Beinart on how the liberals have blown it
a low opinion of liberal columnist and former TNR editor Peter Beinart, whose overelaborate and counterintuitive arguments on behalf of liberalism (in the distinctive TNR tradition) are specious 99 percent of the time. However, in his article
at The Daily Beast
, “How Jon Stewart Blew It,” Beinart makes one good point. At the same time, as you will see, even that one good point is mixed with leftist lies. Here’s the beginning of the piece, followed by the end of the piece:
It’s a good thing that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert held their “Restore Sanity/Keep Fear Alive” rallies last weekend on the National Mall. Now, when historians look back at what the American left did wrong in the early Obama years, they’ll have an entire event, preserved on CSPAN, which captures it perfectly….
Finally, the focus on “sanity.” Talk about condescending. The Tea Party types who believe that expanding government undermines their freedom are not insane. They’re tapping into a deeply-rooted American fear of government power, one that would be immediately recognizable to Calvin Coolidge or Strom Thurmond. And in the process, they’re conjuring, once again, the myth that America was born free [LA replies: it’s just a myth? Beinart, you little punk], and surrenders a smidgen of liberty every time Washington imposes another tax or establishes another government agency. (The Tea Partiers may not be racists, but it’s hardly surprising that this idealized image of 19th Century America doesn’t impress African-Americans). [LA replies: If blacks are hostile to the very idea of American freedom, shouldn’t this fact be clearly spelled out so that we will be under no illusion that they share our ideals?] The Tea Partiers, in other words, are making a serious argument, which the left too often tries to dismiss by calling them nuts. In fact, the haughtiness reflected by such insults conceals the left’s confusion over how to respond ideologically. The Obama administration has barely tried to argue that activist government can make people more free—by, for instance, guaranteeing their health care coverage and thus freeing them to leave a dead end job. [LA replies: This harks back to Nancy Pelosi’s argument that the reason to have Obamacare is to allow artists to experiment with their lives and not have to work. Americans who produce wealth have to give up their freedom to a leviathan state, so that counterculture types can live a bohemian life at the expense of those who work. This is what Beinart considers a “pro-freedom” argument for Obamacare.] In America today, as at past moments in our history, there’s a profound debate underway not just about how to right our economy but about the relationship between capitalism and freedom. Pretending it’s not a real debate is a great way for the left to lose.
Maybe it’s not fair to blame Jon Stewart for all this. He’s a comedian, after all. But he’s the left’s closest equivalent to Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck. And while they’re busy struggling to recreate the America of William McKinley, he’s acting as if our biggest problem is that people shout at each other on the tube. For a guy as talented as Stewart, that’s insane.
[end of Beinart article]
James P. writes:
Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 02, 2010 02:49 PM | Send
“The Tea Party types who believe that expanding government undermines their freedom are not insane. They’re tapping into a deeply-rooted American fear of government power, one that would be immediately recognizable to Calvin Coolidge or Strom Thurmond.”
What about all the Lefties who spent the Bush years screaming about incipient fascism and theocracy? Don’t they recognize the fear of government power in others? Or is fear of government power only legitimate when the government wants to do right-wing things under right-wing leadership?