Debunking the “Ron Paul Cares About Civil Liberties” Myth

Long-time Balloonbagger TVHilton is guest blogging over at No More Mister Nice Blog, and he penned a post that is well worth reading:

Last week Glenn Greenwald won the Dumbest Tweet of the Week award with this beauty, about Ron Paul:

Of course, this is laughable to anyone familiar with Paul’s positions on, say, abortion, or the Civil Rights Act (Dave Neiwert has a great piece on this). It’s also ridiculous in the light of the vicious racism in Ron Paul’s newsletters. Greenwald’s response on the former was to point to his terribly-clever1 use of the weasel word “many”; the latter, he dismissed with an airy “they all have serious flaws”.

Greenwald has since doubled down on his tweet, describing Paul as “the only candidate in either party now touting” the “foreign policy and civil liberties values Democrats spent the Bush years claiming to defend”. All of which says much more about Greenwald’s extremly narrow (Libertarian-friendly) conception of “civil liberties” than about either the President or Ron Paul.

But even on its own terms–even excluding niggling little concerns like women’s autonomy or enforcing the equal protection clause or separation of church and state–Greenwald’s comment is fatally wrongheaded. Paul’s positions on issues like military intervention, surveillance, and the drug war may converge with the positions of civil libertarians, but they aren’t really based on civil liberties as we liberals understand the term.

A lot of prog love for Ron Paul is based on his national defense policies: “Avoid long and expensive land wars that bankrupt our country….eliminat[e] waste in a trillion-dollar military budget.” An anti-war stance, naturally enough, sounds pretty good to anti-war liberals. Paul opposed the Iraq War from the beginning (as, of course, did Obama); that buys him a lot of goodwill.

But the nature of his anti-war stance is fundamentally different from that of liberal opposition to any given war. The tipoff is in his opposition to foreign aid, and his anti-United Nations position: he’s anti-war because the rest of the world just isn’t worth it. His is not the pacifism of the anti-war movement but the nativist isolationism of the America-Firsters; Paul is “to the left of Obama” the way Lindbergh was to the left of Roosevelt. (That may be true in a fairly literal sense, although I wouldn’t trust anything from Big Government without further corroboration.)

Similarly, Paul’s positions on civil liberties issues aren’t actually about civil liberties as we understand them; they’re about his opposition to Federal authority. (An opposition that is somewhat conditional, it should be noted.) For example, in talking about the death penalty, he makes clear that he opposes it only at the Federal level. His opposition to the PATRIOT Act, the War on Drugs, and domestic surveillance come from the same root as his opposition to the Civil Rights Act. He has no real objection to states violating the rights of their citizens; it’s only a problem if the Feds do it.

The assumption underlying this is that people are freer when states (as opposed to the Federal government) have more power. Now, it may seem obvious to some of us that the distinction between one arbitrary administrative unit and another isn’t exactly a human rights issue, but let’s just consider for a moment: does state or local control actually translate to more liberty?

I understand that progressives praise Ron Paul’s foreign policy and Paul’s anti-war stance, but I don’t entirely understand why.  What I find puzzling is the belief that these views make Ron Paul liberal or liberalish or lefty. They don’t. I don’t believe that Paul’s stance stems from some expression of humanity or concern about the victims of U.S. drone strikes. (Notably (or perhaps not), the CIA has suspended drone strikes in Pakistan). I agree with TVHilton that Paul is isolationist and anti-government, and I think Paul maintains those positions  only when it suits him. That Paul recently signed the personhood pledge along with the other GOP nutbags flies in the face of the “I heart civil liberties and personal freedom” mantra which civil liberties/libertarian bloggers (like Conor Friedersdorf and Glenn Greenwald) often ascribe to Paul.

And while I agree that a national conversation about our foreign policy and global imperialism is desperately warranted, ultimately, I’m not willing to give up, for example, my reproductive freedom to have such a conversation, a conversation that will ultimately be futile because any president that would seek to impose  isolationist policies, including withdrawing aid to Israel, would without a doubt be hamstrung by Congress.  Of course, Paul’s views that the Civil Rights Act impinges personal freedom are of great concern to me, not because I fear that he would somehow undo or attempt to repeal the Civil Rights Act, but because I fear that a Department of Justice under Ron Paul would simply stop caring about upholding the various provisions of the Civil Rights Act and would stop caring about how the Civil Rights Acts affects minority rights in this country.  Would a DOJ under President Paul shoot down the South Carolina voter ID laws?  I doubt it.

So, am I monster for caring more about my uterus and the rights of minorities and the underclass than I am about the victims of drone strikes in a foreign land? Maybe. But I’m ok with it.

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455 replies
  1. 1
    KG says:

    When it comes to law and politics, I take the approach that so many of my law school professors took: I’m more interested in how you got to your position than what your position actually is.

    That’s hard for a lot of people to do though. Most look at the final result and figure that the other person got there by the same methodology. That’s. Of always the case. That’s also not to say you can’t work with people who got the same answer via a different means, but you gotta know going in how they got there

  2. 2
    TheF79 says:

    As I said yesterday in a dead thread, Ron Paul has no problem with a boot stomping on the face of liberty, provided that boot comes from your local or state government and not Washington D.C.

  3. 3
    The Other Chuck says:

    Here’s something that should shut the Paulbots up: ask them what power Ron Paul plans to exercise to end the war on drugs without the approval of congress.

    Should, but won’t of course.

  4. 4
    The Other Chuck says:

    @TheF79:

    Or a corporation or a church.

  5. 5
    sherifffruitfly says:

    ronpaul and the paulbots care GREATLY for civil liberties.

    But only for white folks. Anyone else can FOAD, as far as they’re concerned.

  6. 6
    Corner Stone says:

    Hey, I’ve got an idea. How about you just FP Shoq and be done with it.

  7. 7
    lawguy says:

    Ive said before that he is no worse than the pther reubicans running, and in some ways better. And on those issues listed in the twitter Paul is indeed closer to a liberal position than Obama is.

  8. 8
    Marc says:

    I have an idea: let’s discuss the topic of the post.

  9. 9
    Satanicpanic says:

    @sherifffruitfly: And Civil Liberties is defined as- my right to do what I want to whomever I want.

  10. 10
    Rob says:

    “Many” is a weasel word? The statement Greenwald made is objectively true. AFAIK Greenwald hasn’t said that he endorses Ron Paul or that he will vote for him; he has pointed out that he’s to the left of Obama on certain issues. Is anyone seriously disputing that?

  11. 11
    Zifnab says:

    I understand that progressives praise Ron Paul’s foreign policy and Paul’s anti-war stance, but I don’t entirely understand why.

    For the same reason conservatives love to quote from The New Republic. Ron Paul is our “Even the deeply conservative Congressman from Texas believes…” He’s our new conservative friend. The guy we can bring to the Christmas Party with all the Bush-loving relatives. When someone says “I love Newt Gingrich. He’s totally my top pick for the GOP nomination”, I can smile and nod and say, “That’s swell, but have you considered this other guy who isn’t totally gung-ho about nationalizing Manhattan to block a Muslim civic center or nuking Mexico to end immigration?”

    Ron Paul is just liberal enough such that I’m not afraid to pretend to support him, but just conservative enough such that Republicans aren’t afraid to consider his policies. He might be a terrible politician, but he serves a useful rhetorical purpose for bridging the ideological divide.

  12. 12
    Pangloss says:

    Glenn Greenwald keeps pitching his civil liberties tent with avowed racists. First, he defended neo Nazi Matt Hale (whose disciple Benjamin Smith went on a three day killing spree of minorities). Now he sides with racist newsletter author Ron Paul in an attempt to siphon “Progressive” support from America’s first Black president.

    It it a pattern, or just bad optics from coincidence?

  13. 13
    different-church-lady says:

    It occurs to me that if Greenwald wanted to be a person of integrity, rather than merely a “serious person”, he wouldn’t Tweet at all, never mind Tweeting shit.

  14. 14
    PeakVT says:

    Paul would be useful to the left if he changed the debate within the GOP on civil liberties and militarism. He hasn’t and he won’t.

  15. 15
    BO_Bill says:

    :)

  16. 16
    slag says:

    So, am I monster for caring more about my uterus and the rights of minorities and the underclass than I am about the victims of drone strikes in a foreign land? Maybe. But I’m ok with it.

