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A Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

I’m liberal. I’m not ashamed to say it. In fact, I’m proud of it.

Wikipedia defines liberalism as:

Liberalism is a broad class of political philosophies that considers individual liberty and equality to be the most important political goals.[1]

Liberalism emphasizes individual rights and equality of opportunity. Within liberalism, there are various streams of thought which compete over the use of the term “liberal” and may propose very different policies, but they are generally united by their support for political liberalism, which encompasses support for: freedom of thought and speech, limitations on the power of governments, the rule of law, an individual’s right to private property,[2] and a transparent system of government.[3][4][5] All liberals, as well as some adherents of other political ideologies, support some variant of the form of government known as liberal democracy, with open and fair elections, where all citizens have equal rights by law.[6]

According to author and philosophy professor Peter Vallentyne, “Liberalism comes in two broad forms. Classical liberalism emphasizes the importance of individual liberty and contemporary (or welfare) liberalism tends to emphasize some kind of material equality.”[7] In Europe, the term “liberalism” is closer to the economic outlook of American economic conservatives. According to Harry Girvetz and Minoque Kenneth “contemporary liberalism has come to represent different things to Americans and Europeans: In the United States it is associated with the welfare-state policies of the New Deal program of Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt, whereas in Europe liberals are more commonly conservative in their political and economic outlook”.[8] In the United States, “liberalism” is most often used in the sense of social liberalism, which supports some regulation of business and other economic interventionism which they believe to be in the public interest. A philosophy holding a position in accordance with Scottish pioneer of political economy Adam Smith, that laissez-faire economics will bring about a spontaneous order or an invisible hand that benefits the society, is referred to as “classical liberalism.”[9], of which US-style libertarianism may be considered an extreme example.

Liberalism has its roots in the Age of Enlightenment and rejects many foundational assumptions that dominated most earlier theories of government, such as the Divine Right of Kings, hereditary status, established religion, and economic protectionism.[10][11][12] Instead, it founds itself on the assumption of the equal dignity and worth of individuals.

By that standard, this is a liberal blog. I’d say we’re pretty obsessed with equality of opportunity and a transparent system of Government around here.

Wikipedia defines Progressivism as

Progressivism is a political and social term that refers to ideologies and movements favoring or advocating changes or reform, usually in a statist or egalitarian direction for economic policies (government management) and liberal direction for social policies (personal choice). Progressivism is often viewed in opposition to conservative ideologies.

In the United States, the term progressivism emerged in the late 19th century into the 20th century in reference to a more general response to the vast changes brought by industrialization: an alternative to both the traditional conservative response to social and economic issues and to the various more radical streams of socialism and anarchism which opposed them. Political parties, such as the Progressive Party, organized at the start of the 20th century, and progressivism made great strides under American presidents Theodore Roosevelt, William H. Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Lyndon Baines Johnson.[1]

Ideologically, that makes me and this blog a Progressive blog. And ideologically, therefore, I am a Classical Liberal Progressive (or a “Moderate Liberal”), if you want to get down to the nitty gritty technical term of liberalisticims.

But I am not, in fact, a Progressive by identity. I am a liberal. Because in today’s American Political Culture, being a “Progressive” makes you a Right Wing Fundie in liberal drag. Sad, but true.

Liberals have been demonized for quite a while in this country. I’d say it probably started with the Reagan Era, when Religious zealots and Conservative Southern Democrats took over the Republican Party. Around that time, a lot of wealthy and privileged former self described College “Liberals” moved to the Republican Party, declaring themselves “Conservatives.” Publicly, they took up the cause of Militarism and Religious Fundamentalism, but privately they were hypocrites, and their activities are well-documented in one of my favorite books, Blinded By the Right, by David Brock (I quote it often).

Hillary Clinton called their politics of personal destruction political activism “A Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.” She was mocked for it in the media, but she wasn’t wrong. Ever since Nixon’s Resignation, these kooks had been using corporate sugar daddies like Richard Mellon Scaife to fund their agenda in the media and in interest groups.

