Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Michael Lind Smears Conservative Activists as 'Teabaggers'

I was looking to give Michael Lind's a fair shake in his essay today, "Intellectual Conservatism, RIP."

Interestingly, Lind offers decent background discussion to neoconservatism (most appropriate, following the death of Irving Kristol), but he loses me when he joins Janeane Garofalo in smearing conservative activists as "teabaggers":
In its origins, neoconservatism was a defense of New Deal/Great Society liberalism at home and abroad, both from the radical, countercultural left of the era and from its own design defects. The early neocons were Kennedy-Johnson liberals who believed that liberal reform should avoid naive utopianism and should be guided by pragmatism and empirical social science. The '70s neoconservatives were so focused on the utopianism of the '60s campus left, however, that most paid too little attention to a far greater threat to their beloved New Deal tradition, the utopianism of the libertarian right. Ultimately Milton Friedman and other free-market ideologues did far more damage to America than the carnival freaks of the counterculture.

But the early neoconservatives were right to defend mainstream liberalism against countercultural radicalism. Like today's right, the '60s and '70s left was emotional, expressivist and anti-intellectual. (One of its bibles was Abbie Hoffman's "Steal This Book!") Like today's right, the '70s left favored theatrical protest over discussion and debate. The prophets of the Age of Aquarius and the "population explosion" were every bit as apocalyptic as Glenn Beck. And just as today's right-wing radicals play at Boston Tea Parties, so Abbie Hoffman dressed up as Uncle Sam. The teabaggers are the Yippies of the right.
Read the whole thing, if you want.

In addition the Janeane Garofalo, I'm reminded of the post over at Voting Female, "
Maxine Waters Calls All Tea Party Protesters Homosexuals in her Latest Attack on Free Speech: For Those Who Haven't Figured It Out Yet ...'Tea Bagger' is a 'Male Homosexual'." (That's the best discussion you'll find of what a "teabagger" really is.)

Michael Lind's not too far from Maxine Water's if he's going to attack concerned citizens as teabaggers. So much for conservative intellectualis, or at least Lind's version of it.