The Corner

Progressive Defection?

Rabbi Michael Lerner, the editor of left-wing Tikkun magazine, sends around a Chris Hedges piece today that is titled “Ralph Nader Was Right About Barack Obama.” It reads, in part:

We owe Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney an apology. They were right about Barack Obama. They were right about the corporate state. They had the courage of their convictions and they stood fast despite wholesale defections and ridicule by liberals and progressives. 

Obama lies as cravenly, if not as crudely, as George W. Bush. . . .

The illegal wars and occupations, the largest transference of wealth upward in American history and the egregious assault on civil liberties, all begun under George W. Bush, raise only a flicker of tepid protest from liberals when propagated by the Democrats. Liberals, unlike the right wing, are emotionally disabled. They appear not to feel. The tea-party protesters, the myopic supporters of Sarah Palin, the veterans signing up for Oath Keepers and the myriad of armed patriot groups have swept into their ranks legions of disenfranchised workers, angry libertarians, John Birchers and many who, until now, were never politically active. They articulate a legitimate rage. Yet liberals continue to speak in the bloodless language of issues and policies, and leave emotion and anger to the protofascists. Take a look at the 3,000-word suicide note left by Joe Stack, who flew his Piper Cherokee last month into an IRS office in Austin, Texas, murdering an IRS worker and injuring dozens. He was not alone in his rage. . . .

Lerner includes a note that “printing Chris Hedges article is not meant to be an endorsement of his position.” But he also adds: “Nor can we deny that the disillusionment with Obama is widespread among those who supported him in 2008, and has caused a deep depression and withdrawal of interest in politics among many . . .”

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