Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Veal Libs Revisited

The Van Jones debacle arrived right on schedule. Every new president suffers some kind of setback -- policy that's rejected or extremely watered down, an appointment that's withdrawn, etc. A standard feature of the system, something for journos and politicos to gnaw on while the major crimes continue. Van Jones is the latest chew toy tossed to the partisan crowd, and barring some bizarro twist, Jones will soon fade from the scene as newer personalities take his place.

I don't know or care if Jones is a 9/11 Truther, simply because it really doesn't matter. Numerous people in politics hold so many ridiculous ideas that if someone seriously wanted to sink you, it probably wouldn't take much. Depends on the position, the general mood, the intensity of desire. Lending credence to 9/11 as an inside job or something that was allowed to happen is hardly the craziest notion in American politics.

If Jones truly wished to rattle nationalist nerves, he'd mention the long history of US-backed terror in the Middle East as a catalyst for the attacks. Any suggestion that the US is not an innocent bystander hated for its decency and overall goodness sends the propaganda system into frenzied overdrive -- assuming it bothers to notice in the first place. Sometimes silence is the more effective tactic.

A friend chummy with the Dems offered a link to Firedoglake's take on Jones and the lack of liberal counter fire. Jane Hamsher, one of the bigger liblog celebs, suggested that liberal groups are like veal calves, kept in their pens by institutional or ideological pressure.

Hmmm. A veal metaphor. Now where did I first read that?

"What do veal calves dream about as they await the abattoir blades? Hopefully, something pleasant and soothing, like the destruction of the slaughterhouse and a mass conversion to vegetarianism. In the veal crate, all you have are your dreams . . .

"Meantime, in the chambers overlooking the farm, the Democratic-controlled Senate has approved another $70 billion for imperial war, with the Democratic-controlled House expected to follow today. The blades keep spinning. The walls remain coated with blood. Feed on that, veal calves."
December 19, 2007

"Contemporary American liberalism is all about hope. They turn their sad cow eyes to their keepers, trusting that the blades being sharpened aren't intended for their throats.

"Little wonder that Obama has most of them spellbound. His oratory is sweet music among the crates, bovine heads bobbing to the beat. Hillary simply spooks the room, putting everyone on edge, even though, if it comes down to it, the veal libs will take her over any GOP keeper. But Obama spins a much gentler yarn, elevating captive moods while keeping all in place. He's the most logical choice to run the abattoir for the next four-to-eight years."
January 8, 2008

And this metaphor was adapted for the end of a little polemic called "Savage Mules." So either I'm read by those who avoid debating, much less mentioning me, or the veal concept finally makes sense to more partisan liberals. Whatever the case, the crates remain crammed with obedient progressives, whiny but loyal to their keepers. Hopefully, they'll break free to think and act independently, but we've seen how much HOPE is worth these days.