By bkeyser  | May 30, 2012 | 15:38
Since I can't deal with threads once the comment section surpasses 300 entries, I moved this topic here. Hopefully it'll be easier to relocate and amend than the OT during which the subject was broached. To recap, I commented specifically to JER:
You know Jer, 
Submitted by bkeyser on Sun, 05/27/2012 - 9:10pm.
I wonder why you try to hard to defend your left flank. Obviously I don't know you as a person -only a series of anonymous comments on a conservative blog, so I could be completely off base- but it seems to me you spend an inordinate amount of capital trying to cover for the nutjobs that inhabit the progressive wing of your party.
You seem to me like a JFK-democrat. You embrace the ideals of safety nets, caring for the poor, general equality, and strong unions (I'm generalizing here, not trying to be specific) while not generally accepting the anti-capitalist, anti-war for any reason, radical environmentalism progressive platforms that sadly, are the dominant force behind today's liberal politics. In some ways I feel for you. You're being abandoned. Your a blue-dog democrat and you've been run over by the bus a few times too many. And a vote for your party is essentially a vote for these radical ideals that you don't seem to willingly embrace.
And yet there's some sort of pride keeping you left of center when in reality the center has moved so far left over the last 20 years that your politics actually fall to the right. You refuse not to vote, but you refuse to vote GOP. So you're forced to cast a vote in favor of policies you inherently know are destroying that thing the JFK and others tried so hard to build.
Now, I'm sure you'll deny all of this; either by ignoring it all together or stating publicly how wrong I am. But you're comments belie such a stance. Your party has been infiltrated and co-opted by a brand of progressivism that can only be described as Marxist-influenced. It began in the 60's and advanced in small increments by LBJ, Carter and Clinton; then given a violent shove by Obama.
Let it go Jer. It doesn't represent you any longer. We've got the big tent now. And big open arms. Let it go. Just. Let. It. Go.
I was fairly general is some instances, and a bit snarky at the end, but the point was basically that I find Jer to be what has often been called a "Blue Dog Democrat" and that Blue Dogs have been largely abandoned by the current Democrat Party.
Submitted by Jer on Wed, 05/30/2012 - 1:56am.
worthy of my repeating a 'punny' aphorism I recently encountered: "You are wise beyond your ears." I can't, so I won't, deny all of your conclusions since even though a few may be off target, there are considerably more hits than misses.
I've never knowingly concealed or misrepresented the self-characterization of my political mindset, having mentioned several times over the years that I consider myself a centrist Democrat and therefore slightly left of the geometric midpoint on a linear ideological scale; and also one who is more inclined toward the pragmatic--what is fair? what is reasonable? what works?--rather than being locked in to formulaic positions currently in vogue with the Left.
Here's one example: My staunch pro-civil rights, anti-segregationist advocacy during the '60's placed me firmly in the "liberal" camp--in direct opposition to many of my fellow southerners at the time. Those views easily met my tests for fairness and reasonableness. [Whether or how successfully they would "work" was more problematic.] Yet, for the very same reasons, I was never comfortable with affirmative action and the identity and group rights policies which it engendered. And the 'minority oppression' crusaders [a/k/a race hustlers] whose life blood requires a permanent search for (largely imaginary) racist dragons to slay are not simply indulging in harmless nostalgia for the glory days of freedom marches and triumphal "I have a dream" oratory but instead have created and perpetuated existential impediments to social harmony and racial progress. [I had hoped for and expected many more positive words and deeds by Obama in this area, and his failure has been immensely disappointing. But his detractors have also done their part in aiding and abetting that failure.]
"You seem to me like a JFK-democrat. You embrace the ideals of safety nets, caring for the poor, general equality, and strong unions (I'm generalizing here, not trying to be specific) while not generally accepting the anti-capitalist, anti-war for any reason, radical environmentalism progressive platforms that sadly, are the dominant force behind today's liberal politics..."
Close to a bulls eye. JFK was a centrist Democrat even by contemporaneous-i.e.1950's-60's--standards (even donating money to Richard Nixon's senatorial campaign against Helen Gehegan Douglas whom Kennedy regarded as too far left). And, yet, especially in the South, Kennedy was still reviled as a nigra-loving, communist-appeasing, northeastern liberal.
Your characterization of anti-capitalism, anti-war invariability, environmental radicalism I think borders on caricature in so far as it is deemed the dominant force driving liberal politics. My disagreement seems, and I suppose is, a relatively small one, but it is more than semantical. Change "the dominant" to "a prominent" or "liberal" to "progressive" and I would be more amenable to the wording and the argument. Despite what proponents of thoroughly unfettered and unrestrained markets may insist, a reasonably regulated economy is not per se anti-capitalist. Remember, Sherman Anti-Trust and related legislation was designed to promote competition rather than stifle it.
Bob, it would literally require many hours and several pages of commentary to really tear into this subject, issue by issue, point by point, so let me just close with a few random observations:
--Although I do generally support Democrats, it is not an inviolable rule, my having voted for quite a few Republicans at the state and local level.
--I agree with you about the political trajectories of LBJ and Carter, but not so much regarding Clinton. You can always point to particular policies lending credence to your argument, but, on balance, I think most objective presidential historians would resist putting him in the indisputably lib/progressive category. Even the description of Obama's presidency as a "violent shove" to the left is debatable. As troubling as the debt accumulation may be, stimulus spending to jolt the economy was the application of traditional Keynesian theory rather than the implementation of some insidious Marxist scheme. Universal health care, in one form or another, has been proposed by every Democratic president, and by at least one Republican president, since Harry Truman. Just as most of the criticism of George W. Bush from within his party came from the right which claimed he wasn't conservative enough, most of the criticism of Obama from within the party has come from the left which has claimed he wasn't liberal enough.
--Yes, to an extent, the center of liberal gravity has moved to the left in recent decades. However, by the same token, there has been a corresponding shift in the conservative center of gravity to the right. The political center has been hollowed out as both major ideologies have spun toward the edges. There are a number of reasons for the phenomenon, but I would suggest the proliferation of highly partisan political blogs is not an insignificant factor. I read articles and opinions published at this and other conservative websites and then visit "lefty" blogs, and it is if I am traveling through parallel universes, populated by inhabitants who have less and less in common with one other save absolute confidence in their own self-righteousness. Somewhere along the way the primacy of 'we are all Americans' became relegated to the status of quaint cliche`, if not an outright lie, and replaced by a 'we are, but they aren't' political provincialism. And I find that not only disturbing but dangerous.
I know this hasn't addressed and answered everything you raised in your post, but it will have to do for now. Perhaps more, later.
I welcome anyone's input, hopefully keeping in mind this isn't about attacking one person or another; rather, I'm more interested in discussing the radicalization of politics in America today.