March 03, 2005

Orthodoxy Left and Right

So I had an email from my brother last night with a link to an essay he'd posted at an online forum (no, you don't get that link--he's not your brother, now, is he?), about . . . ah, whoever that moron was who proposed we extend decency standards to cable and satellite and but-I-pay-for-that-smut channels.

Wait; it's actually a couple of morons proposing this. I'll just crib from the news link he used:

"We need to get the Senate to take that up and pass that," Rep. Joe Barton, a Texas Republican, said in an interview on Fox News cable channel. "Then we can work on this issue of should we apply the same rules to cable and satellite."

Barton and his counterpart, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens, an Alaska Republican, said on Tuesday they wanted to apply decency standards on cable television and satellite-delivered television and radio.

Barton added a caveat that he would support it as long as free speech constitutional issues could be worked out.

Who doesn't love that last part?--"As long as free speech constitutional issues could be worked out." Hahaha! Tell me again how conservatives favor a dead Constitution, Jonah, because it sounds to me as though Barton thinks he's found a pulse on that sucker.

I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but my brother and I, we like to have the arguments and the debates and stuff, so I told him that, funnily enough, every Bush-voter I'd read yesterday was heartily against this idea. A short list would have to include:

James Lileks

Ace of Spades

Jeff Goldstein

John Cole

Stephen Green

And whether they chose to write about it yesterday or not, there are others I know who voted for Bush but didn't vote for decency standards to be imposed on pay-only outlets. This woman, I'm betting, would not be in favor.

I felt I had to tell my brother this because of what he'd written:

This is what the Republican party is. There is no revolution of "South Park Republicans"; they are NOT evolving into Libertarians. The GOP is the party of No Fun, bent on creating an entire COUNTRY that is, finally, Safe For Children -- and boring for the rest of us.
See, I hate this: You can have half a dozen well-read right-leaning bloggers going "hey, hands off the Skinemax!" but still . . . still, there's this idea that Republicans are either in perfect agreement with each other, or--well, as he said in his email to me:
I'm mad at every Republican voter today, especially the ones that delude themselves the GOP's becoming more libertarian.
So: Either hopeless orthodoxy, or hopeless delusion. Some choice I've got, huh?

Here's my question, now: I know, and can demonstrate, that there are people who are moderates on the right. Maybe they're not even willing to identify themselves as Republicans--but when it came down to it, they voted for Bush in 2004. I know, then, that there are people who are leery of those they consider "too right," though "too socially conservative" may be a better choice of term here. Shoot, wasn't Judith Weiss saying as much with that post I linked yesterday on the new silent majority?

What I do not know, but hope I have left-leaning readers who can answer for me, is whether there are those Democrats, or at least Kerry voters, who find some candidates and policies equally deplorable for being "too left." I see left-leaning bloggers take issue with Joe Lieberman for being a "toady," for being too rightward, but I don't see many accusations that so-and-so or such-and-such is too leftward. And before you jump on me for saying that, let me admit right now that this may be because I just haven't been looking in the right places. (Er, the left places?)

So if you identify more with Democrats than Republicans, if you voted for Kerry last November, please tell me: What Democrats or Democrat policies do you disagree with on the grounds that they're too left, too immoderate? What do you say to those on the right who characterize you as being down with people and things you don't support?

This must happen occasionally. Doesn't it?

Start talkin', people. I want to know.

UPDATE 03/08/2005: Comments closed. Do I have to write up a dorky "rules" page about the commenting?--Because I thought we were all clear that you can insult me all you like, but (a) do try to hold back when engaging other commenters, and (b) item (a) goes double when one of the other commenters is, oh, say, a relative of mine, and (c) didn't I point out both (a) and (b) in the comments here already? Why, yes. Yes, I did. That the behavior continued after I did so tells me that either someone has a reading comprehension problem, or simply can't be bothered to respect the wishes of the site owner. Just know that neither possibility speaks well of you, and have a nice day.

Posted by Ilyka at March 3, 2005 02:30 PM in i don't know you tell me

Can't help you too much here. I despise key elements of both parties. My party's motto is "Check your moral proselytizing at the door".

Posted by: Jim at March 3, 2005 04:31 PM

A classic example of someone who voted for Kerry, but dislikes a bunch of Kerry/Dem/Leftist policies, would be Mickey "Kerry Haters for Kerry" Kaus.

