Wednesday, January 04, 2012


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.

Isn't it?


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!)


Ten Bears said...

"I can't believe that nobody's talking about this..."

Hell's Belles, it's only been all over the Internet for four days now.

I notice you're using the word "hell" more than usual.

c u n d gulag said...

Look, if you can ignore racism, misogyny, xenophobia, gold-standard mumbo-jumbo, and homophobia (which should affect him directly), and support Ron Paul because he likes his stances on civil liberties and being anti-war, why stop there at Rush?
Why not look for positives in Glenn Beck?
Or Hannity?
Or Savage?
Hell, maybe even Coulter and Malkin?

And yeah, Rush was fine with all of this shit when Bush was doing it, and now hates it because a Democrat is in charge, but will be just fine with even worse things the next time a Republican is in the WH.
He's awful flexible for man as fat as a dirigible, but with even more hot air.

BH said...

Greenwald won't likely take up Rush as a new anti-O hero, but I think the main reason he won't isn't political, ideological, or anything to do with consistency; I suspect Rush seems gauche to Glenn, while Paul doesn't. Rush is loud; Ron's not. Rush is rotund; Ron's not. Rush is balding; Ron's got that grandfatherly white thatch. The kind of in-depth distinctions I'd expect from an ostensibly lefty Paul admirer.

Tom Hilton said...

Heh..yeah, why not Rush?

For that matter, why not Pat Buchanan? Is his anti-war stance not praiseworthy?

ploeg said...

As noted, Rush Limbaugh is a notorious duckspeaker.

For whatever faults Ron Paul has, at least as concerns the issues that Greenwald values, Ron Paul has been consistent.

Ten Bears said...

Greenwald has grow rather "gauche" of late.

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Anonymous said...

"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."

Sort of like the way a lot of progressives pretended to be so very upset by things such as indefinite detention, obsessive secrecy and dead Muslim children when it was a GOP President doing them, only to turn around and smear those who actually still object to such things with imbecilic, predictably dishonest attacks like this (Ron Paul is Glenn Greenwald's hero! Next he'll idolize Rush Limbaugh!)?

If Rush Limbaugh does engage in the sort of unprincipled, partisan, low-life hackery you predict once there's a GOP President, he'll have plenty of progressive templates to guide him, including an excellent one found in this very space.

c u n d gulag said...

Yes, Mr. Greenwald,
And when the next GOP President engages in worse, much, much worse, he'll have plenty of Progressives and Liberals who decided not to vote for Obama, either by sitting out the election, or voting some 3rd, 4th, or 5th Party, to thank, and people like you who steered them to doing so - from your very space.

The lesser of two evils is never great - but now matter how you slice it, it's still the lesser of two evils.

Somehow, I doubt very much that President McCain and VP Sarah Palin would have done anything at all about health care, Lily Ledbetter, or the US auto industry - and I sure as Hell am sure they wouldn't have done anything about DADT. Except make it worse.

And if, by chance, the next President IS Mitt Romney, you can be sure that he'll reverse all of that, and go much further in taking this country back to before the Civil Rights Acts, to prove to his base his Conservative bona fides. And a complicit Republican Congress will be be cheering, and double-dog-daring him to go even further right. Much further. And so will every other Republican who may win the election.

Me? I prefer hanging on and waiting for the generational and demographical changes that may, or may not, come, to committing suicide.

But, that's me.
And I'm just a lone commenter. Not an influential blogger.

Steve M. said...

"We freedom-loving truth-tellers are rubber, you hypocrite liberals are glue" may be working for you these days, but it's not a sophisticated argument, Glenn. Try again.

And yes, Glenn, I'm sure Rush Limbaugh needs the example of liberals in order to engage in "partisan, low-life hackery," because he's had such difficulty in the past managing that on his own, right?

Oh, and scouring the globe so you can lash out at every last critic, even a Z-list blogger like me, is no way to go through life, for someone at your level of influence. It's -- how can I put this? -- Palinesque.

c u n d gulag said...

I should add, though, that I don't disagree with you on what's being done in this countries name. But it was it was the cowards in Congress, including a boat load of useless 'Red Dog' ('cause there ain't nothin' blue about 'em) and cowardly Democrats, who stopped Obama from trying the Gitmo prisoners in regular courts of law. And serving any time, if found guilty, in US prisons.

