Monday, February 13, 2006

Defining a Liberal Today

One of my favorite new blogs is by Glenn Greenwald, an attorney that specializes in first amendment cases. On Sunday he wrote: It used to be the case that in order to be considered a "liberal" or someone "of the Left," one had to actually ascribe to liberal views on the important policy issues of the day – social spending, abortion, the death penalty, affirmative action, immigration, "judicial activism," hate speech laws, gay rights, utopian foreign policies, etc. etc. These days, to be a "liberal," such views are no longer necessary.

Now, in order to be considered a "liberal," only one thing is required – a failure to pledge blind loyalty to George W. Bush. The minute one criticizes him is the minute that one becomes a "liberal," regardless of the ground on which the criticism is based. And the more one criticizes him, by definition, the more "liberal" one is. Whether one is a "liberal" -- or, for that matter, a "conservative" -- is now no longer a function of one’s actual political views, but is a function purely of one’s personal loyalty to George Bush.

This couldn't be more true. What is even funnier is what passes for a 'conservative' today. Back in the days of St. Ronald Reagan a conservative was someone who believed in small government, staying out of foreign affairs, belief in a strong military and a balanced Federal budget. That sure is no longer the case. A conservative is now someone that follows the Bush Admin. hook, line and sinker, even if they disagree with Bush.

Today Glenn goes on to write:conservatives over the last three decades have been abandoned almost entirely and have been replaced by their precise antitheses -- all in order to justify George Bush’s conduct. The principal example used was the angry opposition to warrant-based FISA eavesdropping voiced by conservatives under the Clinton Administration, as compared to the stirring defense of warrantless, oversight-less eavesdropping now engaged in proudly by the Bush Administration.

But beyond that specific, quite revealing instance is the general disappearance of an anti-federal-government ethos. Principles of a restrained federal government and distrust of that government -- previously centerpieces of the conservative movement -- have been discarded like yesterday's trash in order to maintain praise of George Bush's actions and to maximize the powers and reach of the Federal Government now that Bush controls it.

Glenn is a bright guy that hits the nail directly on the head. How do I know that? Well, because of all the outragious emails he received from the 'right wing' in response to his post.

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