Monday, February 13, 2006

Liberalism Today

Unclaimed Territory - by Glenn Greenwald: Do Bush followers have a political ideology?
It used to be the case that in order to be considered a "liberal" or someone "of the Left," one had to actually ascribe to liberal views on the important policy issues of the day - social spending, abortion, the death penalty, affirmative action, immigration, "judicial activism," hate speech laws, gay rights, utopian foreign policies, etc. etc. These days, to be a "liberal," such views are no longer necessary.

Now, in order to be considered a "liberal," only one thing is required - a failure to pledge blind loyalty to George W. Bush. The minute one criticizes him is the minute that one becomes a "liberal," regardless of the ground on which the criticism is based. And the more one criticizes him, by definition, the more "liberal" one is. Whether one is a "liberal" -- or, for that matter, a "conservative" -- is now no longer a function of one's actual political views, but is a function purely of one's personal loyalty to George Bush.
Personal loyalty to a leader? Isn't that the F' word we are not supposed to mention?

Greenwald expands on this and notes responses that prove his point. Greenwald claims that the criticism of the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court was that she wouldn't be loyal enough to Bush ideas. To expand on this I who proudly wears the liberal label often don't hold positions on issues that I am accused of having. This is part of my problem with Peter's essay referred to earlier.

ADDED - Digby has more on the Republican Authoritarian Cult.

MORE - Another example of liberal and conservative being redefined as anti and pro Bush is Roger L. Simon. I feel he has been clearly a conservative despite his pro-gay, pro-abortion, anti-death penalty positions. My reasoning being his support for Bush, the Iraq War, and nearly all the Right Media Machine spins of the moment. Part of the reason for this is that he, like many others who are faux-liberals or former liberals, rarely write or talk about their liberal positions. When they do it is only to bring them out to slam others for calling them conservative. Bill O'Reilly was an earlier example of this but now he is just recognized as a conservative buffoon and moderate poseur.

YET MORE - A conservatives at agrees with Greenwald. Meanwhile Greenwald has gone on to calling out conservative bloggers on their hyprocrisy and denouncing Ann Coulter, really one and the same.

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