Old farts like Pat Robertson and James Dobson and Newt Gingrich come to mind, but they weren’t the only tools involved in the process. Jokers like Andrew Sullivan, Ariana Huffington, and Chris Matthews cheered for some of the worse disasters of my Generation: CDS and the impeachment of Bill Clinton, the election of George W. Bush, and the War in Iraq. And they did it all under the guise of their Gung Ho “Conservatism.”

Then, around the time of the mid term elections in 2006, they had a Come-to-Jesus moment and left the Republican Party, hilariously declaring themselves icons of the “New Left,” and by extension liberalism itself. Most of them had gotten their starts by smearing the Clintons, whom they declared were Republicans in drag. Sadly, the irony was lost on them and their projection continued. And even worse, they gained an audience. They and their followers coined themselves “The Progressive Movement.”

It wasn’t long until “The Progressive Movement” began cheering for their new standard bearer, Barack Obama. Again, the irony was lost on their audience. These imbeciles had spent the past two decades decrying all things liberal and good, why would anyone vote for the candidate they were peddling on places like Politico, the Huffington Post, and Daily Kos?

Well, I’m not like a lot of people. I don’t actually think Americans are stupid. Hillary won the popular vote. But the damage is still done. We have Bush the Third as our POTUS.

Today, these “Progressives”- Right Wing Fundies in liberal drag- and their allies in the media do the same thing to Sarah Palin and her family that they did to Bill Clinton and his family. The tactics are exactly the same. They slander her, spread rumors about her, and attack her and her children in the most gratuitous and revolting ways imaginable. They accuse her and they accused Bill Clinton of doing and being exactly what they are- power hungry, morally depraved, and ruthless- capable of doing and saying anything to obtain their victories.

I don’t believe in coincidences, and neither should you. The media is neither “liberal” nor “conservative.” The media is corporate. Since the emergence of a twenty four hour news cycle, they’ve depended on their sponsors and their ratings for profit, and don’t you know? Follow the money! You just have to watch CNN for one day to understand. The graphics in Wolf Blitzer’s Situation Room are eerily similar to the graphics from Obama’s campaign and the DNC and RNC. A panel of all-male, white reporters will solemnly declare that Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin are just whining- the Political coverage of them isn’t sexist and they are just trying to score political points with women. Then they go on a break and in the first commercial a woman is debating a Swiffer mop. A special about Al Gore’s Global Warming Documentary is solemnly discussed and Al Gore’s credibility is questioned with deep concern. Then they disappear and the screen explains, “This program has been sponsored by GM and Chrystler Motors.”

And again, the irony is lost on the audience.

Hillary’s famous “Right Wing Conspiracy” disguised as a Left Wing Conspiracy isn’t gone. It’s been with us this whole time, mouth breathing down our necks and leering at us like a bothersome lover.

And it’s rick rolled us once again.

Cross Posted at Age of Aquarius

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40 Responses

  1. Don’t all talk at once.

    I am going to be offline for the rest of the night. Plez monitor this thread, moderaters! Have a good night!

  2. Damn your good girl//////////
    I still say Arianna is mad because Bill turned her down.

    It is all about the money. Corporations rule this country today.
    Reagan opened the door for the fundies to profit and they did big time. Tell people what they want to hear and promise them any thing but give them perfume is the rule of today. If there was no money in right or left wing politics there would be more moderate politicians.

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE, MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  3. Totally OT (sorry LI ~ great post, btw!!!)
    Passing this along…I am appalled

    Dear Friends,

    Have you ever had really bad customer service? Then you will love this story..I asked to speak to a representative of VOP’s health insurance company in person Friday and I got arrested for trespassing! Last Friday, the last thing I expected was to get arrested. But there I was, a little after noon, getting my mug shot taken and being fingerprinted in the Henrico County Jail.

    So what was my crime? It all started last month when Anthem raised our health insurance premiums 14.1 percent — with no additional risks and no new health care services to justify the
    increase — and we also discovered that Anthem was spending millions of dollars to lobby Congress against health care reform.

    We wanted to find out how much of our premiums were being used for lobbying, and ask for that money back. So on Friday, I accompanied three VOP State Governing Board members in an attempt to meet with Anthem officials. But as we approached the building a little after 11 a.m., they locked the front door and would not let us in. VOP Chairperson Jay Johnson called through the locked door, “We want to meet with someone about our rate increase.”

