. Most importantly, keep reminding THEM they work for US.

Well on just a personal not... (Below threshold)
JAT:

Well on just a personal note I got this on Facebook after sending a Friend request:

"I am ignoring your friend request. I don't want any GOP conservative war monger humanity hating tax and spend traitors on my list of friends."

Nice note from someone I don't know. This is what the left sees and hates. Too bad! I don't think we will ever change them either. We just need to have more conservatives than liberals in this country to keep it running as a Democracy.

Ricardo,Now is abs... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

Ricardo,

Now is absolutely the wrong time to back off. Bills become Christmas trees at times and the Congress Critters hang all kinds of ornaments on them. They can pass Health Care Reform without the "death panel" or the "Public Option" and then slide those into an appropriations bill next spring. Or even the next spring after that.

We can't afford for them to get H.R. 3200 in any way, shape or form. We have to make them them kill the whole nasty mess. They can come back to us and have public hearings. And actually find out what their constituents really want in the way of health care reform.

They can attend to fixing the waste and fraud in Medicare/Medicaid and the VA system (which is probably already a big enough group to provide them the leverage with pharmaceutical companies they say they want).

Killing H.R. 3200 (and it's competing brothers and sisters also working their way through the House) is a good thing. It gives Congress and the Administration the time they need to do the job right. It also give them the time they need to and prove (that;s PROVE) to us that they can be trusted. Right now more than 50% of the general populace says they don't trust the Dems on health care reform.

Bottom Line - No trust, no public hearings, no new bill... throw them all out for making a bad job of it.

Ditto, Upset Old Guy.... (Below threshold)
MPR:

Ditto, Upset Old Guy.
These people won't go away and they won't give up. What's coming next is "Immigration Reform". That will be another fight we will have to be ready for. We need to remember "the gang of fourteen" is still roaming around out there in La La Land. I think the country is on to Obamalala and the liberals and they won't be able to sneak any legislation past without a real open debate. Not for the first time am I proud of this country!

"Clean Up aisle 24, majo... (Below threshold)
apb:

"Clean Up aisle 24, major spill of NewSpeak and Projection."

Well played, Sir! Well played!

The Victory monkey is making a mistake in its assessment of "hate mobs." All US citizens had a chance to see the Code Stinkers and Cindy Sheehans in action, as well as all other Soros-funded atrocities - true hate groups as opposed to ordinary citizens voicing their frustrations at their Congress-scum's stupidity.

The poor guy invoking God's wrath is feeling completely marginalized and is using his only ammo - incorrectly, though. Your average Congress-scum holds approximately zero regard for God in any aspect - otherwise they wouldn't generally be as free to steal, cheat, and lie...

The left really, really tho... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

The left really, really thought they could use Obama,who is inexperineced and an empty suit, to get their very radical and way outside the mainstream agenda passed. All it did was wake the citizens of this great country to the lies, deceits and unproven accusations of the looney left such as Vic, who in passed comments and this one has proven himself or herself to be the true racist.

I thank the citizens of america for succeeding in putting a stop to the Obama steam roller by confronting it. It will still get uglier but we will prevail. ww

Yes We will defeat the deat... (Below threshold)
914_62:

Yes We will defeat the death panel surrogates on the left time and again however many times as necessary.

You wingnuts really are liv... (Below threshold)
CAPT Mike:

You wingnuts really are living in your own alternate universe. Remember the 2006 and 2008 elections? Didn't work too well for you Bushlovers, did it? But things will be so much different in 2010, right???

P.S. - LOVE the racist stuff about "First Mulatto". Priceless!

Im not a Booshlover and how... (Below threshold)
914_62:

Im not a Booshlover and how is "mulatto" racist? Private MIKE?

It will be different in 2012 alright.. 3rd party arising.

"...it should be noted that... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

"...it should be noted that Liberals are losing the intellectual debate in spectacular fashion."-hugh s

Intellectual???

Then why does Sean Hannity's "great, great" "All-Star Panel" include actress Morgan Fairchild?

Why does O'Reilly keep talking about titties?

Why won't Glen Beck stop crying?

REMF.

The phrase "liberal earn... (Below threshold)
mantis:

The phrase "liberal earnestly confused" conveys a sense of honesty and straightforwardness that Perlstein doesn't afford the Right.

Rightly so. The opposition is built almost entirely on lies.

I am tired of the socialist... (Below threshold)
caltransplant:

I am tired of the socialist rant. Let's call the left what they have so eloquently been shown to be.

They are elitists.

The cop is stupid, because although he works hard to protect the rights of the elite. He is to dumb to recognize the elite when he confronts them, and too stupid to wither back in the background where he belongs.

We are crazy to question why the elite would not want the same wonderful healthcare that they are so diligently working to give us.

We are harsh and unmericful when we think that government should even think about downsizing in a depression, when everyone else goes without.

Let them have their retoric. If we are stupid enough to believe it, we deserve the consequences.

It is a sad note that I saw a government documentary on the tremendous risks some people take to leave North Korea. It was with sadness that I saw a woman try to coax her sister to continue the journey from China, only to be told that she could not leave the "glorious leader".

If you just want to fill your pockets. I can understand that. But realistically isn't a couple of trillion enough. You have sold out your ability to govern.

Call the Left "elitists"? O... (Below threshold)
jim:

Call the Left "elitists"? OK, sure. You can call us peanut butter if you want.

But just calling it doesn't make it so.

I sure would love to hear it explained how wanting cheap health insurance for the middle class and the poor makes us elitists. Especially since what most progressives want is a system that doesn't raise taxes at all, and is effectively deficit neutral - it just means having a public option to compete with insurance companies.

Jim, Just remember,... (Below threshold)

Jim,
Just remember, buy cheap, get cheap.

The thing about leftists/el... (Below threshold)
ex_jammer:

The thing about leftists/elitists, or whatever you want to call them is that they think they have ALL the answers. The fact that they don't never occurs to them and wouldn't be acknowledged if it did. Their main attitude--and you see it in nearly all of their posts--is that if you don't agree with them then you are obviously too stupid to be making any decisions on your own, and they have "appointed" themselves to make those decisions for you. They behave as if they are children who never learned the meaning of "no". Their parents gave thim everything they ever wanted, never made them demonstrate that they deserved anything they got--cutting the grass might give them a blister, or, horror of horrors, make them sweat. They have no concept of working hard for what we have and are totally insensitive to our desire to have a little something left to pass on to our heirs. To them, ANY money left after we buy food, necessities, and housing rightfully belongs to some a$$wipe who is too lazy, stoned, or lacks the gumption to do better for themselves. As for the healthcare ramjob, er, reform, I'll support it when congress and our pres puts themselves on it too. After all, if it's "good enough" for us, why isn't it "good enough" for THEM?

I'm still waiting for Reid/Pelosi/Obama to answer that one. If they can't or won't, kill the bill and start over until they ARE included in it with the same benefits and chances as the rest of us.

(A congressional bill is like a door-to-door salesmans foot, once they get into your door, WATCH OUT!!)




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