And the worst aspects of the bill that he just signed were put in by the Republican lunatics in the House, wrapped around defense outlays. Which was a politically brilliant move by the Republicans because, he could either veto it, thus falling into 'the Democrats are weak on defense' meme, or sign it, and further weaken support from the left. And since he didn't do the former, the latter has worked as intended.
Obama did issue a signing statement, for all that's worth.

I don't fault you for pointing these things out. They need to be. Nor do I blame you and others for trying to steer the President into doing better. And into doing the right things. In my own way, I'm trying to do the same thing.

The problem I have is taking a couple of good things out of what Ron Paul is saying, and not also at the same shining a light at his other, truly horrible, positions.
Even a stopped clock...

Ok, I've yapped enough this morning.

c u n d gulag said...

And I just noticed that he wrote that comment around 4 this morning.

It is Palinesque.

But there's also some Nixonian level of paranoia there - an insecure person looking for "enemies" in the middle of the night, and responding while they're asleep.

And you're on my A-list, buddy, so don't put yourself down!

You're taking me as a commenter down with you when you do that. ;-)

Improbable Joe said...

I'm still trying to figure out how any or even all of Obama's very obvious flaws somehow validate Paul's nearly complete lack of positive qualities. I mean, Obama's sort of a terrible president in a lot of ways IMO. If people choose not to vote for him on principle then I get that. But to even for a minute suggest that Ron Paul is doing something good with his wackaloon ideas? Really?

Hey, I'm going to grab that unwashed bearded guy with the sandwich board that says "bring the troops home" on one side and "aliens raped me and control the White House" on the other side, and we're going to be cool because he's against the war just like me! He's really adding a useful and necessary voice to the discussion.

Steve M. said...

And finally: What Katha Pollitt said.

c u n d gulag said...

I suppose that Glenn found writing 4,401 words defending himself a lot easier than taking the time to reflect - and, in 3,398 less words, write - "I was wrong."

Ah, but such is ego...

ProfBob62 said...

Glenn Greenwald was not wrong. He explained VERY clearly in his post that he was not endorsing Paul. All you morons denouncing him need to go back to grade school to learn basic reading comprehension. Greenwald is one of the smartest bloggers around. He is what we call a public intellectual -- not a politician. What would the level of our public discourse be if we couldn't really talk about certain issues and ideas just because they don't fit easily into the mentality of our asinine two-party system? You can never criticize a candidate of your own party for ANYTHING because it might be misconstrued as support for the even worse alternative? I'm glad that at least a few of our commentators/bloggers/columnists won't be constrained by such nonsense.

c u n d gulag said...

"Greenwald is one of the smartest bloggers around. He is what we call a public intellectual -- not a politician."

Back off everyone!

You can criticize Obama all you want, but you can't criticize Glenn because he's a "smart blogger," and a "public intellecual" - not a "politician!"

If you were to ever read this blog on a regular basis, you would know that Steve criticizes Obama and the Democrats regularly. He beats on all of them like a kid on a new toy drum. And the commenters, too. And our stupid two-party system comes in for a lot of derision and scorn. We're not the bunch of simpleton Obamabot's you seem to take us for.

But you don't.
You came here to make your point. You made your defense. Thank you. You can go back now.
Or, stick around and read, and see what this community is like. And comment whenever you like. We like spirited conversation, as long as it's not talking points.

And "public intellectual" - really?
I'm of Russian descent, and that sounds very "Russian" - like something I've read in novels.

Steve M. said...

Roy Edroso:

Greenwald carefully stresses that he doesn't support Paul, but when you read his description of Obama ... [a]nd then read him on Paul ... [t]hen you have to ask: If he feels that way, how can he not support Ron Paul? Obama as described by Greenwald is a tyrannical monster, and Paul's the only guy with any meaningful support willing to oppose his tyranny. From this perspective it would seem practically a war crime not to start up a government in exile and oppose Generalissimo Obama by any means necessary.

Steve M. said...

And thank you, gulag -- Jesus, I don't attack Democrats? Since when?