Patterico's Pontifications


Are There ANY Sane Liberals Left?

Filed under: General — Stranahan @ 3:54 am

[Guest Post by Lee Stranahan]

Here are three news stories. Tell me if any of these seem particularly partisan to you…

To my mind, this is all basic stuff. Right and wrong, good and bad. Ethics 101. Who is in favor of fraud, sabotage and violence?

The unfortunate answer seems to be — most liberals today.

These are all news stories that were broken by people who didn’t assume they would be that controversial. I know, because I’m one of them. My story about Congressman Sanford Bishop covering up Pigford fraud was published on the front page of The Huffington Post. It ended up getting a total of seven (that’s 7) comments; something unheard of for a front-page story on HuffPost. There’s no question in my mind that if that story had had exactly the same facts but had been about a Republican – let’s say, Michele Bachmann — that it would’ve gotten thousands of comments.

Instead, my reporting the Pigford story has gotten me called a racist and a traitor.

The second story there relates to Brandon Darby, who helped stop violent attacks that were planned during the Republican convention in Minnesota. Whatever’s happened to me for reporting a story that really shouldn’t be controversial, it’s been 100 times worse for Brandon. The New York Times printed false information about Brandon and refused to retract until he sued them. Brandon has also been the target of a campaign labeling him as a “snitch.” This is all because Darby help stop violence.

The third story is about the class on unions being taught by two socialist/communist activists in Missouri. And those people who likes to throw around the term "communist" loosely but one of the professors brags about being a member of the Communist Party and actually brings someone in from the Communist Party to recruit students as members, I think it’s a pretty fair assessment.

If you haven’t read about what’s going on in Missouri, I’m going to link to it again right here because the article written by student Philip Christofanelli is well worth your time. Based on my experience and what I’ve seen Brandon go through, my heart sank a little when I read this paragraph from Philip towards the end.

Both my grandfathers were proud union men, and I respect their hard work, which provided my parents and my family with a comfortable lifestyle today.  I resent the fact that these professors’ irresponsible approach to this course has made legitimate union members appear ridiculous. I hold academic freedom as one of the most important tenets of our Constitutional Republic.

This saddened me because I know that Philip probably thinks that holding a fair and reasonable position will exempt him from being attacked. I know better and I feel sorry for what this young man is in for.

This is not a matter of being moderate or centrist. I think it’s going on here is the idea that somehow the ends justify the means. It’s the nagging feeling some liberals have that somehow, somewhere some conservatives might actually be right about something.

This is stupid. This is no other way to put it. It’s stupid. Take a look at the comments over here on Rock Story about Andrew Breitbart’s recent dustup with Al Pires about the Pigford scandal. You’ll see one or two people express momentary confusion that Breitbart seems to be making a valid point. Here’s an example; a comment named Bodoblock says…

Through all this shouting and name calling…can someone explain to me what all this is about again? My general lack of knowledge on this subject makes Breitbart look like he’s saying something worthwhile. Pires unfortunately does not argue well here. He resorts to name calling and seems elusive. Breitbart appears the better man in this (whether he actually is or not).

But just as quickly as a scintilla of rational thought starts to dawn in someone’s head, the liberal mob stamps it down. Is their argument based on facts? Rational deduction? Nope. They just don’t like Breitbart because they’ve been told by the left for about a year now how bad Andrew Breitbart is. A couple of examples…

Why does the media give this racist hog any respect or attention?
Somewhere out there is a photo of this man in his Klan costume. Some day soon it will reappear and he will be silenced. Again.

How can a serious journalist have Andrew Breitbart on his show? Breitbart has become synonymous with a malicious, slanderous attack on working class people through the use of doctored video.

Blah blah blah. Nobody dealing with the facts. It’s intellectual bankruptcy of the highest order and its common. It’s routine.

Liberalism is dead if liberals aren’t able to hold coherent, common sense positions.

– Lee Stranahan

52 Responses to “Are There ANY Sane Liberals Left?”

  1. They are acting this way because they are terrified their world view is being exposed as useless against enemies abroad and domestic problems. They are barely holding onto reality and they know it …

    Jeff (01de2a)

  2. Hey, this technique has worked pretty well for us so far! Shutting down rational discussion is critical to bringing about real change!

