Posted by: Ernest Barteldes | February 11, 2010

Whatever Happened to the Left?


 

During most of last summer, I could not help but laughing at the Tea Party movement as they accused President Obama of being Kenyan communist hell-bent on annihilating everything that ‘their’ America stood for. I remember clearly enjoying breakfast at a hotel in downtown Cleveland as a Fox News program detailed on how they were organizing rallies all over the country to oppose health care reform, financial regulation and all those things that – in their point of view – go against their vision of what this country should be.

Now I realize I should not have been laughing. However, like most in what can be characterized as “on the left” (I have no party affiliation or anything like that, but lately I have developed contempt for radical conservatives here in the US, even if I do agree with some more moderate Republicans on certain issues), I saw the Tea Partiers as a motley group of ignorant hicks fueled by the Fox News and CNN talking heads who just want to see the current administration fail, no matter what that does to the country. What I should have noticed was they were forming a strong base while liberal organizations pretty much kept quiet, possibly still drunk from the victory in November of 2008.

Today, the Tea Party movement is a reality. An example of this is the unprecedented Republican victory in Massachusetts, which would not have been possible without that group’s help. Unlike their rivals, they did learn from their mistakes (in the upstate NY Congress race) and supported a candidate that did not fit the bill as a ‘true conservative’ because they knew that a ‘classic’ Republican (you know, the kind who opposes gay rights, abortion and things like that) would not stand a chance in a deep blue state.

In the meantime, liberal organizations did — close to nothing. Organizing For America only came through to Democratic Senate candidate Martha Coakley when it was already too late. And the DNC not only refused help from left-wing organizations who wanted to challenge the Tea Parties, but also muzzled them in favor of politics as usual, according to a recent report on the latest edition of Rolling Stone magazine.

Worse, many liberals are still ignoring the power that the right has garnered in the last few months. An example of that is the ridicule their made of Sarah Palin’s palm notes during the Tea Party convention in Nashville last week. What the left should have been doing is rallying their supporters as much as they did almost a year and a half ago.

Is that populism? Maybe. But guess what: populism wins elections.

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Responses

  1. A 3rd party will not be victorious. It never has been; study a history book. Dr. Utopia is consistently dismantling this land piece by piece and were out here suggesting songs to the stria? It is utterly, vitally essential that tea partiers, level-headed conservatives, whatever we wish to call ourselves, TAKE BACK the GOP.

    • But one can dream, right? But I second you. The GOP must be taken off the hands of fundamentalists who hide in the guise of “social conservatives”


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