And yet folks like Greenwald and Serwer are feigning surprise that yesterday the vote on the Amash Amendment in the House was bipartisan. Either they haven't been paying attention or their surprise is disingenuous.
In case you didn't notice, there is a theme that runs through my litany describing the disarray up above...and his name is Rand Paul. That's the same Rand Paul too many liberals decided to stand with in his ridiculous filibuster and who's father Edward Snowden voted for in 2012.
No one doubts that Rand Paul is in the early stages of a campaign to run for president in 2016. His only hope for success given the sad state of affairs in the Republican Party is that he can develop a coalition of tea partiers and lefty emos (ie, white people) to challenge the national dominance of the Democratic Party. Today's article by Greenwald (linked above) is nothing short of a clarion call for just that.
To say that there is a major sea change underway - not just in terms of surveillance policy but broader issues of secrecy, trust in national security institutions, and civil liberties - is to state the obvious. But perhaps the most significant and enduring change will be the erosion of the trite, tired prism of partisan simplicity through which American politics has been understood over the last decade. What one sees in this debate is not Democrat v. Republican or left v. right. One sees authoritarianism v. individualism, fealty to The National Security State v. a belief in the need to constrain and check it, insider Washington loyalty v. outsider independence...Basically he's saying that the partisan battle against the lunatic caucus in the Republican Party needs to end and we should join forces with those who support "individualism" (ie, libertarianism). We all know who swells the ranks of the anti-establishment wing of the Republican Party. Digby over at Hullabaloo put it more bluntly when it comes to the looming battle over a budget deal.
The sooner the myth of "intractable partisan warfare" is dispelled, the better. The establishment leadership of the two parties collaborate on far more than they fight. That is a basic truth that needs to be understood.
The way to stop this is to get enough Democrats in the House to join with the Tea Partiers so they cannot get a majority. It's got to be done.As the beast that is the white male patriarchy in this country is dying, these folks are suggesting that we throw them a lifeline and join their cause. Remember...these are the same people who are attacking things like voting rights and women's rights and immigration reform.
Now I'm no supporter of the "National Security State" - or, more broadly, the military industrial complex. But I happen to believe President Obama when he says he wants to end perpetual war and have a rational conversation about surveillance. The folks who don't believe him have always assumed he's a liar - regardless of what he actually does. And so they prefer to join forces with folks who have a history with southern secessionists and yet tell whoppers like this:
During a visit to Iowa, the junior Kentucky senator and 2016 contender told Yahoo! News that he's going to continue to do his part to lure blacks and Hispanics to a Republican Party that has been plagued by an inability to win over minority voters.Only a blind white privileged person could possibly swallow that one. He's not reaching out to blacks and Hispanics (who know better), he's trying to assuage the discomfort white emos might feel in their support of him.
“I’m not easily dissuaded, so it’s not something that makes me shrink away, it makes me come out even stronger to say that I don’t think there’s anyone in Congress who has a stronger belief in minority rights than I do,” Paul said.
Make no mistake about it...this is a re-invention of a 21st century southern strategy aimed at the idea of forming a national coalition of white male libertarians during a time when the rights of women and people of color are on the line. There is not one iota of doubt in my mind about where I stand on that one. And its not with Rand.