    Saul Alinskii (97abd9)

  3. If you wish to anger a libertarian, tell him a lie.
    If you wish to anger a prog, tell her the truth.

    zombie rush limbaugh (06b97e)

  4. Liberalism is dead if liberals aren’t able to hold coherent, common sense positions

    well, by that measure liberalism has been a zombie corpse a walking for a very long time.

    rumcrook (4a9bee)

  5. Big MFM median is off on a one-idiot quest to prove the point of Lee’s post.

    JD (85b089)

  6. I think it’s going on here is the idea that somehow the ends justify the means.

    This is something we on the starboard side of the political spectrum have recognized about most progressives for a while. I know that it’s shocking, especially at first, to realize that folks would willfully engage in such disingenuous and childish behavoir when the stakes are so high, but for the hyperpartisans, on both sides really but with the exception of Paulbots it is largely exhibited by the progressive left, facts are inconsequential to the narrative arc they wish to see come to pass.

    It really is a “by any means necessary” kind of situation, and that same zeal is what makes it an existential threat to the traditional American system. At base, it’s very Stalin-esque in the sense that one can say whatever is deemed necessary to sway public opinion, factual or otherwise, because after the fact such pronouncements will disappear down the memory hole if “The Narrative™ ” requires it be so.

    Or, much like your efforts with “Pigford”, if it’s an inconvenient truth it may never even be mentioned by the MSM.

    Which is another aspect that makes this so scary; the complicit MSM. Because despite the ascendancy of new media, the legacy media still can shape an awful lot of opinion…

    My Regards

    Bob Reed (5f2db5)

  7. Um actual liberals not today’s liberals.

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  8. Actually liberalism as we have traditionally thought of it died after the Civil War. Already those abolitionists who were the vanguard of liberalism were turning toward “social justice” and the monetary end of it. It became known as the social gospel in which Orthodox Christianity lost out to a Christianity that was all about social justice, instead of about God and Christ. Even at that time Karl Marx became a favorite. Marx was Horace Greeley’s European corespondent.

    However, until the advent of citizen journalism liberals have controlled the outlet of news and in more ways then one, knowledge. History books are full of their version of history and it’s all about how wonderful their version of liberalism is. What is not there however, speaks volumes and it is up to us to educate people, God knows no one else will.

    mere citizen (22275d)

  9. Which is another aspect that makes this so scary; the complicit MSM. Because despite the ascendancy of new media, the legacy media still can shape an awful lot of opinion…

    Has anyone considered using threats and extortion against the reporters and editors?

    Michael Ejercito (64388b)

  10. Although #43 may once have rolled off the showroom floor, by race day there’s little or nothing that’s stock about a Stock Car.

    And, although once Liberals where identified by liberal thought and inclination, the vocal avant garde of today’s so-called Liberals are little more than fascist Brownshirts, disrupting the opposition, shouting down public speakers, and smearing the opposition and its leaders with lies and false accusations of racism.

    ropelight (ca7c9a)

  11. Today’s liberalism is at root a toxic form of altruism. Since they see themselves as altruistic, liberals see themselves as better than non-liberals. This self-perception is wonderfully intoxicating. Anything that destroys that perception (e.g. the truth or its teller) is to be ridiculed, minimized or destroyed by any means necessary.

    quasimodo (4af144)

  12. … today’s so-called Liberals are little more than fascist Brownshirts, disrupting the opposition, shouting down public speakers, and smearing the opposition and its leaders with lies and false accusations of racism.

    Amen. Brownshirts did not grow out of classical liberalism, but neither do today’s liberals, really. They have more and more in common everyday.

    quasimodo (4af144)

  13. Lee – it would be interesting to see how you view someone like “big median”, a long-time troll here, and a JournoList. Seeing his words and actions here, can you imagine how his warped worldview shapes his coverage?

    JD (29e1cd)

  14. Short answer: yes. There are sane liberals. One only finds liberals on the Republican side of the aisle. The people you’re writing about are Progressive. One of the tenets of progressivism is the re-shaping of morals. Getting rid of the 10 Commandments (the Commandments being central to so many religions and other exercises of faith) has been a great victory.

    1. Pigford isn’t fraud. It’s reparations for slavery.

    2. Murder is the application of progressive justice. Progressives argue that most folks applauded OBL’s death; and states have death penalties (well have them but Holder is seizing the means to carry them out) that Republicans support. Progressives just want to apply the same measure of justice to Republicans.