    “We are your customers. Can someone meet with us?” I added. “We want to know why our rates were increased 14.1 percent.”

    The two men inside told us to call our customer service representative. They were not going to let us in. They gave us the number and I took out my cell phone and called it. I told the woman who answered that we were an Anthem customer and we
    wanted to know why they increased our premiums 14.1 percent last month. She asked me to hold on, she needed to check. After about four or five minutes on hold, she came back and said she wanted to connect me to a Scott Holden, who we later found out is
    their public relations representative. “OK, thank you,” I said.

    Before we knew it, at least six police officers arrived. One of them got off his motorcycle and the two Anthem employees let him in the front door. Then they locked the door again. Soon, the police officer came out and said we had to leave.
    “But they told us to call the customer service representative and I am on hold,” I said. “You have to leave or you will be arrested,” said another police officer. Within minutes, my hands were handcuffed behind my back, and I was sitting in the front seat of a police cruiser, with the doors locked and the windows closed. Two
    police officers took a statement from an Anthem official as I waited. Boy, was it hot! After my mug shot and fingerprinting, a magistrate eventually let me go, as long as I promised to show up on Monday morning for my arraignment. On Monday, the judge set my trial date for September 22 at 11 a.m. I am charged with trespassing, which is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor and carries a possible jail sentence of 12 months and a fine of up to $2,500.

    “As we reach out in support of health care reform, our own insurance company uses their increased premiums to lobby against it,” Jay Johnson said. “We pay over $25,000 in premiums every month to Anthem. We expect that our money will go to pay
    for health care and not for corporate lobbying.”

    Not only is Anthem spending our premiums to directly lobby Congress, but they are trying to get their customers to do so as well. VOP recently received an e-mail asking us, as customers, to call our members of Congress to oppose a public health insurance option. Getting locked out of the Anthem headquarters is an excellent example of the relationship the health insurance industry has with its customers. They don’t feel that they have to explain or account for anything. Anthem has little competition and they know their customers have few choices. Anthem and other health insurance corporations are spending $1.4 million per day lobbying Congress to make sure that Americans don’t have any other choice.

    That is why we need a public health insurance option that forces the private health insurance industry to compete. The private health insurance industry has given us a greedy health insurance system where customers have to deal with skyrocketing premiums, denied claims, and even trespassing charges for asking to speak to a representative in person. We all deserve better than this. The Virginia Organizing Project has been working hard to push for a public option. We have canvassed more than 140,000 doors all across the state, and four of five people tell us they agree that there is a real need for health care reform. We have held more than two dozen community meetings asking people to share their experiences with the current broken health care system. The horror stories keep coming.

    So what can we do about it? There are two things you can do to help:First, please call Senator Mark Warner and your member of Congress with this toll-free number: 1-888-436-8427

    Virginia Organizing Project
    703 Concord Avenue
    Charlottesville, VA 22903-5208
    (434) 984-4655
    (434) 984-2803 fax
    http://www.virginia-organizing.org

    • Sorry for the double post but thought I hit the reply button and wanted my statement to be attached to this post by indigogrrl

      If Obama gets his way with health care reform, I fear stories like this will become more common. Welcome to hope and change.

      • Shocking and 60 Americans will continue to die each day, 50 million will continue to go without health insurance, 2/3 of the bankruptcies will continue due to health insurance bills, 25 million will have substandard insurance and the rest of us will be bled clean of all our money until we become part of the uninsured.

        HR 676 Everyone In, Nobody Out, It’s ALL AMERICAN!

    • Our HMO raised our premiums too, in a recession and Obama won’t let HR 676 Single Payer on the table of Discussions. 76% of Americans want a Public Option, I wonder WHY?!? I am glad I didn’t go down and ask why they raised the premiums, while reducing the coverage, or I too might have been hauled off by the police. Funny, but they didn’t even warn you, at least SKIPPY got three warnings.

      Well, I am beginning to think the question was indeed a plant as NO ONE seems interested in what the working folks are going through. Everyone is busy concerned about SKIPPY, no news of indigogrrl’s BIG ARREST BY THE BIG INSURANCE COMPANY!

