Bullshit Philosophy

Half-assed political and religious commentary from a cynical left-winger

BLAST FROM THE PAST: Is Kos Really “The Left”?

Posted by Kevin on December 20, 2008

[originally posted 7/1/06]

Has This Country Gone Insane? The story of an arrest for wearing a “Veterans for Peace” shirt. This reminded me of a good quote:

“We are so placid that the smallest tremor of objection to anything at all is taken as a full-scale revolution.” -Cynthia Ozick

And now that I think about it, that also pretty much describes the thing I find the most odd about over, as I mentioned in the last post, worries in the establishment press that guys like Kos are “dragging the party too far left.” Is it just me, or is it really sad that Kos is our definition of the left in this country? “Go where the real lefties hang out,” Billmon argues, “and you’ll learn mighty fast that the name Kos is a dirty word in those circles — right up there with those other well-known fascist running dogs like Howard Dean and John Kerry.” Minus the hyperbole, this is pretty much the category I fall into, and in fact I feel that on many of the issues that matter to me Kos and other “leftists” are only marginally better than conservatives. Not to say I wouldn’t rather have them in power than the Bush cabal, but let’s not call them something they aren’t.

In any case, as Billmon and others have argued, the real problem with Kos in the eyes of the media is not his supposed “leftness,” but rather the threat he poses to the status quo in the Democratic Party. The Democratic Leadership Council types, desperate to cling on to power, are trying to frame the debate as one between the “loony left” and “sensible center.”

As Noam Chomsky famously pointed out, one of the best means of social control is to strictly limit the bounds of acceptable discourse, and as these recent debates over Kos show, and over Howard Dean before him, those bounds really are quite narrow when even the mildest criticism of Bush and the Republicans qualifies one as some sort of far-left radical.

Speaking of Chomsky, I’ve always wondered what conservatives think of people like him if Kos is their definition of a leftist. My guess is that they regard him as up there in craziness with David Icke, the guy that thinks the world is secretly ruled by 12-foot-tall lizards.

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