The sequel to a good action movie always has to be bigger than the original, so Rep. Allen West (R-FL) found himself squaring off against both the Communists and CNN host Soledad O’Brien to discuss the finer points of progressivism, liberalism, and communism (but not, alas, Critical Race Theory.)
O’Brien ably demonstrates the absolute, willful ignorance that has made her show such a success. After West very clearly explains that she’s edited the clip of his Florida town hall chat about communism to skip the part where he explains that he’s referring to the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and then spends a minute discoursing on the relationship between communism and progressive politics, O’Brien starts giggling and asking him to name the card-carrying members of the Communist Party in Congress.
Way to not listen to a word your guest is saying, Soledad! Does CNN have any editorial oversight at all?
Watching West speak slowly and carefully to the stubborn CNN host, in the manner of a patient grandfather telling a little kid to get her fingers out of an electric socket, is priceless. It’s awesome that she thinks reading names off a memo is some kind of clever retort.
The interesting part of Rep. West’s foray into ideological taxidermy is that neither O’Brien, nor anyone else who’s been giving him grief, can actually discuss the point in an intelligent manner. The CNN host doesn’t know anything about progressivism. She just thinks it’s pure, unalloyed goodness, and anyone who mentions communists has skated completely outside the acceptable boundaries of discourse.
Actually explaining how the policies of the Congressional Progressive Caucus differ substantially from the Communist Party USA would have been a more intelligent approach. I’ll give CNN a hand, in case they want to send someone with more intellectual heft to challenge Allen West. Both the CPC and the CPUSA are public organizations with easily accessible web sites, where they have listed their policy agendas. The CPC’s “Progressive Promise” is here.
The Communist Party USA also has a website, where… well, now wait a second, I just clicked on the darn thing, and it’s already getting confusing. Right on the front page, they proclaim: “A better and peaceful world is possible – a world where people and nature come before profits. That’s socialism. That’s our vision. We are the Communist Party USA.”
But I thought “socialism” was totally different than communism, and they’re both completely different animals than “progressivism.” Oh, well, I’m sure Soledad O’Brien could clear that up by reading some names off a piece of paper. Anyway, their policy agenda is here, and… gosh darn it, they did it again! Their agenda is called “The Road to Socialism USA,” and it talks about “forces for progress!”
Here’s a couple of quotes. I highlighted the “progressive” parts, in case someone decides to read this into Soledad O’Brien’s earpiece:
We as a country face serious choices: militarism and imperialism or peace, increased wealth for the few or justice and equality for the many, increased power in the hands of the super-rich or expansion of democracy for the vast majority, ultra-right domination of all branches of government which deals with problems by increasing exploitation and oppression or progressive electoral coalitions that seek real solutions in the interests of all working people.
[…] Every movement for change and progress is challenged by the power of the corporations. Workers face corporate power in every contract negotiation. African Americans, Mexican Americans and all other Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and women all face corporate power when they seek real equality on the job and in their communities. Youth face corporate power when they seek free quality education for all. Environmental organizations face corporate power when they try to stop pollution, stop the dumping of industrial waste, or stop the ravaging of the remaining wilderness areas for profit.
[…] Among the results of the Soviet Union and other socialist countries returning to capitalism were major setbacks for the progressive forces on a world scale and a shift in favor of imperialism headed by the U.S. With the demise of the Soviet Union and other socialist countries, Cuba, China, Vietnam, North Korea, and Laos face severe new problems. A number of former colonial countries that had chosen non-capitalist paths of development were forced back toward capitalist development.
But remember, the “progressives” are totally different than these guys, even though I think the commies use “progressive” in their manifesto even more often than the Congressional Progressive Caucus does. If I hadn’t already told you where I got the above quotes from, which Party would you think they might have come from? A lot of it sounds kind of… familiar, doesn’t it?
Say, you don’t suppose Rep. West might have actually read the platforms of the CPC and CPUSA before he declared them BFFs, do you? Unlike, say, the average network news talking head?
Hat tip to The Right Scoop and Newsbusters for the video. Be sure to watch it to the end, when O’Brien thinks she can score some kind of point against West by quoting the head of the actual Communist Party USA. She is hilariously mistaken.