When we talk of "right" and "left" we miss the other dimension of the political compass ("top" and "bottom")


9 comments posted
well, it does seem to describe

how the two parties are behaving, which strikes me even more as stupid on the part of the Democrats. If you want to oppose a movement seeking to consolidate power in big institutions, it seems obvious that them best path to success is to do the opposite, rather than mirroring the strategy yourself. That huge political reservoir of unrepresented people, ripe for the picking ...

Madman in the Marketplace's picture
Posted by Madman in the M... on 2 March 2006 - 2:35pm
Go back to the GOP...Big Tent Closed.

What has happened is an influx of moderate GOPers coming to the Democratic Party.

I am all for the big tent with in the frame work of Democratic values... however, I SERIUOSLY think all would be better off if the New Dems went back from whence they came... and and retake the manlte of old fashion GOPERS. I'd never though I missed the "kinder" days of Nixon and Reagan.

GOPers like Kos and his ilk should stake their clain the the Grand Old Party and modererated that parties views instead of coming to the Democractic party and stripping this party of civil rights issues and liberal ideologies.

It be more effective if they cleaned up their own GOP party instead of rearranging the entire Democratic party since they have nothing in common with it anyways. Anyone who goes around saying that the Democratic party should be "ISSUE-LESS" ... doesn't really have a intimate understanding of the Democratic party nor it's history both good and bad.

To this end sadly the Log Cabin Republican were more honest... they truly believe in Republican values and not Democratic values... it is a pity that their party hates them... However, I sense that there are a lot of LCR refugees in the party and hence the HCR recent endorsement of Casey even though he is against gay marriage and gay adoption... a sign of true Republicans (money and taxes come first).

Speaking of Political Compasses it is interesting to note that the top three rated GOP Senators are seen to be of the moderate persuasion and not the wingnut variety. Which leads me to believe that the GOP is not as wingnut as it seems but that their leadership as now the case of the Democratic leadership is not giving their base a choice an enforces ONLY wingnuts as candidates.

This enforcement of wingnuts in the GOP leads to some interesting situations as in the case of Club for Growth running negative ads against a perceived moderate Republican Chaffee while simultaneously running positive ads for conservative Democrat Cuellar.

However this is not a sign of the Dems being progressive since they are more than willing to back any misognist, homophobe racist with a "d" behind their name... Ciro is just the Dem leadership giving a bone to the grassroots base while they stuff the rest of the entire buffett with Casey's, Ritter's and Massa's.


At the moment there are no checks and balances in the GOP therefore no change will ever come to that party. GOP refugees fleeing the tyranny of the wingnuts should be welcomed in the Dem Party once they read and sign on to the EXISTING platform.. not because they are too cowardly to fight within their own party.

The entire US Democratic system out of balance and hence slippery slope slide to the right. Because at the end of the day it is not about D or R but whose issues and ideologies make it to the mainstream. Wingnuttia is winning because of the R's and the D's pushing for it. Perfect example is Casey and Sanatorum WingNut A and WingNut B they both belong to wingnuttia.

Republican Dems are easy to recognize ... they are the ones who whine about "Far lefties" and Liberals... they are constant "Fear-jerkers" babbling how we JUST HAVE TO move to the right or the big bad boogie is gonna get us... yunno the majority of the blogger boys.

I honestly believe that they would do MORE GOOD for all concerned to go back to the GOP and moderate their cousins who are now free to persue their wing nut agenda with wild and reckless abandon unchecked by anyone within their own party nor the Democratic party because the Republican Dems have neutered it's oppositional fight.


What is in a name?

Well obviously they don't know either...

John from Americablog goes thru severe girations to distance himself from the rabble rousing masses (that gave his gay ass his civil rights) in trying to define himself and his "friends"...

But on the liberal side of the blogosphere, things are completely different. On average, I'd say, the top liberal blogs are not far-left, nor are they conservative Democrats. The top bloggers tend to be middle of the road Democrats (or liberals) who occasionally veer left and right of Democratic center depending on the issue (I for example am very pro gay rights, but I also tend to be more hawkish on foreign and defense policy - though I don't appreciate being lied to and tricked into unnecessary wars costing $300 billion and thousands of American lives). (Yeah...gocha)

The problem the media, politicians and pundits make when calling the left side of the blogosphere "extreme" or "far left" is that they confuse anger and activism with a particular wing of politics. They're not the same thing. And in today's Democratic party, or rather, in today's America, to be angry at the way the country is heading, to think President Bush is a failure as a president, is not the same thing as having a particular political affiliation, let alone one to the "extreme."

Those who would call us "extreme" confuse our extreme anger with extreme politics. And they're two entirely different things.

Markos, for example, was a Ronald Reagan Republican as a kid. So was I. Markos is former military, and I even worked for a Republican Senator. Sure, we've both strayed from our political upbringing, but still, it's a bit difficult to pigeonhole us as per se "extreme" far lefties. I'm sure if you go through the bona fides of other "top" bloggers on the left, you'll run the gamut of those with far-left, center left, and perhaps even "right" left (i.e., conservative dems).

