Saturday, January 09, 2010

Sucker populism

The invaluable Digby in points to this useful page from PublicEye on "sucker populism": The Sucker Punch of Right/Left Coalitions. The posts and other links there are intended, in the words of the PublicEye intro page, to warn progressives of the real risks and problems that can arise:

... when progressive activists challenging corporate globalization or government repression urge coalitions with right-wing populists who have considerable baggage around issues of oppression including racism, sexism, heterosexism, and antisemitism. Right-wing populists also tend to use a conspiracist analysis instead of a progressive institutional analysis that examines systems and structures of power. The conspiracist worldview utilizes demonization and scapegoating; and frequently invokes historic antisemitic stereotypes. [my emphasis]
I've often expressed concerns in particular about the Antiwar.com Web site, which runs many good articles by sensible commentators, including liberal and left critics of the national security state. But Antiwar.com also runs articles by far-right commentators, as well. You can see their "left-right" pitch in their Who We Are page.

Alliances around individual issues are one thing. But the idea that there will be some kind of left-right coalition that will transcend the politics of both sides is just another version of the dream of "postpartisanship" that isn't working out too well right now for labor and progressives in the Obama administration's version.

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