The Liberal/Democrat Split

Bloggers on the center and right often lump the “nutroots” together, to portray Daily Kos as a radical left-wing fringe composed of anti-theists, communists, and terrorist sympathizers. A few months ago, the Commissar wrote an entirely wrongheaded dystopian story about a totalitarian US led by Kos, Jane Hamsher, Amanda, and PZ. That’s old news; I criticized the story on UTI almost right after it was published.

The reason I bring it up now is because for the past few months, the liberal and Democratic blogospheres have seemed to collude, but are now starting to drift apart. When Lamont ran against Lieberman, the Democrats supported him because Lieberman was pro-Bush, and the liberals did because he was a pro-war religious fanatic. But now that the Democrats have won and their top strategists are spinning it as a victory for waffling centrism, the schism is returning.

Now Pam has a story about Dean possibly being replaced at the DNC. I’m all for replacing Dean, but not with Harold Ford, a fundamentalist who embodies the ideal of the excessive moderate, who has no concrete ideas about anything but screwing gays and atheists.

I also predict that once the new Congress convenes, the split will deepen. The Democratic majority will probably raise the minimum wage and pass a few symbolic measures about competence. At least, that’s what the Democrats trot out when people point out to them that they have no ideas to campaign on. Everything else will continue as before: the US will stay in Iraq and continue saber-rattling with Iran, the Senate will continue ratifying trade agreements where the idea of free trade is only reflected in the agreements’ names, gays and atheists will continue being second-class citizens, and Congress will keep supporting bills that screw the poor and shred civil liberties. The Democrats will like it; the liberals won’t.

7 Responses to The Liberal/Democrat Split

  1. Yoram Gat says:

    As an atheist I am aware that I am a member of a distrusted minority (a bit more distrusted than Muslims, and a bit less distrusted than Scientologists), but I don’t feel like a second class citizen. Should I?

  2. Alon Levy says:

    Well, the government forces you to use money that endorses monotheism, and the number of high-profile politicians who tell you you’re immoral isn’t that lower from the number of politicians who ranted about the evils of civil rights in the 1950s.

  3. Yoram Gat says:

    The money issue is no more than a minor irritation, and I have no problem with politicians voicing their opinions about my morality. I think it is quite legitimate for politicians to voice their opinions on the morality or immorality of various ideas or policies. In fact, I would like progressive politicians to be more vocal about the immorality of elitist ideas.

    Shouldn’t we reserve terms like “second class citizens” for more serious situations? The case for using the term for gays, for example, is much stronger.

  4. Alon Levy says:

    It’s not so much about ideas as about people. I think anyone who says, “Conservatives should get out of the country,” “I don’t think conservatives should be considered citizens,” “this is one liberal nation,” or “conservatives can’t be moral” has no place in politics.

    But you’re right: the case for using the term to refer to gays is an order of magnitude stronger.

  5. SLC says:

    Actually, a gay person is more likely to get elected then a declared atheist. Tlhus, people like Barney Frank, Gerry Studds, and Jim Kolbe had little difficulty getting reelected after coming out of the closet. I suspect that the closet gays like Mark Foley (if he had behaved himself) and David Drier would have no problem getting reelected if they came out. I don’t know if Rick Henry, the Governor of Texas would be reelected if he came out. The only declared atheist I know of is Bernie Sanders, the Senator elect from Vermont.

  6. […] Alon discusses the split between the liberals and the Democratic party, and includes a disturbing link to some speculation that Howard Dean might be replaced at the Democratic National Committee by a centrist, possibly Harold Ford. […]

  7. Alon Levy says:

    That’s certainly true. I don’t remember the exact numbers – I think something like 25% of Americans wouldn’t vote for a gay/lesbian in any circumstance, compared with 50% for an atheist. But that’s more an issue of prejudice than one of legal status.

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