Sunday, March 18, 2007

What if the Iraq War ended tomorrow?

It's an interesting hypothetical: what would many of the anti-war bloggers do if they suddenly got their wish and the Iraq war ended tomorrow with a peaceful settlement that would ensure a smooth transition of power to the people of Iraq and stop the civil war that's been happening? Would they continue to press on with progressive politics or would they basically go back into the fold of the mainstream, or left of centrist but still mainstream, Democratic party?

What if Bush were impeached tomorrow and the Iraq war ended, in fact the whole administration was gone, leaving a Democrat in control of the White House? Would another strata of blogger just go home, thinking "Mission Accomplished", or would they stay in the fight to make America a fairer and more democratic place?

These are important questions. There are in fact a lot of progressive bloggers, who have attained prominence, who would probably continue to fight for social change even if this sort of thing happened, but judging from the comments from the readership of sites that mix up progressive and more mainstream commentary, like Talking Points Memo Cafe, which is in fact a good resource for progressive think tank type articles, there are plenty of folks that participate in this where the idea of greater social change just flies over their head.

The question of just how progressive is the progressive blogosphere is something that Max Sawicky of MaxSpeak has touched on a few times. One of the most recent times he brough it up on his site he received comments saying that marking divisions in the progressive blogosphere was pointless and one that suggested that he was engaging in behavior reminiscent of certain Trotskyist parties who recorded in detail the many splits that had occured in their history and exactly why this particular group split off.

I don't think it's that hard to ferret out whether someone anti-War is just a (mostly) mainstream democrat otherwise, or if someone who's vehemently anti-Bush objects to things like "No Child Left Behind", which is more of a real progressive objection, or if their anti-Bush stance just includes things like the war and the PATRIOT-ACT.

Unless Bush brings us to war with Iran, thereby triggering a global political crisis that might metastasize into a very long, extended, multi-state conflict, eventually these people are going to be out of office, although their legacy will be felt long after their gone. The question is: when that day comes, what exactly will the progressive blogosphere do: will it turn its attention to other social problems or will it just fold itself in, and go home, possibly exerting a long term influence in keeping slightly left of center democrats in office?

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