Running To and From Their Base
By: Mark W Adams

Digby really, really nails it tonight. I've been saying for years, as has Digby, that the Republicans' real enemy are liberals, and that they will fight terrorism (and as she points out, any threats to national security, or crime or assaults on "family values") when convenient and advances their anti-liberal agenda.

Repudiating liberalism is a symbolic gesture required of Democrats by the political establishment to prove that they are not elitists. And it goes beyond mere posturing on gay marriage or abortion. The national security challenge is always not to appear to be "an appeaser." The way you prove that is by refusing to appease the Democratic base. The economic challenge is to walk very carefully on taxes because it "costs jobs" for the hard working man and the struggling businessman alike who are in this thing together against the liberal elites. The cultural challenge is to not appear to be too friendly to blacks or too unfriendly to socially conservative religion in order to prove that that you are not beholden to the "extremists." The entire construct is based upon Democrats distancing themselves from their most ardent supporters (which is quite convenient for Republicans.)
We do their dirty work for them. This puts a political straight-jacket on someone like Barack Obama, who must prove that he's not beholden to where he came from. Indeed, it's the very reason someone like Obama can exist at all. As he mentioned in his books, he's not one who is ideologically driven, never was. If he were, he would have been much more easily dismissed by those who are most threatened by him.

In talking about the swiftness with which Obama will break our hearts as progressives,

Progressives should not give Obama an easy pass on his FISA turnaround. We must continue to stand for the 4th Amendment protections against warrantless wiretapping, criticize Obama's turnaround, challenge the constitutionality of the FISA legislation in court, and if Obama is elected, continue to build a movement to pressure Obama and a Democratic Congress to amend the FISA act to restore Constitutional protections.

And we won't. True liberals won't anyway. I cannot for the life of my conceive of what it would take for me to simply say, "Okay, go ahead and listen to every conversation everybody has, monitor every email and text message, keep track of every detail of every purchase and bank transaction -- I trust my government and every individual who works for it to do the right thing with this information, and anyone who objects must have something to hide."


It would be easier for me to give up smoking than give up the idea that the freedoms we Americans supposedly cherish would remain intact under such a regime, many of which are already a thing of the past when airport screeners can order a strip-search on a whim and border agents clone your laptop's hard drive, legally, without even a pretense probable cause could be shown.

I honestly don't think conservatives set out to create a police state. It's just the nature of the beast they chose to fight. Appeals to personal liberty is a mighty powerful tool politically, and speaking up, shouting down "the man" and talking truth to power is just what we liberals pride ourselves on doing. If we're for it, they have to be against it -- especially if in our zeal and honest conviction that we're doing the right thing we could gain credibility in the political as well as social/cultural arenas.

Backed by the wealth of the corporate interests they serve, the conditional responses of the god-fearful's obsequiousness to authority, and their willingness to exchange integrity for a pity slogan -- their attempt to control nearly every aspect of society is merely a byproduct of how they define themselves, anti-liberal, and the tenuousness of their coalition whose demands must be met in their entirety or doom the movement.

We on the other hand, suffer from Bullworth Syndrome, (see also: Bullworth Factor) See this quote as well:
Angry black woman: Are you sayin' the Democratic Party don't care about the African-American community?
Bullworth: Isn't that OBVIOUS? You got half your kids are out of work and the other half are in jail. Do you see ANY Democrat doing anything about it? Certainly not me! So what're you gonna do, vote Republican? Come on! Come on, you're not gonna vote Republican! Let's call a spade a spade!
[Loud, angry booing]
I submit the world conservatives envision is unnatural, that more social consciousness and egalitarian principles are our natural state of being. That fact is why they work so damn hard in both over and subversive ways to defeat it by any means possible. The problem is that Democratic politicians can play into that game without consequences. That's why it's imperative that you understand you can vote for Barack Obama and loudly object to him of all people succumbing to the Bullworth syndrome. Don't let him forget who brought him to the dance.

The truth, you see, has a natural, liberal bias.