'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Well, it's funner and slighltly more intellectually stimulating than most of the other reality shows on the air. It's entertaining to speculate and make predictions but ultimately the Democratic primary dog and pony show leaves me profoundly disinterested.

It's nice to see Gore sprout a little bit of a spine. Maybe in twenty years, with proper care and feeding, he'll grow into a liberal Democrat, not the sort of person who runs on the same ticket with a stridently religious moral conservative who was the primary advocate of a policy that lead to one of the ways that companies like Enron overstated their profits. The grassroots nature of the Dean campaign is certainly refreshing, but it's hard to get excited about a man who supports the construction of Israel's apartheid wall, who wants to send more troops into Iraq (either Americans or foreign soldiers depending on whether asked before or after waffling), and who is a fiscal conservative with a history of supporting NAFTA, the WTO, and the general framework of corporate globalization*. Likewise, it's hard to get excited about the other antiwar candidate who has a strange tendency of voting for Republicans and waging humanitarian interventions that for some reason involve an awful lot of purposeful bombing of civilian infrastructure (and then telling the New York Times that the escalating atrocities and incidents of ethnic cleansing that occurred as a result of said bombings were "entirely predictable").

Look, for real leftists there's only one voice in this contest that has any resonance whatsoever -- Kucinich -- and he doesn't have a prayer so we're back to playing the devil's game that the hard left is forced into in every election cycle.

The pundits say that the last election was about winning over swing voters but this election will be about mobilizing the parties' core constituencies, and for once I agree with the pundits. The hard left is part of the traditonal base of the Democratic party and its actions in this election may prove to be consequential. For hard leftists, the Democratic race has two abstract candidates: Mr. Anybody-But-Bush and Mr. Anybody-But-Bush-And-Lieberman. Mr. Anybody-But-Bush-And-Lieberman loses if Lieberman wins. Thus, Gore's recent endorsement of Mr. Anybody-But-Bush-And-Lieberman should put a smile on the face of those who have a deep emotional investment in a Democratic victory in 2004. I'm a leftist and Mr. Anybody-But-Bush-And-Lieberman is my main man, he can kiss my babies any time! And as long as my man wins the democratic ticket no one should have to worry about Nader...

*-although, to be fair, he's now modulating his position on free trade.

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