    This is interesting…even as someone who cares deeply about both, I actually understand this position. I’m not sure I understand the opposite position wherein someone cares more about foreign drone strikes than about the rights of US women, minorities, and the underclass. Which I guess means that, if I can’t have the best of both worlds, I gotta go with the world that ABL wants over that of Glennzilla. It may be tribal on both counts, but after thinking about it, I have to prefer the tribe that I’m actually apart of.

    Nicely argued!

  17. 17
    different-church-lady says:

    @Rob:

    Is anyone seriously disputing that?

    It strikes me that the linked blog is seriously disputing that. In fact, it is the premise of the entire post, no?

  18. 18
    geg6 says:

    You said it, girl. All I need to hear is that someone considers him or herself (though I’ve yet to meet a female Paulbot or, hell, even a female libertarian) a Paulbot and I know immediately that nothing they say can possibly be taken seriously. They are too stupid, too self-deluded, and too lacking in human decency to associate with other than to mock, mercilessly. Especially the so-called civil libertarians. Funny how they are only concerned with the civil liberties of white males, isn’t it?

  19. 19
    Cat Lady says:

    @sherifffruitfly:

    But only for white folks men.

    Fixt.

  20. 20
    Schlemizel says:

    @KG:
    I took a law class in college, taught by a former County Att. He would assign reading on a topic & then during class he would provide a ‘case’ and call on someone to decide it. He didn’t care which way you chose he would argue the opposite & force you to explain why you decided that way. The only sin was to not be able to explain why.

    That class taught me a lot about how to think a problem through and how to argue my point. Knowing how someone cam to a position is much more important that what the position is.

  21. 21
    Mack Lyons says:

    I’m starting to think that “civil liberties” is being used as the new code word du jour of “states rights.”

  22. 22
    Zifnab says:

    @The Other Chuck:

    ask them what power Ron Paul plans to exercise to end the war on drugs without the approval of congress.

    He’d have domain over both the DoJ and the DEA. And he could nominate a host of libertarian USAs that agree to simply sideline all existing drug enforcement cases. Beyond that, he could just carpet pardon every convict with a federal drug crime sentence.

    I mean, none of these moves would be terribly wise or popular in execution. And I wouldn’t be surprised if – in trying to buck the law by force – he got himself impeached. But as President, he’d certainly have the authority to perform them.

    Hell, if he wanted to go absolutely ape-shit, he could just sack whole bureaucracies en mass. Even if an executive order didn’t stick, it would create such a regulatory nightmare that laws would go unenforced indefinitely.

  23. 23
    Cat Lady says:

    And geg6 beat me to it by that much.

  24. 24
    Baud says:

    @Zifnab: Ron Paul could shut down the entire federal government simply by not nominating any cabinet members or agency heads.

  25. 25
    KG says:

    @slag: Why can’t we agree with someone on a couple of issues and disagree with them on others? Has American politics really been reduced to sports fandom where if you love the Lakers you have to hate the Celtics? Is it really Team Red and Team Blue and never the two shall mix?

    Fuck, we really are screwed

  26. 26
    Satanicpanic says:

    @Rob: Uh sure. Because we’re trying to compare Candidate Paul to President Obama based on the idea that these are the same things AND that Paul always sticks to his word. FWIW, Ron Paul hasn’t stuck the same story when it comes to his newsletter, so I don’t see why he’s getting a special pass here. Compare candidate Paul and candidate Obama and I don’t see how Paul is to the left of Obama.

  27. 27

    Funny thing, the State of California is larger than most countries in area, economy, and size of government so I’m supposed to be impressed that he’d prefer California to make whatever decisions it cares about its citizen’s Civil Liberties? Ron Paul’s reasoning is about as specious as it gets and people who’re impressed by it are intellectually deficient.

    It matters that you came up with “4” but it matters more that the question was about 2+2 and not 3+3. Libertarians don’t give a damn about much more than playing at word games. EDK’s tell was his repeated use of the term “free market” when no such thing has ever existed other than in their fevered imagination, including their often misused and misquoted hero Adam Smith.

    I can understand high school boys being impressed with this junk, but they need to find a real sex partner other than the blow up doll.

  28. 28
    sherifffruitfly says:

    @Cat Lady:

    :) tyvm.

  29. 29
    Tom Hilton says:

    @different-church-lady: Exactly. And for @Rob‘s benefit, I’ll elucidate: positions that coincide with liberal positions, but flow from premises that are inimical to liberalism, are not actually liberal positions. In other words, Ron Paul isn’t “to the left of Obama” on anything.

  30. 30
    Baud says:

    I’m not willing to give up, for example, my reproductive freedom to have such a conversation,

    You’re missing the point, which is that we are willing to give up your reproductive freedom to have such a conversation.

    /s

  31. 31
    Satanicpanic says:

    @Mack Lyons: By 2011 you can’t say “state’s rights” — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like civil liberties, and all that stuff.

  32. 32
    4tehlulz says:

    Sometimes it is about the company you keep.

    (Inb4 Sully and Glenn disavow any of their Paul apologia.)

  33. 33
    Tom Hilton says:

    And thanks so much for posting this, ABL! It’s a real honor.

    Of course, Paul’s views that the Civil Rights Act impinges personal freedom are of great concern to me, not because I fear that he would somehow undo or attempt to repeal the Civil Rights Act, but because I fear that a Department of Justice under Ron Paul would simply stop caring about upholding the various provisions of the Civil Rights Act and would stop caring about how the Civil Rights Acts affects minority rights in this country.

    Which, in fact, is exactly what the Justice Department did under George Bush (turning that around is one of Obama’s great unsung achievements). So that fear is extremely well-founded.

  34. 34
    slag says:

    @KG: Honestly, I’d prefer not to have to choose. But I think Tom Hilton has a good point in that the source of Paul’s policy positions lies in anti-Federalism. And anti-Federalism really does not coincide with my best interests in many, many areas. I’m not an isolationist or anti-interventionist. I just prefer my interventions to be in the form of freedom schools, doctors, and roads rather than freedom bombs. I think that’s a big difference between my policy ideas and Paul’s. Add to that my preference for my personal freedom and welfare, and really, why would I agree with Ron Paul on anything?

    It’s not like he’s the only person in the world who thinks the drug war is bad for America. He doesn’t have much chance of winning an election. Why should I, as a liberal, hold him up as an example when there are many, many others in this country who would better meet my criteria? Because Ron Paul’s a C-list celebrity? Who gives a shit?

  35. 35
    MikeJ says:

    @Schlemizel:

    Knowing how someone cam to a position is much more important that what the position is.

    If the position is that black people and gays and teh joos and women are subhuman, I don’t give a shit how they came to that position.

  36. 36
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    EDK’s tell was his repeated use of the term “free market” when no such thing has ever existed other than in their fevered imagination, including their often misused and misquoted hero Adam Smith.

    The opening chapters of The Wealth of Nations describes the ideal, under “perfect liberty”, situation for markets to function.

    The rest of the book explains how reality deviates from “perfect liberty”.

    Libertarians don’t bother to read past the first few chapters. Furthermore, it’s amazing easy to troll a Libertarian site with quotations from Smith that appear, at first stupid glance of the Libertarian, to be excerpts from Marx.

  37. 37
    ornerycurmudgeon says:

    @different-church-lady: “It occurs to me that if Greenwald wanted to be a person of integrity, rather than merely a “serious person”, he wouldn’t Tweet at all, never mind Tweeting shit.”

    Are people on Twitter lacking in integrity, or does the Tweeting process itself eliminate integrity … ?

  38. 38
    Comrade Mary says:

    @KG:

    Why can’t we agree with someone on a couple of issues and disagree with them on others?

    Feel free to agree and disagree as you like. But we don’t elect positions. We elect people.

    And when there’s an overlay between a few positions that you arrive at through sane, empathetic, progressive reasoning, and that people like Paul arrive at through mean-spirited fuckwittery, pointing out those few commonalities while ignoring the divergent paths and reasoning, let alone ignoring the many positions where you don’t just disagree, but strongly disagree — well, that’s just wanking.

    tl;dr: time for Godwin! Hitler loved animals. Hitler painted roses. Why spend so much time pointing out the areas where we disagree with Hitler?

  39. 39
    Thoughtcrime says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    I can understand high school boys being impressed with this junk, but they need to find a real sex partner other than the blow up doll.

    Libertarians and the Real Girl?

