With some slight modifications, I think that point applies to other areas as well. For example, I get really tired of the professional lefties who, in a discussion they pretend is about policies, jump immediately to suggesting that anyone who doesn't agree with them is sold out to corporatists.
This is perfectly illustrated in a column this week by Chris Hedges in which he defends Cornel West. The title sets the stage: Why Liberal Sellouts Attack Prophets Like Cornel West. But he does it over and over in the article.
The liberal class, which attempted last week to discredit the words my friend Cornel West spoke about Barack Obama and the Democratic Party, prefers comfort and privilege to justice, truth and confrontation. Its guiding ideological stance is determined by what is most expedient to the careers of its members. It refuses to challenge, in a meaningful way, the decaying structures of democracy or the ascendancy of the corporate state. It glosses over the relentless assault on working men and women and the imperial wars that are bankrupting the nation. It proclaims its adherence to traditional liberal values while defending and promoting systems of power that mock these values.The pillars of the liberal establishment—the press, the church, culture, the university, labor and the Democratic Party—all honor an unwritten quid pro quo with corporations and the power elite, as well as our masters of war, on whom they depend for money, access and positions of influence. Those who expose this moral cowardice and collaboration with corporate power are always ruthlessly thrust aside.
And that's just the opening paragraph.
There are some places I'd probably agree with Hedges in his analysis of the root of the problem. Where we mostly disagree is in how you go about changing things. But he's labelled me a "sellout" for not being in complete agreement with him and its kind of hard to have a conversation that starts off on that premise.
In the end, this is the same thing we run into with many folks on the right...the demonization of your opponent. It works real well to fuel the kind of meta wars we see on so many progressive blogs these days. But it does precious little to promote reasoned discussions or shed any light.