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Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Beinhart´s ´´A Fighting Faith´´

I can hardly believe I´m sitting here in Puerto Varas reading TNR, but so it is. I finally started reading through Beinhart´s much-discussed (w.r.t. a certain liberal overread segment of the population) piece in TNR, which I previously blogged last week. Just wanted to reiterate that it does appear to be required reading if you care about liberalism in the United States (and thus, by extension, an alternative and an opposition to the apparently acsendant right wing in our country).

I haven´t read the whole thing, so I´m not claiming I agree with the thesis. But it´s an argument you need to be aware of.

A key paragraph early in the piece that essentially states the thesis (read the intro of the piece to understand what he means by ´´a Wallacite grassroots´´ and a ´´meeting at the Willard Hotel´´):

When liberals talk about America's new era, the discussion is largely negative--against the Iraq war, against restrictions on civil liberties, against America's worsening reputation in the world. In sharp contrast to the first years of the cold war, post-September 11 liberalism has produced leaders and institutions--most notably Michael Moore and MoveOn--that do not put the struggle against America's new totalitarian foe at the center of their hopes for a better world. As a result, the Democratic Party boasts a fairly hawkish foreign policy establishment and a cadre of politicians and strategists eager to look tough. But, below this small elite sits a Wallacite grassroots that views America's new struggle as a distraction, if not a mirage. Two elections, and two defeats, into the September 11 era, American liberalism still has not had its meeting at the Willard Hotel. And the hour is getting late.

My excuse for reading this while I should be sleeping: I´m cleaning out my yahoo inbox, and the connection is so slow--or rather, so narrow--that while waiting for the next message to load, I have time to do another task--multitasking, in the original OS sense of the word.

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