    Greenwald on a date:

    http://manolobig.com/wordpress.....-girl1.jpg

  40. 40
    Anya says:

    So, am I monster for caring more about my uterus and the rights of minorities and the underclass than I am about the victims of drone strikes in a foreign land? Maybe. But I’m ok with it.

    Why can’t you care about both? Also, too, thanks for highlighting GG’s dumb reasoning.

    I would love to argue but I am on the road, heading to a mind numbing meeting. I might shoot someone at the end of the meeting, so I’ve asked the husband to be ready with the bail money.

  41. 41

    @Zifnab: #11

    Some of my best friends are libertarians?

  42. 42
    BO_Bill says:

    Gotta love those civil libertarians who silence people they disagree with.

  43. 43
    Yevgraf says:

    @TheF79:

    Ron Paul has no problem with a boot stomping on the face of liberty, provided that boot comes from your local or state government and not Washington D.C.

    Ron Paul’s goal is a pretty-sounding, but legally unenforceable set of rights in the Constitution. What he proposes is a set of theophanic racist baronies which would then ultimately link up and become the instrument by which the non-theophanic areas of the country (New England, New York, SF, SoCal, the Pac NW) have their remaining freedoms crushed as a matter of national will.

    He’s a little old to become the final wielder of the holy cudgel of faith and white supremacy, but that fuckwit that he spawned isn’t.

  44. 44
  45. 45
    Norwonk says:

    While it’s true that we usually have to settle for the lesser evil on election day, it’s hard to imagine a situation where Ron Paul would be the lesser evil.

  46. 46
    Tom Hilton says:

    Also well worth reading: Matt Osborne takes down Greenwals’s Obama-bashing & Ron Paul love. Really, go and read the whole thing.

  47. 47
    different-church-lady says:

    @ornerycurmudgeon:

    Are people on Twitter lacking in integrity, or does the Tweeting process itself eliminate integrity … ?

    I’m still studying the issue, but I have a gut level feeling it’s both at the same time.

  48. 48
    Thoughtcrime says:

    OT: the Mittster displays his human touch in holding a baby:

    http://yfrog.com/h4a2lrfj

  49. 49
    Chyron HR says:

    @BO_Bill:

    For someone who’s so “silenced” we sure do hear a lot of yapping from your general direction.

  50. 50
    geg6 says:

    And only a complete idiot could possibly say that Ron Paul is to the left of President Obama on anything, up to and including the issues of war and the war on some illegal drugs. I’m sure that if you untethered Obama from any sort of restraints on his powers from reality, he’d happily legalize pot and never get involved in any military adventures. After all, he toked himself back in the day and he seems to want to limit US military commitments, based on his criticisms of the Iraq War and his winding down of Iraq and Afghanistan and his strategy in Libya. But, unlike Ron Paul and his acolytes, he has to live in the real world, where there are many restraints on what a president can and should do. And the reasons that Paul is called somehow “liberal” are not because he has a liberal or progressive view of them, but because his idiotic ideology simply doesn’t want the federal government to have ANY powers and would be perfectly happy to let a state toss you in prison for life for smoking a joint or encourage people to invade Mexico if the hippies in America ever decide to become vicious brownshirts and crack down on freedumb loving assholes and white supremacist militiamen.

    Fuck Ron Paul and fuck ANYONE who defends him or his even-more-sick-and-perverse-and-hypocritical-than-even-Ayn-Rand libertarianism.

  51. 51
    Barry says:

    @Zifnab: “He’d have domain over both the DoJ and the DEA. And he could nominate a host of libertarian USAs that agree to simply sideline all existing drug enforcement cases. Beyond that, he could just carpet pardon every convict with a federal drug crime sentence.”

    Is there anything in his history to indicate that he’d do such actions? I mean actually do; I’m unimpressed with a Rep’s impotent speech.

  52. 52
    Darkrose says:

    I was mostly through with Glenn in 2008, when the Ron Paul newsletter thing first came up and he went through all kinds of contortions trying to explain it away, finally ending up with “Leave Ron Paul Alone!” I realized then that Glenn’s priorities weren’t mine.

  53. 53
    different-church-lady says:

    @geg6:

    But, unlike Ron Paul and his acolytes his own self-proclaimed “base”, [Obama] has to live in the real world, where there are many restraints on what a president can and should do.

    There, that should work properly for another couple of years.

  54. 54
    Mathias says:

    Oh, how shocking. ABL drastically misunderstands a fairly straightforward statement and then goes on a long and winding road to martyrdom. You’re such a complete waste of space and time and I have no understanding of why you’re invited to post here. Your posts and mere presence here are a blight on the blog.

    Don’t bother blocking me, as you always do. I’ll go into self-imposed exile for another period of time while you keep your comment thread pure, you fucking ticking pituitary bomb.

  55. 55
    Allan says:

    @Anya:

    Why can’t you care about both?

    ABL:

    So, am I monster for caring more about my uterus and the rights of minorities and the underclass than I am about the victims of drone strikes in a foreign land?

    Emphasis added to draw your attention to what you missed in your rush to comment. Good luck with your meeting!

  56. 56
    carpeduum says:

    When is Cole gonna man up and admit he is more than a little Paul curious? Everyone knows he regularly drinks the Greenwald koolaid so it’s a forgone conclusion he also agrees with this.

  57. 57
    carpeduum says:

    @lawguy: BAhahahahahaha!

  58. 58
    eric says:

    @Tom Hilton: you have hit on the quintessential problem with all absolutist moral discourse. Notwithstanding the belief in objective, absolute truth makers (correspondence, self-evidence, coherence, clear and distinct, etc), the truth experience is personal in a way that cannot be directly communicated (absent vulcan mind-meld). Thus, while I can try to convey the truth of a moral proposition with reasoning, words, arguments, and logic, none of it will suffice to serve as your justification for determining the truth of a given moral proposition until you have the necessary subjective truth experience.

    Yet, in practice I care about your social actions and so I speak as many “truth” and “morals” languages as possible to get you to have that internal experience. In the end, I don’t care what reasoning gets you to act or not-act, so long as you don’t shoot me and do shoot the man with a gun to my head.

    Greenwald is assuming that practical agreement, even if desirable, is equivalent to agreement on first moral principles and even as to the nature of truth. Such can never be the case…and perhaps in many cases, we just don’t care why you do what you do(justification for ending slavery or stopping the Shoah). This is one of those cases where it matters because there are other actions that follow from first principles for which we disagree with the very core of our being (reproductive freedom, equal social opportunity).

  59. 59
    carpeduum says:

    @Rob: Are you seriously disputing that Greenwald is a libertarian??? Take his Gary Johnson for prez endorsement for example. The same Gary Johnson that opposes civil rights and child labour laws.

  60. 60
    Larv says:

    @Satanicpanic:

    Because we’re trying to compare Candidate Paul to President Obama based on the idea that these are the same things

    This. It drives me nuts when people compare what candidates say what they would do as President while on the campaign trail with what Obama has actually done. Because we all know that implementing your agenda is simply a matter of wishing hard enough, there are no restrictions on what the President can do, and there aren’t any bowls of shit he has to eat.

  61. 61
    dedc79 says:

    Even on the terms Greenwald lays out, I don’t know that Paul is to the left of Obama. For example, Obama didn’t get us into the Iraq war did he? Maybe Paul would have gotten us out a little more quickly. We’ll never know because he didn’t have the responsibility of finding a safe and efficient way to do that. Greenwald consistently ignored the roadblocks republicans and democratic cowards put up to things like closing Guantanamo. Paul would have an even harder time getting that done.

    Also being on the left does not mean being isolationist. Paul has said he wouldn’t have authorized going to war with Germany in WWII. This showed (1) he doesn’t know history very well and (2) there is no liberalism behind his isolationism.

  62. 62
  63. 63
    TG Chicago says:

    Greenwald says that Paul is to the left of Obama on many civil liberties issues. That, of course, is true. So those who feel a need to defend Obama simply claim that “many” is a “weasel word”. Ridiculous.

    It is also true the Obama is to the left of Paul on many civil liberties issues. Why is it so hard for people to accept that Paul is to the left of Obama on many others? It’s a simple fact.

    Fortunately, ABL is willing to openly admit that Obama is simply the better choice for her particular civil liberties views. That’s perfectly fine. But why is Greenwald a monster for weighing innocent children’s lives (which Paul would surely save by ending drone attacks) over abortion rights (which Paul as president could likely do little to change)?

