Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A War of Liberal Proportions



The campaign against Kos, which I'd originally dismissed as just another pissy TNR vendetta, is starting to look more and more like a coordinated effort: a Swiftboat operation. At the very least, it's snowballing into a more systematic media attack on Left Blogistan, which makes it my fight as well as Kos's.

I'm not suggesting Karl Rove (or some other GOP mastermind) is behind this, or even that there is some kind of cabal of neocon/dino democrat-leaning journalists orchestrating it. But the m.o. very much resembles the classic Swiftboat strategy: start some vague, unsourced allegations echoing in the blogosphere, then persuade your ideological allies in the corporate media to start firing on target -- based on the flimsy excuse that "people are talking" about the "issue." Rinse and repeat.

This would actually be less ominous if the Rovians or their kind really were behind this. Political dirty tricks are nothing new, and we already know how the GOP and the right-wing blogs do their thing. In this case, however, it looks like Kos's media critics have actually decided to go into the Swiftboating business themselves, instead of simply swallowing whatever regurgitated slop the political operatives and the "independent" advocacy groups drop into their gaping mouths.


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The war, therefore, if we judge it by the standards of previous wars, is merely an imposture. It is like the battles between certain ruminant animals whose horns are set at such an angle that they are incapable of hurting one another. But though it is unreal it is not meaningless. It eats up the surplus of consumable goods, and it helps to preserve the special mental atmosphere that a hierarchical society needs. War, it will be seen, is now a purely internal affair.

In the past, the ruling groups of all countries, although they might recognize their common interest and therefore limit the destructiveness of war, did fight against one another, and the victor always plundered the vanquished. In our own day they are not fighting against one another at all. The war is waged by each ruling group against its own subjects, and the object of the war is not to make or prevent conquests of territory, but to keep the structure of society intact.

The very word 'war', therefore, has become misleading. It would probably be accurate to say that by becoming continuous war has ceased to exist. The peculiar pressure that it exerted on human beings between the Neolithic Age and the early twentieth century has disappeared and been replaced by something quite different. The effect would be much the same if the three super-states, instead of fighting one another, should agree to live in perpetual peace, each inviolate within its own boundaries. For in that case each would still be a self-contained universe, freed for ever from the sobering influence of external danger. A peace that was truly permanent would be the same as a permanent war.

This — although the vast majority of Party members understand it only in a shallower sense — is the inner meaning of the Party slogan: War is Peace.

George Orwell, 1984, Chapter 17

Ahh, a nice, liberal on liberal war is a' brewin'. This is no wussy neocon v. paleocon v. theocon the right likes to pretend to have. No, this is the real deal! This is napalm in the morning, surfing the waves around artillery, Marty Sheen- eye- opening combat!

Now some might say that this is just mudslinging about whether Markos accepts money from politicians (namely, Gov. Mark Warner, D- VA) for preferential treatment on his site (He does not.); we call these people realistic. Now, I feel it's time to put the ol' tin hat on and give this a run through the paranoia machine.

Could it be that this new throw down of partisan v. moderate is a scheme to distract the rising liberal America from actually doing good in the fall? Is this a dire plot to keep us unfocused on winning the midterms and instead expend energy denying these claims? I don't think it's too far off if you take a step out of the implausabilities. TNR has been struggling as of late, and for good reason: Fewer and fewer people agree with their moderation above all, DLC- esc way of arguing their position. What is on the rise is partisan reporting and debating. Perhaps this last throe of TNR is part of a broader plan by moderate factions in US politics that fear the rise of Dailykos and this is the first blow in what may be a drawn out war for the soul of the democratic party.

So who's to blame for this diabolic scheme? Who is the chief wizard of our little Illuminati, pulling the strings of the puppets infront of our faces? Logically, it would be those who would benefit most from a weakened progressive movement. They would need the means (connections), motive (keep their job), and opporitunity (Ummm... Last weekend). So who is well connected, sees their job on the line, and was around last weekend? Joe Liberman.

Think about it (Tin hat, remember): Old Joe is TNR's hero. He's a sheep in wolf's clothing, always hugging the isle even as he represents a state where more than 70% of the population hates the White House Jester. He's been in DC for 18 years. He's also a product of Conn. machine politics, and you aren't one of those if you don't know how to pull some strings. At the other end, Markos is at the vanguard of the push to out Old Joe and replace him with Ned Lamont, for all the right reasons, of course. If it wasn't for Dailykos, ActBlue, and FireDogLake, Lamont might have not been anything at all. Instead, it's looking more and more like Old Joe is is real trouble, and this could be the first shake coming from his boots.

Barring some shocking, in depth journalistic investigating (of which we lack today), this is all conjecture. But back here on the Flipside of Reality, we don't need 'evidence' or 'logical conclusions' or 'reasonable doubt.' Here we have Conjecture, random skips of logic, and reasonable acceptance. And a good story those do make.

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