Liberals Mande Loves
As the line between Republican and Democrat blurs, it takes more and more work to decide who’s “bad” and who’s “good” – even if, like us, you resist folding yourself neatly into the confines of either party.
The increasing sameness of the parties, together with the fact that “bipartisanship” is apparently the flavor of the week (weak?), has prompted us to explore a different sort of bi-curiosity. So, behold the first-ever FITS list of liberals we love:
1. Rachel Maddow – In case you think you know why she tops our list, remember that we already said that this isn’t typical bi-curiosity. So, while she’s definitely lesbian, that’s not why she’s a liberal we love.
After appearing as a frequent panelist for Tucker Carlson (a libertarian we love) on his bygone show, MSNBC got smart and gave her a primetime slot of her own.
Maddow leans as left as one can without tipping over, but she somehow manages to do it free of stridency.
Besides being a welcome respite from the string of bellicose primetime guys, she’s fresh and light in a way you’d never expect of a career lesbian. Far from the “lipstick lesbians” of our founding editor’s fantasies, Maddow’s come a long way from her face-for-radio days. (That’s not a dig, people, she really works in radio.) Anyway, she brilliantly walks the line between dyke and dame, rocking dewy barely-there makeup and a crew cut.
It’s not only with her appearance that she balances to a tee her girly-guyness. She takes on loudmouth men with appropriate ritualistic opposition, but without militant belligerence. She at once remains coolly collected and fiercely prosecutorial.
The rest of her allure just defies explanation. Call it charisma or the “it” factor or that je ne sais quoi…she’s got it, people.
2. Camille Paglia – While we’d heard her name in passing, we always dismissed her as what we think her name calls to mind: A retrof*ck European impressionist painter.
Of course, we knew that couldn’t be true … we knew vaguely of her feminist travails, and you know what we think of feminism around here – which is to say that we remained skeptical but hopeful with regard to the impressionist possibility.
Anyway, Paglia, incidentally also lesbian, is a diehard liberal and a committed feminist … but you’d hardly know it from her well-reasoned writings. She’s one of only a handful of people who can articulate the “inconvenient truths” of her firm views. Tons of people try to do this, in the name of temperance or whatever – but Paglia’s way of it is much more inspired, much less claptrap.
Take, for instance, her view on abortion:
Hence I have always frankly admitted that abortion is murder, the extermination of the powerless by the powerful. Liberals for the most part have shrunk from facing the ethical consequences of their embrace of abortion, which results in the annihilation of concrete individuals and not just clumps of insensate tissue. The state in my view has no authority whatever to intervene in the biological processes of any woman’s body, which nature has implanted there before birth and hence before that woman’s entrance into society and citizenship.
To equate abortion with murder while firmly standing by her pro-choice beliefs is to throw a welcome monkey wrench into the whole debate. Whatever your stance on abortion, you’ve got to hand it to her – for her chutzpah to say that, for the intellectual acrobatics required to think it, and even more for the cerebral dexterity to allow herself to think it.
In keeping with that unorthodox declaration, she also recognizes Iranian threat while opposing American intervention, embraces women in politics while rejecting Hillary Clinton, and stands proudly as a Democrat while exposing her party for what is has become. On top of all that, she acknowledges the dangerous liberal homogeneity bred in universities.
This lady wrote the book on maverick thinking…actually, she wrote several books on it. She navigates the relativism inherent in life without becoming a stand-for-nothing relativist.
3. Alan Colmes – Alright, so he looks like a serial killer…but Ted Bundy taught us that that’s not always a bad look.
Anyway, Colmes struts his socialism on the most conservative TV station on the planet besides Al Jazeera. (We know, we know … FOX ain’t all that conservative – but beggars can’t be choosers, people).
Either way, it takes a certain amount of gutsy resilience to banter night after night with Sean Hannity & Co.
Colmes is the underdog of television politicking. It’s easy-peasy to do what Keith Olbermann does. He’s got no opposition – rarely even “friendly fire” – and he still manages to score nary a point. Colmes, on the other hand, regularly makes inspired (but wholly wrong) arguments, even with FOX and its ilk nipping at his heels with his every step.
Seriously, this guy is one hell of an underdog. If I knew a lick about sports, I’d proffer an apt analogy right now. Alas, I’ll just have to stick with “Home Alone” comparisons – Colmes is Kevin, and FOX is Harry and Marv. You get the picture…underdog usurps uber-dog.
We copped to lovin’ some liberals, and now it’s your turn. Which liberals do you love?
We won’t tell if you won’t …