Billy C

Paul Henry Rosenberg rad at
Fri Dec 18 09:40:50 PST 1998

William S. Lear wrote:

> His real crimes will not surface, and we
> will have, by punishing the very least of his crimes, taught that
> these are the most extreme things that he has done.

Amen, Bill! You have put your finger on the very heart of the matter.

Max was also quite correct when he noted

> Clinton's deeds against
> Iraq, whatever you think of them, are
> business as usual. The time to criticize
> business as usual is all the time.
> The time to criticize the act of
> impeachment is right now. The
> ratification of Delay's coup makes
> future Iraq-type actions much
> more likely, not less.

In contrast to these sober, straight-forward observations, I must recount a tale of woe concerning the local "progressive" scene.

For the past 5 or 6 months progressives here in LA have been subjected to an endless onslaught of unmodulated, unreflective moral outrage coming from Marc Cooper on his daily show on KPFK, generally with the hysterical comraderie of Pat Cadell. They did have a millisecond of contrition when the Republicans, not the Democrats were punished at the polls, contrary to months of their dire bleatings of doom... but only a millisecond.

They have not shown AN ONCE of insight such as William and Max have shown here. It's not that they have a different point of view, I can accept that, particularly if it's well articulated and takes account of other viewpoints. But Cooper and Cadell are totally into moral absolutism of their own kind, and will not even consider the POSSIBILITY that others might disagree on different moral grounds. To them, any other position is "morally indefensible" (Cadell's favorite expression.) If the left is not as morally rigid as the right, they warn listeners, it will lose all moral authority.

What's truly humorous about this is that BOTH Cooper and Cadell are usually in the business of pontificating AGAINST ideological rigidity. Cooper, for example, is well known for criticizing cartoonish representations of the militias and other rightwing populist movements, and has done a good deal of first-hand reporting on them. Apparently, it's only the populist right that the left should be sympathetic with. The vast majority of Americans are to be treated as benighted boobs. The left must not yield to their pragmatic judgement which puts Clinton's lies ABOUT ADULTERY in context.

They overlook the obvious fact that contextual reasoning is a sign of intellectual maturity -- and that it lays the groundwork for making the vital distinction between such trivial lies and the lies of state for which Clinton OUGHT to be impeached for.

When others descend into madness there is the utmost premium on maintaining sanity & a sense of proportion as well as justice. Lose these and all else is lost as well.

Yes the attack on Iraq is a barbaric act (though only more overt than the equally barbaric sanctions). But what the Republicans are up to is a structural transformation that will make us SYSTEMICALLY more barbaric.

Oh, I forgot! I'm posting to the list where the SOPHISTICATED position is that the South should have won the Civil War!

Never mind.

-- Paul Rosenberg Reason and Democracy rad at

"Let's put the information BACK into the information age!"

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