Saturday, September 29, 2012

More Finger-Wagging from the Faux Left

A long article by one Rebecca Solnit appeared at Common Dreams on Thursday, as well as at Huffington Post, and possibly elsewhere this week: Rain on Our Parade: A Letter to the Dismal Left

Ms Solnit set about scolding, at length - yawn inducing length in fact - anyone whose politics veer towards the left and who is not about to support President Obama in the November election. Other so-called liberals and "celebs" have scolded these individuals, such as myself, in similar fashion. Such sanctimonious scolding is irritating in the extreme. Ms Solnit is entitled to her views on the issues she raises; I and many others who think differently are entitled to ours. It'd have been quite easy to compose a post explaining her viewpoints without descending to insulting her readers.

For example her 2nd para:
O rancid sector of the far left, please stop your grousing! Compared to you, Eeyore sounds like a Teletubby. If I gave you a pony, you would not only be furious that not everyone has a pony, but you would pick on the pony for not being radical enough until it wept big, sad, hot pony tears. Because what we’re talking about here is not an analysis, a strategy, or a cosmology, but an attitude, and one that is poisoning us. Not just me, but you, us, and our possibilities.
And later on this gem - dearie me!!!
Still, every four years we are asked if we want to have our foot trod upon or sawed off at the ankle without anesthetic. The usual reply on the left is that there’s no difference between the two experiences and they prefer that Che Guevara give them a spa pedicure. Now, the Che pedicure is not actually one of the available options, though surely in heaven we will all have our toenails painted camo green by El Jefe.
I was very happy to see the comment thread beneath Ms Solnit's piece at Common Dreams double and treble in length over a couple of days, filled with views from people such as myself, but far more knowledgeable on US politics and far more eloquent.

"Dismal left" she calls us? In my view it is Ms Solnit's view that is dismal - dismally blinkered.

Tom Carberry's popular comment begins thus:
Ms. Solnit's cliche filled essay complains about the cliche of the lesser of two evils, because she must admit that she has hitched her wagon to Obama's stairway to heaven and declared the slaughter of Muslim children OK because "thousands" of American children will do better under Obamacare. (I can do cliches, too).

Ms. Solnit belongs to the amoral left, that seeks its own benefits, without regard to the costs paid by others. No matter what happens, well off "liberals" like Ms. Solnit will do fine, or at least she believes that.

We have two types of mainstream voters in Amerika -- moralistic conservative voters (such as in they oppose abortion, but don't mind if the child starves or dies without health insurance) and amoral liberal voters, who cannot take a moral stand on any issue, no matter how urgent................I had to read a long way into the article to see what Ms. Solnit deemed important enough to go along with war, torture, and mass murder. Obamacare and the potential promise of Obama maybe (or maybe not) coming out in favor of gay marriage. That seems like a poor bargain.

There are now around 550 comments on Ms Solnit's essay at Common Dreams, the majority of which match my own feelings. Ms Solnit's piece on Huffington Post collected more approval, something to be expected I guess - more readers of HuffPo are of the same ilk as Ms Solnit - Obama Apologists seems to be the label they've acquired.

A few more clips from the hundreds of comments at Common Dreams:

If Obama is truly representing hundreds of millions of people, then maybe that is where you should be trying to scrounge votes for him. He does not represent me. I didn't vote for a war surge, or drone assassinations, or drill baby drill, or trillions in bailouts to Wall St. or putting banksters in charge of the economy, or cutting backroom sweetheart deals with Pharma and insurance giants, or revocation of civil rights, or domestic spying on steroids, or the White House office for wrecking environmental regulations, or the sabotage of international environmental and arms-limitation treaties, or the crackdown on whistleblowers and public demonstration, or the ramped up war on medical marijuana, or putting business lobbyists in charge of food, agriculture and energy policy, or the aggressive pursuit of anti-environmental union-busting job-killing international trade deals. (And do you really think hundreds of millions of people *did* vote for those things?)

by cent erista:
The only thing more to blame than the politicians, are their apologists who refuse to demand more from them. Not only do these hope-fiends enable regressive policies by defending those who enact them, they thwart the efforts of the small minority who rail against them by trying to quell dissent through fear mongering and ridicule. This behavior can become so entrenched and their ego investment in protecting the politician so reactionary, that they actually, involuntarily, begin to become agents in support of things they claim to abhor...

This article condescendingly makes its own argument against itself. So progressives are just supposed to turn a blind eye and shut up about Obama's remote-control slaughter in the Middle East because of some modest health insurance reform? That's just one example. I will never stop speaking out against the military-corporate takeover of Democracy, no matter what political party partakes in it.

To end with a wry ironic smile:

Pollyanna, I'm in complete agreement. I am so sick and tired of people complaining about the holocaust whenever I say Hitler was a snappy dresser. Can't people just stop always accentuating the negative?


Wisewebwoman said...

It is unbelievable how many are drinking the Koolaid lately, eh?

Too far to the whiny left? Mein Gott.

It would be funny only it's so heartbreaking.

BTW did you see the Sarah Silverman piece? Watch out for her language but she so nails it. Love her granny. (it may cheer you up!)


mike said...

“The Ephebians believed that every man should have the vote (provided that he wasn't poor, foreign, nor disqualified by reason of being mad, frivolous, or a woman). Every five years someone was elected to be Tyrant, provided he could prove that he was honest, intelligent, sensible, and trustworthy. Immediately after he was elected, of course, it was obvious to everyone that he was a criminal madman and totally out of touch with the view of the ordinary philosopher in the street looking for a towel. And then five years later they elected another one just like him, and really it was amazing how intelligent people kept on making the same mistakes.”
Terry Pratchett (Small Gods)

Twilight said...

Wisewebwoman ~~

Yes, damn that Koolaid !

Hadn't seen that Silverman video, WWW - thanks. Good one! Although it's about voter ID requirement, I did sense an underlying pro-Obama feel too. But she's right about the ID requirements being so openly fraudulent!

Twilight said...

mike ~~ Wonderful Terry Pratchett quote! The guy's a genius! It reminded me that I must must must acquire some of his books.....have been intending to do so for years, but keep getting sidetracked.

R J Adams said...

Read a quarter of Solnit and fell asleep. Ditched the rest. I've commented on Common Dreams before. They have the occasional interesting piece, but most is the 'same old, same old' every week. I rarely get past the titles these days.

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~ Common Dreams has changed over the past year or so, I've noticed that. Change of comment platform to Disqus seems to have brought in a different set of commenters too. But it's the only place where I find people who share my own views on most things, so I pick and choose the best (for me) articles they carry.

Ms Solnit's piece was 4 times longer than needed to make her point, and a lesson that less really is more!