Thanks for the Memory to Vultures Row.
Interesting news today. Howard Dean, Chairman of the Democratic National Convention, has endorsed a candidate for U.S. Senate in Vermont. Interestingly enough, the candidate in question isn't a Democrat. He's an independent.
Not so big a deal, you might argue, since Vermont's exiting Indie Senator, Jim Jeffords, leaned to the Democratic side, and the endorsement is strategic, since anyone who can defeat a Republican is good news for the Dems. But here's the catch -- Bernard Sanders leans even farther leftwards than Jeffords. In fact, he leans even farther than most Democrats would like to admit they lean. Sanders is a Socialist.
My good friend Vulture six maintains that this support by Dean indicates either Socialist tendencies on the part of Dean, or a calculated willingness to overlook Sanders' socialism just to stick it to the Republicans.
I'd be willing to consider the possibility of both options being true. The most influential Democratic President of the Twentieth Century, F.D.R., was definitely a socialist, and most liberal domestic policies smack of at least small-s socialism. The difference between the Dems and Sanders is more a matter of degrees than of kind, and when compared to Dean, even the degree is hard to distinguish.
But I've also noticed a willingness among the left, especially among the more radical Democrats and the leadership (less so among rank-and-file Democrats who tend to be idealists), to get in bed with the most odious elements of the left if that's what it takes to defeat the Republicans. This is reflected in the "Anybody but Bush" tone during the elections, as well as in expressions by notable leftists like Michael Moore, expressing hope that insurgents in Iraq would succeed in inflicting more casualties just so Bush's election chances would be damaged.
Again, while I know many who lean farther to the left than I who truly believe they are fighting for good, and while politicians in general tend to Macchiavellianism, the level to which the DNC has taken it in recent years is truly frightening.