Defending "The Left"

I don't really claim to be a representative of "The Left". But I will take a crack at Aaron Swartz's complaints about "The Left's" overreaction.

As far as I can tell, he has four:

  1. Overreaction to the DMCA (but he hates the DMCA too, so he doesn't address this)
  2. Overreaction to the PATRIOT Act
  3. Overreaction to proposed FCC regulations
  4. Overreaction to the Valerie Plame scandal

Let's take these one-by-one.

Overreaction to the DMCA

This is really more of a civil libertarian issue, not a Left issue. Furthermore, it's isolated mostly among cyberliberties activists.

MY TAKE: I'm punting on this issue for next year's election. I don't care enough at this point to support a single issue candidacy on the DMCA.

Overreaction to the PATRIOT Act

You could argue for this. The PATRIOT Act is widely demonized by Democratic candidates (even those who voted for it) and is much-hated by The Left. However, most issues don't see Americans for Tax Reform standing shoulder to shoulder with People for the American Way.

MY TAKE: Everyone hates the PATRIOT Act. There a few things in it that may be necessary and constitutional, but it needs to be throughly reviewed if not outright repealed.

Overreaction to proposed FCC regulations

I assume Aaron means the proposed relaxation of ownership rules. Again, opposition to these regulations was unusual for its bipartisan nature. Senators Byron Dorgan and Trent Lott held a joint press conference surrounded by stacks of MoveOn petitions opposing the measure. The regulations were opposed by groups as diverse as MoveOn, EFF, and the NRA. It was supported by big corporations. Congress rebuked Powell's attempt to deregulate local media by a huge margin.

MY TAKE: This is the way it's supposed to work!

Overreaction to the Valerie Plame scandal

This is the only one you can solidly pin on The Left. Conservatives are definitely not overreacting to this! Check out the DNC's ad to see The Left's "overreaction".

MY TAKE: It's not overreacting to point out that at least two senior members of the Bush administration committed a felony. Using that fact to go on a $70 million dollar fishing expedition and then impeaching Bush for lying would be overreacting...oh wait, that would be karmic justice.

Seriously, I do not think The Left is overreacting. The FBI under Ascroft cannot impartially investigate the Bush Whitehouse. Democrats will wait until the FBI finds "no wrongdoing" in a few months, then scream bloody murder.

In my opinion, this issue is not particularly important in itself. But it represents a good example of the kind of dirty tricks the Bush administration is willing to play, and helps show the pattern of deception surrounding Iraq and pretty much everything the Bush Whitehouse does.