Archive | David Sirota

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Laying Bare the Myth of “The Left”

Posted on 23 June 2010 by John Johnson

By David Sirota

—(Editors Note: We agree with David about the well funded “liberal left” but there is a fairly large festy grassroots left around the country that rarely gets mentioned in the media, and certainly isn’t well funded (hint, hint, hint) and that “Change-Links” is a part of).

I’m always amused by popular references to the allegedly all-powerful American “Left.” The term suggests that progressives today possess the same kind of robust, ideologically driven political apparatus as the Right—a machine putting principles before party affiliation.

This notion is hilarious because it is so absurd.

Yes, there are certainly well-funded groups in Washington that call themselves “progressive,” that get media billing as “The Left,” and that purport to advocate liberal causes regardless of party. But unlike the Right’s network, which has sometimes ideologically opposed Republicans on court nominations and legislation, many “progressive” institutions are not principled at all—sadly, lots of them are just propagandists for Democrats, regardless of what Democrats do.

Everyone in professional “Left” politics knows this reality “deep down in places they don’t talk about at parties,” as Jack Nicholson might say—and they don’t discuss it for fear of both jeopardizing their employers’ nonprofit tax status and/or undermining their employers’ dishonest fundraising appeals to liberal donors’ ideals.

During the Bush years, this truth was easily obscured, as bashing the Republican president for trampling progressive initiatives was equivalent to aiding Democrats. But in the Obama era, “The Left’s” destructive, party-over-principles motivation has become impossible to hide, especially recently.

Behold, for instance, major environmental groups’ attitude toward the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

We know that before the disaster, President Barack Obama recklessly pushed to expand offshore drilling. We also know that his Interior Department gave British Petroleum’s rig a “categorical exclusion” from environmental scrutiny and, according to The New York Times, “gave permission to BP and dozens of other oil companies to drill in the Gulf without first getting required [environmental] permits.” Worse, we know that after the spill, the same Interior Department kept issuing “categorical exclusions” for new gulf oil operations, and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar still refuses “to rule out continued use of categorical exclusions,” as The Denver Post reported (heckuva job, Kenny!).

Undoubtedly, had this been the behavior of a Republican administration, “The Left’s” big environmental organizations would be scheduling D.C. protests and calling for firings, if not criminal charges. Yet, somehow, there are no protests. Somehow, there have been almost no calls for the resignation of Salazar, who oversaw this disaster and who, before that, took $323,000 in campaign contributions from energy interests and backed more offshore drilling as a U.S. senator. Somehow, facing environmental apocalypse, there has been mostly silence from “The Left.”

That silence is similarly deafening when it comes to Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. We know Kagan was among the Clinton administration advisers urging the president to support a serious abortion restriction and to avoid reducing racist disparities in criminal sentencing. We know that as Harvard Law School dean, Kagan “hired 29 tenured or tenure-track faculty members [and] did not hire a single black, Latino, or American Indian—not one, not even a token,” reports Duke University’s Guy-Uriel Charles. And we know that in her solicitor general confirmation hearings, Kagan stated her radical belief that the government can hold terrorism suspects without trial.

Again, if this were a Republican nominee’s record, “The Left’s” pro-choice and civil rights groups would be frantically mounting opposition—or at least raising concerns. But this is a Democratic nominee, so they’ve fallen in line. Planned ParentHood celebrated Kagan’s “dedication,” the NAACP trumpeted her “commitment to diversity” and the liberal Alliance for Justice said it “applauds” her nomination.

Surveying the hypocrisy, CNN’s Roland Martin wrote that “The Left’s” organizations “need to decide what matters: their principles or their politics … their convictions or chicken dinners in the White House.”

He’s too late: They’ve already made their decision, which is why—regrettably—a powerful Left does not exist in America.

David Sirota is the author of the best-selling books “Hostile Takeover” and “The Uprising.” He hosts the morning show on AM760 in Colorado and blogs at http://www.openleft.com. E-mail him at ds@davidsirota.com or follow him on Twitter @davidsirota.

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Change-Links —March 2010

Posted on 01 March 2010 by John Johnson

April PDF
3 Easy Ways to Samck Down Wall Street By Brad Reed
No Banker Left Behind By Robert Scheer
Looting Social Security By Paul Craig Roberts
Who’s Really In Control of theWhite House? Maybe Not Obama By David Sirota
Howard Zinn the Historian Who Made History By David Zirin
Tensions Between Venezuela and Colombia By Carlos Quintanilla
Running on Empty By John Johnson

Howard Zinn Presente
Zinn Photos

————

March Calendar

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Change-Links October 2009

Posted on 07 October 2009 by John Johnson

The Print Edition PDF

First They Came for ACORN By Peter Dreier

Obama crushes Democratic dissent By David Sirota

Obama’s LBJ Moment By Harvey Wasserman

Obama’s Presidency Isn’t Too Big to Fail By Robert Scheer

Poverty, Food Crisis and Child Labor By Carlos Quintanilla

Getting Away With Torture Holder’s Limited, Modified Hangout By Dave Lindorff

All the Young Dudes By John Johnson

October Calendar

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