Tuesday, June 06, 2006


I think Danny Goldberg's thoughts on the wanker Beinart are pretty good. I wanted to hit on this specifically:

But the importance of diversifying the voices and minds who shape liberal politics is not merely tactical. The extraordinarily limited range of “acceptable” opinions among a large segment of the Washington elite effected “smart” opinion prior to the Iraq war just as destructive as the syndrome Halberstram described that led to Viet Nam. This limited range of debate did not lead to “ a tragic choice that freedom requires,” but to a wrong choice, morally and strategically that has undermined freedom. If the same people, using the same world-view reject more diverse voices from future conversations about foreign policy, they greatly increase more tragic mistakes.

The “siren song of purity” exists more in Beinart’s mind than in the diverse and cacophonous American left. The “central debate” among Democrats is whether fear of that phantom leaves national Democrats with nothing more a homogenized conventional wisdom or whether the well educated and mostly competent elite can develop the confidence to allow into their world the emotional energy and reflexive questioning of authority that people like Michael Moore bring to a healthy political conversation. Beinart writes eloquently about the perils of American exceptionalism. But if Democrats and liberals are going to relevant they need to question certain kinds of Washington exceptionalism as well.

The latest whine from the establishment center is that crazy liberals like myself are trying to purge them. It's a funny charge, and Supreme Wanker #1 Joe Klein, makes it again. It's funny coming from a basic political camp whose entire schtick has been, for years, desperately trying to prove they're "not like those other liberals," marginalizing most liberal voices, outdoing the Right at every step in vigorously condemning anyone to the left of Joe Lieberman.

The problem I and many others have had for years with TNR Caucus is not their political views per se (generally) but their active attempts to define themselves as the left flank of acceptable opinion in this country.