Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The "party before principle" principle

Sorry for the light posting; I'm working on a major video project. No $$ involved (although...who knows?), but I'm addressing a non-political issue of great importance.

Right now, I invite you to glance at this comic from the same team who put together the one-page al-Awlaki graphic novel featured in our previous post. This strip will hit home with many of you, since most Cannonfire readers have mounted serious left-wing critiques of our current president. (Hard to read? Click to enlarge, or go the link above.)

All of which brings us to today's puzzler.

It's apparent that both liberals and conservatives are guilty of putting party above principle. We all get so caught up in the horse race that we forget why the race exists in the first place.

When Dick Cheney said "Reagan proved that deficits don't matter," nobody on the right screeched at the veep. When a Democrat got into office, deficits suddenly mattered more than anything. Chalk it up to the "party over principle" principle.

On the other side of the aisle, many liberals voted for Obama because they thought he would be President Peace-Lover. When he turned out to be President Surge -- and then President Death-From-Above -- the Obots went into rationalization mode.

At least, some of them did.

Many did not. During the 2009-2011 period, lots of lefty blog commenters registered many a harsh complaint about Barack Obama, and there's no use pretending otherwise. In fact, I would say that -- for a while, at least -- the complainers outnumbered the rationalizers, even on Daily Kos. The left got scared back into Camp D only when the Republican primaries gave us a close look at the opposing forces.

So. Who is more likely to hold principle above partisanship -- your liberal friend or your conservative friend? Which one is most likely to concentrate on ideas rather than the endless game of shirts-vs-skins? Which one is most likely to fulminate at a leader of his or her own party?

Until very recently, I would have said that liberals are far more likely to express their disdain for Democratic politicians. (To cite but one example: Back in 2007, Nancy Pelosi probably had more left-wing enemies than right-wing enemies.) However, the Tea Party's recent activities -- particularly their extreme hatred of Karl Rove -- have forced me to reconsider.


cracker said...

Even Tea Party loons understand when they are being ground under the heel of a fat, arrogant, dictatorial thug like Karl Rove, who doesn't even attmpt to hide the fact that he is a fascist. (How did a criminal pig like he is rise to prominence and authority in American politics?) I think they've got it.

Now those who characterize themselves as "liberals" or "progressives" or just Democrats need to get it also about Obama. Yes, GW Bush is a war criminal who caused the deaths of huge numbers of people who never did anything to this country and who posed no threat to it at all. Obama has done the same. Bush wrecked entire nations which will not recover from the damage done to them for 50 years. Obama has done the same. Bush extended and strengthened the establishment of a police state in America, and the great O has done the same, only at an ever-increasing rate. It almost makes me wonder if Bush and Obama have had the same employers. Maybe the whole left/right, liberal/conservative dichotomy is nothing but a con game to keep the suckers occupied and at each others' throats while their country is stolen out from under them, and all of them, collectively, are sold down the river. Perhaps if we all got it, we would understand it isn't about left/right or even Repub/Demo; it's about the 2 or 3% who really run things and own the bulk of it vs. all the rest of us.

Mr. Mike said...

I don't have friends, just people I know.

But in answer to your question, my hypothetical friends would have equal numbers on both sides that put party above politics. The rest of them are still comfortable enough to ignore politics. As our quality of life degrades I expect more of them to become politically aware but by then it will be too late.

You know, come to think of it my Left leaning acquaintances that kneel at the altar of Obama are assholes. they're off my Easter Card list.

DanInAlabama said...

"... Maybe the whole left/right, liberal/conservative dichotomy is nothing but a con game..."
cracker at 9:01 am

IMO it is Theater to a large degree. The people who run the Show are afraid. They are afraid that if too large a segment of the country were to find common ground the people at the top would be in trouble. Divide and conquer is as old as the hills because it works on any social unit.

The people who run the Show , who own the Mighty Wurlitzer, realized long ago that if you build a Leader up without simultaneously tearing him down he may become popular enough to threaten their power.

The Mighty Wurlitzer can make our leaders ineffective or unstoppable. They don't assassinate our leaders with bullets anymore, they don't have to, they use words.
It's a lot easier and no cover up is necessary.*

To paraphrase Bob D.: There's something going on here but you don't know what it is, do you, Mister Jones?
We all know Something is rotten in the state of Denmark, but the people who run the Show, by denying us consensus, keep us effectively Leaderless at the national level. And Leaderless, we fall prey to confusion, doubt, disunity, and despair.

But after all, the play's the thing, and they are playing the American people like a fiddle. Including me even though I know better.

*True leaders don't even get past the media vetting process these days, but if one did somehow slip through the cracks, they know, in the back of their heads so to speak, that They can always return to the bullet. To me this is the unspoken fear that keeps them in line should they even think about challenging their puppet masters.