  64. 64
    eric says:

    @TG Chicago: here is a more stark example: being against the drug war because you think only african americans do drugs and thus you are effectively letting them kill themselves off is not to the “left” of obama even if one accepts the proposition that “ending the war of drugs” is a left-proposition.

  65. 65
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @TG Chicago:

    Indeed

    Why does anyone have to fit the template for every subjective issue? I just ask that a politico keep his promises, or STFU. If you can’t keep it, keep your yap shut.

  66. 66
    eric says:

    @Benjamin Franklin: the issue raised here is different….i can ally myself with someone to accomplish an end that both agree on even if we disagree on the first principles on getting us there. But the mistake is to make a judgment about our first principles (ie, leftness) simply because we agree on a few outcomes. that is the complaint here.

  67. 67
    JGabriel says:

    @Tom Hilton:

    … positions that coincide with liberal positions, but flow from premises that are inimical to liberalism, are not actually liberal positions. In other words, Ron Paul isn’t “to the left of Obama” on anything.

    This, exactly. Thanks for elucidating it with such clarity.

    .

  68. 68
    dead existentialist says:

    @Thoughtcrime: Oh mercy! Thanks for that bit of hilarity.

  69. 69
    Soonergrunt says:

    One of Ron Paul’s major supporters in Iowa has repeatedly called for the death penalty for homosexuality.
    Interestingly, Dr. Paul has never disavowed this man’s support.
    How does his ‘nod’s as good as a wink’ attitude towards state execution of homosexuals jibe with Glenn Greenwald’s position on Ron Paul?

  70. 70
    MacKenna says:

    If this doesn’t tell you all you need to know about Ron Paul, nothing will.

    “Under a Ron Paul presidency, states would be freed up to not have political correctness imposed on them,” says a fringe loon pastor who would like to impose the death penalty on homosexuals.

    “Difficulty in implementing Biblical law does not make non-Biblical penology just,” he argued. “But as we have seen, while many homosexuals would be executed, the threat of capital punishment can be restorative. Biblical law would recognize as a matter of justice that even if this law could be enforced today, homosexuals could not be prosecuted for something that was done before.”

    Paul’s Iowa chair, Drew Ivers, recently touted the endorsement of Rev. Phillip G. Kayser, a pastor at the Dominion Covenant Church in Nebraska who also draws members from Iowa, putting out a press release praising “the enlightening statements he makes on how Ron Paul’s approach to government is consistent with Christian beliefs.” But Kayser’s views on homosexuality go way beyond the bounds of typical anti-gay evangelical politics and into the violent fringe: he recently authored a paper arguing for criminalizing homosexuality and even advocated imposing the death penalty against offenders based on his reading of Biblical law.

  71. 71
    cc says:

    i have come from the planet ronpaulian with gifts of many fruitcakes whore’s and free crack please vote 4 me

  72. 72
    Tom Hilton says:

    @TG Chicago: Dennis Kucinich is to the left of Obama on many issues. Bernie Sanders is to the left of Obama on many issues. Ron Paul is not to the left of Obama on anything.

    Once again: positions that coincide with liberal positions are not actually liberal if they flow from premises that are inimical to liberalism.

  73. 73
    MacKenna says:

    @Soonergrunt: Beat me to it.

  74. 74
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Soonergrunt: Glenn lives in Brazil, not Iowa. Don’t worry, fan-boys, he’s safe!

    (Yeah, I expect Paul to wake the fuck up and issue a perfunctory disavowal soon enough, but there’s a chance he’ll just get pissy with any journalist pinning him on this issue.)

  75. 75
    freelancer says:

    @MacKenna:

    I think Nebraska just found it’s next Senate candidate!

  76. 76
    The Moar You Know says:

    Greenwald continues his quixotic quest for the title of “World’s Dumbest Man”.

    I’m sure you’ll all join with me in wishing him luck in this endeavor.

  77. 77
    eric says:

    @Tom Hilton: Tom, I think it is just as erroneous to say those folks are to the left of Obama on the issues. They are to the left of obama, period, in that, among other things, they have less faith in the market and financial industries and believe that people and their government has a greater responsibility to assure real opportunity for all of america’s citizens.

  78. 78
    geg6 says:

    Wonder how Glen Greenwald feels about the guy Paul has working for him in Iowa who advocates for the death penalty for homosexuals? Who says that Paul’s state’s rights stance would make it so that states could decide that homosexuality was a capital offense, so that, even though Paul probably wouldn’t do the same at the federal level, it’s all good because all he’d need is some states where the execution of the gheys sounds fine and dandy and the executions can commence!

    If you don’t believe me, go on over to TPM and read all about it.

  79. 79
    slag says:

    @TG Chicago:

    But why is Greenwald a monster for weighing innocent children’s lives (which Paul would surely save by ending drone attacks) over abortion rights (which Paul as president could likely do little to change)?

    Let’s be honest. For a change, Greenwald’s typical rhetoric looks positively unhinged compared to the rhetoric used by ABL here. He may not use the word monster, but he has no problem tossing around the terms “acolyte” and “follower” to name a couple. And as for your assertion that Paul–as President–would be a preserver rather than a destroyer of things liberals tend to care most about, we’ll just have to agree to disagree give me a fucking break.

  80. 80
    WeeBey says:

    1. Isolationism is not liberal.

    2. Anyone who says Ron Fucking Paul is to the left of Barack Obama on “civil liberties” has lost the fucking plot. The man wants an amendment to the constitution making a fetus a person and would repeal the Civil Rights Act. For fuck’s sake.

  81. 81
    Soonergrunt says:

    @MacKenna: It’s all good! You at least went to the effort to put some context on the page.

    @Comrade Mary: I’m not a fan boy of Glenn’s. I live in the real world. While it would be interesting to see how Glenn squares that circle, I think he’ll probably just ignore it. I wonder how his fan boys here will deal with it.

  82. 82
    shortstop says:

    Ron Paul cares deeply about civil liberties. Every civil liberty he as a white straight male might possibly be denied — he cares about each and every one of them. If it involves uteri and buttsecks and black skin and gross stuff like that, uh uh.

  83. 83
    Jewish Steel says:

    Where’s GG’s emanuensis foremost interpreter lickspittle, Mona?

  84. 84
    BO_Bill says:

    The Democrat Party is the party of civil liberties. Especially when females are in charge. This is because females are more compassionate than males, and introduce a more civil approach than their male counterparts, when the subject of conflict resolution is considered.

    Now, if you are a male, close your eyes and imagine Hillary chasing you down a dark alleyway with a dull knife, staring at your private parts.

  85. 85
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Soonergrunt: Ack! Sorry, I wasn’t calling you a fan boy. I was calling the fan boys fan boys.

  86. 86
    different-church-lady says:

    @BO_Bill: You’re… odd.

  87. 87
    LT says:

    Shorter ABL:

    Oh look! I found someone who said something mean about a Tweet Glenn Greenwald made! This means I win!

  88. 88
    gaz says:

    For anyone who *still* needs the wax cleaned from their ears.

    THIS SHITE IS WHY I THINK GLENN GREENWALD IS A DISHONEST, MENDACIOUS HACK – AN OVERPRIVILEGED DOUCHEBAG, A TWIT, A GLIBERTARIAN ETC.

    Any questions?

    Yeah I thought not. Anyone *still* unclear on why GG is untrustworthy can go DIAF now. kthxbai

  89. 89
    LT says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Hey, I’ve got an idea. How about you just FP Shoq and be done with it.

    Did you see this, John?

  90. 90
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Skepticism about war isn’t left. Skepticism about drug policy isn’t left. Greenwald, and most of the people who enjoy Greenwald’s writing, have a truly fucked-beyond-all-recognition definition of “left.”

    It’s pretty obvious to anyone who knows anything about the left-right continuum that Paul isn’t “left” on anything. Paul happens to prioritize some notions of individual liberty over others in way that Greenwald likes. Paul is radically skeptical of (most forms of) federal power, and so is Greenwald, and Obama is not. That doesn’t provide any information about who is and isn’t “left.” It simply rehashes the narrow distinction between a libertarian and a civil libertarian.

    Greenwald calls it “left” because, like pronouncing “nuclear” nookyaler, it gets under people’s skins. And because he likes to flatter himself.

  91. 91

    Hmmmm. Getting the strong impression that Paul is okay with a lot of these line items if the State did it. Or so he says. Wonder if his Confederacy leanings have anything to do with his Fed-Hate Syndrome.

  92. 92
  93. 93
    LT says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Skepticism about war isn’t left.

