10 December 2009

This machine kills corporate Democrats

People who follow my Facebook feed know I've been on a Woody Guthrie kick lately. You can probably guess why I'm trying to keep Woody alive, but to reiterate, here's a story I ran across on Truthout today.
here are at least eight million daily followers of Glenn Beck in America, and a good chunk of them are people like my grandmother and my uncle Billy - well-intentioned people that care about their country, their families and their communities, otherwise they wouldn't watch a show about politics. However, to label all these Glenn Beck followers as unreachable, bigoted racists is an extraordinary dangerous and misleading move for the progressive movement, which aims to include all people.

My grandmother's own vocal protest for gay rights in her church disproved that Glenn Beck followers tend to vote Republican merely because of gods, gays and guns. Sure, this wins over a large portion of them, but it doesn't explain how the Republican Party is able to win over people like my grandmother, who were once hardcore Democrats and never fell prey to such hate-baiting tactics in the past.

The divide-and-conquer tactic of keeping the working class divided on superficial grounds of racial or cultural identities is as old as time itself, yet liberals will gladly play along by marginalizing the white working class as an irredeemable mash of ignorant, bigoted rednecks who can only be reached by surrendering progressive stances on racial justice or women's rights. Witness the recent outrage over Stupak-Pitts, where liberals raised a great moan over conservative Democrats selling out abortion rights in an attempt to hold onto their supposedly conservative rural districts. The response in the libosphere was a great finger-wagging "this is what you get for 'reaching out' to working-class white voters." Well, no. That is what you get for allowing Democrats whose commitment to neoliberalism is non-negotiable to do the reaching. The liberal wing of the business party knows who butters its bread, and it isn't the great social causes favored by campus liberals.

On a related note, here's Taibbi on Sarah Palin and the media.
It’s much easier to figure out who’s “left” and who isn’t using cultural litmus tests than it is using position papers. What’s the left position on monetary policy? I have no idea. What’s the left’s position on American Idol? Easy: it rolls its eyes.
This is the crux to the perversion of populism unleashed by Palin, Beck and like. You should have solidarity with your boss rather than fellow workers from the city because neither you or your boss can figure out what the hell Un Chien Andalou is about. This stuff is catnip for liberals, of course, who cannot in their smugness resist the delightful idea that there are countless rubes out there who hate them just because they are so gul-durned smart. That they may actually be doing their alleged enemy's work for him probably doesn't cause them to lose much sleep.