ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Friday, June 30, 2006

The Birchers of the Left

Now, I think this analysis at Enchiridion Mitis is pretty accurate, but I'm a little sad that it's getting publicized. I mean, without all the Moonbats & their conspiracy theories, I wouldn't have much to comment on (and make fun of) here. I mean, this blog is named Another Rovian Conspiracy precisely because of the ridiculous conspiracy theories that are rampant on the Left.

Here's are a few paragraphs, but be sure to visit the site and read the whole thing:

At this point we must ask: why recall the John Birch Society? Why recount its history? What lessons do we draw from it? For the right, the answer is that it’s a cautionary tale — and it reminds us to be proud of our antecedents in the movement.

For the left, it has everything to do with current events.

The American left today is not quite in the position of the American right circa 1960. But it is suffering nonetheless, having been in slow decline for the past quarter-century. Even when it wins the Presidency, it loses the Congress: and even when the President is the inept, uncommunicative George W. Bush, it still cannot make a dent in the ascendancy of its enemies. The end result of this is a group of Americans, identifying as members of the left, that is strikingly similar to the conservative movement of a generation past: inchoate, angry, and prone to “irritable mental gestures which seek to resemble ideas.”

Consider the average member of this group. He (or she) remembers the era of leftist dominance of American politics — and he remembers the beginning of its end, on election day 1980. He is around 50 years old. He is professional living in a coastal enclave, mostly on the Pacific coast or the northeast. His political consciousness was formed by the McGovern and Carter campaigns — and of course the American retreat from Vietnam. He may have grown up in Iowa, or Texas, or Missouri, or Utah — but he went to college elsewhere, and fell in love with the people in California, or New York, or Boston, who were so much more progressive and intellectual than the hayseeds back home. His initial concept of conservatives, which he’s never really abandoned, was formed by Nixonian malfeasance: they’re all crooks and corrupt, in his mind. The ascent of Reagan in 1980, and later the 1994 revolution, came as a profound shock — how could America forget so soon? He is well-off: and the bulk of his working career — and hence the font of his personal prosperity — was spent in the boom markets of the 1980s and 1990s, under Republican national governance in one form or another. He doesn’t think about the implications of that much.

But for all his generally good circumstances, he’s been on the political and cultural losing side all his adult life. He’s tired of it. And he’s found a website which, at last, makes him feel empowered. He is, in short, the typical member of the so-called netroots: the left-wing movement, organized around blogs, that seeks to “take back” this country from its usurpers. The netroots is a movement born of desperation and a sense of embattlement at being on the losing side of historical forces. It sees itself as the inheritor and the guarantor of true American tradition and identity, and it seeks to restore those things to their rightful primacy in national life. Critically, it choose to not merely fight its foes, but emulate them. It sees the prime virtue of its enemies as their ability to win, and if they can just crack the code — if it can grasp the very methodology of victory — then they will turn the tables, and victory will be theirs.

Sound familiar? It is — to us. To the left, it’s all very exciting, and all very new. And so we see the self-proclaimed netroots go through a trajectory very much like what the Birchers went through, albeit in highly compressed time. The elements are all there: the resentment, the conspiracy-mindedness, and especially the leaders with stupefyingly poor judgment married to Napoleon complexes. I’ve noted before that they are “frank proponents of outright mimicry of the mechanisms of GOP ascendacy.” Add to this the horrifying, alienating statements ranging from the mockery of dead Americans at war to the derision of political opponents’ personal sorrows. Add to this the demonization of the very people who should, in a sane world, be their friends — The New Republic chief among them — and the formula is complete. Messianism and paranoia marry to make this.

There’s already some evidence of pushback. The journalistic establishment won’t take the abuse forever. The purported agents of the Communist — sorry, the vast right-wing conspiracy won’t endure the smears indefinitely. And the left’s political establishment won’t kowtow endlessly — and certainly not so long as the netroots keep losing. For the sake of American civic life, one hopes this is true.

But for the sake of the enemy — we conservatives of all stripes — we need merely note that whereas they have a pint-sized Welch, they have no Buckley.

This is a good point that there is little to put the brakes on the Left's adenture into the rabbit hole, but I think that there are a few who could rescue them - and if/when the press starts to champion them instead of heeding to the beck & call of people tied up in Securities Fraud investigations, the Left can surely turn things around.

However, the echo chambers that are DailyKos, DemocraticUnderground, MyDD... (ummmm, instead of listing them all, just look at the Lefty Moonbat Blogroll on the right... ) and the double-super-secret Townhall email list that ensures that the "People-Powered Movement" has a unified message dictated from on-high will make it very difficult for them to change course.

Only time will tell... and ultimately, it's not criticism from the right side of the blogosphere that will awaken the Left from their BDS and paranoia. It's the "liberal"/progressive institutions such as The New Republic, the New York Times, etc, etc which will do so as they start to question the very nature of the Moonbat Movement. Of course, I wonder whether TNR will be able to continue in its attempts to do so - no one said righting the ship would be easy!

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler