Pundit Sloth: Blaming the Left

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Salon.com

Pundit Sloth: Blaming the Left

Ten minutes was the absolute maximum I could endure of any one television news outlet last night without having to switch channels in the futile search for something more bearable, but almost every time I had MNSBC on, there was Lawrence O'Donnell trying to blame "the Left" and "liberalism" for the Democrats' political woes.  Alan Grayson's loss was proof that outspoken liberalism fails.  Blanche Lincoln's loss was the fault of the Left for mounting a serious primary challenge against her. Russ Feingold's defeat proved that voters reject liberalism in favor of conservatism, etc. etc.  It sounded as though he was reading from some crusty script jointly prepared in 1995 by The New Republic, Lanny Davis and the DLC.

There are so many obvious reasons why this "analysis" is false: Grayson represents a highly conservative district that hadn't been Democratic for decades before he won in 2008 and he made serious mistakes during the campaign; Lincoln was behind the GOP challenger by more than 20 points back in January, before Bill Halter even announced his candidacy; Feingold was far from a conventional liberal, having repeatedly opposed his own party on multiple issues, and he ran in a state saddled with a Democratic governor who was unpopular in the extreme.  Beyond that, numerous liberals who were alleged to be in serious electoral trouble kept their seats: Barney Frank, John Dingell, Rush Holt, Raul Grijalva, and many others.  But there's one glaring, steadfastly ignored fact destroying O'Donnell's attempt -- which is merely the standard pundit storyline that has been baking for months and will now be served en masse -- to blame The Left and declare liberalism dead.  It's this little inconvenient fact: Blue Dog Coalition Crushed By GOP Wave Election.

 

 


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Glenn Greenwald

Glenn Greenwald is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, constitutional lawyer, commentator, author of three New York Times best-selling books on politics and law, and a staff writer and editor at First Look media. His fifth and latest book is, No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State, about the U.S. surveillance state and his experiences reporting on the Snowden documents around the world. Prior to his collaboration with Pierre Omidyar, Glenn’s column was featured at Guardian US and Salon.  His previous books include: With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the PowerfulGreat American Hypocrites: Toppling the Big Myths of Republican PoliticsA Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency, and How Would a Patriot Act? Defending American Values from a President Run Amok. He is the recipient of the first annual I.F. Stone Award for Independent Journalism, a George Polk Award, and was on The Guardian team that won the Pulitzer Prize for public interest journalism in 2014.

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