- #StandWithRand on his ridiculous anti-drone filibuster
- Suggest that we should join forces with the tea party to defeat a budget deal
- Tell us that America's only hope is Ron/Rand Paul and the Drudge Report
- Team up with tea party Rep. Justin Amash to defund the NSA
- Agree with Sarah Palin's "Let Allah sort it out" on the gassing of civilians in Syria
As someone who is addicted to looking at the big picture, I think it behooves us to take a look at what is happening here. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that this is exactly the direction folks like Assange and Greenwald have wanted to see things go for a long time. But the question still remains, "why is this sort of movement gaining traction with progressives these days?" There are two things that make this all seem counter-intuitive:
- The Republican Party is pandering to its most reactionary lunatic base. Not in my lifetime have I seen so much distance between where the two parties would take the country, and
- We now have the most liberal President we've seen in a generation.
But if we dig a little deeper, those are exactly the things that are providing a platform for this movement towards libertarianism. We all know that Ron Paul actually getting the Republican nomination for president was a pipe dream. But with the disarray that we've seen recently, his son Rand is actually being seen as a serious contender. The Republican neo-cons failed so disastrously during the Bush/Cheney years that they gave an opening to the libertarian alternative.
On the other hand, folks are talking about an ascendant Democratic Party for the foreseeable future unless the Republicans can get their act together (which is clearly not happening yet). The trouble is, too many progressives have spent so long on the outside, that they don't know how to behave when they're finally on the inside. They've convinced themselves that any attempt to actually govern in a democratic republic (ie, compromise) indicates that our leaders have simply sold out to the oligarchs, plutocrats, and military industrial complex. They've perfected the art of tearing down the opposition but don't have a g-d clue about how to rebuild. And so, in their frustration, they simply continue to tear down - opening the gate to libertarianism.
Make no mistake about it...this is a re-invention of a 21st century southern strategy aimed at the idea of forming a national coalition of white male libertarians during a time when the rights of women and people of color are on the line.I would suggest that going forward, this developing coalition between left/right libertarians will be a bigger threat to actual progressive change than the vestiges of the Republican Party in its previous incarnation. In the near future, keep your eye on Rand Paul. As long as his bid for the presidency is under the banner of the Republican Party, he's toast. But if he makes a break and runs as a third party candidate, its because he thinks this coalition is big enough to give him a shot.
In the meantime, lets keep our eye on the prize of what a true fusion politics has always looked like and the kind of opposition it has historically engendered. As the saying goes, "Those who don't know their history are doomed to repeat it."