    3. Unions and communism are the mean to attain unanswerable power. Principles are meaningless when faced with power. See #2.

    DaveO (722a56)

  15. DaveO: most progressives I know are opposed to the death penalty, and most of my progressive friends were appalled that bin Laden was killed rather than being arrested. Or, rather, they could have accepted the execution, but they were appalled by the cheering the execution raised.

    The claim that ‘progressives just want to apply [the death penalty] to Republicans’ is absurd on its face.

    Yes, a lot of progressives are ***holes to republicans, and unjustifiably so. Yes, many grassroots progressives don’t actually seem to believe in listening to republicans, and many of them are so convinced that progressive voices are shut out of the political debate that they see no problem shutting down political debate by conservatives. But killing them? That flies in the face of the deeply held moral beliefs of ever progressive I’ve ever discussed anything more substantive than “can I buy a cup of coffee from you” with.

    aphrael (9802d6)

  16. Well you can’t really blame anyone for assuming Breitbart is being intellectually dishonest, he’s been caught numerous times deliberately altering video to make it appear something happened that did not in fact happen. At BEST you get to do that once before people simply assume you are a liar who has no intention of ever being honest.

    Shed no tears for Andrew Breitbart, his behavior validates the worst assumptions made about him.

    As for your pigford investigation it doesn’t seem to say what you want it to say. It’s just as easy ti interpret the congressman’s words as a reassurance that an investigation into the matter would shut down the fraud. You’ve taken a quote that can be viewed multiple ways and chosen to put a singular spin on it and then reacted with horror when not everyone agrees with that spin.

    Tlaloc (ba6660)

  17. Thank you for that little word vomit, drive-by.

    JD (306f5d)

  18. Dude the left oppose the death penalty for cop killers and baby killers but not for Jonathan Pollard.

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  19. Daley:

    Good point. Here we have Hax telling me I never permit anti-Semitic comments. Meanwhile another friend of the blog once got angry at me for suggesting he was creating phony controversies with me to increase donations. Here is how he described his thought process at the time:

    I’m in this for the money. You don’t have to use the word “Jew” to get your point across.

    Heh. The race card is alive and well in the USA.

    Patterico (ed7384)

  20. “Well you can’t really blame anyone for assuming Breitbart is being intellectually dishonest, he’s been caught numerous times deliberately altering video to make it appear something happened that did not in fact happen.”

    Tlaloc – Please point out where, except for the dishonest posts of Media Matters, the above actually happened.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  21. ___________________________________________

    The people you’re writing about are Progressive.

    “Progressive?” I thought that was merely a euphemism for liberalism or, particularly, ultra-liberalism. It seems to be the word favored by those who tend to get antsy when “liberal” is applied to themselves, others or leftist sentiment.

    Such word play has a somewhat disingenuous quality about it, perhaps because a variety of those into “progressive” bias suspect that deepdown there is something corrupt, immature and foolish about what makes them tick. IOW, even though they favor the notion that left-leaning emotions nurture a person’s humanity and generosity, in reality they must suspect their persona is counterfeit and devoid of common sense. That’s even truer since the middle point of the sociopolitical spectrum has shifted left over the past 50-plus years—meaning a liberal today is an ultra-liberal in the context of decades ago.

    Mark (411533)

  22. It’s been an interesting phenomenon to see how the political left has radicalized since Vietnam. In his book, “Modern Times”, Paul Johnson calls the 60s “America’s suicide attempt.” I think he is wrong but he wrote that book in the 80s when things were getting better. We are living through that suicide attempt right now.

    I simply cannot understand the thinking of the left and they seem unable to understand mine. I have done a lot of reading about Calvin Coolidge this spring because I think we are seeing how a second Great Depression happens and I have been trying to understand how that could be. This post of Lee’s illustrates my point so well, I had to comment.

    Mike K (8f3f19)

  23. Wait. Is this a TRICK question or what?

    WarEagle (08c61f)

  24. Tlaloc, prove it.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  25. Progressive is another abused word.

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  26. if you hold coherent, common sense positions you can’t possibly be a liberal.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  27. I would take the right wing nut house seriously until they admit Palin doesn’t deserve to be villified for her hairdo………..until they do they can screw themselves sideways.

