Until one sees actual changes in behavior and substance on those issues, cheering for those changes as though they already occurred or are guaranteed is the height of self-delusion.I guess that's the best he can do with the cognitive dissonance he's feeling after declaring that the "war on terror" cannot end only to hear the President say its time to end it.
Greenwald seems to base his entire response to the speech on the idea that we can't believe what the President says.
How many times does Obama have to deliver a speech embracing a set of values and polices, only to watch as he then proceeds to do the opposite, before one ceases to view his public proclamations as predictive of his future choices?And yet he provides not one example of this - not even a link (as is his habit) to an article where he made a similar accusation. And so, for his major thesis, he provides absolutely zero evidence. Interesting.
In order to deal with his dissonance about the substance of the speech, Greenwald simply dismisses it.
The terrorism speech, when dissected, provided very little in the way of actual concrete substance.One has to wonder what he did with the parts of the speech where President Obama talked about:
- Discussing options with Congress for additional oversight of drone strikes (ie, drone court or an independent oversight board within the administration)
- Increasing foreign aid to fight poverty and sectarian hatred
- Working with Congress to refine - and eventually repeal - the AUMF
- Calling on Congress to lift the restrictions on detainee transfers from Gitmo
- Lifting the moratorium on detainee transfers to Yemen
- The significant reduction in the number of drone strikes
- The ending of the CIA drone program (including "signature strikes")
His final attempt to tackle all that dissonance is to bring in quotes from all the other folks who suffer from ODS to bolster his delusion...Russ Douthat, Jeremy Scahill, Anthony Romero and Michael Hastings. He's basically saying, "See...my buddies all agree with me so I must be right!" One must keep in mind that even Sen. Ted Cruz could find 3 or 4 people who agree with him ;-)
Mr. Greenwald has always been pretty quick to accuse his opponents of being authoritarian. One of the hallmarks of that mindset is to close oneself off from the probing questions created by cognitive dissonance. In one of the most fascinating examples of projection I've seen in awhile - he demonstrated exactly how one goes about doing just that.
Now...if you want to clean up your brain from all that nonsense, go read what James Fallows wrote about President Obama's speech. Couldn't have said it better myself.
UPDATE: Via twitter, it seems that Mr. Greenwald thinks that I left the ACLU off the list of people he quotes on purpose. Because, as we all know...the ACLU is never wrong about anything (how very authoritarian!) So just to be clear, I added Mr. Romero to the list of people Greenwald quotes.
UPDATE II: Just to show what a classy guy he is, Greenwald edited his article to add a couple of links where I noted he had none - without acknowledging the edit. And then he suggests that I need to acknowledge my error. He did that to me once before when I noted an error of his in the comment section at The Guardian - so it comes as no surprise to me. But its worth noting how far this guy will go to avoid the dissonance.