Meanwhile, out on the Left…

David Sirota at Salon does battle with the tribalists of his tribe, who won’t support Rand Paul’s stand for bloody obvious sound principle–that the President does not have the right to secretly order your murder–because he is a ritually impure Republican.

Most of my readers are conservatives, so I spend a lot of my time trying to get my tribe to get past the genetic fallacy and confront the fact that our tribe can often be idiots and a thing is not proven false merely because it was spoken by the Wrong Sort.

But don’t imagine for a second that alleged “Progressives” can’t be equally idiotic about Identity Politics. Watching Sirota tear his hair about the boobies at Alternet who are refusing to confront Obama’s tyrannical grab for power and our Ruling Class’ passive support for same is an exercise in exasperation. How *can* a dumbbell like Addie Stan not see that her partisanship is deeply destructive? It is a classic example of the Thing that Used to be Liberalism putting party over common decency, not to mention basic morality and the Constitution. Hilarious to see Alternet joining hands with McCain and Graham to make sure that a lawless and unaccountable President, whose arrogance dwarfs Nixon’s, is free to go on secretly and unaccountably ordering the murder of whoever he pleases.

  • Oregon Catholic

    I am convinced that hypocrisy, and the inability to recognize it in oneself and one’s “tribe” as you call it, is one of satan’s most powerful tools for accomplishing evil. Both individually and corporately.

  • Matt Talbot

    “The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars, but in ourselves.”

  • Paul H

    “Most of my readers are conservatives, so I spend a lot of my time trying to get my tribe to get past the genetic fallacy and confront the fact that our tribe can often be idiots and a thing is not proven false merely because it was spoken by the Wrong Sort.”

    I think that you are to some extent be fighting a straw-man here. I am a conservative, and to me, most of your criticisms of conservatives just don’t ring true at all. Often it seems as if you are critiquing some caricature of conservatism, where all conservatives love any politician with an “R” after his or her name (and hate any politician with a “D”), all conservatives support torture against our enemies, all conservatives unquestionably support any war that our nation enters (as long as a Republican is president at the time), etc. There probably are at least a few conservatives like that, and maybe those are the ones who you have most often encountered. But based on my own views, and based on the views of many other conservatives who I know or who I admire, this seems like a twisted caricature of conservatism rather than the genuine article.

    • Margaret

      I don’t know, Paul, Mark’s perspective doesn’t strike me as that off-base. I know quite a few “conservatives,” particularly older ones who understandably feel that the culture has fallen far and fast from what they recall growing up, whose world views are shaped almost entirely by what plays on Fox News. And these are Catholics, mind you, who will then turn around and snip that the Church is becoming “too liberal” in some of its stances like not wanting to immediately deport every single illegal alien.

    • Mark Shea

      Whereas I can tell you from long experience that if I quote a factual statement from a ritually impure lefty source, I will instantly receive a fusillade of “You are quoting a *liberal*!” rejoinders from readers. Hence I routinely have to say, “Yes, I realize this source is not Of The Tribe, but what they are saying is still true.”

      • Kenneth

        Just to ding their hornet’s nest, you ought to commission Nancy Pelosi to read Humanae Vitae for a “Catechism on CD” for the blind and commuters. And then attribute the quotes to her, along with the original source!

        There’s a reason the universe keeps me from being uber-rich….

    • Nobody

      Speaking for armies of nobodies here, my experience follows Paul’s … in that those who would generally be described as conservative are actually much more open-minded and level-headed than those who would generally be called liberal or progressive and better able to grasp both sides of the coin, so to speak. And, yes, I did say much. And upon reflection, I still mean it. That the loons from both wards of the asylum are assailing you, Mr. Shea, probably means you are right on target a good deal of the time. But the caricatures you sometimes employ are pretty ugly. On the other hand, good job afflicting the comfortable … first world problem, that.

    • http://www.likelierthings.com Jon W

      I think that you are to some extent be fighting a straw-man here. I am a conservative, and to me, most of your criticisms of conservatives just don’t ring true at all.

      I can tell you that Mark’s characterizations absolutely ring true among self-described conservatives I know.

  • http://thecrawfordfamily.net/blog Ken Crawford

    Mark, you should take comfort in that just as you’re often called a closet liberal, Mr. Sirota is being accused of being a closet conservative in the comment section over there.

    Something cross political lines.

  • Brian Q

    It is classic in-group out-group effects coupled with a healthy dose of cognitive dissonance. “Identity Politics” is a great term and fits well with the social identity in-group/out-group behavior we are seeing here. Plus of course the attempts to reduce cognitive dissonance among the left when presented with the dissonant cognitions that Obama is good but drone attacks against Americans is wrong. “But Obama is good so he would never do that!” Dissonance resolved. But even if you accept that (I don’t) you have to realize that giving that power to the executive branch is dangerous and someday someone you don’t like who may want to use that power may be president…but I guess that is only a concern when you are the outgroup….

  • Claude

    “But Obama is good so he would never do that!”

    This I’ve got to see! No doubt you can point me to the source of this remarkable statement.

  • Greg Cook

    Excellent point about Nixon, Mark. To the Boomers slightly older than me Nixon is still the epitome of malfeasance. But his transgressions (real, to be sure) are dwarfed by Mr. Obama’s. I’d also challenge the Dem party faithful to set the accomplishments of both presidents side-by-side and see who actually achieved more progressive items.

  • midwestlady

    So all this political frothing-at-the-mouth is about religion exactly how? Mark Shea, sometimes you’re a good guy, but today, you need to take a pill and sit down for a breather. Easy does it.

    • Mark Shea

      I always thought “You shall not murder” was rather close to the heart of our faith. Has there been a change I am unaware of?

  • midwestlady

    Well, I know, but you don’t have cases of murder and mayhem on here usually, unless it’s associated with politics which you want to gnash your teeth about.

  • Thomas R

    “Most of my readers are conservatives”

    Is that even still true? How international is the readership here? Because I’m not sure why an American conservative would still really follow your blog. Economically you’re further Left (really a kind of “third way”, but more like the Left than Right) than many Liberals I know and on defense/security issues you mostly are Left too. Also on guns. On social issues you’re conservative, but mostly you’re more like a member of a Latin American Christian Democratic party than anything most US Americans would deem “conservative.”

    • Mark Shea

      I’m curious how I’m economically “left” since I myself think I have no coherent economic policy I could name. I believe in just war, but think much of our defense policy has little to do with this. And I agree I am not in line with the Thing that Used to Be Conservatism in the US, but I think that because it is no longer conservative, not that I am.

  • David Naas

    I hate to be an “I told you so”, but, back when Dubya Bush was shredding the Constitution, I received a lot of flack from Right-Wingers (shan’t dignify them with the name ‘conservatives’) who believed the Republican rule was for at least a thousand years (Karl Rove told ‘em so). It was obvious to anyone who bothered to look, that Bush set the precident that a Democrat would follow — and amplify. Now that this is in “come to pass” mode… I Told You So!

    • Mark Shea

      No argument from me.


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