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August 10, 2005

YOU’RE EITHER WITH US OR YOU’RE AGAINST US: James Wolcott is beating up on liberal hawks (he singles out Roger L. Simon in particular) for making common cause with conservatives by supporting the Terror War:

The fact is that by subscribing to Bush's War on Terror and the invasion of Iraq with every corpuscle of your tired body you've made common cause with Republican conservatives, neoconservatives, and Christian fundamentalists who are dedicated to destroying those parcels of liberalism on which you stake your tiny claims of pride…Do you really think that conservative supremacy in the executive, congressional, and judicial branches of government means that gay rights and abortion rights will somehow be spared?
I can't speak for Roger, but I didn’t vote for “conservative supremacy in the executive, congressional and judicial branches of government.” I voted for a Republican White House and a Democratic Congress. That’s the sort of thing liberal hawks and other centrist types do. I made “common cause” with the Religious Right, which as a social-liberal/left-libertarian isn’t much fun. At the same time I made “common cause” with Dennis Kucinich, which as a foreign policy hawk isn’t much fun.

Politics isn’t binary, James. It’s not a war between the white hats and the black hats -- or the blue hats and the red hats for that matter. Tens of millions of Americans answer with “neither” when asked if they consider themselves liberal or conservative. Some of us vote for third parties. Some of us vote for both of the two major parties at the same time. It’s about tough choices and lesser evilism. If you’re a liberal I suppose the choice is an easy one. Some of us non-liberals see nuance and shades of gray. Maybe you've heard of those things.

UPDATE: On a related note, Harry Hatchett says many on today's anti-war left strikingly resemble right-wing nationalists and isolationists. It begs the question then. Who, really, are the new conservatives? I couldn't care less, personally, about being tainted with conservative cooties. But those who fear and loathe the idea might want to read Harry's essay.