blue bits. red rocks.


By the time Clinton was done the rhetoric of self-professed liberals was a public relations game. This is why there is continuity from the Bush administration to the Obama administration. Obama’s election did nothing to halt the expanding assault on civil liberties—in fact Obama’s assault has been worse—the Bush bailouts of big banks, the endless imperial wars, the failure to regulate Wall Street, the hiring of corporate lobbyists to write legislation and serve in top government positions, the explosion of drilling and fracking, the security and surveillance state as well as the persecution of government whistle-blowers. The Coming Climate Revolt

☼   ☼      ☼   ☼

The old liberal class, the safety valve that addressed grievances and injustices in times of economic or political distress, has been neutered. There are self-identified liberals, including Barack Obama, who continue to speak in the old language of liberalism but serve corporate power. This has been true since the Clinton administration. Bill Clinton found that by doing corporate bidding he could get corporate money—thus NAFTA, the destruction of our welfare system, the explosion of mass incarceration under the [1994] omnibus bill, the deregulation of the FCC, turning the airwaves over to a half dozen corporations, and the revoking of FDR’s 1933 Glass-Steagall reform that had protected our banking system from speculators. Clinton, in exchange for corporate money, transformed the Democratic Party into the Republican Party. This was diabolically brilliant. It forced the Republican Party to shift so far to the right it became insane. Chris Hedges

The ease with which certain liberal bloggers at venues like the Daily Beast and Gawker use the terminology of racists, bigots, and violent segregationists should give everyone pause, and it should tell leftists that we have a long way to go towards building a truly progressive media. Love Me, Ferguson, I’m A Liberal

We elected what a lot of people assumed was a liberal government in 2008, but there’s an embargo against liberalism in America. Republicans are wholly in thrall to the plutocracy, but Democrats are largely in thrall — you can’t go to D.C. as an elected official without raising massive amounts of money, and that means you can’t ruffle the feathers of the folks who pay your bills. Democrat might get a little liberalism through the legislative process, but centrist Democrats will unite with Republicans and the right-wing media (usually with the mainstream media’s assistance) to prevent this sort of thing from going too far. Now that the rich no longer fear that workers will go communist anywhere in the world, the have no incentive to maintain a strong, thriving middle class in the First World. So whenever liberalism threats to break out, they intervene. And so it’s their economy. No More Mister Nice Blog

Liberals were more likely to exaggerate their religious attendance than conservatives. Liberals attend services less frequently than conservatives do. Yet their desire to be thought more religiously observant than they actually are is greater. Why does this matter? Because it’s more evidence that the claim that liberals are waging a “war on religion” is absurd. The Myth of a ‘War on Religion’

Consider an issue like abortion, which divides the country in a particularly intense way, with opponents earnestly regarding it as the murder of an innocent baby and many abortion-rights supporters earnestly believing that a fetus is not a human life, and that outlawing it is a horrific assault on a woman’s bodily autonomy. The political debate over abortion is likely to continue long past all of our deaths. Would American society be better off if stakeholders in various corporations began to investigate leadership’s political activities on abortion and to lobby for the termination of anyone who took what they regard to be the immoral, damaging position? Mozilla’s Gay-Marriage Litmus Test Violates Liberal Values

Inequality is shaping up to become the new focus of liberals. Reed is worried about the “dilettantish” behavior of the left which “careens from this oppressed group or crisis moment to that one.” And yes, inequality could turn into another bright shiny object of the day. But I believe inequality will have legs. It has enough moral energy to coordinate political imaginations, yet it’s plastic enough to cover different elements like poverty and plutocracy, as well as values like economic freedom and security. Adolph Reed’s Harpers Essay About Obama is Naive About Tea Party

…working people in America got more from Richard Nixon than we got from Clinton or Obama. And it’s not because he was our fan, right, it’s because, you know, the labor movement and what has since been called the social movement of the ’60s were dynamic enough forces in the society that even Nixon, who called himself a Keynesian, felt that there was a need to respond to them. So that’s how we got occupational health and safety, affirmative action like other stuff. So it’s not, and, see, this is the key point, I think, right. Because one of the ways that our politics have been hollowed and a source of the collapse of the left is a forgetting, right? A kind of social amnesia about what movement building is and how and what social movements are and how they’re constructed. Adolph Reed

☼   ☼      ☼   ☼
☼   ☼      ☼   ☼

…if we understand the left to be anchored to a conviction that the society can be made better than it actually is and a commitment to combating economic inequality as a primary one, the left is just gone. I mean, there are leftists around, certainly. There’s no shortage of them. And there are left organizations, and there are people who publish left ideas and kind of think left thoughts. But as a significant force that’s capable of shaping the terms of debate in American politics, you know, the left has gone and has been gone for a while. Adolph Reed

When I first came to political consciousness in the 1980s, it seemed important for people who shared my politics to call ourselves leftists and not liberals. Liberals were those who wanted a tolerant society but who weren’t willing to look at issues of power. Now after 30 years of the Reagan revolution with the liberal social welfare state under increasing attack, I think liberalism—meaning support for a welfare state and for public goods—needs to be defended. At this point in this country, it actually takes some courage to be liberal, and liberals are fighting for things I want them to be fighting for. So I’m all for liberalism, as well as leftism. Cynthia Kaufman

But economically, what was WWII? An enormous government spending program. It got us out of the depression and far beyond, when FDR’s earlier stimulus programs only partially did so, because it was eight times larger. In the context of a depression, you have to think big. A WWII-sized stimulus was what was needed, and fortunately it was what we got. Liberalism works

A GNT creation ©2007–2014