      I am sorry indigogrrl for your trouble and that they wouldn’t meet with you nor answer your questions, valid questions. I personally think insurance should have to disclose their costs just like non-profits and personally there is some thing skewed about companies making money via health care. PUBLIC OPTION NOW, lets join the rest of the Western Countries!

      HR 676 Everyone In, Nobody Out, It’s ALL AMERICAN!

      • It was NOT me arrested but the leader of the Virginia Organizing Project….sorry for the confusion. But you’re right…there is no mention on the news here of his arrest either.

  4. Matthews, Arianna, and Sullivan are not liberals. They are not progressives. Like Obama, they are mercenaries of the political media commercial complex. What principles they have are inexpensive. They will go where there is best opportunity to feed their bloated image of their enlightened selves. Righteous fame, that’s their purpose, more than money. William Jennings Bryan gave “populism” a bad name. In time, these loudmouths and Obama will do the same for “progressivism.”

    Hey Isis. 🙂

    • Indeed. You just have to look at who they are promoting to know who is in the upper crust pipe line…I predict they will rediscover the wonder that is Mitt at some point

    • “they are mercenaries of the political media commercial complex.”

      Exactly! I like your phrasing.

      One thing that surprised me is that people like DKos, HuffnPuff, Americablog, Sully, etc were all former Republicans. Many of them were former Bush voters. In 2000 they thought Bush was a great guy. A few years into that regime they all declare themselves liberals, progressives, whatever. But worse, they also declare themselves experts and proceed to lecture, abuse, harass those of us who have been liberals for decades. Suddenly these are the morons who are now in charge of defining the Dem party.

      • I know, and it always cheesed me off. The Grand Cheeto himself was an avid Reaganite, but suddenly he is the arbiter of all things Democratic? Gimme a break.

        Those people have no core principles, they are just morally empty tin-soldier zealots in search of whatever “righteous cause” will garner them followers and make them feel important.

  5. http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Bill-Clinton-attends-secret-memorial-to-legendary-Frank-McCourt-51896932.html

    Bill Clinton teaches us what class is.

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE,MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  6. If Obama gets his way with health care reform, I fear stories like this will become more common. Welcome to hope and change.

    • Yes, indeed and 60 Americans will continue to die each day, 50 million will continue to go without health insurance, 2/3 of the bankruptcies will continue due to health insurance bills, 25 million will have substandard insurance and the rest of us will be bled clean of all our money until we become part of the uninsured.

      HR 676 Everyone In, Nobody Out, It’s ALL AMERICAN!

  7. Thanks for the review–it’s good to see the definitions again. I would add the definition of “conservative” as contrast:

    (adj) conforming to the standards and conventions of the middle class;
    (adj) resistant to change;
    (adj) unimaginatively conventional;
    (adj) avoiding excess;
    (adj) having social or political views favoring conservatism;
    (noun) a person who is reluctant to accept changes and new ideas.

    As for the likes of Sullivan and Matthews et. al., I think they are ego whores. It’s all about them and their inflated (or lacking) sense of self. I was thinking about HRC today, and her ability to rise above all the pettiness and ugly attacks. It’s remarkable really, a true public servant, and to think that weasels like Sullivan foam at the mouth when smearing her at every opportunity is just sub-human. It doesn’t really have anything to do with ideology.

  8. Note to the world: I am not a progressive, I am a liberal. I think it’s something in the blood.

  9. Great Post! Keep up the good work

  10. “capable of doing or saying anything to obtain their victories”

    exactly. That is what aggravates me. While we were disgusted in 2000 and 2004, they were turned on by the disgusting tactics. So how do we end up with them? The lack of Whole Foods shoppers at Republican meetups in South Dakota sent them running away screaming? One of my favorite moments ever was when some troll objected to being called Failbots because “we won.” WTF did they win? They installed Bush 3 and in the process destroyed every principle of Democracy and fairness and simple human decency we’re supposed to stand for. Be proud of your accomplishment. It’s just one big game, one big amoral, substance free hipster pose where you can keep cashing your checks and feel great about the same policies since they kind of help you anyway and most importantly now they come with a Jay-Z soundtrack instead of
    a cowboy hat.

