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Thu Aug 21, 2003

Four 9/11 Moms Battle Bush

http://www.observer.com/pages/frontpage3.asp

So afraid is the Bush administration of what could be revealed by inquiries into its failures to protect Americans from terrorist attack, it is unabashedly using Kremlin tactics to muzzle members of Congress and thwart the current federal commission investigating the failures of Sept. 11. But there is at least one force that the administration cannot scare off or shut up. They call themselves "Just Four Moms from New Jersey," or simply "the girls."

Kristen and the three other housewives who also lost their husbands in the attack on the World Trade Center started out knowing virtually nothing about how their government worked. For the last 20 months they have clipped and Googled, rallied and lobbied, charmed and intimidated top officials all the way to the White House. In the process, they have made themselves arguably the most effective force in dancing around the obstacle course by which the administration continues to block a transparent investigation of what went wrong with the country’s defenses on Sept. 11 and what we should be doing about it. They have no political clout, no money, no powerful husbands—no husbands at all since Sept. 11—and they are up against a White House, an Attorney General, a Defense Secretary, a National Security Advisor and an F.B.I. director who have worked out an ingenious bait-and-switch game to thwart their efforts and those of any investigative body.

Moral Citizen: evil-barry on Aug 21, 03 | 5:54 pm | Profile

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'Leftist', culture wars, etc.

The Defanging of a Radical Epithet

Then, in the late 1990's, [use of the word] leftist underwent a sudden revival. The word is 50 percent more frequent in major newspapers and magazines now than it was five years ago, with almost all the increase a result of its use as a label for domestic groups and individuals. Apart from the odd reference to Angela Davis or the Spartacist League, leftist nowadays is almost never used for old-style radicals or Marxists. In fact it was the eclipse of the "movement left" and the fall of Communism that left the word a phantom finger that the right could wave in the culture wars.

The new uses of leftist [are...] aimed at nudging the political center to the right, by portraying social liberals as radicals outside the mainstream. But that's a risky semantic maneuver. In any tug of war between a label and the things it's attached to, the label ultimately loses. Sometimes it's simply diluted to the point of meaninglessness. That happened with the "fascist" label after the left threw it around indiscriminately in the 1970's, and it may very well be the fate of "imperialist" now. But the leftist label is less likely to be superannuated than drawn back into the center. Describing the Girl Scouts or Arlen Specter as "leftist" doesn't demonize them so much as make the epithet itself sound less alarming.


read the article- Read more...

Moral Citizen: evil-barry on Aug 21, 03 | 1:30 pm | Profile

Category: appropriated material
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