I was just listening to The Young Turks prattle on about how pissed they are over the fact that former President Barack Obama will be paid to make speeches. Imagine that! The first black president, who worked his ass off for eight years, now gets to make a little for himself and his family as a reward. What a bastard! Keep in mind, the only reason TYT continues to exist is due to a major infusion of millions of dollars from a group of righties led by former Louisiana governor Buddy Roemer, a notorious Republican. When I listen to shit like this, I just want to puke.
It’s the same visceral reaction I have to Glenn Greenwald, who Is lauded by many unicorn progressives as a “progressive” (he’s actually a Libertarian, if you would bother to read and listen to him) at the same time he defends Russia from the likely shenanigans they pulled prior to the last election. And he, too, is only in his position because the filthy rich Pierre Omidyar dangled a shitload of money in front of him. And then there is Ed Schultz, who played the union and workers’ right cards for years before the odious “news” organization RT (Russia Today, a proven propaganda arm of the Russian government) dangled a wad of cash in front of him.
To be honest, I don’t really care about the money. If someone dangled a wad in front of me to expand this blog and hire a staff and do some actual journalism, I would do it in a heartbeat. And I know for a fact that I would di better than many of the above. However, if I took that money, i would feel as if I had given up the right to be self-righteous about the money others make. If I was to insinuate that someone like President Obama was somehow compromised for taking money to make speeches, that would make me a first-class hypocrite.
And it’s the hypocrisy that’s the problem.
In reality, I don’t care that TYT, Glenn Greenwald and Ed Schultz all found someone to fund their ventures and boost their fortunes. I’d actually be happy for them, if not for the hypocrisy of them trying to assume a superior position in their politics and “journalism.”. I’m happy for Rachel Maddow, who makes many millions a year telling the truth for a living, because she isn’t a hypocrite. She doesn’t insinuate that someone is lying because of how much money they make. Like a true journalist, she actually only insinuates that someone is lying when they, well, tell lies. In other words, she proves the lie lacks a factual basis.
That is supposed to be what journalism is all about. You’ll note that I don’t talk much about Fox News on this blog. Instead, I point out the lies and prove them to be lies. Bill O’Reilly, Ailes rest his black soul, didn’t lie because he was Bill O’Reilly, he lied because he was encouraged to not tell the truth. The constant railing on Bill-O for being a dick was beside the point. What mattered was that what he and the rest of Fox News did and do was to spread lies as fact. Speaking of which, do you realize that the latest sexual harassment allegations have cost Fox News around $85 million, but only about $20 million of that has gone to the victims? (Source) That’s an issue, not the first black president collecting hefty fees for speeches.
But there is another aspect of this that I want to talk about.
What is it about a certain segment of the left that makes them accept what some professional lefties say as gospel, as long as it’s something they like, while they dismiss the actual records of politicians and political groups they’ve decided to target?
Take for instance, the Democratic Party and Cenk Uyger. When I listen to this idiot speak, a lot of the time, he just sounds like an ignoramus. As someone who has worked quietly in Democratic Party politics for more than 45 years, since I was a teenager, I know exactly how the party works and I know how to get things done. The Democratic Party is a purely (small d) democratic institution that reflects the views and positions of its rank-and-file membership. Debbie Wasserman Schultz wasn’t chosen by an elite faction, she was voted to head the DNC by the rank-and-file, just as Tom Perez was also chosen by the rank-and-file over Keith Ellison. Likewise, no one in the Democratic Party purposely dissed Bernie Sanders in 2016. He ran for the nomination and Hillary Clinton cleaned his clock because the vast majority of Democrats wanted her to be the nominee. There was no purposeful undermining of his campaign. In fact, as I pointed out many times, Bernie Sanders ran a shitty campaign and was a shitty politician. You can’t repeat the same stump speech all over the country for two years and expect to win. But more than that, Democrats know and trust Hillary Clinton. She has a much higher profile than Bernie and the reason her negative ratings were and are higher is because she’s a polarizing figure on the right and everyone in the country knows who she is. Bernie Sanders’ name recognition is still in the 70s, even after a two-year campaign. That’s why his favorables seem higher. Of course, it’s also why he lost.
Now, Cenk Uyger is using his millions to back a “new wing” inside the Democratic Party. He’s calling it “Justice Democrats,” you know, because all of those black and brown men and women that make up the base of the Democratic Party simply don’t understand “justice” the way white liberals like Cenk do. They truly think the 95 percent of progressives who are already in the Democratic Party need the help of a group of white men like Cenk and Bernie to show them the real way to justice.
Now, I am all for Cenk Uyger joining the Democratic Party and I am all for him encouraging other white liberal unicorn progressives to join. I don’t even mind if they shake things up a bit inside the party. However, their “my way or the highway” talk is not at all helpful and if they plan to spend the next two years whining about the rest of the Democratic Party, there is a good chance that they will throw yet another election to the GOP, and we can’t afford that.
Keep in mind, Cenk just joined the Democratic Party last year. In fact, i seem to remember him whining because he did so too late to vote in the New York primary. Before that, he was an “independent” who was always telling actual Democrats what they could do better. And let’s be clear, no one is more despised than an outsider who is always telling you what a fuck-up you are. And before that, he was a Republican. He was a Republican far longer than he’s been a so-called “progressive.” Likewise, if Glenn Greenwald is still registered to vote in this country, which is not a given, since he lives in Brazil, he is probably not a Democrat, even though he, too is all-too-happy to tell Democrats how they should do things. And Ed Schultz was a right wing talk show host for years before he decided he could make more money as a lefty. In point of fact, a lot of the loudest voices on the professional left are former right wingers and Republicans. The numbers would probably shock you. A fair number of the loudest and most obnoxious progressive voices are former right wingers, who seem to think right wing politics is the key to improving the Democrats’ fortunes, which is absurd
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t listen to them at all. However, with every voice we read, whether on the left, the right or the center, we should examine everything they say for the truth in it. That includes me. I don’t mind anyone looking at what I say and determining the truth of it. In fact, I encourage it because, if they do it for what I write, it’s likely they do it for everyone else. healthy skepticism is your best friend when reading about or listening to politics.
No matter what a professional lefty tells you about the Democratic Party, but especially when they claim something stupid, like “Both parties are the same” or “Democrats are just as corrupt as Republicans,” remember something; virtually every good thing that has been done in this country has been done under Democratic Party leadership and nearly every bad thing that has happened to us came from Republican leadership.
Democrats have never tried to steal from the poor. Democrats have never tried to bust the unions. Democrats created the safety nets for the poor, they created the fair aspects of the justice system and they gave everyone access to health insurance and made that insurance better for everyone who already had it. They also put together a tax code that charged those with the most money with paying the most taxes.
Meanwhile, Republicans always steal from the poor. Republicans have always tried to bust the unions (primarily because unions are the biggest block of support for Democrats, which should inform you, as well.). All excesses in the justice system, like mandatory minimum sentences and the increase in drug crimes and drug sentences and other non-violent crimes, as well as the proliferation of for-profit prisons and the expansion of the prison system overall, were perpetrated by the Republican Party. And they don’t want everyone to have access to healthcare. In fact, they seem to think you should only be allowed to live if you can afford to live. They only cut taxes on the rich and they spend money like drunken sailors.
Talk is cheap, but there seems to be a certain strain of unicorn progressives who only respond to talk. They ignore the actual record of the Democratic and Republican Parties. And that is really bad for all of us.