Laying Bare the Myth of The Left

Published on TruthDig, by David Sirota, May 20, 2010.

I’m always amused by popular references to the allegedly all-powerful American “Left.” The term suggests that progressives today possess the same kind of robust, ideologically driven political apparatus as the Right – a machine putting principles before party affiliation. This notion is hilarious because it is so absurd.

Yes, there are certainly well-funded groups in Washington that call themselves “progressive,” that get media billing as “The Left,” and that purport to advocate liberal causes regardless of party. But unlike the Right’s network, which has sometimes ideologically opposed Republicans on court nominations and legislation, many “progressive” institutions are not principled at all – sadly, lots of them are just propagandists for Democrats, regardless of what Democrats do … // 

… That silence is similarly deafening when it comes to Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan.

We know Kagan was among the Clinton administration advisers urging the president to support a serious abortion restriction and to avoid reducing racist disparities in criminal sentencing. We know that as Harvard Law School dean, Kagan “hired 29 tenured or tenure-track faculty members [and] did not hire a single black, Latino, or American Indian – not one, not even a token,” reports Duke University’s Guy-Uriel Charles. And we know that in her solicitor general confirmation hearings, Kagan stated her radical belief that the government can hold terrorism suspects without trial.

Again, if this were a Republican nominee’s record, “The Left’s” pro-choice and civil rights groups would be frantically mounting opposition – or at least raising concerns. But this is a Democratic nominee, so they’ve fallen in line. Planned Parenthood celebrated Kagan’s “dedication,” the NAACP trumpeted her “commitment to diversity” and the liberal Alliance for Justice said it “applauds” her nomination.

Surveying the hypocrisy, CNN’s Roland Martin wrote that “The Left’s” organizations “need to decide what matters: their principles or their politics … their convictions or chicken dinners in the White House.”

He’s too late: They’ve already made their decision, which is why – regrettably – a powerful Left does not exist in America. (full text).

(David Sirota is the author of the best-selling books “Hostile Takeover” and “The Uprising.” He hosts the morning show on AM760 in Colorado and blogs at OpenLeft.com. E-mail him).

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