    Yes it fucking is.

  94. 94
    MacKenna says:

    @LT: I’m not an ABL fan, but Greenwald is being completely idiotic with this Paul support.

  95. 95
    slag says:

    @LT: Really? Criticizing someone for reductionism while being reductionist yourself isn’t exactly the most persuasive approach to the issue. If you’re not going to deal with the material as it’s presented, why even comment?

  96. 96
    Chyron HR says:

    It sure is fascinating how the same people who brag that they never bought into the lies of the “House Nigger” (TM FDL PAC) nonetheless believe without question that President Ron Paul will legalize pot and end all war forever.

  97. 97
    slag says:

    @LT: Do you consider isolationism to be a leftist ideal?

  98. 98
    Corner Stone says:

    So, I guess the relevant question is. Who here besides ABL , “Not even if I caught him fucking a goat” is 100% behind all the policies and decisions of this administration?

  99. 99
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @LT: Not so. Yes, there are leftists who are skeptical about war, like Jerry Rubin and Henry David Thoreau. There are also rightists who are skeptical about war, like Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan. Ergo, being skeptical about war has nothing to do with your placement on the left-right political spectrum.

  100. 100
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone: Why is that the “relevant question”? Because you’re bored and ornery again?

  101. 101
    NobodySpecial says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Skepticism about war isn’t left. Skepticism about drug policy isn’t left. Greenwald, and most of the people who enjoy Greenwald’s writing, have a truly fucked-beyond-all-recognition definition of “left.”

    Is it at base really any more fucked than considering Ben Nelson a member of the ‘left’ because he sports a D on his nametag?

    Democrats like to go around with the big tent rhetoric up until the point we find something we don’t like about some part of what the other guy believes. Then you start with the labeling. For what it’s worth, I think the national security apparatus that Obama is using to kill terrorists COULD one day make a handy framework for taking care of ‘domestic terrorists’, whoever they are under whatever future President comes along. I find defending Obama over that to be not smart. That make me a Paulite?

  102. 102
    Zifnab says:

    @Barry:

    Is there anything in his history to indicate that he’d do such actions? I mean actually do; I’m unimpressed with a Rep’s impotent speech.

    Well, the question was “What could Ron Paul do?” Not “What will Ron Paul do?” I suspect if he was actually in office, he’s govern just like any other President. He’d try to build consensus in Congress to achieve his policy objectives. He’d try to nominate close friends and political allies to high cabinet positions and make changes bureaucratically. He’d cut a lot of compromise deals to secure his primary goals. And he’d keep one eye firmly fixed on re-election.

    Now, what are Ron Paul’s real priorities? I can’t say because I can’t find much legislation he’s sponsored that actually went anywhere. He’s certainly got a number of passions, but none of them are particularly popular in Congress or the general public.

    Given that I don’t see Paul having much luck in the legislative arena, I really do predict he’d get frustrated and start going about systematically dismantling or undermining every bureaucracy at his fingertips. He’d make a lot of Constitutional hand gestures and announce “You can’t make me enforce the law”. And he’d veto the majority of legislation that crossed his desk, in much the way that he votes no on much of the legislation before the House.

    That’s my bet anyway.

  103. 103
    Citizen Alan says:

    @BO_Bill:

    Now, if you are a male, close your eyes and imagine Hillary chasing you down a dark alleyway with a dull knife, staring at your private parts.

    Hell, I’m a guy and I can imagine chasing you down a dark alleyway with a chainsaw staring at your private parts. Or perhaps squinting, since I imagine we’re talking about a baby carrot and two peas where your genitals are concerned.

  104. 104
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @NobodySpecial: Ben Nelson isn’t a member of the left at all, IMHO. Being leery of Obama’s policies on terrorism or detention or whatever is valid. It’s just not “left.” Neither is defending it. Neither view is any more on the left-right axis than it is on the spicy-bland axis.

  105. 105
    LT says:

    Hoo hoo, Hilton has a comment on hsi thread that says this:

    Thanks for your comment. I would disagree with the idea that Ron Paul’s anti-interventionism (or any other position) is, in fact, to the left of Obama. As I see it, positions that coincide with liberal positions

    Unbelievably funny. “It’s not true, it just coincides with the truth!”

    First. Class. Fuckery.

  106. 106
    Corner Stone says:

    @LT: It’s amusing to me that Cole fights this kind of mindless hoopla on his twitter feed, then turns around and has someone frontpage the same kind of nonsense jihad on his own blog.
    I mean hell, he’s got ABL, Zander and Allan all front paging here plus any other acolyte that’s dredged up. I’m not sure why he doesn’t just change the masthead to ACLC, Jr.

  107. 107
    IM says:

    @slag:

    Wasn’t there a tradition of left isolationism? Like William Jennings Bryan?

  108. 108

    @Zifnab:

    Now, what are Ron Paul’s real priorities? I can’t say because I can’t find much legislation he’s sponsored that actually went anywhere. He’s certainly got a number of passions, but none of them are particularly popular in Congress or the general public.

    Does the fact that his passions are not popular mean they somehow fail to reflect his real priorities? Ron Paul’s real priority is to make discrimination against minorities perfectly legal in this country once again.

    This is not hard to figure out. Well, unless someone is a young white male with a proclivity for marijuana. In which case, things are all fucked up for them right now.

  109. 109
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    GG utters more of his civil libertarian inanity? Nothing new, SSDD.

    When it comes to Obama, GG is insane in the membrane.

    @LT:

    Shorter LT: Herp Derp!

    It’s awful hard to talk with GG’s scrotum in your mouth, innit?

  110. 110
    LT says:

    @slag: No, I don’t. And I consider Ron Paul a complet dick. But some off his positions are demonstrably to the Left of Obama, and a whole bunch of other Dems right now. Why that is considered a big deal is because…

    …ABL got a boner about someone being mean to Greenwald.

  111. 111
    Corner Stone says:

    @FlipYrWhig: No, FlipYrNick. It’s because from the tweet itself it seems there isn’t a 100% mindmeld between the awful RP and the hated GG.
    Yet posters here, and Tommy Hilton himself are doing their best to make the case that GG is a 100% RP backer. Even though GG has gone out of the way to state he does not support RP.
    Now, maybe we should be discussing something else. And I await your benevolent guidance in that regard.

  112. 112
    LittlePig says:

    @Norwonk:

    While it’s true that we usually have to settle for the lesser evil on election day, it’s hard to imagine a situation where Ron Paul would be the lesser evil.

    Cthulhu is disappointed in your lack of faith.

  113. 113
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @IM: But the isolationism wouldn’t be the left part. That’s why everyone keeps getting confused. I don’t think it makes any more sense to say that Ron Paul is to Obama’s left on civil liberties than it would to say that David Koresh or Timothy McVeigh was. They don’t like federal surveillance either! You know, because they’re so “left”!

  114. 114
    Corner Stone says:

    @Midnight Marauder: Hey, how’s that Rick Perry for Prez website coming along?

  115. 115
    LT says:

    @Corner Stone: Just in case he misses it:

    @FlipYrWhig: No, FlipYrNick. It’s because from the tweet itself it seems there isn’t a 100% mindmeld between the awful RP and the hated GG.
    __
    Yet posters here, and Tommy Hilton himself are doing their best to make the case that GG is a 100% RP backer. Even though GG has gone out of the way to state he does not support RP.
    __
    Now, maybe we should be discussing something else. And I await your benevolent guidance in that regard.

  116. 116
    wrb says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I’m not sure why he doesn’t just change the masthead to ACLC, Jr.

    Now, that would be fitting.

    http://aclcpa.org/

  117. 117
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone: How about discussing whether concern about civil liberties is the particular province of the political left? You know, like the OP was, and many of the comments? If that bores you, it’s not like there aren’t dozens of other threads to “enjoy.”

  118. 118
    IM says:

    I still remember Glenns reaction when there was the article in TNR about the newsletters. It basically was:

    1) TNR in general and Kirchick in particular are war supporting neo-con scum

    2) ???

    3) Therefore the newsletters don’t matter.

    As much as I agreed with 1), I Never got how 3) followed.

