Monday, June 27, 2005

Democrats Should Reject the Extreme Left

Karl Rove’s recent remarks clearly tried to tie the disturbing views of far left liberals with the positions of mainstream Democrats. One of the reasons Roves remarks have gained traction is that it was a half truth.

Some liberal groups did react to 9/11 with cries that we not retaliate. Check out the far left A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, a group founded by Americans on September 14, 2001 to protest a military reaction to the terrorist attacks. It has since gone on to be one of the far left’s leading voice’s against the War in Iraq.

A lot of mainstream Americans don’t support the war in Iraq. But A.N.S.W.E.R. is not a group anyone in the mainstream would want to be a part of. This is a group that recently plastered my DC neighborhood with flyers inviting people to come discuss whether the anti-war movement should begin to actively “support the resistance of the people of Iraq.” I’m not sure why anyone would want to support a so-called “resistance” that routinely murders Iraqi civilians and seeks to impose tyranny. But that’s how this group thinks.

And it’s groups like A.N.S.W.E.R. that actually do fit Karl Rove’s description of liberals who didn’t want a strong response to September 11th. Rove clearly meant to link these fringe lefties with Democrats, but the real question is, why did Democrats act like these fringe lefties were part of their party?

A.N.S.W.E.R. doesn’t even consider itself an ally of the Democrats. They protested the DNC convention last year. So why don’t Democrats call these far left groups out? As much as most Americans don’t appreciate the far right trying to impose its own set of values on us all, a lot more Americans are made ill by the kinds of flat-out anti-American rhetoric of groups such as A.N.S.W.E.R.

It’s Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The far left offends most people’s need for safety (the second most important need). The far right offends our need for love (the third most important). So, right there, most people are going to see the far left’s ideas as innately more harmful than the ideas of the far right. That’s a problem for Democrats.

And it’s going to be a problem until they resoundingly make it clear to the American people that the ideas and ideals of the far left are in no way representative of the Democratic Party. Yes, they might lose some hardcore activists but they will regain the confidence of a lot of middle-of-the-road voters made skittish by the far left’s antics.

Democrats and other liberals can definitely be patriotic and question the war in Iraq. But they can’t ignore the fact that certain far-out liberals take their anti-war views to a disturbing extreme. It’s those “liberals” that Democrats need to address, admonish and abandon.


At 11:03 AM, Blogger Adm. Happy Horatio Hornhonker said...

To start at the top for my opinion on this low-blow episode of Karl Rove please see: Rove does nothing without a plan

Dear Alan:

> : And it’s groups like A.N.S.W.E.R. that actually do fit Karl Rove’
> : description of liberals who didn’t want a strong response to
> : September 11th. Rove clearly meant to link these fringe
> : lefties with Democrats, but the real question is, why did
> : Democrats act like these fringe lefties were part of their party?

Now there's a real stretch of your imagination. Exactly how have you come to this conclusion to establish that the "mainstream Democrat" acted as if these so called "lefties" were part of the dem party?

That's about as ridiculous to take as serious as someone saying that the mainstream Republican's act like they all accept card carrying members of the Klan or support every wild idea and speculation that's written on the blog pages of the Free Republic.

I mean really -- you could also say:

Liberals are not necessarily socialists. . . . but most socialist minded people are liberal.

Sort of a reverse of the following idea that J S Mills wrote in 1869 in 'On Liberty" when he said:

"Conservatives are not necessarily stupid . . . . but most stupid people are conservatives."

I still think it was nothing more than a weak pre-emptive statement to rallying the basest of the base to counter act the ongoing problems facing the administration on the ground in Iraq.

Jonah D. Wail

At 11:20 AM, Blogger EG said...

Nearly any Democrat in Congress could have responded to Rove’s comments in this way:
“I have no idea what Karl Rove is referring to. I and nearly every other Democrat in Congress supported President Bush’s call for support for the war. We have never responded to 9/11with therapy for the attackers. Mr. Rove’s comments have nothing to do with reality.”

That is, why should the Democrats, respond to A.N.S.W.E.R.? This organization has no connection with the party. Does the Republican Party need to distance itself from Terry Randall’s Operation Rescue? Randall is considering a run for the GOP nomination for a Florida State Senate seat. This organization appears to have a closer relationship to the GOP than A.N.S.W.E.R.’s relationship to the Democrats.

At 11:52 AM, Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...

It is my belief and I will continue to argue that the parties are hurt when they welcome their extremes into the tent. Opperation Rescue is a problem for Republicans but, because of the nature of current politics, not AS huge a problem as A.N.S.W.E.R. is for Dems.

I'm not sure, at this point, there was a "correct" response to Rove's comments except perhaps to ignore them. But those comments are made more possible because the Democrats do not ever criticize the far left. In fact, like in the case of Durbin, they are more likely to mistakenly co-opt the far left's rhetoric than they are to denounce it. I have heard very few people that sit on the left acknowlege that there are those on the left that really do fit Rove's statements. They need to do so and need to make it clear those fringe lefties aren't Democrats and Democrats don't want them. But I think Democrats do want them because the party mistakenly beleives it can find electoral success by appealing to the farside base.

To answer your question, Admiral, it's no stretch at all to say mainstream Dems act as if these far lefties are part of the party. These far lefties are very loud and very nagative and yet the Dems do not denounce them or even criticize them. That silence denotes tacit acceptance or at least a pact of convenience between the Dems and the radical liberals. You can't have Michael Moore (who thinks Afghanistan was invaded so we could lay an oil pipeline) sit next to Jimmy Carter at the DNC convention and not say the Dems approve of the far left.

My conservative readers get upset when I point out how detrimental the far right is to their party and my liberal readers get upset when I point out how detrimental the far left is to Democrats. Dems might agree with the far left that Iraq is wrong. But the enemy of your enemy is not your friend. And treating them as such is bad politics and bad for the country.

At 12:22 PM, Blogger Jami said...

karl rove needs to say, then, that he was talking only about A.N.S.W.E.R. and not every liberal ever born.

some liberals are indeed crazy. so are some right wingers. if howard dean had stood up and said all conservatives wanted to slit the throats of muslim babies after september 11, i think y'all would be outraged. rightly so. some conservatives undoubtedly did want that. but generalizing is a problem. rove needs to apologize. the sooner, the better, so we can all let it drop.

At 12:39 PM, Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...


It would be helpful for Rove to publically clarify that he didn't mean Democrats and appologize.

And, yes, some far right wingers made pretty big fools of themselves after 9/11 as well (Jerry Falwell comes to mind). Unfortunately for Dems, that's another issue and one it's hard to capitalize on.

As for me, I have no problem calling out both sides. Which is probably why no one likes me. ; )

At 11:58 PM, Blogger Kenneth Almquist said...

"And it's groups like A.N.S.W.E.R. that actually do fit Karl Rove's description of liberals who didn't want a strong response to September 11th."

Here you claim that A.N.S.W.E.R. is a liberal group, but later on you call it a "far left group." I think you got it right the second time. Unless you are granting Rove the authority to make words mean whatever he wants them to mean--like Lewis Caroll's Humpty Dumpty--A.N.S.W.E.R. doesn't qualify as a liberal group.

At 12:11 AM, Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...


I think you are parsing the language more than I was. I was using liberal to refer to all those left of center. So that the all far leftists are liberals but not all liberals are far leftists. That's probably an innacurate use of the word liberal--but, saddly, that word has lost a lot of meaning due to it being successfully redefined by conservatives.


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