A Leftist's Opinion of MoveOn
From American Leftist:
MoveON.org has been one of my personal obssessions, but it is important to understand its centrality in preventing the emergence of an empowered antiwar movement. It has done so by calculated appeals to liberal pragmatism in relation to the electoral process. Sensing opportunity, MoveON.org organized against the invasion of Iraq in late 2002 and early 2003 on the slender pretext that it hadn't been authorized by the UN, as if to suggest that the colonial enterprise would have otherwise been acceptable. It participated in protest marches as part of a broader strategy to exploit antiwar sentiment to expand membership, while simultaneously limiting criticism of the impending conflict to the methodology of approval instead of the more compelling immorality of it.
I'm inclined to agree with American Leftist at least partially on this. I have long felt that the Left has been too ready to compromise, too ready to take any scrap they can and herald it as a step in the right direction. The "center" of politics has taken a massive shift to the right in the last twenty years. Instead of these compromises slowly shifting the center back to the middle, it seems more like those on the Left are being pulled to the Right.
It's the mentality that in order to generate the greater consensus, in order to make the idea, bill, meme to succeed, you've got to build compromises into the original proposal. This seems like a stupid way to negotiate. You're already giving away half of your position before you've even sat down at the table.
This latest bill with the non-binding timetable for troop withdrawal is a good example. Instead of Barbara Lee's more aggressive proposal to strictly use funding towards troop withdrawal, many liberals pushed for Pelosi's softer bill. Yes, Pelosi had a better chance of getting hers through, but the idea is to make the other side fight for it. At least a little. It would help me personally shake that "Democrats are weenies" idea.
Also, what's with this "non-binding" crap? If you can't make him stick to it, what's the point in expending all this energy to get it passed? You would gain just as much by taking an add out in the paper.
I'm not sure of MoveOn is the root of all evil, though. I think they believe what they're doing is helping the Left make progress. I'm just not sure if i agree with the strategy.
By min | March 28, 2007, 1:31 PM | Liberal Outrage