Sirota's Statement

I tend to agree with David Sirota on most things, but his latest letter to the Congressional Progressive Caucus is not only unconvincing, but especially so coming from him. This is not to say Sirota is not a credible progressive voice, or solidly anti-war -- he is both things, but the tone leaves a bad aftertaste, and his underlying reasons conflict, unambiguously, with his own ideals.

He leads by quoting Saul Alinsky, and writes:
“As an organizer I start from where the world is, as it is, not as I would like it to be."

This serves as the general basis for his plea: in the name of pragmatism, progressive members of Congress, must vote yes on the most recent Iraq bill. But, Sirota's new found passion for compromise seems odd, given his utter refusal to do just that on other issues.

This is not to say he was wrong then, or even wrong now -- only to say that he is not the ideal voice to wag his finger at progressives for not wanting to compromise on a bill that will help to fund George Bush's war.

Moreover, Sirota admits to working for Rep. Obey -- otherwise known as the guy who called anti-war protesters "idiot liberals" for opposing legislation that fails to end the war. And Sirota, was very quick to not only defend him, but to suggest that some progressive leaders really are 'idiot liberals.' Again, this does make Sirota wrong, per se; but it is not irrelevant by any means.

Lastly, Sirota's absurd reference to the "Professional Protest Industry" sounded like it could have come out of the mouth of (INSERT YOUR FAVORITE MCARTHYITE'S NAME HERE).

He writes (emphasis is mine):

Congressional progressives now face the same pangs that come with evolving into a movement with majority power, rather than serving merely as contrairian voices in the minority. They are undoubtedly being pressured by a small but very vocal group of organizations that make up what’s known as the Professional Protest Industry – organizations that exist solely to see the world as they want it, not as it is (a note: not everyone working to kill the supplemental is part of the Professional Protest Industry - many folks just legitimately believe stopping the supplemental is the best way to go, and I absolutely respect that even though I think it is the wrong strategy - however, there is no denying that there is a loud, vocal Professional Protest Industry - check out International ANSWER or the LaRouchies for a few examples).

This LaRouche comment is simply the last straw. To attempt to link opposition to this legislation to LaRouche -- a man who has about the same level of credibility as the Flat Earth Society -- is not only grossly unfair, but utterly surreal. I would wager that LaRouche minions represent about .000000001 percent of the anti-war opposition, and have zero influence on this, or any other matter of national significance.

I hope, and genuinely expect, that Sirota will return to producing the high quality work that he is known for. This latest effort, however, is one I find to be terribly unconvincing.