There are good and at times noble things about having a viewpoint and staying true to it, no matter what is flying around you. Sometimes though it's occasionally advisable to take a step back and at least consider other perspectives. Maybe you can see the same issue from another angle. Then again, sometimes, if the roof is falling down on you, it's good to get out of the house. The problem further is that when you use a bucket of paint to describe your position and define your opponents, you can end up painting yourself into a corner. When there's no way out, the rest of the world has left you and your viewpoint far behind.
Bob Cesca has a very good piece you can read here, that shreds the far left and it's over-the-top support of Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) in his badly-losing primary against Newark Mayor Cory Booker for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate.
What I like about the article is not just that it's polite and smart, while being scathing of far left tactics at the same time, but I think it serves as a good textbook for people whatever their political stripe.
Mr. Booker was the clear victor during the campaign, polling at one point at 49%, while Mr. Holt was at eight percent. The mayor wasn't as progressive as the congressman and, while that's a valid reason for the far left to have supported Rush Holt, the support morphed into blistering, almost scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners criticism of his opponent.
One question the author asks is what did they win by this tactic?, and singles out the harshest attacks from Alex Pareene and David Sirota from Salon.com, Crooks & Liars and, Glenn Greenwald "They've won the sanctimonious self-satisfaction and hipster cred that goes along with taking a principled stand and then losing by embarrassingly horrendous margins, while subsequently being tagged as politically impotent," he answers.
But it was a later part of the article that particularly stood out, where he looked more closely at tactics. What people with a strong ideology can do when faced with a choice that appears like it might steamroll them. He notes their past support of Ralph Nader, John Edwards (not in the same category as Ralph Nader, though perhaps more disastrous in retrospect), and teaming up with Grover Norquist to defeat early healthcare bills. Taking up a cause you believe in is one thing. Always losing and trashing those who can help you is another.
"On the other hand, if the far-left was more politically savvy, its strongest voices would've seen the strategic advantage in supporting Booker even though they don't align exactly with Booker's politics. The smart play here would've been to have supported Booker knowing that they'd have been more successful lobbying a would-be Senator Booker in support of progressive legislation than it would've been to lobby a would-be Republican Senator Lonegan. Or perhaps they could've still supported Holt, but in a way that didn't involve verbally burning in effigy the obvious nominee and clear winner in October, thus damaging the far-left's relationship with the new senator and making him less likely to pay attention to their demands and grievances. Either way, Holt is still a member of the House of Representatives, but the far-left would've had another ally in the Senate, too."
Anyway, it's a thoughtful piece and worth taking a look at here.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
Feedspot Badge of Honor