Just a thought.
Why is it that, in any political discussion that invokes the bogeyman of political extremists, someone will at somepoint compare and contrast left and right wing extremist's roles within each party in such a way to imply that a left wing extremist is equivalent to a right wing extremist?
Yes, Neo-nazis are exactly comparable to anti-capitalist students, The Battle for Seattle is equal to the Oklahoma city bombing, and that's why the extremists must be purged from the party, lest they hoist universal health care on an poor unsuspecting nation
It just seems odd to me, and yet another example of how rightwing memes have spread among ,and are being spread by, liberals recently, like with Obama's little letter to the Kossacks that included, not only the whole Leninist denouncing of left wing politics for the convenience of the politicos (which was very tiresome back in post-revolutionary russia) but also a series of strawmen designed to excuse the parts of the party that are actively working against liberalism while at the same time further marginalizing the leftwing aspect of the party that is looking more and more like it's going to up and leave before '08 if dems don't start moving towards the center pretty damn soon, as the feminists are bound to do if more of their political representatives can't understand why a pro-choice Democrat isn't a pro-choice Democrat if "he or she isn't absolutely convinced that a twelve-year-old girl should be able to get an operation without a parent being notified."
Obama's whole piece was in fact a mixture of right wing framing, right wing talking points and some purely token leftwing filligreeing so that he doesn't seem like he's defending the people he's defending too much (and nothing says "Bold Man of Action" quite like whining about how mean us citizens are towards the people who steal our jobs, kill our children, force unwanted pregnancies on us and torture people in our name).
And the thing is, Obama's letter is just the most notable example of this steady vomiting forth of rightwing framing as centrist politics, which I've seen in god knows how many corners of left blogistan in the past year or so.
It's such a simple thing to avoid with just a little bit of common sense too, a lot of the more notable arguments are like the whole "meanie lefties" meme, think about it, exactly how large a percentage of the populace voted for bush because Amanda Marcotte swore on her blog? Exactly who among the population at large is going to read someone on the net writing about how there is a need to pull out of Iraq sooner rather than later, and calling for political leverage to be applied to dems who are merely generically aginst the war, will then go off and think "Those anti-war dems...Why they're exactly like the pro-war republicans!"
Think about it, Exactly how many people voted Bush inspite of Ann Coulter's calls for mass genocide and forced religious conversions of all American Muslims? The left never goes further than calling a mass murdering kleptocrat a mass murdering kleptocrat, and yet, THAT'S too mean!? Advocating mass genocide is less harmful to the reputation of the writer's political party than accurate, if slightly hyperbolic sounding, rhetoric?
It's logic that only makes sense if bitching about dems and their lame attempts to waffle on issues they can only come out as against in an abstract, "don't rush me, I'm thinking" kind of way that looks to the casual observer like the most patently transparent method of stalling for time, is 100% equivalent to LGFers calling for the nuking of Mecca.
Why is the only bipartisan aspect of today's politics the constant burdening of all responsibility for everything onto the backs of the left? Why is everyone else exempt from the standards the left is held to?
Why is a Socialist utopia of equality, freedom and justice equivalent to Nazi Germany?
Why do the left's opinions not matter as much as those of the right's where the democratic party is concerned?