They’re not always clueless over at OpenLeft. In fact, they get it really right about 15% of the time, but then they get push back from A-listers and inevitably reverse what was otherwise the proper stance. Here’s an excellent piece promoted by Paul Rosesberg, written by Diane Mason of Lawrence of Cyberia. If you’re pro-Israeli in the current action (not a lot of those this time, except for ideologues who are helping drive the conflict anyway), you’ll definitely want to skip this one, and the next.
Warning! This post at Cannonfire contains graphic evidence of Israel’s actions. And it’s gruesome, but it needs to be seen. Americans are, as they have been for decades now, protected from this information by a media that is complicit in the atrocities. You will not see this in the New York Times, or the WaPo, or even the LA Times. There you will see stock photos (from who knows when and where) of unidentifiable Arab men lobbing Molotov Cocktails. At Cannonfire, I saw the half-exploded body of a young Palestinian being pulled out of wreckage as a group of people stood around. His or her body (sex was indeterminate) was probably exploded by weaponry of this caliber. Where talking shrapnel shedding cluster bombs and white phosphorus lobbed into residential areas. I’m sorry, but I am always on the side of the oppressed. Palestine, you have my condolences and apologies, not that they’re much help….
In that article, he also quotes Glenn Greenwald, who slips in a little factoid I did not know:
No thought is given to what it is like, what emotions it generates, what horrible acts start to appear justifiable, when you have a hostile foreign army control your borders and airspace and internal affairs for 40 years, one which builds walls around you, imposes the most intensely humiliating conditions on your daily life, blockades your land so that you’re barred from exiting and prevented from accessing basic nutrition and medical needs for your children to the point where a substantial portion of the underage population suffers from stunted growth.
Bolding mine. Come on people. We’re talking apartheid with, apparently, a current attempt at genocide. I mean, this is how is started for Jewish people in Nazi Germany, no? Also in Joseph Cannon’s article is the perfect transitional quote for the next link (see below, Dissenting Justice link):
Too many Jews learned the wrong lesson from World War II. The victims of persecution came to equate strength with a willingness to persecute others. Like many other peoples in many other times and places, a large number of Jews were seduced into the false belief that the hardest heart beats longest.
I really couldn’t agree more. That is the nature of corruption; it corrupts absolutely. This is the lesson I failed to take from the 1990s. I could so clearly see the framework of what was happening in the moment in the 1990s, and every political prediction I made came true because of that clarity. I knew who was up to what and why. But I didn’t see how allowing it could change the system forever. It took another eight years for me to learn that lesson. In 2000, after the election was called by the Supreme Court, I said this:
Fine! Let them have it four years. Let them have it for eight. They will fuck it up so bad because they are so corrupt that we won’t elect another Republican presidential for 8-16 years. We’ll at least be rid of them for a while.
And boy howdy, are we ever through with them for a while. Unfortunately, my team switched sides, and began playing the corruption game. I mean, why not? It worked so well for the Republicans. That’s what the Obama Machine was all about–calculatingly shrewd power grabs using the other side’s tactics. Talk about Shock Doctrine. I could still kick myself in the ass for not realizing it would be Biden. Of course. He fits the Bush-Cheney model. Older guy, lots of experience in a corrupt industry (Biden is practically single-handedly responsible for idiot credit card system we have, and protected that industry mightily in the deplorable bankruptcy bill ). The only difference is the veneer. Biden is supposedly charming, while Cheney is at least a snake at every layer. They both twist arms and make a select group of people a lot of money, enriching themselves in the process.
Anyway, I’ve digressed here a bit, but I guess I needed to get that out. You’ve probably already forgotten about that quote. It had to do with the lessons people learn when they are baked in ideological ovens, literal or analogous. I suppose another way to look at it is Auden’s view, from his poem September 1, 1939:
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.
The link I’m referring to is here, at Dissenting Justice, from Professor Darren Hutchinson. It’s about the Burris “scandal” that Democrats are creating (and typically, backing down from already. Oh noes! The thunder of the inauguration! Must. Not. Fuck. Up). He rightfully points out that what is happening now is exactly what I missed in the 1990s–the consequences of unchecked corruption. Hutchinson says:
Democrats Are to Blagojevich as Republicans Were to Bill Clinton
Ironically, many Democrats are making arguments today with respect to Blagojevich that they rejected during the Clinton impeachment proceedings. Republicans demanded that Clinton resign, and Special Prosecutor Ken Starr leaked information to the media in an effort to shame him out of office.
While Republicans claimed that the controversy surrounding Clinton made it impossible for him to govern effectively, Democrats argued that the partisan impeachment disrupted the country instead and that Clinton should remain in office. Today, however, many Democrats — particularly Senate Democrats who oppose the seating of Roland Burris — believe Blagojevich should resign; their arguments mirror the assertions of Republicans who pressured Clinton to leave office.
Bolding his. And here we have it. The slow crawl of immorality creeping up on Democrats to make them hypocrites once again. I’m sure they’ve internalized it so slowly that they’re scarcely aware it’s happened, but that doesn’t excuse it. Self-reflection is required for the job, or ought to be. Most of these guys (I refuse to say guys and gals until it actually applies statistically) have been in the job for years. A simple list of comparisons and contrasts would reveal to any thinking person the differences between Washington as it was and as it is. Technological advances and changing social norms do not account for all of it either. The city is now teeming with opportunists who are given keys to the Treasury, and political intimidation is common place on both sides now. Just like Zionists (Both Jewish and Christian), the lesson the Democrats learned over 28 years of Republican dominance is how to play the game, not how to stop it.
Do read Hutchinson’s whole piece, though, because he zeroes in on Harry Reid, who needed some zeroing in on.
Just like I discussed in Why We Fight, there are unintended consequences whenever we acquiesce to banality by tuning it out. We did not fight hard enough. We were yoked to spineless cowards, many of whom who had grown fat and far too cautious after their own nearly 30 years of dominance in the 50s, 60s and 70s. And after all of that, I cannot believe how many people still don’t get it. It’s no good cycling the worst in us from one side to the other. Both parties must stop fighting for dominence and learn how to share power ethically. I’m not talking about drawing issues out of a hat to compromise on; I’m talking about smart leadership that models ethical choices, so that that those are the lessons learned.
Edited to add: h/t Murphy in comments at Pumapac, this article coming out of Boston says it all about the transformation happening in the Democratic Party over the last few years. The problem with Burris, as far as Reid was concerned was that he’s “never met the man.” Turns out he’s now enlightened by the “obviously very engaging, a very nice man. ” So let’s review the themes of the last eight years, and the next eight years for that matter, shall we?
“Greedy? Immoral? Corrupt? ``Reactionary?