Monday, July 31, 2006

Tony and Joe

The Moose muses about the fate of two statesmen.

Tony Blair and Joe Lieberman are truly two of the most significant politicians in left of center politics in the world today. And both are under attack by reactionary leftism for their principled stand on the critical issue of the day.

Blair and Lieberman are the embodiment of principled progressivism. They are both stalwart supporters of economic justice, workers' rights, human rights, environmental protection and civil rights. The insight that they share is that the greatest threat to these values lies in the Jihadist fascist movement. This movement poses the most significant challenge to liberal civilization since the fall of communism and the death of Third Reich. Indeed, Jihadism most resembles Nazism in its racialist totalitarianism.

Unfortunately, both Blair and Lieberman are increasingly isolated within so-called "progressive" circles. Their association with President Bush has become a political liability for both of them. But, the truth is that their adversaries in their respective parties are of a dangerous strain of left of center politics.

The opponents of Blair and Lieberman represent the reactionary left. The reactionary left's primary animating cause is reaction and opposition to all that is Bush. Anyone who perceived as giving succor to Bush is their enemy. Their opposition leads them to temper their animosity to the enemies of liberal civilization. They are not enraged at the Jihadists. The reactionary lefties are indifferent or believe that Bush is at fault for the Jihadists' atrocities.

In Britain, the reactionary left refers to Blair as Bush's poodle. In America, the reactionary left is obsessed by the inadvertent hug that Bush gave Lieberman. However, the reactionary left celebrates the embrace of their man Lamont by Congresswomen Kaptur and Waters who were part of a small group of twelve House members who recently refused to vote to condemn Hizbollah.

In the eyes of the reaction left, Joe Lieberman's great "sin" is that he "collaborates" with the other team. This is the puerile nature of Joe's enemies. The Washington Post rightly editorialized yesterday,

"...This is a talent and temperament that is helpful to the Democrats in the minority but will be needed even more if there's a change in power in one or both houses of Congress or, in 2008, in the White House. Then, more than ever, the Democratic Party, if it hopes to accomplish anything, will need people such as Mr. Lieberman who bring some civility to an increasingly uncivil capital -- who can accept the idea that opponents may disagree in good faith and who can then work to find areas of agreement and assemble working majorities of 60 senators. His ability to do so is a strength, not a weakness, for the party as well as the nation."

The primary difference between the principled progressives and the reactionary left is that the former believes the main threat to liberal values is Jihadism while the latter views the main threat as the President of the United States. Joe Lieberman has always understood the central moral issue of the day. In the sixties he went to Mississippi to fight for civil rights. Today, he has the insight, along with his ally Blair, that the main threat to all that liberals hold dear is from the Jihadist fascists.

Parenthetically, it is amusing to witness the reactionary leftist blogosphere herald the New York Times endorsement of Lamont (the hometown newspaper, the Hartford Courant endorsed Joe). These once so-called cutting edge keyboarders are now enamored with the MSM when it serves their purposes. In truth, the elitist NYT's editorial page long ago adopted the reactionary left's attitude toward the war against the Jihadists.

For the moment, the reactionary left is gaining strength in both the Labor Party and the Democratic Party. Tony Blair is threatened by the potential abandonment of his fellow Laborites. In the US, the political action committee founded by the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and run by his brother is working for Lamont. Democratic leaders regularly pander to the reactionary left blogs. The reactionary left, with their allies on West 43rd Street, are the new elitist insider establishment. Joe is the fighting principled progressive outsider.

David Broder put it well,

"But often in the past, the early successes of these elitist insurgents have been followed by decisive defeats when a broader public weighs in. That is why this contest is so consequential for the Democratic Party."

Next week's Connecticut primary is a the main political battleground in this conflict of visions. Which vision will prevail in the Democratic Party - principled progressivism or reactionary leftism?
-- Posted at 6:01 AM | Link to this post | Email this post