Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Late Bloomers

Digby:

I suspect that many others who are engaged in the netroots like me became radicalized in their 30's and 40's by a Republican Party that started to behave as an openly undemocratic institution. Why so many of these establishment Democrats and insider press corps aren't exercised by this after what we've seen, I can't imagine. Perhaps they just can't see the forest for the trees. This past decade has not been business as usual.

Count me in as a late blooming radicals. I've always been interested in politics, but primarily as a spectator sport. I voted, but that was the extend of my political activity.

Things started to turn for me during the Clinton years. In the early going the news was full of stories about the corruption in the Clinton administration (Filegate, Travelgate) and before it (Whitewater, Troopergate, Paula Jones). But for all my skills at political observation, I was damned if I could see the fire that was supposedly producing all that smoke. No matter how much I examined them, the allegations against Clinton and his administration just never seemed to add up. There may have been grounds for suspicion. But the kind of heated rhetoric I was seeing just didn't seem to match up with that suspicion.

It wasn't until I read Gene Lyon's "Fools for Scandal" that I got an inkling of what was going on: the reason I couldn't see the fire was because it wasn't there. What we had instead was a Vast Right-Wing Smoke Machine (VRWSM) and a press so eager to find something to pin on the Clintons that they would jump at the least promising of leads.

I've come to understand that the scandals of the Clinton years only make sense if you realize that those who thought there was something to them wanted there to be something to them.

Then came Lewinsky...

Then came the smearing of Al Gore and the puffing up of George Bush...

Then came the stolen election of 2000...

Then came the Bush administrations failure to prevent 9/11...

Then came the Bush administrations drumbeats for war...

Then came the Democrats failure to put up even a token sign of an opposition...

Then came the smearing of John Kerry...

After that, who wouldn't be radicalized?

As I said before, the suggestion from people like Mike McCurry and Joe Klein that we "political neophytes" don't appreciate what it means to lose is laughable on its face.

We appreciate it and we want to do something about it. It's people like McCurry and Klein who have become acclimated to defeat. It's people like them that will have to get out of the way for people who actually want to win.

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