Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Why Liberals Must Stand Proud and Conservatives Should Be Ashamed

Every single good thing that has happened to Americans in the last century has been brought to you by liberals. Every single obstacle in the path of improving people's lives and making the world a better place has been thrown there by conservatives.

It can't be repeated often enough, yet rarely gets mentioned, much less articulated as clearly as Bob Herbert does here.

The liberals who didn’t have a clue gave us Social Security and unemployment insurance, both of which were contained in the original Social Security Act. Most conservatives despised the very idea of this assistance to struggling Americans. Republicans hated Social Security, but most were afraid to give full throat to their opposition in public at the height of the Depression.


Liberals who didn’t have a clue gave us Medicare and Medicaid. Quick, how many of you (or your loved ones) are benefiting mightily from these programs, even as we speak. The idea that Republicans are proud of Ronald Reagan, who saw Medicare as “the advance wave of socialism,” while Democrats are ashamed of Lyndon Johnson, whose legislative genius made this wonderful, life-saving concept real, is insane.

(More after the jump.)

When Johnson signed the Medicare bill into law in the presence of Harry Truman in 1965, he said: “No longer will older Americans be denied the healing miracle of modern medicine.”

Reagan, on the other hand, according to Johnson biographer Robert Dallek, “predicted that Medicare would compel Americans to spend their ‘sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was like in America when men were free.’ ”


Without the many great and noble deeds of liberals over the past six or seven decades, America would hardly be recognizable to today’s young people. Liberals (including liberal Republicans, who have since been mostly drummed out of the party) ended legalized racial segregation and gender discrimination.

Humiliation imposed by custom and enforced by government had been the order of the day for blacks and women before men and women of good will and liberal persuasion stepped up their long (and not yet ended) campaign to change things. Liberals gave this country Head Start and legal services and the food stamp program. They fought for cleaner air (there was a time when you could barely see Los Angeles) and cleaner water (there were rivers in America that actually caught fire).

Liberals. Your food is safer because of them, and so are your children’s clothing and toys. Your workplace is safer. Your ability (or that of your children or grandchildren) to go to college is manifestly easier.

As Warren Street writes about Herbert's column:

Pardon the fuck out of me, but I needed this. I needed something to get my chin up off my chest. I needed this wake-up call. I needed this kick in the ass. I needed this call to action. I needed this because I'm sick to fucking death of sitting on my fucking ass watching these assholes rise up like a Phoenix. It is time to take up the cause and get back to smashing the living shit out of Republicans and their lies.

If you need some Kentucky examples to make this clear, Heather Ryan is a Proud Liberal. John Yarmuth is a Proud Liberal. David Boswell is a sniveling coward who wants credit for liberal accomplishments while denying liberal values.

Here's a question to ask your candidates who want Democratic votes: What are three liberal accomplishments that were opposed by conservatives? If they can't answer, you know what they really are.

Let's put an end once and for all to the oxymoronic concept of the "conservative Democrat." No such animal. Democrats are Proud Liberals. Everybody else is a republican, not matter what they call themselves.

No more DINOs.

Cross-posted at Blue in the Bluegrass.