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January 07, 2005

Liberals Reluctantly Wise Up

Kevin Drum is -- or at least does a good job of playing one -- the epitome of the decent liberal: open-minded, intelligent, compassionate, and intolerant of extremist views without postering about it.

Yet conservative extremism makes him feel like he has to suppress his best impulses. He'd love to support a good government reform to eliminate gerrymandering in California, but...:

the insanely partisan atmosphere of contemporary American politics means I can't support this proposal even though I think it would be good for the state. After watching Texas Republicans ram through a brutally gerrymandered mid-decade redistricting that gained the Republican party four congressional seats in the 2004 election, how stupid would a California Democrat have to be to agree to meekly support a goo-goo proposal that would have the effect of giving Republicans more seats in yet another state?...So as much as I hate myself for this, count me out.
So any "can't we all get along" feelings get sidelined in the face of raw conservative power.

I consider myself a leftist, even a socialist when I get to define the term, largely because while I have moderate policy impulses, I firmly believe conservative and corporate forces will inevitably undermine moderate reforms that leave inequality of power in place. So nice liberal reforms that don't address fundamental issues of inequality will inherently fail.

Which frustrates the hell out of good liberals like Kevin.

Posted by Nathan at January 7, 2005 09:34 AM