Was just reading his stuff (I'd recommend it to anyone of a progressive mindset, by the way), and had to comment. And then I thought to throw the discussion open to a wider audience. (That means both my readers.) So, read thwap's post here.
What I said in response:
And there, old thwapster, is the conundrum, isn't it.
The whole "engage with honesty" thing is a challenge. You and I both, along with more than a few of our progressive brethren, have basically run out of patience on more than one occasion with corporate/right-wing shitheaderry. Why, in god's name, must we waste hours and hours going back to first principles and defend ourselves from idiocy?
Why do we have to recycle every discussion and repeat over and over again that concern for due process and effective criminal-justice policy is not the same thing as being soft on crime and subscribing to some notional hug-a-thug approach?
Why do we have to spend time explaining that our discomfort with Harper's crypto-totalitarian disdain for democracy doesn't mean we're ready to surrender to the terrorists and steal money from hard-working taxpayers before forcing them to marry gay Muslims?
This is where I sometimes run out of answers. I'm all for engaging people with whom I disagree in a spirit of openness and respect. Especially when I'm talking to liberals of the big-L variety. You've put it very clearly and succinctly yourself, in fact, when you write that you get on fine with individual Liberals even as you despise their party. (At this point I could go for the cheap laugh and protest, with my most innocent wide-eyed expression, that some of my best friends are well-meaning Liberals.)
Easy enough for me to say, I know, and god knows I don't always manage to live up to the high-minded impulses behind such nice words. Sometimes, in fact, I may even descend to patronizing condescension, or even, god help me, genuine rudeness.
It's a delicate balancing act, I know. And there are times when, despite my naive good intentions, I start losing faith in my ability to find that balance. Today, I just don't know what the answer is.