I don’t get the reflexive knee-jerk reaction to articles quoted from Counterpunch. The lede to Skink’s recent post is a piece from Sam Husseini, the communications director for the Institute for Public Accuracy. Husseini’s article received widespread postings, including at dem/prog news fest, Huffington Post. The article was also posted on Consortium News, a leading indy news source. Truthdig, Smirking Chimp, Strategic-Culture, World News Beat, the Russophile, and on and on.
Counterpunch is just like any other news aggregator. They pick from a very wide selection of authors, the articles they choose to post. It’s not like Counterpunch goes out and does a lot of policy advocacy on its own. Of course Jeff St. Claire and the late Alexander Cockburn had strong opinions and a soapbox to project them from. But what’s up with the guilt by association with CounterPunch? That’s a bunch of bigoted BS.
Take a look at a list of recent articles. Are we to think that all of these authors deserve our disdain because they’ve been published at Counterpunch? A cursory overview of authors includes a wide variety of viewpoints from far left to paleoconservative and libertarian viewpoints. And those articles are published world wide in hundreds of other outlets.
Well, what about Sam (Osama) Husseini? Well, among other things he founded the website VotePact, an interesting alternative to two party elections. And as we have lots of folks in our midst who are interested in alternatives, Husseini has a very interesting approach, and we’ve been talking about fusion elections here. He has another alternative where a democrat and a republican agree (“Vote Pact”) to vote third parties of their choice instead of canceling themselves out in standard two party elections.
He’s also the communications director for the Institute for Public Accuracy which encourages the media to access a wide variety of sources:
IPA increases the reach and capacity of progressive and grassroots organizations (at no cost to them) to address public policy by getting them and their ideas into the mainstream media. IPA gains media access for those whose voices are commonly excluded or drowned out by government or corporate-backed institutions. As a national consortium of independent public-policy researchers, analysts and activists, IPA widens media exposure for progressive perspectives on many issues including the environment, human rights, foreign policy, and economic justice.
Sounds like a pretty good mission statement to me. Unless you are into suppressing independent thought outside of traditional dem/prog themes.
So what are we left with besides a snippet of how democrats are continuing to close the circle on their “big tent” and increasing their disparagement of any people who dare look beyond the accepted parameters of democratic group-think? Not much, except a view of politics from those inside the fishbowl that continue to fear that they are becoming irrelevant in a world spinning out of their control.
Withdrawing into the discomfort of traditional politics is the bane of progressivism. One might say that withdrawing into the comfort of traditional politics is what allows the rise of nationalism, and all of its despicable characteristics which are defining the American “tradition” of exceptionalism and its attendant foreign policy. A foreign policy predicated on the “father knows best” notion that only American-directed hegemony can keep the world safe for… something.
Well, I’m tired of it all. I’d rather see a multi-polar world with many elements balancing trade and security. At some point the U.S. will be forced to disengage from maintaining empire, as it will no longer be affordable, except at the barrel of a gun (the biggest one possible). Whether or not that disengagement will be comfortable or uncomfortable rests on our expectations of what a world without the U.S. as policeman can become.