Without getting too Joe-vial about it, here's an interesting comment by one Anarch, copied from this post at Obsidian Wings:

Every time I've heard [Sen. Joseph Lieberman] speak over the past few years he's taken potshots at the Democrats (the party to which [he] nominally belongs). [I seem to recall some fairly nasty attacks towards the end of his candidacy, but I don't have the time to find them now.] His actual policies haven't been as outré as Kucinich's AFAIK — that's why I restricted to "public positioning" — but even so they're still well to the right of the rest of the party.

Does that I mean I think he should be punted? Not really. I guess it depends on whether he stops undercutting the Democrats on such a regular basis; "party of inclusion" notwithstanding, I don't think it's asking too much for a little restraint in attacking one's fellow teammates, and if that opens me to charges of "blatant hypocrisy" then so be it. I do think, however, that Lieberman — like Zell Miller, obviously, but also a slew of Republicans to some degree — is on the wrong side of the way the party lines are being redrawn. I'll be happy to see him remain despite our ideological differences, I just think that he'd be happier as a Republican.

Or, to misuse a phrase that's been making the rounds recently: "The Party Of Inclusion" is not a suicide pact ;)

Obvious GOP example: Arlen Specter.

But would I be happier as a Republican? Probably not. I bash the Democrats, to the apparent despair of Bruce and others, because there are times when it's what they deserve. There are issues on which my position is undoubtedly farther to the right than the position taken by national Democrats, though it's not so much because I wish to embrace the Republicans but because those Democrats are obviously wrong. (Two words: gun control. Never worked, never will.)

But sign on with the likes of Tom DeLay and Jim Inhofe? Not gonna happen. For one thing, I don't want to feel compelled to run screaming from the room if I'm introduced to a gay trial lawyer. And while I'm quite fond of the private sector and prefer most of its solutions to most government solutions, I'm not goofy enough to believe that it can do no wrong, or that it can cure all my ills. There's a distinct difference between being conservative, which demands a certain level of caution, and simply being part of the right wing; as Patrick Nielsen Hayden observed last week:

Actual conservative virtues like prudence, humility, and reluctance to tinker with long-established institutions, are barely in evidence. Instead, what you get is a lot of revolutionary fervor dedicated to forcing well-established social institutions to become much more overtly hard-assed.

And maybe that's the crux of this particular biscuit. I have no particular problem with being hard-assed, per se, but I've already lived through one period of revolutionary fervor: the 1960s. Take away the music and the civil-rights movement, which still meant something then, and you're left with a decade that for the most part sucked rocks, and not interesting rocks like feldspar either. I'm too old and too cranky to want to go through that again, even from a vantage point on the other side of the political spectrum.

The Vent

9 May 2004

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