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  28. You presume there ever were any to begin with. Check your premises.

    Rorschach (c5574d)

  29. Lee Stranahan, welcome to your Epiphany! I know it can be quite shocking and painful to find that you’ve been living a lie for so very many years, we’ll be gentle.. we promise

    Rorschach (c5574d)

  30. “Liberals” have so exposed themselves by what they do that it is now a dirty word that they can’t call themselves anymore, hence “Progressive”. I wonder it will take for them to discredit the historically discredited term “Progressive”?

    And what’s next since Communist, Marxist, and Socialist have all been historically credited as well? While they practice it regularly, “Fascist” is something even they won’t call themselves.

    And they think it’s a problem with the labels – not their ideas!

    jackie (5d360b)

  31. liberal is an abused word.

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  32. I mean it has been perverted.

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  33. Uh, Lee?

    Think about why you are posting here, and no longer posting at huffpo. I really don’t get your confusion about the state of today’s “liberals”. They aren’t, and haven’t been “liberal” since about 1968. They’re mostly just leftists (e.g. not committed to “liberty” in any recognizable way, but solely animated by the Will To Power).

    They are totalitarians. Don’t be surprised when they act like it.

    BobInFL (cdcb5e)

  34. Again … the current crop of those who call themselves “Progressive” are actually the Projective Party … they take the thangs that they themselves do, and project those things onto others …

    ThinkProjection is a classic example … (OK, they call themselves “ThinkProgress”) …

    Alasdair (e7cb73)

  35. Most people calling themselves “Progressive” are not really abandoning the term “Liberal”. They abandoned it long ago. What they are abandoning is “Socialist” … a hundred million murders will do that for a term.

    The reality is that the Left has largely abandoned any semblance of a coherent ideology for a mishmash of ethnic/gender identity nonsense, see-no-evil/hear-no-evil/speak-no-evil partisanship and a ill-defined, largely incoherent faux socialist economics.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  36. Are There ANY Sane Liberals Left?
    I’ve wondered this myself in the past.

    Your writings on Pigford are one of the few things to offer any hope.

    malclave (1db6c5)

  37. Lee asked, “Are there any sane liberals left?”

    No, they all joined the TEA Party.

    ropelight (ca916f)

  38. Lee has zeroed in onto the key word here, which is “honest”. Friendship and interesting debate are certainly possible with people of the left persuasion but not when they have been seduced by lies and false generalizations about their fellow Americans, and unquestioningly accept and then pass on those lies.

    Honest liberals are getting very hard to find. They are on the endangered species list as Lee has found out the hard way.

    elissa (4f047c)

  39. I’am sorry SPQR Socialism is a dangerous ideology when it has a chavez like sheen to it.

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  40. Lee,

    First of all, thank you for another fine commentary.

    I live in a very liberal part of the world and this sort of weird political insanity is now affecting some of my best friends, who are middle-aged, upper-middle-class, technical and professional people. They are not your typical fringe leftists. Seething, long-winded rants about the Koch Brothers, Glenn Beck and, even after all this time, George Bush have entered what was once polite conversation. Daring to contradict any of the hysterical “arguments” brings shouting or worse. My “anarchist,” Noam Chomsky-adoring nephew seems far more calm and rational.

    Recently I’ve been told by a number of friends that my views are “dangerous.” Over the years I’ve heard a lot of different criticisms of my semi-libertarian politics, but never before has the word “dangerous” been uttered. What in the world could possibly be “dangerous” about a world view that has “leave me alone” as its main tenet? Has the Daily Kos been pushing the word “dangerous?” I don’t like this at all.

    Yours truly,


    ThOR (94646f)

  41. The Rock Ribbed Right that lost control of the country from the latter end of the post civil war era through the 1950’s (when Conservatism began to redefine itself) got at least as hysterical and angry – read some of the late period Hearst newspapers if you want a sample. A lot of the worst os probably coming from people who have never really articulated – even to themselves – what Liberalism means, and so are REALLY adrift. They are used to being on the side of Right and Truth and they feel the ground shifting under them. Not unnaturally, they react like frightened apes.

    Feeding into this is the fear that they have been on the Wrong Side, fueled by doubts about Global Warming, a vague awareness that the three greatest Mass Murderers in History were two Communists and a Socialist, and the uneasy felling that a lot of their beliefs (such as Progressive Schooling and Gun Control) have been broadly tried and didn’t work.

