Tuesday, July 2, 2013

What Greenwald shares in common with the GOP (other than ODS)

Yes. Glenn Greenwald is so desperate for attention on the NSA story that he actually appeared this morning on Fox and Friends. But really...should that surprise any of us? They actually share a lot in common. And its more than just their Obama Derangement Syndrome (ODS).

Over the last 5 years we've watched the Republicans take their obstruction to such extremes that they are now in a post policy position. Their efforts are not about proposing solutions to problems - but simply doing everything they can to obstruct anything the Democrats propose.

Now overlay that with Glenn Greenwald's approach. He has spent almost a month now writing and talking about the horrors he sees in various NSA programs. For all his attempts to embrace the idea that he can be an "advocacy journalist," have you ever - in all that time - seen him propose an alternative and/or solution? No. Sound familiar?

I'm sure Glenn would say that's not his job. But isn't that convenient? Its the classic stance of a powerless victim. The minute you step up with a solution or proposal to solve a problem, you assume power. And as we saw the other day, that is something Glenn avoids.

The other thing Greenwald and the GOP share in common with this kind of positioning is that to propose a solution opens up a conversation...something President Obama said he welcomes when it comes to surveillance. But to do so would lead to a potential critique of your solution and an unravelling of the ability to depend solely on hyperbole and purity. In other words, it means getting your hands dirty in dealing with the world as it is - not as we want it to be.

And so ultimately Greenwald will never know what Teddy Roosevelt so eloquently called "the man in the arena."
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.


  1. Something else he has in common with the GOP, he organized fundraisers for Ron Paul:


    Which is when I stopped giving a fuck what Greenwald has to say about any issue.

    And he also approved of the Citizens United decision:

    I wonder how many of his liberal/progressive fans know this when they pick fights online with anyone who dares to criticize "Glenn".

    1. He endorsed a money-bomb. (The idea was to inject an anti-war platform into the GOP debate.)

      Apparently, that means he "organized fundraisers."

      This is when I stop giving a fuck about ignorant trolls.

    2. Endorsed? According to the link "Mr. Greenwald and Jane Hamsher ... call the shots." (The ellipses only omit an identifier.)

      His discussion of Citizens United is, as usual, partly interesting and partly naive beyond belief: "I’m also quite skeptical of the apocalyptic claims about how this decision will radically transform and subvert our democracy by empowering corporate control over the political process. My skepticism is due to one principal fact: I really don’t see how things can get much worse in that regard." I suspect he holds this view because he equates politics with Presidential &/or Congressional politics. The deepest and most lasting damage caused by Citizens United, however, has been at the state and local level — which of course is where the gerrymandering is done, not to mention the direct harms we are seeing in states around the country.

      Raising questions, Greenwald has value; answering them, he is worse than unhelpful.

    3. Good lord - can you even read?

      Where in any of that NY Times piece does it mention that GG "organized fundraisers for Ron Paul"?

      Where, exactly?

      You are conflating TWO _very_ separate and unrelated things.

    4. "[H]e organized fundraisers for Ron Paul."

      "Mr. Greenwald and Jane Hamsher ... call the shots."

      Ridiculous nose-stretching.

      He did nothing of the sort, and nowhere does Sarah Wheaton say so in that NYT link .


    5. I quoted the last paragraph of the NYT story. In my view, calling the shots is a step above endorsement. (I am equally critical of Hamsher for that effort.) You seem uninterested in the rather important issue of the effect of the Citizens United decision on election funding, which is much more important, which in turn is why I spent more words on it. Would you care to comment?

    6. Here's the quote:

      "Although the Strangebedfellows cast themselves as a left-right coalition -- the Libertarian presidential nominee Bob Barr endorsed the effort -- Mr. Greenwald and Jane Hamsher of FireDogLake (among the blogs most instrumental in Ned Lamont's victory over Senator Joseph I. Lieberman in Connecticut's Democratic primary in 2006) call the shots."

      I'm guessing most people age 10 and over who might be looking in understand that "call the shots" means Greenwald & Hamsher were in charge of this. The only nose stretching here is being done by Anonymous.

      Still no comment from Anonymous about Greenwald's pro-Citizens United stance either.

  2. And even when the critics do propose an alternative (e.g., single-payer), they propose it in such a way to suggest that it is the only acceptable alternative and not subject to debate.

    And then they have the gall to accuse others of not wanting to debate.

    1. There were times I tried to engage those proposing single payer with a simple question: How do you propose paying for it? Given that so much of the cost of health insurance is currently paid by employers - how do you calibrate how much of the tab they pick up vs the individual insured?

      As far as I saw - there were no advocates of single payer addressing this question. Unless and until they do - it goes nowhere.

      So yes, I agree. The purists always have trouble with getting into the difficult parts of the conversation. Its like they expect some big daddy to handle that part for them so they can sit on the sidelines and throw a tantrum.

