In this week's edition of The Daily Banter Mail Bag, Ben, Bob, and Chez discuss the so-called "far-left," Rush Limbaugh hosting a presidential debate and our desert island movies!
1. I noticed Bob is now differentiating between the left and the "far left." Call them the far left, the professional left, or emo-progs, how much damage do you think these all-or-nothing voices are doing to progressive policy in this country?
Ben: I think they're doing quite a lot of damage to be honest. They've essentially walled themselves off from the political process with their list of demands and pet peeves, and turned pretty much everyone else in the country off. I don't disagree with much of what they say - there are huge problems with civil liberties, drones, US foreign policy, Obama's ties to lobbyists etc etc, but the point is to be constructive, not destructive. The latter simply makes you feel better. I don't like a lot of what Obama does, but I recognize the political reality he faces - something the screaming left doesn't ever want to acknowledge.
Chez: Good question. I honestly don't know. I guess one of the nice things to keep in mind about the utopian left -- that's been my term for them for a while -- is that policy-wise nobody really gives a shit what they want. When it comes to the media narrative, they've definitely gained a foothold if for no other reason than that their constant whiny outrage makes for great troll bait. My main problem with them is that I really don't think even they appreciate how much they've looped around and are now essentially occupying the exact same space on the political wheel as the far-right crazies. Both groups are made up of conspiracy theorists and political nihilists. The difference is that the right listens to and embraces its fringe -- the left and center-left, thankfully, disregards most of its.
Bob: I'm glad you brought that up because I'd like to clarify that I'm not entirely convinced the "far-left" label is accurate, but in lieu of the more derogatory terms, it's the best I could do. The Greenwald faction (maybe that's a good one) is composed of various political types, but generally they exist to my left, and thus "far-left." Mainly, though, the big difference is in terms of tactics, not policy positions. My "left" is all about reality and pragmatic change. The Greenwald left is all about radical self-immolation and cacophonous screeching.
2. What do you think about the possibility of Rush Limbaugh moderating the next Republican presidential debates?
Chez: You kidding? Bring it on. By all means, make that fat asshole the giant, sweating, blubbering face of the Republican party in a completely official capacity. Make it undeniable and unavoidable. It would only hasten the party's demise as it currently exists.
Bob: Love it. Lots of material for us without any negative consequences.
Ben: This could be the single best idea ever. I would pay money to watch that idiot baiting candidates into taking extremist positions and the ensuing catastrophe. Rush would guarantee that the absolute worst candidate won the debate, and the party would have a meltdown in the aftermath. The possibility of another Sarah Palin type character getting into the later stages of a Presidential race would send Karl Rove and the other GOP money men into a state of utter disarray and desperation, making for an epic civil war within the party and electoral disaster. I'm literally licking my lips at the prospect of this.
3. Last week I asked for desert island albums, this week it's desert island movies. 5 of them. Go!
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Three movies, yes, but I'll count them as one because I can.)
The Godfather Part II
Chez: You're really assuming there are going to be a lot of power outlets on this desert island. Fine. In no particular order:
Blazing Saddles (give me a couple more and I'd throw in The Sting and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World)
1. Rocky II (yeah I know I'm supposed to like the first one, but the final fight in part two is the greatest piece of boxing choreography and action drama ever, and the training montage is incredible).
2. La Haine (French movie about police brutality and violence in Parisian ghettos)
3. Four Weddings and a Funeral