Does the left have any kind of speed bump for radicalism?
The Democrats were quickly overrun by the left with little resistance. Within little more than a decade, they were on board with Socialism. A few weeks ago, the media was full of editorials calling for the end of free speech. It certainly didn't appear that the Democrats, now a leftist party, or what was now the mainstream left, had any ability or desire to resist further radicalization.
But that was largely because there was no tactical reason to do so. Instead the left had tactical reasons to open the door wide open. The radicals were better at accelerating change. That's always been their calling card. And the Dems were far more afraid of their own left than any kind of mainstream opinion.
That was the initial response to Antifa violence. But now the tactical damage is starting to pile up.
Pelosi Statement Condemning Antifa Violence in Berkeley
San Francisco — Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement denouncing the violent protests carried out this weekend in Berkeley, California:
“Our democracy has no room for inciting violence or endangering the public, no matter the ideology of those who commit such acts. The violent actions of people calling themselves antifa in Berkeley this weekend deserve unequivocal condemnation, and the perpetrators should be arrested and prosecuted.
That statement could have come from a Republican last week. But to be fair to Nance, when she came in, she was the leading edge of the left. Among today's radicalized Dems, she looks downright conservative. Even in her own delegation filled with raving angry demagogues like Ted lieu or Brad Sherman, Pelosi seems almost statesmanlike in her opposition to impeachment.
But the condemnations are pouring in. And the media condemnations look cynically tactical.
Take New York Magazine. Please.
Antifa Beats Up Trump Supporters, Fuels Right-Wingers
On Sunday afternoon, members of the black-clad, left-wing group Antifa violently attacked some pro-Trump demonstrators in the liberal redoubt of Berkeley, California. Thirteen people were arrested and two were hospitalized.
The violence ended quickly, and the vast majority of the day’s events were peaceful. Nevertheless, images of defenseless Trump supporters being mobbed by their ideological nemeses lent stark visual support to the conservative narrative that Antifa is a menace equivalent to white nationalism.
Column: Antifa's unfortunate gift to the far right
Page closes by urging Antifa to "remember — as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., among others, nobly showed — you maintain your moral authority by resisting the temptation to adopt the violent tactics that you deplore in your opponents"
That's a tactical position disguised as a moral one. .
The Sacramento Bee
The anti-fascists we saw in Sacramento were thugs. By employing violence, they ceded any moral high ground they might have had... And apparently, they become useful idiots employed by anyone excusing Trump
This is the ongoing theme.
Antifa has become a useful Trump talking point. So let's drop them like a hot potato.
There are more principled condemnations to Antifa that don't resort to tactical justifications.
Political scientist Jo Freeman, part of the radical student movement that forced UC Berkeley to permit political speech five decades ago, said she was dismayed at the effort that went into silencing opposition. She drew similarities between those who threatened her and other freedom marchers in the South in the 1960s, and those who bully the far right now.
“It is not uncommon for societies to produce a hate squad,” Freeman said. “People who want to suppress the right to speak — they are everywhere.”
That they are. But that is the way things are in an illiberal society.