  119. 119
    AA+ Bonds says:

    This is one of those issues where I encourage everyone to tell Glenn Greenwald to shut the fuck up, like I do, which has (hilariously) prompted him to personally call out my comments not once but twice, it’s nice to be loved :)

    He believes in this left-right combo fantasy and needs to get the hell over it if he wants people to keep taking him seriously

  120. 120
    Satanicpanic says:

    @LT: I said this before, but you’re comparing apples to oranges. Paul can go around saying whatever he wants- he’s just a candidate. Obama said the same damn things when he was a candidate. He had to modify those once he became president. What makes you think Paul is going to stick to those positions any more than Obama did?

  121. 121
    Nutella says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    EDK’s tell was his repeated use of the term “free market” when no such thing has ever existed other than in their fevered imagination, including their often misused and misquoted hero Adam Smith.

    I can understand high school boys being impressed with this junk, but they need to find a real sex partner other than the blow up doll.

    Yeah, it’s the naiveté of the young libertarians that’s so amazing. If only we didn’t have so much government everything would be sunshine and roses. Nobody needs protection from anyone or anything because people are just naturally and consistently good and reasonable.

    Here’s an example to show EDK’s idiocy: A woman wrote a blog post dissing his favorite TV show. EDK wrote a rebuttal. EDK’s followers rushed to comment on the woman’s blog with various choice epithets such as calling her a cunt because her taste in TV shows is different from theirs. When the woman mentioned that in her blog, EDK and one of his fellow ‘gentleman’ wrote that they knew she must be lying because none of their readers ever called them cunts so they were confident the readers would never call her that. This story is so typical of the level of empathy the baby libertarians have.

  122. 122
    Corner Stone says:

    @FlipYrWhig: This thread isn’t about that and you fucking well know it.
    It’s about ABL’s mindless twitter jihad against GG for criticizing President Obama.
    Period.

  123. 123
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Zifnab:

    And he’d keep one eye firmly fixed on re-election.

    Given the fact that he’ll be 77 on Inauguration Day (assuming God hates us and allows Paul to win) and will be 81 when the 2016 election rolls around, what makes you think that he’ll give a damn about re-election as opposed to committing himself to doing as much damage as possible in four years.

  124. 124
    Brian Doyle says:

    A terrible post that was not worth reading. I’m not a huge Greenwald fan, but this “takedown” has absolutely nothing to it. I fully believe Ron Paul is a racist whack job, but the tweet is not an endorsement of Ron Paul, it just places him to Obama’s left on issues which are paramount to Greenwald. Is that incorrect? Is there no room to Obama’s left on those issues?

  125. 125
    different-church-lady says:

    @IM:

    As much as I agreed with 1), I Never got how 3) followed.

    You’re not supposed to get it. You’re supposed to feel it. Like jazz, y’know?

  126. 126
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @LT: I’m not a Greenwald fan for a number of reasons, but in this case a different and better discussion IMHO has arisen. It’s not “his posts are too long, he has thin skin, and he plays sleight-of-hand games with his evidence” — which we’ve had many times before, sometimes graced with His very presence. This time it’s “he’s wrong about the meaning of ‘left’ in American politics.” I think that’s interesting. I want to play.

  127. 127

    @geg6: “I’m sure that if you untethered Obama from any sort of restraints on his powers from reality, he’d happily legalize pot and never get involved in any military adventures.”
    Pretty weak. What, for example; is forcing the President to crack down on medical pot when he pledged to do the opposite?

  128. 128
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    A little OT, but while walking the dog this afternoon I started thinking about the self-identified Big-L Libertarians I know, and how they all seemed to be obsessed with the 2nd Amendment, and I suddenly had a somewhat horrible thought.

    Big-L Libertarians emphasize individual liberty above all else; the notion of a common good appears to be anathema to them, The old saying is that your rights end where my rights begin; well, that scale only balances if we have the same abilities to assert our individual rights. If I’m armed to the teeth and you’re not, well, I’m able to assert my rights over yours; I can take your property, I can force you to work for me, I can control your movements, etc.

    We’ve joked in the past about not being “truly free” until you’re free to own other people. Maybe it’s not really a joke.

  129. 129
    LT says:

    @Satanicpanic: I don’t think anything of the sort. Are you honestly not getting Greenald’s point? In a tweet? He’s been on Obama on these issues for ever – just like he was on Bush. Are you honestly saying you don’t see the point he’s making?

  130. 130
    slag says:

    @IM: Maybe. Though I think it would have been more anti-imperialism than isolationism. Regardless, I think isolationism is now much more about laissez-faire exceptionalism than about peace-keeping.

  131. 131
    Corner Stone says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    This time it’s “he’s wrong about the meaning of ‘left’ in American politics.” I think that’s interesting. I want to play.

    Ah, finally, what we should be discussing.

  132. 132
    Tom Hilton says:

    @LT: It takes a really special kind of dumbfuck to selectively edit a comment in a misleading way and then post that selectively edited bit in a thread where the same (intact) comment already exists, so people can read it and see what a dishonest sack of shit you really are.

  133. 133
    eric says:

    @FlipYrWhig: because there are no arguments, and that is why no one has made any. Positions on issues are only epiphenomenalty left or right. How about some first define “left” so this can be a meaningful discussion. Left is not an issue, it is an idea in the largest sense of that term.

  134. 134
    different-church-lady says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    He believes in this left-right combo fantasy and needs to get the hell over it if he wants people sane people to keep start taking him seriously.

    I trust lefty hero pundits no more than I trust righty hero pundits.

  135. 135
    LittlePig says:

    @Nutella: If only we didn’t have so much government everything would be sunshine and roses.

    That’s what gets me about the “liberals think people are essentially good” argument. Give me a break. Nobody, but nobody believes so much in human goodness as (g)libertarians – just take the government away and it’s all beer and skittles.

    Should their dreams come true, I expect to make a good living from my libertarian rib stand. Why, yes sir, that’s ‘pork’, why do you ask?

  136. 136
    IM says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Don’t you evade the issue a vit? Prior to the post war liberal cold war consensus there was a lot of isolationism on the left. America First had a considerable left wing component. etc. So do you say that there is no left wing isolationism or that everything Paul touches can’t be left, even if seems to arrive at the same results? ( e. g. leaving Afghanistan).

  137. 137
    Emma says:

    @Soonergrunt: To Mr. Greenwald, that is a moot point. He will never be personally affected, if, say, Arizona or Nebraska declared open war on gays. In that, he is much like Mr. Sullivan.

  138. 138
    clayton says:

    @Jewish Steel:

    Where’s GG’s emanuensis foremost interpreter lickspittle, Mona?

    Last I noticed, she was begging for money on the internet because, I don’t know, Greenwald didn’t pay her much, or some such.

  139. 139
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone: Both Tom Hilton’s piece and ABL’s comments in the OP are specifically about the idea of leftishness implicit in Greenwald’s remarks. That strikes me as grounds for a healthy discussion, regardless of whether it stems from pique, score-settling, or any other motivation.

  140. 140
    different-church-lady says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Ah, finally, what we should be discussing.

    Yeah. And people were discussing it before your pie hole started making farting noises.

  141. 141
    LittlePig says:

    @Tom Hilton: Thank you Tom.

    After LT used the tell demonstrably to describe something not demonstrated I pretty much gave up on his ‘reasoning’.

  142. 142
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone: We were actually discussing that very thing, until you put on your crankypants and started whining about something else.

  143. 143
    Davis X. Machina says:

    OT. Kucinich-Kaptur grudge match. Expect DemocraticUnderground.com to dissolve in factional strife.

    “Why are mommy and daddy fighting?”

  144. 144
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Corner Stone:

    @FlipYrWhig: This thread isn’t about that and you fucking well know it.
    It’s about ABL’s my mindless twitter jihad against GG ABL for criticizing GG and supporting President Obama.
    Period.

    It’s only mindless for you as long as you operate with your head up your ass. Pull out CS! You can do it!! Pull out and take a breath of fresh… oh, right, you live in Texas.

    Well, good luck with that.

  145. 145
    MBunge says:

    @Corner Stone: “It’s about ABL’s mindless twitter jihad against GG for criticizing President Obama.”

    And you give a shit because…?

    Mike

  146. 146
    shortstop says:

    @Nutella:

    Nobody needs protection from anyone or anything because people are just naturally and consistently good and reasonable.

    Is it because of that, or is it that they a) (usually mistakenly) think they have the financial, intellectual and social resources to escape the worst consequences of an unprotected world, and b) really don’t like government and public policy interfering with them when they want to be ungood and unreasonable?

  147. 147
    shortstop says:

    @Emma: And Mr. Paul.

