Friday, March 01, 2013

2002 Was A Neocon-SensibleLiberal Hell

Back in the old days, TAPped posts were unsigned; the following is typical of the site and the era:
December 02, 2002 WHO IS THE LEFT? REDUX. We here at Tapped often complain about the way in which certain figures and groups -- World Bank protestors, Noam Chomsky, etc. -- are cast, in the debates over war, terrorism, trade and justice, as an entire side in the debate. This discussion between Katha Pollitt and Christopher Hitchens, stemming from this Pollitt column calling Hitchens on doing just that, is well worth the read but also unintentionally revealing. We praised Pollitt's column at the time, but in this debate, she and Hitchens are still arguing over who gets to play the irrelevant left-liberal. Hitchens makes the same mistake as ever, citing Ramsey Clark, Alexander Cockburn, Gore Vidal, Norman Mailer, Michael Moore and others as "the left." (This particular "left" is as small as the right suspects.) But even Pollitt, in her otherwise eloquent response, cites Tony Kushner, Patricia Williams, Marc Cooper and Ellen Willis as the real, credible liberals with whom Hitchens should be crossing swords. We don't have much of a problem with any of these folks. But if Pollitt is right, then liberal politics is indeed relegated, as conservatives insist, to a ghetto of radical academics, novelists, filmmakers and polemicists. Not to be snotty, but the men and women who shape policy and politics -- and, thus, people's lives -- in America don't care much about what Hitchens' and Politt's "left" have to say. (The fact that those who run the country don't take the left seriously is, sadly, a point of pride among too many progressives.) Yet there is a credible left -- those on "the left wing of the possible" who have engaged the political process and seek to influence real policy. Eric Alterman has a good list of them here. Posted at 03:25 PM