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Washington Post Columnist Renders a Curious Paen to the Past

Posted By Tim and Alissa Birkel On January 6, 2010 @ 4:00 pm In NewsReal Blog | No Comments

History books, which certain people seem not to have learned from.

Well, the holidays are over, we’re back from vacation, and we know you all missed us. So you know what that means. That’s right, the Birkels are back. We’re rested, ready, and raring to go. So, without further ado, on to what you came here for.

With more and more Democrats sticking fingers in the air and deciding the political headwinds are too strong to even attempt a re-election bid, the race is on to perform a post-mortem on the leftist “Obama revolution,” which is failing to outlive its infancy, or indeed to much materialize in the first place. Why, leftists are wondering, is the country not ready to lie down and be quietly led towards a new leftist Utopia?

Columnist Harold Meyerson’s answers in the Washington Post are manifold–and revealing.

Firstly, he says that Republicans are too conservative. Which is funny, because after 8 years of a President who often acted like he didn’t know he was supposed to be a fiscal conservative (and continued cries from leftists that if Bush were a “true conservative” he’d balance the budget), we now have a President who thinks that fiscal conservatism is where you only add tens of billions to the Federal deficit instead of trillions. This seems little more than a sad whine from someone who hasn’t gotten his way. “Oh, our opponents are too partisan. If only they’d just agree with us, everything would be fine!” Maybe it’s that the majority of Americans want their country to remain as it was founded, and not turn into the Mortgaged Socialist States of America, a subsidiary of China Investments, Ltd.

His second argument is even more interesting.

“The America over which FDR presided was home to mass organizations of the unemployed; farmers’ groups that blocked foreclosures, sometimes at gunpoint; general strikes that shut down entire cities, and militant new unions that seized factories. Both communists and democratic socialists were enough of a presence in America to help shape these movements”

So, wait, the reason that the country has rejected the Obama agenda is that there aren’t enough communists around today? While the tacit admission that FDR’s New Deal policies were shaped by communism is interesting, we think Meyereson has failed some basic history lessons.

We could perhaps forgive the average man or woman in America of the 1930’s for falling for the easy trap of communist ideology. They had not seen communism in action yet. The USSR was only a few years old. No one yet knew of the rise of the gulags, Stalin’s terrible purges, or the mass starvation of the Ukrainian farmers. Mao’s China, the Khmer Rouge, the aftermath of the Vietnam War, and the repression of Castro-led Cuba were all far off. People could be forgiven for believing in an untried if flawed idea. But now? To wish that there were more communists around to influence the left is either horrifying, or laughably ignorant of history.

Meyerson wants a mass-leftist movement, something that he says,

“require[s] not just liberal governments, but autonomous, vibrant mass movements, usually led by activists who stand at or beyond liberalism’s left fringe.”

We have news for Meyerson–there’s a reason that fringe is small. It’s because the rest of the world has seen, and has woken up, to what happens when those ideas are given free rein. America has put those ideas aside, and has embraced individual freedoms. And we are better for that fact. That Americans continues to do so, even in the face of a tide of statist agendas, is encouraging.

Related posts:

  1. Woodward and Bernstein, Call Your Office: Washington Post Now Irrelevant to the Left
  2. 9-12-2009: Conservatives March on Washington
  3. A Spoonful of Saccharine: Maddow's Continued Blindness to Irony, Hamsher's Continued Inability to Let the Past Go


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