  148. 148
    LT says:

    @Tom Hilton: Yeah? Here’s your whole comment:

    @Darren: Thanks for your comment. I would disagree with the idea that Ron Paul’s anti-interventionism (or any other position) is, in fact, to the left of Obama. As I see it, positions that coincide with liberal positions, but flow from premises that are inimical to liberalism, are not actually liberal positions.

    That doesn’t change a fucking thing about what I said – in regards to Greenwald’s tweet. He doesn’t say anything about Paul’s premises. That’s exactly what’s wrong with your inane post, and ABL’s entire existence here on BJ. It’s about Greenwald, not actual issues.

  149. 149
    different-church-lady says:

    @Tom Hilton:

    It takes a really special kind of dumbfuck to selectively edit a comment in a misleading way and then post that selectively edited bit in a thread where the same (intact) comment already exists, so people can read it and see what a dishonest sack of shit you really are.

    Don’t be ridiculous: those kinds of dumbfucks are a dime a dozen.

  150. 150
    eric says:

    @FlipYrWhig: For example, there are very real definitions of “Left” that would exclude Martin Luther King Jr., ie, a rejection of appeal to religious authority in making social arguments; while other defintions might prioritize the equal worth of every person, for which King is an exemplar. In all instances the issue is not itself Left, but a position derived from first principles that are either Left or Right depending on the particular definition of those terms.

  151. 151
    shortstop says:

    @Davis X. Machina: “Because we really don’t love you kids. It really IS your fault.”

  152. 152

    @Corner Stone:

    Hey, how’s that Rick Perry for Prez website coming along?

    Not too bad, actually. Ultimately, I decided to build three websites simultaneously: one for Governor Goodhair, one for Gingrich, and one for Romney.

    I figure the whole thing is basically a crapshoot at this point, so why not plan to destroy all three of these crazy motherfuckers?

    I’m hoping to have some combination of them up and running by the end of January.

  153. 153
    LT says:

    @MBunge: Because we like Balloon Juice?

  154. 154
    El Tiburon says:

    Yet another what can only now be troll-bait and a worthless post where ABL has to struggle to shit again on Greenwald.

    Her concluding paragraph tells you all you need to know about ABL. Yes. You are a monster.

  155. 155
    Emma says:

    @Brian Doyle: Misunderstanding? Or misdirection?

  156. 156
    Satanicpanic says:

    @LT: Sure, if you view this tweet in a vacuum. But the rest of us see Paul as a phony and a liar, so watching him try to pass off his positions as “left” wouldn’t be fascinating at all, and I think GG knows that.

  157. 157
    different-church-lady says:

    @LT: Your definition of “like” appears to be different from mine.

  158. 158
    Corner Stone says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    That strikes me as grounds for a healthy discussion, regardless of whether it stems from pique, score-settling, or any other motivation.

    Give me a fucking break. The basis for Hilton’s post comes from a fucking tweet that obviously doesn’t capture the context of the target’s sentiments regarding Ron Paul.
    It’s as much out of context as the less than 140 character tweet it uses to define the hit piece.
    The definition of “Left” isn’t GG’s to define anymore than it is Hilton’s or anyone else’s.
    Talk about a bunch of fucking purity trolls.

  159. 159
    Tom Hilton says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Yet posters here, and Tommy Hilton himself are doing their best to make the case that GG is a 100% RP backer. Even though GG has gone out of the way to state he does not support RP.

    He has gone out of his way to say that. He has also done a lot to cast doubt on the veracity of his denial (e.g., brushing off any and all criticism of Ron Paul while exaggerating his supposed virtues).

    That said, I didn’t actually claim Greenwald is supporting Paul, and in fact it really doesn’t matter. Greenwald’s praise of Paul is moronic in its own right (for reasons which, despite my patient explanation, you clearly don’t understand).

  160. 160
    LittlePig says:

    @shortstop: Some on each side. The 2nd Amendment libertarians are getting ready for the war of all against all. The happy-happy-joy-joy bunch really think they can do away with all that “needless” government.

    The former group are sociopaths, the latter merely stupid (none of the latter has successfully explained how the simple libertarian rules of private property are maintained without the police state from Hell)

  161. 161
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @different-church-lady:

    That’s just the noise of someone talking out of their ass. The odd cadence to the farting sounds is what happens when they have to fart around their head.

  162. 162
  163. 163
    Nellcote says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Even though GG has gone out of the way to state he does not support RP.

    linky?

  164. 164
    LT says:

    @Satanicpanic:

    Sure, if you view this tweet in a vacuum. But the rest of us see Paul as a phony and a liar, so watching him try to pass off his positions as “left” wouldn’t be fascinating at all, and I think GG knows that.

    No, you’re putting Greenwald in the vacuum. Argue with him all you want, but this is an extension of a long history of criticisms of Obama (and earlier Bush) on these issues. It’s WAY more about Obama than Paul.

    Paul is a liar and a fuck. We know that.

  165. 165
    Corner Stone says:

    @different-church-lady: Take a count honey badger. You can use your toes if you need to.
    See how many were doing what you claim.

  166. 166
    slag says:

    @LT:

    Unbelievably funny. “It’s not true, it just coincides with the truth!”

    Actually, a friend of mine does a comedy skit where he talks about libertarians being so far to the right they’re left and anarchists being so far to the left they’re right. He’s not entirely joking. And not entirely original either.

    It’s the difference between knowing what someone said and knowing what they’re going to say next. If someone agrees with me on something but their reasoning isn’t coming from the same place mine is, I’m going to be much more skeptical about what they’re going to say next. Not exactly rocket science here.

    That said, after looking at GG’s tweet again, I do think more is being imputed to it than is necessarily deserved. “Fascinating” isn’t exactly a full-throated endorsement. To some extent, I think it would be better for all concerned if Greenwald were left out of the discussion and the dissection of Paul’s civil liberties stance resumed accordingly. I think he’s an unnecessary distraction in this discussion.

  167. 167
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @IM: IMHO “isolationism” vs. “interventionism” is a debate that only tangentially bears on “left” vs. “right.” Lefties can incline towards isolationism, and righties can too. When they converge on matters of conducting war, it doesn’t really tell you anything about the prospects of their convergence on anything else.

    Similarly, you can take a view that the government shouldn’t be able to order businesses not to discriminate because you have a very highly-developed notion of the limits of coercive state power, or because you’re a flaming racist. But no one said that lunch counter owners in Alabama were to the “left” of Eisenhower because, like liberals, they wanted to roll back the police powers of the federal government. If they did, it would be either deliberately inflammatory or just plain dumb.

  168. 168
    different-church-lady says:

    @Corner Stone: More than I expected when I popped the cork on this bottle, howler monkey.

  169. 169
    Corner Stone says:

    @Nellcote: Well, the first post on his twit feed says this:
    “Ask him to show you a link where I endorsed/backed Paul for President, so you can realize how dumb you are for believing it”

    Not exactly what I stated, which I believe I read a few days ago. If I find it I’ll quote it.

  170. 170
    slag says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Her concluding paragraph tells you all you need to know about ABL. Yes. You are a monster.

    Well, then, we’re all monsters now.

  171. 171
    Tom Hilton says:

    @LT: If you want to argue that a position based on premises that are inimical to liberalism can actually be liberal, give it a try. So far, you haven’t said shit.

  172. 172
    Nutella says:

    @shortstop:

    A little of both, I think. Or maybe a lot of both.

    Both the unwarranted optimism and the “I’ve got mine so fuck you” attitudes are based on a stunning inability to see that anyone else’s experience or point of view is important or even exists, approaching solipsism.

  173. 173
    The Moar You Know says:

    I don’t get the Greenwald fanbois, I really don’t. The guy hasn’t lived in this country since 2004 but supposedly he knows what’s up?

    Shit, I moved out of San Francisco a couple of years ago and I can’t even find a decent coffeeshop when I go visiting up there. Most of ’em moved, or went under. The folks on the city council? No idea. I think some guy named Ed is mayor now but I could be wrong.

    I still live in the same state but I have no clue what’s going on up in my former home. How can Greenwald reasonably claim to know what’s going on in the US – he’s been gone seven years!

    I expect nothing but idiocy in reply. Prove me wrong, Church of Glenn acolytes.

  174. 174
    different-church-lady says:

    @slag:

    To some extent, I think it would be better for all concerned if Greenwald were left out of the discussion and the dissection of Paul’s civil liberties stance resumed accordingly.

    But what good would that be for Greenwald?

