Saturday, April 16, 2005


A tocsin about the toxin

From Digby:
The Limits Of Politics


We are definitely seeing a frontal assault on the remaining spheres of social influence that are not organized around or willingly complicit with the Republican agenda. This is not an accident. They, of course, see all obstacles as "liberal" which in the classical sense, I suppose they are. But these social influences of the judiciary, academia and popular culture are not explicitly partisan. In fact, they are largely independent spheres that resist co-option by partisan politics.

So, it's not that liberals want to protect smut and Ward Churchill because we enjoy it or agree with it. And it's not solely because we don't trust that anybody could make decisions about such things that we could live with. It's because we are trying to preserve a society in which culture and intellectual freedom can even continue to exist.

The assaults on culture, academia and the judiciary are not criticisms or even strident disagreements with their products or outcomes. These assaults are legal, legislative and regulatory attempts to pull these independent spheres under governmental authority.

It's not our political agenda we're protecting. Not should we allow ourselves to be conned into thinking that we are helping the working mom so it is a good thing anyway. The stakes are much higher than that even if people don't choose to see it. We must ensure that our entire society, political, cultural and intellectual, isn't subsumed by the Republican agenda. There's a distinction there and a very important one. Without a vibrant culture, an independent judiciary and a free intellectial sphere that operates outside the political decision making process, we become, by default, totalitarian.
Is this too alarmist? I want it to be so, but who cares what I want? We are definitely witnessing an assault on our freedoms, and I refuse to believe this is what most Americans - even most of those who voted for Bush - want. Of course, if you showed this to Bush voters, most of them would simply deny that it's happening, and the gelded MSM would sneeringly or condescendingly label it extreme leftist hysteria. I would never have believed we would get to this point; even a year ago. I'm not scared, but I am more nervous now than I've been at any point in my life.
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