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View Diary: The Desensitization Continues - Updated (53 comments)

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  •  This is a *tactic* and always has been since (7+ / 0-)

    the Clintons started pushing "pragmatism" in the early 90s. Or late 80s, I guess, to party insiders.

    I fell for it in the 90s, to some extent. I didn't agree with it, but I was willing to compromise. But what I was compromising with was a set of moving goalposts that only ever moved to the right, which essentially destroys both the idea of compromise and the idea of negotiation itself. In order to have a real negotiation, both parties need to establish positions at the beginning and move slowly together until they find a place in the middle that they can both accept (a "compromise.")

    In a Third-Way "negotiation," the conservative's real position is hidden because the goal is not to achieve a particular policy end, but to move the people on the other side of the table perpetually rightward. Each fight, whether over labor, the environment, regulation of the financial sector, or whatever, is much less important in itself than it is as fuel to move the left-wing rightward and eliminate opposition to a constant rightward movement of the country. So the real issue (for the conservative) is not labor, the environment, or regulation of the financial sector, but the transformation of the American political system.

    Thus, there is no stable position occupied by the Third Way, or "centrists," or whatever they want to call themselves except a hidden position or goal, which is to move left wing people and their concerns out of the public sphere and public influence as decisively as possible.

    I'm kind of embarrassed that I fell for it in the 90s, and more embarrassed that I fell for it in a different way with Obama (by then I had sussed out the overall tactic, but I trusted the center-left, and the center-left was backing Obama; also, Obama was able to convince me through some very effective speechmaking and other extremely skilled uses of language, that he wasn't like those other centrists, but was an actual, real centrist acting in good faith.)  Yeah, stupid, I know.

    The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 08:01:18 AM PDT

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