And in fact, if you look at many of the top folks on the online left nowadays - Markos, me, David Brock, and Arianna, for example - the one thing many of us share in common isn't our far left politics, but rather our being former Republicans who grew fed up with far-right politics. And that fed-up-ness, I think, we share with a growing segment of America, left and center.

Once upon a time, to be a liberal activist was, perhaps, to be per se a VERY liberal activist. That just isn't the case any more. Certainly there are many VERY liberal activists, and more power to them, and many of them are bloggers. But today's Democratic/liberal/independent activist is, I believe, less motivated by a particular ideology as he/she is by a growing horror as to the direction our country is heading. If anything, rather than being "extreme" ourselves, we have become activists and bloggers as a RESULT of the extreme turn that Republican politics has taken over the past few decades, and the extreme direction it has taken our country.

I'm jet lagging massively, so I may not be enunciating this as clearly as I'd like, but journalists, politicians and pundits are naive and old-thinking if they believe that liberal bloggers are per se "liberal," meaning to the far-left extreme of the Democratic party. I do believe that only a few of us, if any, are to the far right of the Democratic party, and thank God for that - but only because conservative Democrats aren't Democrats at all. Conservative Democrats are pretty much akin to far-right Republicans. The mainstream of Democratic activists is (are?) politically mainstream and lefty Democrats (i.e, a mix). Whereas the mainstream of Republican party activists are far-right and Christian-right (no mix at all).


Notice the not once did he even attempt at defining these labels that he is so glibbly categorizing people. What the FUCK IS VERY LIBERAL COMPARED TO JUST LIBERAL...

These guys who grew up believing in Reagans "Welfare Queen" fairy tales and the Black people only want handouts... Those ideologies are still deep rooted in their pysche which is why the only way that they can "accept" the Democratic party they were raised to demonized is to not to change themselves but rid the Democratic party of all those nasty issues... that they STILL DEEP DOWN BELIEVE TO BE TRUE.

Please do us all a favor and just go back to the GOP and fight moderating your own damn families instead of dragging your GOP garbage to the Democratic party...

postdated's picture
Posted by postdated (not verified) on 2 March 2006 - 2:52pm
I don't need any convincing

To me it's clear that Kos is rather conservative, and pro-authoritarian in ideology when it comes to women's equality, equal protection and military policy. I don't know about Aravosis, but I think anyone who defines the political spectrum from the perspective of having been a Reaganite as a kid is going to be rather skewed rightward -- or at least with a favorable view towards authoritarian government. Their youth works against them because they have little historical perspective and equate their own freedoms with authoritarian power held by a particular party. I find that rather sad and naive.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 2 March 2006 - 3:25pm
Explaining Progressive Values ... a Mantra

Media girl's drawing tells the story. The Republicans have staked out the right side of the horizontal axis - at least in their rhetoric. Like postdated said, the Log Cabin Republicans (LCR) care first about money, then about whether or not they are branded as sodomites.

In Reagan's New Deal, the horizontal access was where it was at, and pushing it right, was what he advocated.

But, as media girl points out, we aren't looking much at the vertical access. because both parties are moving upward into the authoritarian realm.

The Right to Privacy is not in the upper quadrants (upper two squares), it is in the lower two quadrants.

When there are groups such as the LCR whose over-arching concern is money, what does it matter about their sexual orientation? Mammon comes first. And in fact, we see a lot of hypocrisy in the Administration about homosexuality.

Reagan's New Deal, though maybe not Reagan himself, said that for the re to be economic freedom, we must sacrifice personal liberty. Thus the Kosians and others are headed for the top of the chart.

But that leaves the whole bottom of the chart open.

The Progressive message can be explained in these terms - personal freedom.

Matsu's picture
Posted by Matsu on 2 March 2006 - 4:36pm
I Remain In The Dark...

...As to why it would be easier to drive the ex-Republicans from the DP tent than it would be to just let them have it, and move on to new territory. You would bring your knowledge, experience, networks, and cash with you. It would be an uphill battle, but not a hopeless one.

My spouse, die-hard Kossack [rolleyes] and activist lawyer, loves to twit about the local breed of supposed liberals-- the ones who think that anti-war protests and homeless people are tacky. I actually agree with his assessment that the local breed's commitment --such as it is-- to women's rights, gay rights, and civil rights, is a mere smokescreen at its worst (That is, a declaration that that sexism, homophobia, and racism are in Bad Taste-- like Hawaiian shirts or Cheez Whiz). At its best, it melds the supposed search for social justice to cut-throat Clintonian "New" Democrat ideals that The Market will create equality for all. I would beat my head against the wall over this repeatedly in the 2000 election and still do. Why would people believe that social justice and a saccharined mutation of laissez-faire capitalism would produce social justice for more than a favored few of the favored classes ? It boggles my mind. Yeah, I was all for same-sex marriage and ground my teeth along with countless others when it was scuttled in OR. And yet... and yet... why would same-sex marriage alone produce social justice for the state's citizens even if John Kerry and his minions had had enough guts to stand up for it ? All right, show me a lesbian engineer and her real-estate saleswoman partner and, yes-- Same-sex marriage could very well be the end of the rainbow (no pun intended). However, show me a lesbian Mal-Wart clerk and her unemployed partner and... well, same-sex marriage by itself isn't going to fix everything. Not by a long shot. As with the rest of us, what's needed is a complete overhaul of how we do budgets and taxes and how to fix whatever remains of the social safety net. It's going to require busting up media monopolies and throwing out Taft-Hartley and all manner of other nasty class warfare boils that are ripe for bursting.

