DID I FIND GLENN GREENWALD'S NEXT HERO?
Ron Paul stumbled in Iowa, but I wonder if Glenn Greenwald will praise a new hero soon -- Rush Limbaugh, who said this on the radio while most of us were focused on Iowa:
RUSH: I can't believe that nobody's talking about this: The thing Obama signed on New Year's Eve, the new Defense Authorization Act.... Folks, you know what this thing does? It allows the United States military to detain anybody for no reason! They don't even have to charge you. I mean, this is specified. This is not the Patriot Act. This is way beyond. This is total authoritarianism. This is the kind of stuff that exists in Third World banana republics. The government can detain anybody! All they have to do... They actually don't have to do anything.
They just have to say they suspect you of terrorism.
They don't have to prove it. They don't have to have any evidence. They can charge you. They can put you away in a jail. You are not allowed a lawyer. You are not allowed habeas corpus. It's the most amazing thing....
Well, how they gonna define "terrorism"? If you are a liberal Democrat politician might you think that what happens on Fox is terrorism? (pause)...
Are you going to bite, Glenn? Are you going to laud Limbaugh for saying this? Are you going to say that liberals are ashamed to talk seriously about Rush Limbaugh because he points up the contradictions in our political philosophy?
And hell, I might even acknowledge that this was a principled statement on Limbaugh's part -- if I didn't recall what Limbaugh was telling us, oh, say, six years ago, during the Bush administration:
RUSH: I got an e-mail from a friend of mine in St. Louis. "Rush, did you hear what Tim Russert said after Bush's press conference today?" He said, paraphrasing -- and I haven't seen this, so I probably ought to double-check this, but we will. Paraphrasing, Russert said, "People go to war to protect their civil liberties, so isn't counterproductive to take away these liberties while doing it?" All of you out there listening, how many of you think we go to war to protect civil liberties? ...
Ask the families, ask the people who were in the World Trade Center towers right before they were attacked if they are more concerned with the loss of their civil liberties than the loss of their lives. They can't sue Saddam Hussein for loss of civil liberties because they're dead. How can you sue somebody for your civil liberties being taken away when they killed you first? ...
I want to know, give me one person who is in jail who has been falsely charged because of the Patriot Act.... I want to know, what civil liberty is being violated? ...
Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus when he had reporters thrown into prison, because they wrote against him in the union. He threw nine members of the Maryland legislature into prison to prevent that state from possibly pulling out of the union.... Lincoln is one of our greatest presidents ever. Here he deports an agitator to the south. The south, "We don't want the guy." They recognize a traitor when they see one. They send him to Canada. Can you imagine sending Dingy Harry over to Pakistan or Afghanistan? Ha-ha! Can you imagine putting New York Times reporters in jail? ... Folks, folks, I can't tell you what I would do if the president decided to put the press in jail.
... Can you imagine the argument you would get into with your average run-of-the-mill White House reporter if sit them down and say, "You know what Lincoln did to people like you? Put you in jail!" ...
Limbaugh, needless to say, will be delighted when Mitt Romney has the power to detain U.S. citizens in a manner that violates the Constitution. If, somehow there's a progressive Democratic or Democrat-plus-libertarian wave in the 2014 midterms and suddenly we're talking about taking these powers away from President Romney, Limbaugh will call the people making the demand traitors. But now he's upset, because (and only because) Obama's the president.
That's obvious, right? That's probably obvious even to Glenn Greenwald.
UPDATE: Greenwald responds in comments.
UPDATE: Greenwald pens 4,401 words of self-righteousness directed at every single person on the planet who's written a critical word about him in recent days, me included. (UPDATE: Now with 388 additional words!)