I was killing time in a Borders this afternoon while waiting for the next bus to R+C’s place. As I was scanning the new releases, I noticed a book called The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy. I assumed this must be some kind of joke, so I picked it up to take a look. Turned out it was completely serious and the full title was The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy: The Untold Story of How Democratic Operatives, Eccentric Billionaires, Liberal Activists, and Assorted Celebrities Tried to Bring Down a President—and Why They’ll Try Even Harder Next Time.
Under other circumstances, I would have just laughed but after the past five years I really can’t laugh any more. Books like this only contribute to the poisonous atmosphere of American politics these days and spread ridiculous ideas that are the very antithesis of democracy.
Let’s start with the title. The goal of this so-called conspiracy was to “bring down a President.” Sounds treasonous, doesn’t it? Except they tried to bring Bush down by backing another candidate in a presidential election. Oooh, the scandal. How DARE these people even run against Bush. Why the very thought is treasonous! And creating a coalition of people with varied backgrounds but with one goal in common—the end of this administration—that’s not politics, it’s a conspiracy. And get this, they are going to try again in 2008! Someone better tell the FBI about this dangerous development. It seems some citizens still think that there is more than one party left in America. Good thing Byron York’s book is here to set them straight.
The other hilarious thing about this book is that it tries to argue that the “Far Left” has taken over the Democratic Party and that ” this new movement has transformed American politics.” I love it when these right wing fear mongers start talking this kind of shit. Let me tell you something, Byron, if you think that the result of a “Far Left” takeover of the Democratic Party would a push to make John Kerry president, you know nothing about the left, period. As much as the Karl Rove spin machine tried to paint Kerry as some kind of crazed radical, the truth is that Kerry (like all the guys the Dems put forward these days) is basically a centrist. Now maybe from the point of view of the super-right Neo-Cons that makes Kerry “Far Left”, but please.
Again, this would be sad but it’s so typical. Now that the Republicans control everything, they have no one to blame but themselves for the shitty state of the country. How convenient then that people like Byron York can identify new threats like this conspiracy. Even the Republicans realized that continuing to blame all the country’s ills on Clinton isn’t going to wash with him out of office for 5 years now. So yes, fear the power of the “well-oiled political machine they built.” This conspiracy is so well organized and so dangerous that they still managed to lose the election! Clearly, a force to be reckoned with.
The two party system was bad enough. Now even the mild opposition of the Democrats is painted as treasonous. Democracy? How dare we!