(And at the risk of stating the obvious, cutthroat economies create nasty bust cycles. Nasty bust cycles feed hate. I don't think it's mere coincidence that Oregon's repeal of same-sex marriage came at a point when we're in one of the worst economic downturns that we've ever been in.)

The modern DP has zero interest in those things, and barely any interest at all in the hot-button issues like same-sex marriage.

Really, isn't it time to just pack up your things and go ? How could a new party, or a shored-up Green Party, or a Feminist Party, or even a spate of loosely affiliated Independent candidates with a handful of declared common issues and no party at all, make a worse hash of things than we've got now ?

What I would like everyone to see is what Matsu likes: Personal Freedom. But we're going to have to find a way to explain that personal freedom is not just for people who have enough money buy it.

alsis39.5's picture
Posted by alsis39.5 (not verified) on 2 March 2006 - 5:49pm
What money can't buy?

I agree that money buys freedom and Reagan made the pitch that under his system anyone can get rich. Thus, anyone can get freedom. He said that big government and those on the dole were keeping the rich from getting rich enough to buy freedom. If a few people got rich, everyone would be rich - except for the lazy - and there would be enough money to go around to make everyone free.

Now witness the administration being totally out of touch with what was happening after Katrina. The "let them eat cake," as in "let them get their own SUV out of the city" mentality pervades the rich.

Part of the wealth comes at the impoverishment of the traditional underclass and nice words about safety nets.

Why does the homeless man pan-handle me on the Streets of San Francisco? Because we're eliminated the wasteful middleman, big government, so he is no longer in a halfway house. he can now directly pan-handle me for money without a bureaucrat help the guy survive.

The AIDS crisis. What crisis? The government was too busy keep the rich, rich.

And on it goes.

Matsu's picture
Posted by Matsu on 2 March 2006 - 6:34pm

Why does the homeless man pan-handle me on the Streets of San Francisco? Because we're eliminated the wasteful middleman, big government, so he is no longer in a halfway house. he can now directly pan-handle me for money without a bureaucrat help the guy survive.

And based on the original and earlier post, it's indeed going to be harder to get through to the younger Demos who "crossed over" from the party of Reagan, because they're judging societal values with Reagan as a standard. They can't remember when it was otherwise and too many so-called DP leaders have amnesia on the subject;They have spent every moment since the 1980s dancing to the tune that men like David Stockman called. It's a lucrative dance for them;No real reason for them to discard it as it is our bodies they are dancing on.

Homelessness has been a terrible problem in Portland for years. And during the reign of the Clintonian techno-bubble (the same one even "liberal" economists like Krugman idolize), we had more hungry folks than any other state in the nation, though I hear we have since been supplanted by Alabama. Whoo-hoo.

alsis39.5's picture
Posted by alsis39.5 (not verified) on 2 March 2006 - 7:16pm
I would add ..

There's an interesting bit going on on the GOP side right now. In the last year, something has caused some congressional Republicans to remember that they're something more than presidential yes-men.

But there's still a certain element of outlandishness on both sides ... and I will add one more log to this little fire. Why have "Republican" and "Democrat" become more important than underlying issues? I see so many bits of campaign mail and polemic extolling the virtues of one party or another ... but not really offering an underlying set of values.


pennywit's picture
Posted by pennywit on 2 March 2006 - 8:59pm
Once Upon A Time...

...the Enfranchisement of Blacks and Women was "outlandish."

...Social Security and Medicare were "outlandish." FDR gets most of the credit for the New Deal, but its antecedents came from Socialists, Communists, and Anarchists... not to mention 3rd Party candidates like LaFollette and Debs. FDR didn't want the New Deal because he was a nice guy. He wanted it because he and his fellow upper-class denizens were terrified of fascism and all the other "isms" that an increasingly desperate and vocal populace was looking towards for relief from the terrors and deprivations of a disintegrating society.

Wise folk will tend to raise an eyebrow when they hear their POV called "outlandish" with no further analysis. Who gets to decide the standards by which a value goes from "outlandish" to "mainstream ?"

Wasn't there a poem that said something like:

"...That which is now proven

Was once only imagined..."

alsis39.5's picture
Posted by alsis39.5 (not verified) on 3 March 2006 - 2:06pm