Monday, 4 January 2010

New Year miscellany

First, exceedingly cold day back at work (well, trawling in a desultory fashion through two weeks of unread emails and re-acquainting myself with stuff I wrote before Christmas, in a vain effort to remember what the hell I was thinking....), so less time for extended posting. To fill the temporary gap, here are a few links to others who are keeping up the good work:

Andrew on why the humanism of the original version of Miracle on 34th Street is superior to the sentimental and thinly-disguised pro-faithism of the re-make (though in our household I'm afraid Richard Attenborough is Santa Claus).

For balance: Michael Sean Winters on hopes for 2010, from the perspective of a Catholic Democrat, yearning for a revival of the Catholic social justice tradition.

And finally The New Centrist links to an important piece by Ernest Sternberg on the 'new radical ideology' of the anti-globalisation, anti-western, anti-Zionist left (though I'm still sceptical about whether this disparate movement of oppositionalists is actually for anything).

Happy New Year.


TNC said...

Happy New Year and thanks for the link!

Martin said...

And to you! It's good to have you back in the blogosphere - I rely on you for this kind of analysis of the pseudo-left. Keep up the good work - even if we will have to agree to differ about Lieberman! (I see Michael Weiss has written a nicely balanced piece about him - over at Snarksmith. Between the two of you, I may eventually be persuaded to change my view...but I wouldn't count on it).

TNC said...


Yeah, my wife can't stand Lieberman either so you're in good company. ;-)

In all seriousness though, I think he gets a bad rap from the progressive left. I understand progressives disagree with many of his positions, but chalking up his political decisions to him being a puppet of the insurance industry or the "Israel lobby" is pretty weak imho.

Here's another piece you may be interested in reading:

"Lieberman has not turned into a "standard-issue conservative" (the Daily Beast) or even become "increasingly conservative" (Mother Jones). Neither is his position on health care particularly "startling" (The Post), evidence that his "heart is with the right" (Newsweek), nor a sign of "new depths of betrayal" (the Guardian).

He's the same old Joe who has been sticking it to Democrats on high-profile issues for two decades. What's changed is everybody else. In our increasingly tribal politics, both sides are more demanding of ideological purity than they were when Lieberman came to the Senate in 1988. The constant purging of heretics has left Congress ever more polarized. This, more than anything done by Lieberman or Ben Nelson or Olympia Snowe, is why the government can't get anything done."

Martin said...


Thanks for the link to the Dana Milbank piece - my anti-Lieberman prejudices are gradually crumbling, thanks to your efforts.

I'm as much an enemy of ideological purity tests as the next person, and you certainly won't hear any nonsense about the so-called Israel 'lobby' from me (as I hope you realise).

TNC said...

"[A]nd you certainly won't hear any nonsense about the so-called Israel 'lobby' from me (as I hope you realise)."

Yes, of course. I was just pointing out the sort of criticisms leveled at him from people at places like DailyKos and other progressive sites.