Posted by: Craig at March 3, 2005 08:08 PM

Attacking orthodoxy on the left and the right? Heresy The Heretik looks forward to reading all your stuff. Featuring a ton of new women political bloggers in my blogroll section entitled More Than Three Wise Women Here. Stop by and visit, feel free to comment, or if you're too busy, tell me to taking flying whatever. Fight on in Fight That Must Be Won TM.

Posted by: The Heretik at March 4, 2005 03:49 AM

Just off the top of my head, some people on the left that I can't stand include Noam Chomsky, Ted Rall, Daily Kos, Eleanor Clift, Al Sharpton, Al Gore, and Richard Gephardt (though the last two more because I think they are blowhards). I'm sure I could come up with many more.

BTW, I don't consider myself a Democrat or a liberal, but I did support Kerry, and that was your criteria. So I am probably not exactly who you are addressing the question to.

Posted by: Mark at March 4, 2005 05:36 AM

Republican have idiots in the party, just like Democrats do. The majority that elected Bush in 04 don't support the censorship wing of the party, just as most Democrats don't support extremely idiotic views of the mid-to-far left. Nationalized everything, nanny state, etc.

Posted by: Leo at March 4, 2005 04:07 PM

Sigh. You can add me to that list of Republicans that think Barton and his pal should take a long walk off a short pier -- or if he wants to censor cable teevee then he can pony up the $100 per month I fork over to Brighthouse for the privilege of seeing 50 ads per hour for Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle on pay-per-view.

And, you know, you can tell your brother to grow up and quit painting everyone with the cooties brush. I'm sure he hates it when it's done to him.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at March 4, 2005 05:39 PM

Barton's a Republican. That doesn't mean he's a Conservative, let alone that Jonah wouldn't simply say "he's a piss-poor one for ignoring the Constitution", or something like that.

Me, I think he's (Barton, that is) just a dumbass.

Posted by: Sigivald at March 4, 2005 10:55 PM

THANK YOU, Ilyka, for not providing the forum link. It's a dumb-ass forum; just the same ten people tearing each other apart year after year. The next step would be to stop identifying me as your brother, as I'm probably more lax than you about protecting my identity. How about "My charismatic and terrifyingly-intelligent friend"?

I think you know, I can't stand Gun Control or anything philosophically similar. I don't like any over-protective policies; I don't want to be protected from my own bad choices. There may be Dems who agree with the idea of suing McD's for making you fat, but I've never encountered a one. Increasing cigarette taxes was initially a liberal idea, but boy, the Republicans have learned to love it, haven't they?

Andrea, I don't think I need to "grow up". This last election taught us (especially Dem voters who supported Dean) that the online community, bloggers and otherwise, overrates its size and importance. The hippest people in America may in fact be conservative bloggers, but the actual party leadership is this crap. These are powerful committee chairmen, not just two guys in Congress. And the half-million indecency fines for regular broadcast media, that's already happened. The FMA, it may never happen, but Bush has put it out there, and now it'll never go away. This is what the people you elect are DOING, while you guys are TALKING about the party you IMAGINE you're supporting.

Posted by: jdc at March 4, 2005 11:35 PM

You are almost forcing me to come out of the political blogging closet again.

Posted by: michele at March 5, 2005 11:48 AM

Have your brother read PJ O'Rourke.

Posted by: Robert at March 6, 2005 05:22 AM

Have your brother read PJ O'Rourke.

1. He has.

2. Next person to ignore the point of the post and use it instead to get off a cheap shot at a member of my family gets cut.

Posted by: ilyka at March 6, 2005 10:11 PM

I'll be honest, there really aren't Democrats I dislike for being too far left. I don't really find many Dems that go to the left of me. A bunch bug me for coming off as being too politically calculating and not truly 'walking their walk'... Diane Feinsten, Gavin Newsom, Nancy Pelosi, Willie Brown and Daniel Akaka (which probably tells you where I'm from).

I don't really see myself as far-left, I can find people that are too far to the left for my tastes, but none of them ever get elected and none of them would ever attach themselves to the democrats. Someone mentioned Sharpton, but he's such a polarizing figure that generates so much noise, I have no idea what he really represents, except for generating publicity for himself.

Posted by: Lyle at March 8, 2005 01:14 AM

Al Sharpton represents Al Sharpton. And jdc -- fine, you're the most mature person in the room, much more mature than us "bloggers." And despite your cappalicious defensiveness, you were the one (remember) doing the group judgmenting thing, not me. It's great you hate gun control. Me, I hate liver and onions. Where's my golf clap?

Posted by: Andrea Harris at March 8, 2005 03:01 AM