Flaming the Left

by Kieran Healy on August 19, 2005

Flaming the Left is a difficult matter,
It isn’t just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, you’re going to need THREE DIFFERENT FLAMES.
First of all, are the flames that the bloggers use daily,
Such as Ignorant, Jerk-in-the-Box, Leftist or Lame,
Such as Asshat or Poopy-head, Liberal or Crazy–
All comprehensible, everyday flames.
There are fancier claims if you think they sound neater,
Some for the heated times, some for the tame:
Such as Clintonite, Keynesian, New Deal, Single-Payer–
But all of them regular, everyday flames.
But I tell you the left needs a flame more particular,
Something less honest, a bit more cockeyed,
Else how can we keep up our image testicular,
Or cook up the data, or tell garish lies?
Flames of this kind are by now ten a penny,
Such as Darwinist, Feminist or Stab-in-the-Back,
Such as Idiotarian, or else Fifth Columnist,
Codes the wingnuts all listen for, on their antennae.
But above and beyond there’s still one name left over,
And that is the charge you by now have all guessed;
The thing that no liberal will ever admit to–
But RIGHT-WINGERS ALL KNOW, and have “often”:https://crookedtimber.org/2005/08/16/witchfinders-general/ “expressed”:http://www.thepoorman.net/2005/08/19/back-down-the-road-a-while/.
When you engage a liberal in argumentation,
Your tactic, I tell you, should be to defame
His motives, his background, his disloyal mother,
And be sure to
Cry Treason,
With no sense of shame.

Kinds of Quagmires II

by Kieran Healy on August 19, 2005

“Orin Kerr”:http://www.volokh.com/archives/archive_2005_08_07-2005_08_13.shtml#1123955294, “Ted”:https://crookedtimber.org/2005/08/18/what-next/ and “Kevin Drum”:http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2005_08/006937.php think about options for the future in Iraq and the likelihood of various outcomes. Kevin says,

bq. I happen to think “a timed withdrawal is probably the best bet left to us”:http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2005_08/006930.php, although I admit that I suspect Iraq is going to end up in chaos no matter what we do. That would be a disaster, but if we can’t stop it anyway there’s no point in making things worse by staying. For now, that’s pretty much where I’m at, and anyone who disagrees really needs to give the chin scratching a rest and tell us clearly and concisely what they’d do differently to turn the tide in this war. Time has run out.

As many have noted, as the situation in Iraq remains stuck, the political push from the pro-war side will increasingly move towards blaming the war’s failure on those who opposed its initiation, who had no power whatsoever over its direction, and even, in some cases, those who sacrificed a great deal to its prosecution. The astonishing vilification of Cindy Sheehan by right-wing talking heads is evidence enough of that. I find it depressing — and a sign of how stuck things now are — that a CT post from “almost two years ago”:https://crookedtimber.org/2003/09/01/kinds-of-quagmires/ stands up pretty well.

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