Joe Klein’s Strawmen And The Generation Gap

Earlier I had written on Joe Klein’s use of strawmen to attack liberal bloggers. Kevin Drum sees this as a generational issue. This is largely true. However, as someone from Klein’s generation I would say that his problem is that he is still fighting old battles and hasn’t realized that the dividing lines have changed. Liberals of today have little to do with 60’s radicals. Opposition to the war is now the mainstream position and doesn’t convey holding extremist positions on other issues. Socialism, which never took off all that much in the United States to begin with, is pretty much dead. The real threat of extremism comes from the right, which has dominated politics in this country for the last generation. Today to be a liberal often just means opposing the extremism of the right. This includes a large number of non-ideolgical, pragmatic people, a number of people who are mildly left of center, and a handful of extremists who might create a lot of noise in the comments sections of some blogs but otherwise don’t have any real significance.


  1. 1
    mbk says:

    I agree with you, Ron.
    Without getting into specific partisan stuff, I think at least one Dem candidate’s campaign is about 15 years behind the times in its strategy, too. I truly believe that the atmosphere of the 2008 campaign will be different than preceding elections , and easier for the Dem nominee, by the way, because people seem finally to be waking up to the danger of the extreme right. (Twenty-six years later than I would have liked, but nonethelss).

  2. 2
    Nick says:

    MBK says

    (Twenty-six years later than I would have liked, but nonethelss). As a child of Reaganomics I understand exactly where your coming from. All I can say is better late than never.

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