I've posted this response to Joe Klein's post criticizing liberals (SURPRISE, SURPRISE)for their criticism of his criticism of their criticism of the president (got that?) because the Time Swampland comments are moderated by the author - can't imagine why?)
Mr. Klein. Technically, you're quite incorrect: what liberals (not illiberals) and progressives (not reactionaries) dislike is when you in the most dishonest and intellectually lazy way possible set up straw men identical to those used by Republicans e.g., "the left wing tendency to assume every U.S. military action abroad is criminal" This is somewhere in between an egregious exaggeration and an outright lie. You know this isn't true for any member of the left wing of American politics of any note whatsoever. And to suggest that people on the left don't go to bed every day praying to God almighty for a miracle in Iraq for our country and our troops defending her is nothing short of slander.
So, your challenge is easy, I sincerely hope, wish, and pray that Baghdad and every where else in Iraq finds peace, now, tomorrow, soon, eventually, any time at all in the foreseeable future.
But, while I do wish that, neither am I a fool. I can meet your challenge and also know that every moment we allow Mr. Bush, Mr. McCain, and Mr. Lieberman their way on this war is a moment that makes the problem worse not better. You say it's not so, I'm sure.
So I have a challenge for you. Name one significant and lasting success that this adminstration has had in Iraq - or, I'll make it easy - in any realm whatsoever - that more than one third of Americans would be proud of. Go ahead. Take your time.
Anything. Maybe one or two things that you're stretching to something close to meaningful in the manner of a clueless student increasing the margins, making the font larger, and adding in some adverbs to meet the requirement? Let's assume you've come up with something. Now, just for giggles, , take a moment and think of all the things that this administration and their allies have FUBARed.
See the difference?
And yet, you continue to spend far more of your time attacking the style of this administration's critics (whom you repeatedly claim to agree with amidst all the criticism), however, right they may, rather than attacking the substance of this administration's repeated and colossal blunders that are costing the United States dearly in terms of opportunity, money, status, moral standing, and lives. I ask you, sir, who then is naïve?
If you are truly outraged at the President's behavior and opposed to overpowering arrogance and stupidity that led to this disaster, you might do something about it using your international megaphone.
We use words like liberal, progressive, left. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something, of a life spent fighting for justice, equality, freedom, dignity. You use them as an insult. Luckily, we have both the time and the inclination to defend ourselves from a hack who pretends to ride under the banner of the very values that we defend, deriding and belittling them while simultaneously questioning the manner in which we fight for them. We would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, we suggest you pick up a pen, and take a stand for what's right and good rather than whine about people not doing right. Sheesh.