Left-Right Alliance?
May 10, 2006 7:47 PM   Subscribe

John Birch Society Member calls for a Rebel Alliance in this fascinating article on those opinions jointly shared by both conservatives and liberals. I didn't expect to read this from someone I consider so far to the right.
posted by jfrancis (33 comments total)
I think this is another conspiracy...those clever paranoid frea...uh oh.
posted by alteredcarbon at 8:09 PM on May 10, 2006

So uh, does this make Bush Vader and the Emperor Cheney?

Anyways, it would be nice for this to come to pass. But I think its got a snowballs chance in hell because in addition to the complete lack of trust, the other factor is that anyone who does join this alliance will face very tough pressure from their own party, as it may seem like they're traitors, crossing over to the other party. Especially in the House, its likely they may face a more conservative or more liberal memer of their own party in the primary who will go after them for being a traitor.
posted by SirOmega at 8:13 PM on May 10, 2006

This won't happen because the Democrats know that if they retake just one of the chambers of Congress this year, they can cause the White House two years of unrelenting pain via public investigations, subpoenas and (if Dems take the House) maybe even an impeachment vote. Democrats don't need far-right grassroots activists to win this fall, and its not like Phyllis Schlafly is going to vote Democratic anyway.

Besides, where was this guy two years ago? Did he really think that it was any better back then?

I, for one, am not interested in this Faustian bargain. I think that the Republicans by themselves are doing a smash-up job of kicking themselves out of power.
posted by thewittyname at 8:21 PM on May 10, 2006

Perhaps there's room for another party, to confront the Demopublican Plutocratic Business party?

No wait, the US electoral laws will easily prevent that. Oh well. Carry on.
posted by pompomtom at 8:24 PM on May 10, 2006

Would anyone claim that the current administration isn't a sinking ship? The corruption and incompetence has started to stink so high even conservatives are noticing.

It's probably impractical to do as Neil Young suggests and Impeach the President, but at this point almostany regime change at home (even neocon to paleocon) is going to be an improvement.

I asked a member of the Berkeley College Republicans last month what GWB was doing right, he thought that taking a strong stance on foreign policy was the main thing. Because (my commentary) Iran is about to give up its nuclear (energy|weapons) programs real soon now.

Whoever is elected next should get Steven Colbert to be Press Secretary. Not in the John Stewart should be President sense, but to cut out the BS.
posted by jhscott at 8:40 PM on May 10, 2006

This is why Hillary won't get my vote. Don't you get the idea that after the day of politiking is done, the dems and repubs get together in a bar and laugh about that 'two party' scam?

Remind me of the story about the two shops in a price war, that were across the street from each other and connected by an underground tunnel. How did that go again?
posted by IronLizard at 9:00 PM on May 10, 2006

How many Bothans must die to get this information into the right hands?
posted by infowar at 9:01 PM on May 10, 2006

It's like the country is on fire and everyone is just standing around in a circle, watching it burn and saying, "Someone should do something about that."
posted by JWright at 9:15 PM on May 10, 2006

I, for one, will not vote for any candidate that seeks the president's endorsement, or runs on the platform of, "More of the same!" or, "Stay the course, finish The Job(tm)!"
I don't see how anyone can win using that kind of platform, but, I've been wrong before...
posted by Balisong at 9:19 PM on May 10, 2006

Robert Steele, former high-level intelligence officer & a leading proponent of open source intelligence, is proposing something along the same lines, an alliance between left & right to take back the White House & Congress from the extemists. See here, here & here.
posted by scalefree at 9:30 PM on May 10, 2006

I do think this is a good sign, though. People are weird, in that some of them have to hear somebody else say what they're thinking before they'll feel safe enough to say it themselves.

JWright - that's exactly how I feel.
posted by rougy at 9:41 PM on May 10, 2006

ooooooh...The John Birch society! What a valuable ally!
posted by mr_roboto at 10:01 PM on May 10, 2006

The John Birch Society + the Left = the lynching of Condoleeza Rice.
posted by Falconetti at 10:04 PM on May 10, 2006

Leftists will always view conservatives like me as paranoid radicals, and conservatives will always view the Left as the ideological heirs of Joseph Stalin.

--- oh, the nuances of the American political scene.

Ironlizard: Hillary doesn't lead on at all to supporting W's politics in the article you linked. She seems to have merely obliged a journalist by saying "nice" things. She mentions his "charm and charisma" (ironic in itself, if you asked me) and his reaction to 9/11 in NY in the IMMEDIATE aftermath.
posted by pwedza at 10:15 PM on May 10, 2006

Besides, where was this guy two years ago? Did he really think that it was any better back then?

Seriously. Two years too late, jackass. In my own personal experience, I find it absolutely [amazing/disgusting] that a large number of Republicans are just now figuring it out that Bush is bad for this country.

