The left may be right, but it’s not left–not in the party.
The left lost inside the Party, to the point that it has been excised by its leadership. Leading to the '08 election, Obama turned to Hillary C and spoke words to the effect that so many candidates could not be allowed. Moving towards '16, all have been removed, and the challenge has to be imported.
“Love hate” might describe the attitudes of someone like Elizabeth Warren, whose imperialist foreign policy easily balances her moderately progressive economics. It does not describe Obama or Clinton: there’s no love.
Clinton is vague about policy because she disagrees with her supposedly moderate or left constituency and is too far in front of Sanders to take foolish risks.
If the left was right, in Eskow’s sense, that does not leave the right incorrect–right meaning Obama and Clinton. They continue expanding wars, restricting liberties, extending monopolies, extracting from ecosystems and populations, increasing coercion of all kinds, and callously and successfully pretending to people like Eskow that they in some way “love” the left or tolerate it and that there is something “unusual” about their attempts to cripple any whiff of leftism within the Party other than the extremity of their success, for which we would have to go back to before Roosevelt to the long aftermath of the Civil War in the “solid Democratic South.”
There is nothing particularly subtle about this. The sitting president and his party claim to be legally entitled to kill any person at will, without public standard, and without review, and have taken deliberate steps to sell that as a normal state of affairs to be carried out above boards. At the same time, the US is carrying out acts of active, live war in at least 7 countries and in some relationship with coup governments in at least two more. Since most of these actions are more or less covert, I have probably missed at least several.
Why should we not compare this to Italy in the 1930s or Pinochet’s Chile? While it is at least outwardly less severe in its deviation from electoral politics, it is clearly more severe in its production of outward violence, comparable though distinct in its use of internal violence, and far more extensive in terms of internal and external surveillance.
There is now virtually no action, not even any rhetoric against any of this by elected officials within the Democratic party. Resistance within the official party has been virtually exterminated. It is Rand Paul, of all people, who is again just done filibustering in the Senate, this time against NSA surveillance.
(It is a pity that I have to go outside of CD to see this, though it might have not yet arrived or I might have missed something (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/sen-rand-paul-launches-filibuster-nsas-controversial-data/story?id=31182495). I do not relish trusting organizations like ABC with respect to these things. )
Now, there are plenty of reasons to dislike Rand Paul, but that is beside the point. As we here generally use the term “left,” Paul is far to the left of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on these issues. In this, he is acting to the left of the entire Democratic Party, whatever he himself may say to disagree with such a characterization, and not because Rand Paul qualifies as left, but because elected officials in the Democratic Party do not either.
The left matters, but it has left the Party.