The Moose comments on ideological diversity.
The Moose does not hate George W. Bush. That is a very controversial statement in almost all of the left and in much of the Democratic Party. In fact, Bush hatred is the ticket for entry into the progressive movement.
Bush loathing goes beyond mere opposition to Bush policies. It requires rejecting anything the Administration supports. It is certainly the defining belief of the blogosphere and it infects much of the Democratic Party. The implicit party discipline of the left is to punish all those who do not subscribe to hatred of all things Bush. That is what is required to be on the "team."
Moose was struck by this popular posting by a liberal blogger, Glenn Greenwald. He writes,
"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."
From his varied experience, the Moose questions whether this is true. The reality is that prominent conservatives have been critical of this President on a range of issues - the Weekly Standard has questioned Administration's execution of the war, the National Review and the Heritage Foundation have been critical of the President's big spending ways. And now, a range of libertarian conservatives have differed with the President on the NSA program.
Yes, there is an element of conservatism that attempts to apply a Lenninist discipline on ideological heterodoxy. In fact, the Moose was the target of their efforts. The Moose has enjoyed the distinct pleasure of being labeled both a Republican squish and a Rovian plant. But, based upon personal exposure to both sides of the political spectrum, this mammal can confidently observe that there is more tolerance for differences on the right side of the spectrum than on the left.
While Greenwald suggests that "loyalty" to Bush is the requirement for the right, the standard to to be a member in good standing of the liberal/left community is hatred of Bush. The Moose opposes most of the economic agenda of the Administration. However, he critically supports the President in the war on terror - including the NSA program. This has won the Moose the visceral opprobrium of the left. Because in the left wing universe, one must oppose everything the President supports. The truth is that a good part of the left believes that George W. Bush is a greater threat to America than Osama bin Laden.
Yes Virginia, there is a left wing Cult of Bush Hatred.
There is far too much ideological conformity in both parties. That is why the Moose belongs to neither. It would be far better if both sides of the ideological spectrum had more introspection and self-knowledge.
But it is far easier to accuse the other side of rigidity than encourage diversity on your own "team." The right is slowly moving beyond Bush. The left remains obsessed with him. --