    The Right went through this too (on slightly different subjects, but the patterns are strong).

    And, in due time, whatever Worldview emerges from these times as dominant will go through the same thing. It’s part of the pageant of history.

    You can read about the European Aristocracy going through it as real social power moved into the Middle Class. Probably the Romans, the Alexandrian Greeks, and the Egyptians went through something similar.

    My frank reaction is to make popcorn and enjoy the show.

    C. S. P. Schofield (8b1968)

  42. Gorebull warming is not real.

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  43. Somewhere out there is a photo of this man in his Klan costume.


    Andrew Breitbart is a Democrat?

    Who knew?

    TANSTAAFL (c8e7fc)

  44. Lee Stranahan
    Yes this story (A planned violent attack during a political convention is thwarted) was particularly partisan, in a “shilling the ol ideology” kind of way.

    It’s a good story really until you hit this crapsicle

    “This is because among many on the left — even some moderate liberals — there is a presumption of good intentions by terrorists who claim to pursue social justice ideals”.

    Followed later by the usual “everyone is against us” whine about “if it had been a conservative the media woulda CRUICIFIED HIM and not made HBO specials etc.etc.”

    You aren’t seriously suggesting that those pretty key points in your parable of the wayward son were somehow free of bias right?

    But wait, maybe you aren’t pushing a particular righty narrative (libs, even the MODERATE ones are dangerous violence loving people who support terrorists…ie. are therefore terrorists and along with big government they are out to get us except for a few “good” ones who see the light and realize we conservatives are right and they are wrong..)clothed in a story about “good and bad” “violence vs non-violence”. Maybe you are just unintentionally biased because of the social culture of mainstream righty blogosphere media….

    As for who “liberals” are or what “progressives” want all I can say is spend a little more time reading comments over at lefty blogs …wait …apparently you do. Maybe spend more time re-reading comments at righty blogs and holding the two up next to each other. The comments read almost EXACTLY the same which more and more leads me to suspect that a whole lot of usually well intentioned people (along with the nuts and a LEGION of teens figuring out what they believe)are being played.

    Divide and rake in the cash, best game in town.

    EdWood (c2268a)

  45. @Ed Wood — Wow. You really have no idea who Lee Stranahan is, do you, if you’re implying he’s part of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.

    Trust me, he wasn’t at our last meeting. But we did have cookies.

    BobInFL (cdcb5e)

  46. BobInFL Yah, I re-read my post and realized it could be read as if I’m suggesting that Mr Stranahan is harping on social divisions for money (no need for a conspiracy vast or otherwise to do that by the way). I’m not, I’m just answering his question.

    Of course if he does get paid for his writing, well…. “fear sells” (got that quote from World War Z).

    EdWood (c2268a)

  47. Yeah like Gore and globull warming?

    Like Paul Ehrlich and the world being overpopulated by 2003?

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  48. The reappearance of imdw and Hax are strikes against the argument for sane liberals. I want to thank both of them for playing!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  49. Say I want to attract a large crowd to vote for me and give me money. Rather than appeal to intellect using policy, I decide that appealing to ego will net me a larger catch – many folks don’t have much intellect, but everyone has an ego. So I tell them they are smarter, kinder and more compassionate, better people. After all, everyone enjoys feeling superior.

    I end up with a group which is credulous of statements that stroke them, but irate against any challenge to the egotistical dogma. Having bolstered the ‘compassion’ angle with handouts, the result is supporters who are egotistical and greedy. They are deserving and always right.

    This doesn’t reflect on real liberals, the old Democrats who wonder what happened to their party, and who still disagree with conservatives. It isn’t to say social safety nets are wrong, but that they have been used to garner political support.

    It has been a very successful marketing strategy, but the target market isn’t particularly sane. As long as I keep on this way, they will vote for me, but God help me if I say anything contradicting their self-concepts, or take any benefit away. Reality is about to intervene, and I predict our cities will soon make Athens look tranquil by comparison.

    jodetoad (0e079d)

  50. Watch (and absorb) the talk “How Modern Liberals Think” by Evan Sayet. Find some uninterrupted time.

    You can start to see WHY liberals are like they are and how they think they are helping.

    Alz (7d1660)

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