Okay, she’s bitter and cranky and takes cheap shots. But underneath all that Katha Pollitt understands something so many other leftists don’t: the American people don’t like leftist politics and they only like certain parts of liberal politics. Of course, they don’t love conservative politics either, because they don’t like politics period. Anyway, an excerpt:
The logic of the “Left Is More” position seems to be this: What people really want is a Debs or La Follette who will smite the corporations, turn swords into plowshares, share the wealth and banish John Ashcroft to a cabin in the Ozarks. But since the Democratic Party denies them their first choice, they will–naturally!–pick a hard-right warmaker of staggering incompetence and no regard for either the Constitution or the needs of the people. Better that than settle for a liberal centrist who would only raise the minimum wage by two dollars. In other words, these proto-progressives will consciously choose the greater evil out of what–spite? pride? I scorn your half-measures, sir! Keep your small change!
This makes no sense to me as an explanation of the recent election. It doesn’t explain, for example, why Republicans gained in both House and Senate. It doesn’t explain why Californians rejected a referendum to amend their three-strikes law so that twice-convicted felons wouldn’t get twenty-five years for shoplifting, or why Arizonans voted solidly to bar undocumented aliens from obtaining a wide range of essential public services and to require public servants to report them if they try. It doesn’t explain why the Kansas school board is once again a chorus line of creationists.