Unfortunately, better late than never doesn't apply here.
posted by fusinski at 10:33 PM on May 10, 2006

The John Birch Society + the Left = the lynching of Condoleeza Rice.

This made me laugh.
posted by adgnyc at 10:54 PM on May 10, 2006

Not a big fan of the John Birch society, but they were against the war from the start. They have issued "bring the troops home" calls during every war since Vietnam. Probably, two years ago, this guy was screaming loudly about Bush being the wrong man, too.

The John Birch Society also has been suspicious of the Bush family because they think he is behind (and I may be misinterpreting this) the one world government conspiracy.

They may be nutjobs, but they are nutjobs who've been on the anti-Bush case (and anti pretty much every major politician case) for a good long time.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:09 PM on May 10, 2006

Judical Watch is also doing salutory work, ferreting out the Abramoff corruption and other things. They still dislike Hillary -- you may recall them from the big summer hit of 1998, Impeachment -- and want tighter immigration policy.

In a way this guy is right -- he's never really changed his politics. He's still opposed to stronger and more centralized federal power. It's just that the Bushites have gone radically authoritarian.

I'm not sure how many House districts this could really affect. The ones where a Bircher could get elected tend not to be exceptionally blue anyway. Additionally, the strategy of breaking off GOP members would have to really bring in a big freshman class that's un-beholden to the RNC power structure, because the Delay method is still in effect, and they are absolutely unafraid to twist arms.

Ultimately I think that the sinking fortunes of Dubya are all that are really needed -- fewer candidates will feel any obligation to him, especially if they actually beg him to stay away from their campaigns. And next Congress he'll be a serious lame duck with lousy polls. So existing Congressional investigations will probably take off regardless of whether Dems take control of either house.

The one thing I do wonder is whether this is all a sign of realignment of historic proportions (rather than a temporary thing that will disappear with the next R president). Are we separating into a US where red = radical centralized authoritarianism and blue = everything else? That will be one big tent, but we'll see.
posted by dhartung at 11:20 PM on May 10, 2006

See also.
posted by washburn at 11:38 PM on May 10, 2006

When Lou Dobbs is calling out Bush on border control, the tide that was supposed to lift all boats has, indeed, turned. But American politics has ever been a matter of electing brigands to arrest the whores. The dubious current occupants of the national executive's office govern today more in the breach of their office than in its traditions. A pox on their house, and on ours, so long as theirs remains the first federal housing development.
posted by paulsc at 12:22 AM on May 11, 2006

dhartung -

"The one thing I do wonder is whether this is all a sign of realignment of historic proportions (rather than a temporary thing that will disappear with the next R president)."

As a Green, and a Nader supporter in 2000, the Libertarian and Green causes often overlapped.

This makes me seriously question one of the most superficial devices used to describe the camps: the colors “Red” and “Blue”.

These are not harmonious colors. They don’t blend well.

There’s a lot of talk about “framing” these days – and most of it is accurate.

I can’t help but think if we could at least start looking at ourselves in terms of different colors then maybe that would be a step away from contention towards comprise.
posted by rougy at 12:30 AM on May 11, 2006

I think that the far left and right can agree on a few things - On the national level: reduced military spending and intervention in foreign affairs (essentially an end to pre-emptive strikes and a move to more multilateral international policies). More assurances of personal privacy and property rights, especially relating to eminent domain. The elimination of corporate welfare is another point they can agree on. Interestingly, left support of 'fair trade' lines up with right support of 'free trade' because free trade opposes tariffs, which applies to the tariffs that hurt 3rd world agriculture.

Also, more liberatarian groups support essentially open immigration. I think the far left and right would be more likely to come up with a open, sensible system than would those in the middle.

Both sides would probably also support more local control of school funding. If these right wing groups are more libertarian, they can also agree with the left on reproductive rights, gay rights, freedom of speech, and the futility of the drug war (a subject on which moderate republicans and democrats both are incredibly myopic ).

I think the similarities end there, but they could be a force to be reckoned with if they make a good grassroots case, starting right here on these ol' Internets.
posted by tweak at 2:02 AM on May 11, 2006

"I think that the far left and right can agree on a few things...."

Yes, we can.

Our perceptions have to change.

Our definitions of ourselves have to change.

As it stands, we are being defined by the establishment itself, polarized and more easily controlled.

Too often we look at Right/Left as if the world were flat - but the world is round – not just round, but global - and if the so called "extremes" of each party are finding common ground….then maybe we aren’t as extreme as the media says we are.

This may not suggest a new party, but it suggests a new perception and definition so that we may identify ourselves, and identify each other, the way warriors do in the field.
posted by rougy at 2:29 AM on May 11, 2006

You know who invented the idea of a popular front against fascism? Stalin. Fucking lot of good it did in France. Or Spain.