    “they go on break and a woman is debating a Swiffer mop”

    Sing it, LI. This is an instant classic. Awesome. 🙂

  11. Damned good post. HOW old are you REALLY? Must be an old soul in a new body?

    The jerks in charge ARE NOT LISTENING!

    It won’t be long before there are huge tent cities — or in this modern era — huge RV cities out in the middle of nowhere. ALL money will go to the insurance companies — with just the bare minimum returned to the people — just enough to eat one meal a day and just enough to pay for water from the communal watering hole. But hey — the poor will have TV — and 24/7 of the ONE — preaching.

    Unless the congress jerks get the message — this is the future I see in my crystal ball. I saw lots and lots of RV parks — way out in the middle of no where — what are all those people doing way out in the desert of Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada??

    People are being “housed” out there — already.

    • My son could not believe the number of homeless/hobos he saw in San Francisco.

  12. Haha! That link from Helen to Irishcentral had another interesting story!! Apparently, Professor Gates is part Irish and is RELATED to Detective Gates!!
    http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Henry-Gates-has-50-Per-Cent-Irish-Roots–51568452.html?page=1

  13. opps I mean Detective Crowley.

  14. I’m in New Mexico and I know what I’M doing here….realized 10 years ago that 1) I could no longer breathe in NJ and 2) that I wouldn’t be able to afford to live there as I got older.

    Little did I know that I would wind up in a place that is pretty stable economically compared to the rest of the country and where I can grow vegetables year round. Already downsized and in an easy place to live compared to the mega centers…

    Lots of small places around where you can live quietly, too.

    • With the oil NM has — you all should become independent!

      Lots of people don’t realize that NEW Mexico is not IN Mexico. When I tell people I went to NEW Mexico — they just hear Mexico and ask about Mexico.

    • I adore NM, especially northern NM. The climate is amazing, and the skies are just beautiful. Even the air smells good. If hubby hadn’t gotten such a good job offer in TX, we’d have moved there. What part are you in?

      • I’m just a fan of NM — and was able to travel all through NM this winter.

        Right now I live in the Northwest — and I’ll be an expat next year!

  15. Some of the writers and commenters at those blogs reminded me of a type who would have no problem slipping a girl date rape drugs.

  16. Okay, comment on another blog talking about various politicians saying really stupid crap lately made me LOL.

    Is there a pandemic of “foot in mouth” disease breaking through Washington DC? My guess is Biden is patient 0.

  17. Arianna and Moulitsas are repugs who came over to my/our party to destroy it.

    The mainstream media is corporate and elitist (both from the right and the left). It has an elite media bias.

  18. You know, I was thinking recently that no one would dare, in either liberal or progressive circles, to tell anyone else that they should just “get over” Bush stealing the election in 2000. The speed with which the failbots told us Hillary supporters to “get over” what happened to her tells me that they’re not truly liberal. Liberal to me means, among other things, a person who’s committed to economic justice and and giving every person in this country their chances at a healthy, good, productive life. It means a person committed to true democratic principles and processes. It means a person who’s got enough integrity to support all people, not just those who are like him/her, and is not blinded by the latest flash-bang sufficiently to lose that integrity.

    I think there should be a bumper sticker that says, “I’m a proud liberal who voted for Hillary”, and we should all put them on our cars, sporting increased visibility of support for Hillary as Obama’s numbers decline.

  19. It could realistically be argued that the demonizing of “liberals” in US mass culture (pop/political/social) began nearly two decades before the “Reagan Revolution” during the Vietnam War era. It was the liberal democrat Lyndon Johnson who was the focus of so much antipathy from the anti-war movement. His liberal-progressive “Great Society” floundered on the rocks of Vietnam. And let us not forget that folk singer Phil Ochs wrote a tune in the late 60’s called “love me, I’m a liberal” in scathing condemnation of the perceived failings of American Liberalism (in the guise of Hubert Humphrey’s fan base).

    A great posting, but like it or not the demons of American politics in the 80’s were not the beginning of popular sentiment against American liberalism.

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