I generally agree with Scott Lemieux, but I think he’s being disingenuous in his article, The Party Left Me And Other Complaints of the Voter-As-Atomistic-Consumer. It’s an attack on Fredrik deBoer’s article, I Am Opposed to a Hillary Clinton Presidency Because of Her Policies and Her Political Judgment. Martin Longman apparently completely agrees with Lemieux. And it just makes me think, “Didn’t anyone read deBoer’s article to the end?
You see, if you didn’t read deBoer’s article to the end, you would get a skewed view of it. Most of it is a litany of everything he disagrees with Hillary Clinton about. And he has the right. As I’ve often noted, Bernie Sanders is no socialist but just a good old fashioned New Deal Democrat. Fredrik deBoer is a socialist, apparently. He wrote, “I am a lukewarm supporter of Bernie Sanders. I am not much of a Democrat. Sanders would be, in my ideal world, the compromise candidate himself.” So it isn’t surprising that he has lots of complaints about Hillary Clinton’s policies. The majority of it consists of 5 long paragraphs starting, “I am opposed to a Hillary Clinton presidency because…”
Not About Hillary Clinton
But the article is not about his displeasure with Hillary Clinton. His displeasure is with those who he thinks claim that there is something pathological about people on the far left. He is responding specifically to Amanda Marcotte, who wrote in New Republic:
I understand Fredrik deBoer’s irritation. I’ve fought this same battle for a long time. The idea that Sanders supporters like him because he’s a white guy is ridiculous. Young women overwhelmingly support Sanders; are we really to believe that they are racist and sexist? And didn’t these same people vote for a black man in 2008 and 2012? What Marcotte wrote is the result of something that is all too common in the world of liberal punditry: the “I’m the perfect liberal” syndrome. In it, the pundit thinks that they are the most liberal that you can reasonably be. The king of this is Jonathan Chait who is fine with people considerably more conservative than he is but utterly intolerant to anyone slightly to the left of him.
Fredrik deBoer Doesn’t Like Being Called a Sexist
Fredrik deBoer’s entire article is summed up in this passage:
Now it turns out that I don’t agree with Fredrik deBoer on his reasons to not vote for Hillary Clinton. And I reject his argument against voting for the lesser of two evils. It strikes me as elitist. People with secure lives can look at the long-term, but a Trump presidency would be horrible for the weak in the short term (and the long term, I believe). So I’m with Scott Lemieux on those matters.
But despite Lemieux claiming that deBoer was just asking for a substantive debate, he’s being disingenuous. Fredrik deBoer was asking that people not claim that he didn’t have arguments and was just against Hillary Clinton because he was a bigot.
I’m not saying that Lemieux can’t attack deBoer’s arguments against Clinton, but they are a side show in the article he picked, and his article misrepresents beBoer’s argument.