Friday, November 9, 2012

The Rise of the Conservative-Left

Mike L.
Ultraconservative Egyptian Muslims are calling for country’s new constitution to be based on Sharia

CAIRO (AP) — Thousands of ultraconservative Muslims are rallying in the Egyptian capital, demanding the country’s new constitution be based on the rulings of Islamic law, or Sharia.

The Islamists pouring into Cairo’s central Tahrir Square are waving black Islamic flags and chanting “God’s rule.”

Friday’s demonstration comes amid a fierce dispute between Islamists and liberals over the wording of Egypt’s new constitution, which is currently being drafted.
If Barack Obama, and his progressive-left allies, support the rise of the single most rigidly conservative movement in the world today, political Islam, does this not make them conservative, as well?

Can one really be considered a liberal if one supports a huge international movement that seeks the oppression of women, the slaughter of Gay people, the genocide of the Jews, and that is chasing non-Muslims out of the Middle East?

Perhaps Obama's foreign policy can best be described as conservative-left.  Certainly no truly progressive or liberal political movement would dream in a million years of supporting a politics as reactionary and racist as political Islam, but there it is.

The Brotherhood calls for the genocide of the Jews and the conquest of Jerusalem and, yet, the Obama administration helped usher them into power... in the name of "democracy," no less.

Whatever else that might be, it is certainly not anything that resembles liberal or progressive politics which, by definition, must be opposed to the violent and retrograde politics of political Islam.


  1. Fred Phelps wants to know how he can get in on this racket. I mean, why do so many 'progressives' love his ideological soul-mates in Egypt and Gaza and elsewhere, but not he and his homies in Kansas?

    1. But what do you think of the notion of a "conservative-left" foreign policy?

      Sounds counterintuitive, doesn't it? That's half the attraction, actually. We've got to start breaking down these old, rigid categories which seem to be holding less and less meaning and which do little more, at this point, but divide people.

      Furthermore, of course, there is nothing the least little bit liberal about supporting political Islam and Obama did, whether we like it or not, help and befriend the Brotherhood.

      I understand why he did so. I do. In a nutshell, post-colonial theory done it. I'm telling you, man, Khalidi and Said.

      Obama believes, as do most progressives... as did I for a long time... that Israel is primarily the guilty party and, therefore, it is primarily Israel which must make the "painful concessions." This explains why he asked for nothing, or virtually, nothing from the Palestinians in his first term.

      We shall see what will be going forward, but the truth of the matter is that liberals who support Barack Obama's foreign policy are ultimately supporting the most significant retrograde and racist politics on the world stage today.

      You can't support the Brotherhood and consider yourself a liberal on foreign policy. It's absolutely mutually exclusive.

      Am I wrong?

    2. I've been thinking about this all day, Mike.

      I think you're certainly onto something with the term, and I surely know the type. All too many seem to mindlessly fall in with whatever the official Progressive Consensus line of the moment is on any given issue, no matter how nonsensical it may seem to one who isn't willing to sell out their principles for what may be the greater good of the Democratic Party at any given point in time.

      I voted for Obama, as I'm sure you know, and I once again voted straight ticket Democratic. That streak will end sooner rather than later, I'm sure, as Philadelphia is home to one of the last remaining, and quite possibly the very worst, old-school urban Democratic machines in the country... but that's an issue for another time.

      Domestically, I see eye to eye with Republicans on exactly nothing. Which is not to say that the Democrats are all rainbows and unicorns either (they sure as shit ain't), but as a working class, mass transit-using resident of America's poorest large city, the latter party is at least attuned to our issues and does not, say, ludicrously put forth the idea that we might somehow fix our problems by slashing transit funding and giving Main Line millionaires more tax breaks.

      Right now what I guess I'll say is that while I'll grant your larger point on foreign policy, we have to look at the entire situation. Therefore I also think it's unfair to tar everyone who voted for the president as being a member of this 'conservative-left.' Those who argue in favor of troublesome foreign policy decisions, sure. But not everyone who voted for the president supports everything he does on that count, just as not everyone who voted for Romney supports Republican social and economic policy.

    3. That's fair enough, Jay.

      I tell ya, tho, times are changing and it is going to get harder and harder to be progressive and pro-Israel as time goes by because the progressives, themselves, simply are not friendly to Israel.

      Further, I do not know that I would call all Obama supporters "conservative-left," merely that they are supporting Obama's conservative-left foreign policy.

      I just that think that we need to be honest with ourselves and therefore acknowledge, those of us who voted for Obama, that his administration supports a deeply conservative, racist, homophobic, misogynistic, and genocidally anti-Semitic organization, with historical roots that go to Nazi Germany, no less.

      That's simply a fact and there are two ways that we can deal with it.

      There are those, like Stuart, who ignore it and, thus, for whom it is simply not real.

      Then there are those who acknowledge it, think about it, and discuss it.

      I am grateful that you are in the latter camp.

      The truth of the matter is that we are simply thinking on things as we move forward, but in order to think about anything one must first acknowledge it.

    4. Agreed that times are changing, and that too many factions of the 'progressive' movement, so-called, are doing all they can to polarize debate around Israel and turn support for her into a partisan issue.

      This happens on both sides, unfortunately.

      In the end, I think the blame for this dilemma ultimately lies with our extreme two-party system. Even if I agree that some of the president's foreign policy stances are of concern, which I do... where can I go?

      To the party which views my neighbors and I, inner city transit riding working class folks, as the antithesis of their weird retro-view of some long-gone version of American Glory Days that never were, which they yet promise to somehow restore?

      Also, how do we get past the fact that the other party's vision of small government involves regulating uteri and, just like the Brotherhood, demonizes gay people?

      In other countries, their right isn't so retrograde.

      Therein lies the problem. Even as milquetoast as their 'leaders' are on these issues, there is still no reasonable alternative to the Democratic Party on domestic policy, unfortunately.