At a time when the far right is hardline anti-immigrant and the most important social movement in the country is about immigrant rights, the idea of a left-right "alliance" around the Bush régime is suicidal. Every fight on the left today is of crucial importance, and walking into the arms of reactionaries is not the solution.
posted by graymouser at 6:31 AM on May 11, 2006

I know plenty of people are looking at this as a Faustian bargain, but saving the constitution and our philosphical and ideological way of life, setting aside partisan differences, is the most immediate threat we face, not guns, gays, god, abortion, China, Iran, Al Qaeda, the liberal media, etc. It's the threat against "We the People".

I suggest some sort of action this "Independence Day". For some cheesiest, feel free to listen to this from the movie of the same name (MP3):
We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it's fate that today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom... Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution... but from annihilation.

We are fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day the world declared in one voice: "We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight!" We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!
How long till someone remixes this JBS poster and makes it currently relavent? (Which of course, General Hayden, NSA, CIA, FBI etcetera, would be totally wrong and out of line).
posted by rzklkng at 6:56 AM on May 11, 2006

Would it be fair to characterize this as "everybody versus the neocons"?
posted by dobie at 7:05 AM on May 11, 2006

This rebel alliance, it needs a symbol...
posted by rzklkng at 7:58 AM on May 11, 2006

I think calling this a "Faustian Bargain" misses the point completely.
I don't see this as a make nice-nice relationship, rather it seemed that it was coordinating on issues that each side actually *gasp* agreed. Take the unfettered ability of the Executive branch for example. What seems to be his proposal is that hey, you guys do x, and we'll do y at the same time to get a resolution in the House to address the overreaching Executive branch.
The left would have done x anyway, the far right would have done y anyway. By doing x and y together, the effectiveness of each is enhanced.
posted by forforf at 8:01 AM on May 11, 2006

I don't see this as a make nice-nice relationship, rather it seemed that it was coordinating on issues that each side actually *gasp* agreed.
What? WHAT? Why would I do THAT? The blinding white hot light of my moral rightness is all the 'coordination' I need! After all, the label someone chooses for themself is far more important than their actual views.
posted by verb at 8:41 AM on May 11, 2006

Please, quit worrying about whether you are voting for a Democrat or a Republican, and just vote for someone who has solid integrity and the balls to clean things up.

The core of the problem with the US Administration is that it is thoroughly corrupt. That will not change if you do not elect a bunch of ass-kicking do-gooders who will take up the challenge of opening up the government, investigating the endless illegal activities, and generally clean house.

You. Need. Honest. Representatives.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:47 AM on May 11, 2006

Working with the John Birch society (or insert the name of whatever far left or far right group you wish) to achieve a goal that provides a mutual benefit is not the same as "making nice." Indeed, I believe that working with groups with radically different beliefs when our goals are the same could, in the long run, raise the whole level of discource when we come at each other on issues that we don't agree on.

For example, I am pro-choice. I believe I should have the right to publically demonstrate my pro-choice belief. If my neighbor is pro-life, presumably they also believe that they should have the right to publically demonstrate their pro-life belief. If a bill starts coming down the pike that threatens both of our rights to publically demonstrate, it is in our mutual interest to temporarily set aside our differences and work together to oppose this bill. We can still totally disagree with each other regarding abortion rights, but it would be foolish of us not to work in our mutual best interest when the same bill threatens a right both of us cherish. Indeed, our refusal to work together could result in the bill being passed and harming both of us. Very game theory.

There are many major issues that the John Birch society stands for that I would fight tooth and nail against. However, there are many major issues on which we completely agree - and will probably always agree since they are pretty consistent in their beliefs. When somebody shares my goals, I will gladly stand by their side to work to achieve those goals. It is only logical.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:15 PM on May 11, 2006

When the Birchers start calling for communism let me know. Likewise when the "progressives" can accept the implications of their statements. (I wonder who can possibly call Hillary a "LEFT-wing extremist" and mean it; the left wing of WHAT, compared to WHOM?)

That said, in 2004 poor Kuchinich was used as a shill to lure "progressives" back to the "two-party system" -- away from Nader. This is why electoral politics are an uphill grind.

To close with a nonsequitur (sorry, I've had a migraine all day and I'm still stoned on Midrin), equality of opportunity might have a point after a generation or two of equivalence of result; to suppose that any improvements worth much will happen under the present plutocracy is the epitome of idiocy wishful thinking. "It's the economy, stupid."
posted by davy at 10:50 PM on May 11, 2006

what tweak and rougy (and dobie) and Joey Michaels said.

It’s the labels alone that often divide us. I’d call myself a genuine conservative, but that doesn’t mean what I think it means anymore (and I’ve been bitching about Bush for more than two years). I’m very much not a John Bircher, but you gotta like the phrase “Hannitized Dittobots” for those with unconsidered or self-examined allegences.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:47 PM on May 12, 2006

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