    2. Asking them how much a monthly premium would cost if we instituted the public option had the same effect. Crickets.

    3. Back in my GOS days, I asked them a couple of very simple questions. The first was "how many votes do you have?" and the second was "If the bill you hate is killed like you want, what's your plan?" The answer was crickets, although I did get a lot of hysteria around it.

    4. To continue this single-payer dialogue when the ACA is still under attack by GOP Governors...who continue to obstruct by refusing to sign up for the Medicaid expansion...is a bit fake...

  3. Yeah, you know you've lost the Left when you jump the shark for Fox News.

    1. As I said, Greenwald has had a lot in common with them for a long time now. This comes as no surprise to me. Jane Hamsher did the same thing in her attempt to "kill the bill" on health care reform.

  4. His next appearance will likely be on Glenn Beck's internet show. As they say, turds of a feather...

    1. Then maybe Alex Jones. Has he already appeared on Alex Jones? It wouldn't surprise me in the least.

  5. I have a feeling that Edward Snowden is feeling seduced and abandoned about now. Greenwald may well have been the impetus behind his stealing classified information but now that Glenn has what he wanted, how is he helping Snowden?

    So Snowden, like it or not, got shuttled off to the self-imprisoned rapist Asange, who then managed to get the Equadoran Ambassador to Britain in deep trouble. The lawyer traveling with Snowden under the auspices of Wikileaks has been stuck in a no persons land in a Moscow airport, unable to get about her life or meet her personal responsibilities. Asange has now imprisoned two more people. Guess that makes him feel less isolated in his situation.

    My guess is that Snowden is starting to feel like he is in a complete no win situation. Anyone think he WANTS to live in Russia?

    At this point, it will be interesting to see how long it takes Snowden to feel used by Greenwald and Asange to the point that he turns on them and spills the beans on their involvement in what he did. Glenn seems to think that he has done all the necessary CYA stuff, but I'm not so sure of that. BTW, has anyone seen him in the streets of Brazil this week?

    1. All valid points Sam.

      1. Ecuador realized that one self-important hacker flipping off Uncle Sam is enough. So, Snowden won't be eating Ceviche and Plantains with Assange anytime soon.

      2. Russia is ready to give him the boot, as he's more a headache for Vlad "The Impaler" Putin than he's worth. Again, Snowden isn't the international feces tornado with the West.

      3. Snowden doesn't seem like he's principled like say, Bradley Manning. (Not a fan of that cat either - but he took his day in court like a man and so far, he hasn't flipped on Assange.) If anything Snowden is too flippant and ignorant of realpolitik to be taken seriously. Most snarky and flippant people aren't really principled - they'll sing like the Gay Men's Chorus after Prop 8 when the pressure is on.

      4. Don't talk about Brazil and GiGi - its too easy. ;-)

  6. I might not be the smartest one here so I no doubt missed the point(s) your writing was trying to make but the info published recently about our governments expansive surveillance operations that appeared in the WaPo and Guardian and the politicians who voted to continue FISA, Patriot Act, etc. will certainly influence my decision on who I vote for next time around.
    I don't subscribe to the idea that a D shouldn't criticize another D. (I suppose an R shouldn't criticize an R, either.) Politicians work for us, not the other way around.
    I don't watch Fox but I don't see why he should be criticized for appearing on one of their shows, whether or not he criticizes the president.
    Mr. Greenwald may well be vain and desperate for attention (I don't know), and I also don't know if he's an R or a D but I'm glad the TS documents have been released.


    1. None of those things you listed were my point. I'll try again:

      If Greenwald wants to actually be an advocate journalist, he needs to do more than simply critique the current state of affairs - he needs to actually engage in a discussion about solutions/alternatives.

    2. The problem was that the "expansive surveillance operations" ... weren't. Which is what real investigative reporters looking into it found when they double-checked all that.

  7. Per Jane Hamsher, she and Greenwald and a few others teamed together to help defeat Blanche Lincoln in the Arkansas 2010 primary because she wasn't progressive enough for their tastes. While Senator Lincoln wasn't my favorite Democrat, she was usually a reliable vote the Dems. But Hamsher and Greenwald demanded purity & the progressive sitting Lt. Governor they supported won the nomination, then lost in the general election to a right winger.

    1. Besides the fact that she and Greenwald were "jumping on the bandwagon," the truly pathetic part of that was that the candidate they picked wasn't all that progressive. A look at his record would have shown that, but after they got through fluffing him to the emoprog's, you would have thought he was the second coming of Nader.

      I should also point out that Greenwald & Hamsher's PAC ended up mostly paying them, not actually going out and recruiting candidates or donating to any campaigns. It was good for Greenwald and Hamsher, not for progressive candidates.


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