[Marxism] From ABB to CYA

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Nov 8 11:30:06 MST 2004

Counterpunch, November 8, 2004
The Hit-and-Run Left
 From ABB to CYA


     "Ah, that anti-Nader crowd sure has a lot to be proud of. 
Especially when they now rally us around all the important issues that 
they chose to abandon in the various strategies for anybody but the truth."

     Lloyd Marbet

So began a missive from one of the progressive lions who never wavered. 
It was attached to a copy of CounterPunch's David Vest's brilliant 
election post-mortem and sent around the net.

Since the election debacle, we've been treated to a three day whine-fest 
on the usual liberal Democrat websites, in the press and on the airwaves.

The cabal of "progressives" who gave us the disastrous non-strategy of 
Anybody But Bush (ABB) have begun their election postmortems. Jeffrey 
St. Clair referred to them as the political equivilent of hit and run 
drivers, they just go on in denial, never admitting any personal 
responsibility, never even acknowledging their ABB dogma, its impact or 
that it even mattered.

A quick check of the pro-Democrat Common Dreams website this past two 
days will reveal countless missives from the likes of Medea Benjamin, 
Katha Pollitt, Molly Ivins, Michael Moore, Katrina vanden Heuvel and 
others. Lots of calls, as noted above, to "rally us around all the 
important issues that they chose to abandon," but nary a word is to be 
found analyzing the impacts of ABB.

(Now, I know there are CounterPunchers out there, editors included, who 
would never dream of checking in on CommonDreams, etc. But, hey, I check 
them all out. No worry. I'll do the drudge work -- speaking of, yeah, I 
regularly check Drudge. I like to see what everyone has to say. I even 
subscribe to TIME, US News and the Earth First! Journal.)


Benjamin was interviewed for The Progressive magazine and when asked why 
Kerry lost, she truthfully answered, "Kerry lost because he never 
provided a clear message or an inspiring vision about the direction this 
country should take, and because Bush's fear-mongering, gay bashing, 
anti-choice rhetoric and vicious attacks on Kerry worked. Bush kept on 
message, while Kerry didn't. On Iraq, Kerry criticized Bushes handling 
of the war, and said it was the wrong war, but insisted that he was 
right to vote for it. On fighting terrorism, Kerry tried to out-do Bush 
with his macho "hunt and kill" rhetoric, but he merely became 'Bush-lite.' "

But the self-described member of "the Anti-war movement" never comments 
on just why Kerry ran as "Bush-lite" in the first place. She never 
broaches how an "anti-war movement" ended up shilling for Mr. "hunt'em 
down and kill 'em." She also never mentions her pivotal role in 
imploding the Green Party, leading the undemocratic shenanigans that led 
to the invisible candidacy of David Cobb and the ridiculous rebuke of 
Ralph Nader and Nader supporters.

Old Farts for Kerry

Katha Pollitt writing in The Nation not only calls Kerry "a pretty good 
candidate" she in a backhanded way defends ABB (though not by name), 
questioning what she calls an "article of faith among progressives that 
moving to the left wins votes."

She, like Hunter Thompson, then blames it on "young people constituted 
their usual pathetic proportion of the total vote. And this is after the 
best efforts of P Diddy, Christina Aguilera, Eminem and virtually every 
other pop icon except Britney Spears." That's a denial two-fer: fault 
youth AND don't even address how such cultural elitism played into it.

full: http://www.counterpunch.org/donnelly11082004.html


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