As history turns, Party in Search of a Notion
For many years — during their years of dominance and success, the period of the New Deal up through the first part of the Great Society — the Democrats practiced a brand of liberalism quite different from today’s. Yes, it certainly sought to expand both rights and prosperity. But it did something more: That liberalism was built around the idea — the philosophical principle — that citizens should be called upon to look beyond their own self-interest and work for a greater common interest.
This, historically, is the moral basis of liberal governance — not justice, not equality, not rights, not diversity, not government, and not even prosperity or opportunity. Liberal governance is about demanding of citizens that they balance self-interest with common interest. Any rank-and-file liberal is a liberal because she or he somehow or another, through reading or experience or both, came to believe in this principle. And every leading Democrat became a Democrat because on some level, she or he believes this, too.
I almost didn't read this article because of the title. While the donkey may need some prodding the constant litany of inward looking self-flagellation from some Democratic blogs and pundits is almost as discouraging as the right's delusion that they have anything but a fractured sense of morality. Not only does Michael Tomasky get the ideals angle right he also manages to be inspiring.
What Johnson and his advisers knew, just as Hubert Humphrey down Pennsylvania Avenue in the Senate knew, was that desegregation would fail if the matter were put to the American people only in terms of the rights of those directly affected; it had to be presented as advancing the common good.
The only thing that I would add to the idea of Democrats repeating its vows to the common good, the common interests is that while the concept of commonality is the body, it is nothing without the heart, without individual rights. One cannot live a whole life separate from the other. As Tomasky suggests and Amy Sullivan has written, Republicans have taken some pretty shabby principles and run them to ground. They took the idea of individual rights and twisted it into the glory of greed, contempt for the environment, rejection of rational thought and bottom of the barrel eliminationism. Greed does benefit some people and those that engage in it may see it as a right, but greed is a practice that undermines the common interests; as does anti-environmentalism, anti-science and anti-sound social policy, and societal fracturing based on demonizing whoever must be eliminated this week.
But diversity and rights cannot be the only goods that Democrats demand citizens accept. For liberalism to succeed, they have to exist alongside an idea of a common good.
I don't care who goes through the door first, diversity, rights, or the common good as long as they're together. It is not that this reaffirmation of American values will give conservatism its way past due relegation to the ideological graveyard, as its elements of social darwinism are so appealing to some, but it will get Democrats and the majority of Americans back on track not just having ideals, but living them.
Good ol WaPo is certainly a roller coaster ride, Moving to the Right, Brit Hume's Path Took Him From Liberal Outsider to The Low-Key Voice of Conservatism on Fox News, where in the hacktucular Howie Kurtz inadvertantly exposes Brit Hume to be the wing-nut he is.
"It bothers me a little bit," he says. "I think we look conservative to people who are not. . . . I knew the rap on us from Day One was going to be that we were a right-wing news outlet." But, he says, "I believed if we tried that, it would never work."
Hume and Fox News were among the first to jump on the charges by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth about Sen. John Kerry's Vietnam record, with Hume pushing the controversy day after day.
As the lead panelist on "Fox News Sunday," Hume said in August 2004 that the book by the Swift Boat Veterans "is a remarkably well-done document. It is full of detail. It is full of specifics. The charges that are being made of Kerry, of irresponsible and indeed in some cases mendacious conduct in his service in Vietnam, are made by people who were there."
The Center for Media and Public Affairs, in a 2004 study, found that "Special Report" coverage of President Bush was positive 60 percent of the time, while its evaluations of John Kerry were negative by a 5-to-1 margin. Hume says he was fair to Kerry and that the media gave far more scrutiny to Bush's National Guard record.
Brit like so many on the far right are so drunk on their own kool-aid that they's swear the bird bath in the front yard was a pink giraffe, Republican-funded Group Attacks Kerry's War Record Ad features vets who claim Kerry "lied" to get Vietnam medals. But other witnesses disagree — and so do Navy records.
None of those in the attack ad by the Swift Boat group actually served on Kerry's boat. And their statements are contrary to the accounts of Kerry and those who served under him.
Brit and his Swift Liars are the only ones that have engaged in " mendacious conduct". Brit continues to turn a cold shoulder to any concept of honor and integrity with this admittedly very clever twisting of words (Brit's lie), Angry Bear catches the most egregious Swiftboating Anthony Zinni. let's look at Hume's actual wording,
Anthony Zinni — the most prominent of the retired generals attacking Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld — now says that, in the run-up to the war in Iraq, "What bothered me … [was that] I was hearing a depiction of the intelligence that didn't fit what I knew. There was no solid proof, that I ever saw, that Saddam had WMD."
and the kicker,
But in early 2000, Zinni told Congress "Iraq remains the most significant near-term threat to U.S. interests in the Arabian Gulf region,"
Even applying a very dull Occam's razor to say that Iraq was threat to American interest's in the Arabian Gulf at one point in time in no way negates or marginalizes the claim that the intelligence pushed by the Whitehouse didn't match what Zinni knew about Iraq and their purported possession of WMD. If Brit made minimum wage he could argue what do you expect for a few bucks an hour, or if he had had a harsh deprived life where the circumstances were such that values were not something that he could afford at the expense of his stomach, but he has had a privledged elite life with ample time and comfort to ponder matters of principle, so we can surmise that Hume has looked honor square in the eye and told it to piss off.
There was a crackling sound in the night on the Cathedral roof and a noise as of falling masonry. The belfry jackdaw said the frost was affecting the fabric, and as he had experienced many frosts it must have been so. In the morning it was seen that the Figure of the Lost Soul had toppled from its cornice and lay now in a broken mass on the dustheap outside the verger's lodge.
"It is just as well," cooed the fat pigeons, after they had peered at the matter for some minutes; "now we shall have a nice angel put up there. Certainly they will put an angel there."
from the short story The Image Of The Lost Soul by Saki