Saturday, April 19, 2003

Criticizing our Own

Brian Linse has a post up on the subject of lefty bloggers criticizing our own. This is one of my pet peeves- so much so that I think occasionally people misunderstand where I am coming from on the issue. When I started blogging I noticed that the "liberal" bloggers spent an inordinate amount of time writing and echoing the criticisms of liberals (or, more often than not "idiotarians") by the mouth-breathers on the other side. Why this bothered me particularly was that it was pretty clear to me that a lot of the lefty bloggers thought they had a bargain - we'll criticize our idiots if you criticize yours. I've never seen much of the latter.

It isn't that I think we should all follow a version of Reagan's 11th commandment, but emphasis is everything. I have better things to do than try and prove something to the bullies on the other side by answering their calls to denounce the latest comment by some lefty somewhere. And, as Calpundit points out, more often than not stupid things done by idiot lefties aren't actually done by People in Power - you know, politicians, big media, etc, but rather the "Gilligan's Island Crowd" - movie stars and professors - or, Instapundit's favorite threat to society, "some anonymous guy with a stupid sign somewhere."

When elected officials and other prominent people involved with the Democrats have bigot eruptions, or whatever, I'll freely condemn them. But, when some idiot says something stupid in an alternative weekly, or Harry Belafonte says something, it has nothing to do with me. And, in this particular case (Matt Welch's assertion that "The Left" is too forgiving of Castro), I have to wonder who the heck he's talking about. I loathe Marc Cooper, rarely agree with him, but I don't think his throwaway crack about Ashcroft, or anything else in his column, is in anyway a defense of Castro. One might disagree with the substance of it, but defense it isn't. But, in any case, Marc Cooper doesn't represent my politics any more than John Derbyshire does.

Now, with respect to Cuba generally, of course there are those on "The Left" who are overly sympathetic to Castro. But, they aren't exactly occupying positions of influence. I think many of us Lefties think Castro is a bad bad man, but generally think that in the Pantheon of evil dictators of the last 40 years , including ones we actively supported like our good buddy Saddam, he doesn't exactly deserve the top billing. In addition, despite the fact that U.S. policy towards Cuba - driven at least in part by the Cuban exile community - is supposed to encourage "regime change," it seems to have been instrumental in preserving the viability of the Castro regime.