I don’t think this is the first time that Joe Klein has compared left-wing bloggers to Maximilien Robespierre. It’s getting tiresome.

This is a suicidal waste of time. I especially love this from Kos, who promises a “vicious [primary] fight” for Ellen Tauscher’s seat:

“We’re creating real democracy,” he said.

Thus spoke Robespierre.

Thus spoke the wankerific Joe Klein, and then began a bloodletting that required four updates and two corrections. Quite embarrassing to see an amateur blogger like Joe Klein drown in his own beltway mucus. Take a look at this update:

Update Atrios makes my point for me. If you want to tell me how you’re going to guarantee a left-wing challenger won’t weaken Tauscher, or perhaps see her replaced by a moderate Republican, I’m all ears.
As for Ezra, I disagree with Tauscher on the estate tax and bankruptcy, but once again–you think a Republican would vote differently? And I very much liked Jane Harman, before she was mau-maued, and wish she were the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee now. Unlike the current Pelosi-selected chairman, she knows the difference between a sunni and shi’ite.

Before I continue I’d like to stipulate that I agree the Democratic House Intelligence committee is an embarrassment (and not of riches). Moving on…

Let’s start off slow. Klein wants to know how we can guarantee that a left-wing challenge to Ellen Tauscher will not weaken her. That was how Klein put the question. I don’t know why he put it that way. Does he mean that a primary challenge will fail, but weaken her to the point that she loses the general election? I hope that is what he means because no other interpretation makes even a sliver of sense. Assuming this is what Mr. Klein is asking, the answer is that there are no guarantees in politics but Ellen Tauscher is in a solidly blue congressional district. In fact, just like Joe Lieberman, this is one of the primary (no pun intended) reasons for challenging her. The idea is that we do not need to worry about weakening her and we do not need to worry that a real Democrat will not fit the district.

As I wrote earlier today, Ellen Tauscher actually accused Nancy Pelosi of punishing her in 2001 by making her district more Democratic. Evidentally, Tauscher would feel safer in a district with less Democrats and more Republicans. So, Klein hasn’t read the article he cites (at least not beyond page one) and doesn’t understand the district.

Klein didn’t initially waste a lot of time doing analysis of the Washington Post piece. He just declared a primary challenge for Tauscher to be ‘a suicidal waste of time’. I think I have already dispatched the idea that it is ‘suicidal’. It’s actually a safe mission, and selected for that very reason. But is it a waste of time?

It may be hard for Joe Klein to understand, but we don’t want our party to be occupied by people that want to repeal the estate tax and take away bankruptcy protections for poor single mothers. That’s not what we got involved in politics to accomplish. It’s totally inconsistent with progressive values. People that want those things are not representatives of the people, but representatives of multimillionaires and the practicioners of usury. We don’t like them when they are in the Republican Party. We find them intolerable within the Democratic Party.

It’s clear that Klein fears actual democracy. It conjures up bread riots and guillotines. Here’s a sample of the kind of rhetoric employed by Robespierre:

“If virtue be the spring of a popular government in times of peace, the spring of that government during a revolution is virtue combined with terror: virtue, without which terror is destructive; terror, without which virtue is impotent. Terror is only justice prompt, severe and inflexible; it is then an emanation of virtue; it is less a distinct principle than a natural consequence of the general principle of democracy, applied to the most pressing wants of the country. … The government in a revolution is the despotism of liberty against tyranny.”

Let me ask you, Mr. Klein, which party is currently engaged in lecturing us on ‘virtue combined with terror’? I can easily see Dick Cheney and James Dobson having a strategy session that goes something like this.

Dobson: we must be a stop to all this sodomy.
Cheney: anti-sodomy laws combined with terror: virtue without terror is destructive; terror without virtue is impotent.
Dobson: so, you’re saying that the terror alert will remain high?
Cheney: you got it bucko.

Who are the real Jacobins, Mr. Klein?

Here’s a hint from Claes G. Ryn, writing in Patrick Buchanan’s American Conservative back in 2005:

After the implosion of the Soviet Union, the neo-Jacobin neoconservatives argued that America should use its status as the lone superpower to spread its principles. They demanded “moral clarity” in U.S. foreign policy. Good stood against evil. After 9/11, Bush became their chief spokesman. He committed the United States to what he calls “the global democratic revolution.” The war against Iraq, he said, was “the first step” in that revolution. There has been not even a hint in the president’s recent speeches that the Iraqi debacle and the tens of thousands of dead and maimed have made him question his own virtuous nationalism.

Ellen Tauscher is going to pay a heavy price for cuddling up to these Jacobins and voting with them repeatedly. She’s the one that took away bankruptcy protection. It’s too bad we decided to include moral bankruptcy in the mix.

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