  175. 175
    IM says:

    @slag:

    ABL doesn’t wants to leave Omelas.

    But then, who does?

  176. 176
    shortstop says:

    @different-church-lady: Now stop that. The ringtone on my cell is a howler monkey and I plan to keep enjoying it if you don’t ruin it for me. It gets me extra space on the El.

  177. 177
    Satanicpanic says:

    @LT: Then what makes it interesting? That Paul will be able to pander to idiots who don’t know enough about Paul to really understand his position? I admit, I find it funny when he does it to other Republicans, but that’s because I want them to be defeated and for me the end justify the means… does GG want Obama to be defeated at any cost? Is that what he’s getting at?

  178. 178
    LT says:

    @slag:

    That said, after looking at GG’s tweet again, I do think more is being imputed to it than is necessarily deserved. “Fascinating” isn’t exactly a full-throated endorsement. To some extent, I think it would be better for all concerned if Greenwald were left out of the discussion and the dissection of Paul’s civil liberties stance resumed accordingly. I think he’s an unnecessary distraction in this discussion.

    ABL (and maybe Hilton, I don’t know his history on this) would not exist if it weren’t about GG.

    And the “fascinating” of course isn’t an endoresement. As Hilton has even conceded, GG has gone out of his way to say he doesn’t support Paul. He’s making a point about Obama policies.

  179. 179
    shortstop says:

    @LittlePig: @Nutella:

    I admit I enjoy trying to get into their insular little minds. Outside of teenagerdom, one rarely finds this mighty combo of pathological naivete and chest-thumping overestimation of one’s own skill base.

  180. 180
    Corner Stone says:

    @slag:

    To some extent, I think it would be better for all concerned if Greenwald were left out of the discussion and the dissection of Paul’s civil liberties stance resumed accordingly. I think he’s an unnecessary distraction in this discussion.

    ABL would not have front paged this hit piece if GG were left out of the discussion.
    Ron Paul only matters to her in the ways she can dishonestly attack someone else.

  181. 181
    El Tiburon says:

    @Nellcote:
    You want a link to prove GG does not support Ron Paul? How about any link to ANY fucking article he has ever written on Ron Paul.

    Invariably some titwillow will pop up in the comments and say, “why you such a big supporter of Ron Paul nyuk nyuk nyuk!”

    GG will point out that in form or fashion has he stated his support for Ron Paul but is pointing out the hypocrisy and idiocy of calling RP a nut job and crazy while Obama, et al continues to bomb innocent children to death with Awesome Drone Bombs!

    Truth is most of you GG haters have never read him.

  182. 182
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone: I don’t think Greenwald supports Paul. He does have a long track record of criticizing Paul critics and/or offering up “thought experiments” like this one. He wants to make a point about presidential power and civil liberties, because that’s his thing, and he wants Paul to survive as long as possible to give an airing to ideas that would otherwise be squelched by the way talking heads cover politics. Fine. But he shouldn’t call it “left.”

  183. 183
    Jewish Steel says:

    @clayton: Well, that makes me feel a little sad. I’d throw her a few shekels if I didn’t think she was going to turn around and spend it on drugs back issues of Reason magazine.

  184. 184
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @The Moar You Know: “I don’t get the Greenwald fanbois, I really don’t.”

    It’s bias confirmation. GG knows how to bait his hooks and the fact that he keeps reeling in the suckers shows that it works. One formula to ‘success’ is knowing the most effective bait to use. Landing suckers means big money and GG wants his cut.

    I hear that GG prefers stinkbait. It’s probably from his private stock of Glenzilla’s Liquid ASS.

  185. 185
    LT says:

    @Satanicpanic:

    does GG want Obama to be defeated at any cost? Is that what he’s getting at?

    You see, this is exactly why this is so fucked up. This is why ABL is constantly wrong on this. It’s not about Greenwald. It is about issues. Greenwald, agree or disagree, has been working exactly on issues like civil liberties, foreign policiy, war on drugs, etc., for a long time. Maybe, just maybe, you could at least grant that his motive is to see improvement on these issues?

    ABL’s foundation is “Greenwald just wants to make Obama lose! He just wants to be mean to Obama!” It is so fucking childish.

  186. 186
    Allan says:

    @Corner Stone: The list of people who have graced the front page of BJ who are not Corner Stone continues to grow.

  187. 187
    different-church-lady says:

    @Corner Stone:

    The basis for Hilton’s post comes from a fucking tweet that obviously doesn’t capture the context of the target’s sentiments regarding Ron Paul.

    It occurs to me that if GG truly wished to not be misunderstood he wouldn’t be in the business of trash-tweets.

  188. 188
    shortstop says:

    @LT:

    It’s not about Greenwald. It is about issues.

    I have no idea what ABL’s foundation is. But I do notice that the people screaming incessantly about her alleged ill motives won’t take a break from doing that to discuss the issues, despite having received multiple invitations to do just that in this thread.

  189. 189

    Isn’t Glenn Greenwald gay? I only mention it because one of the horrid things to surface in that “open letter from a former Ron Paul staffer” thing was that Paul refused to use a gay supporters’ bathroom and refused to shake a gay man’s hand? That while he doesn’t care what gay people do in the privacy of their own homes he’s “personally uncomfortable” around them? I mean how is that a civil libertarian? How would Ron Paul act on issues like DADT and marriage equality, given his “personal discomfort” around “homosexuals”? I don’t think he’d be to the left of Obama on those issues.

  190. 190
    LT says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: Because the drone issue, just to note one, is nothing. Nothing to see at all.

  191. 191
    IM says:

    So no foreign policy position – intervene, non-intervene, isolate, non-isolate is left or right?

    If left and right is purely defined on economic policy, Paul can’t be left to Obama on anything. But that is not the way left and right are defined the world over. Or in the US.

  192. 192
    MBunge says:

    @LT: “Maybe, just maybe, you could at least grant that his motive is to see improvement on these issues?”

    And how, exactly, has his exhaustive bitching about Obama led to any “improvement”? How is it ever going to do so? This isn’t about any issues. This is about Greenwald’s need to make sure everyone knows just how wonderful he is.

    Mike

  193. 193
    NR says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    I expect nothing but idiocy in reply. Prove me wrong, Church of Glenn acolytes.

    Well with a beginning like this, how can anything but a productive discussion result?

  194. 194
    El Tiburon says:

    @LT:

    ABL’s foundation is “Greenwald just wants to make Obama lose! He just wants to be mean to Obama!” It is so fucking childish.

    Also + 1 too.

    The Hamsher hatred I can at leat understand. But the Greenwald hatred is so weird. It’s either his posts are too long and/or he never admits when he is wrong. At least Cole will give Hamsher her due when warranted. But the Greenwald haters just got to hate regardless. Like you said: so childish.

  195. 195
    slag says:

    @IM: Not an entirely appropriate metaphor. It’s not like it’s all sunshine and roses for many people in this country.

  196. 196
    Dave says:

    Pavlovian theory of ABL posts: within three sentences, you anticipate fully, completely, and accurately what she’ll write, and immediately cease to care.

  197. 197

    Also, this:

    I understand that progressives praise Ron Paul’s foreign policy and Paul’s anti-war stance …

    Well, I sure don’t. Ron Paul is the classic broken clock that’s right twice a day. Sure he’s anti-war, but for all the wrong reasons. He’s a classic isolationist. Let the Jews burn in WWII! Not OUR business! And speaking of business, if Henry Ford makes millions selling to the Nazis, well that’s just the free hand of the market! There is absolutely no moral underpinning to his policy stances. None.

  198. 198
    TheF79 says:

    I’m curious, if one candidate for President said:

    “I will end drone strikes because of the horrific death toll on innocent civillians”

    and another candidate for President said

    “I will end drone strikes because those sand monkeys aren’t worth good, honest Christian taxpayer dollars”

    would one of those candidates be “left” and the other “right,” or would both of those be “left”?

  199. 199
    El Tiburon says:

    @Southern Beale:
    Are you sniffing glue? You really have no idea what this debate is about, do you?

  200. 200
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Corner Stone: Where is Allan front paging here?

  201. 201
    Emma says:

    What fascinates me about all this is not Glenn. Is the ABL hatred, mostly from people whose handle indicate they are males, and whose first instinct is to put her down with words like “childish.” It’s not the Glenn-hatred; it’s the ABL contempt and the need to insult her that is amazing in these threads.

  202. 202
    Satanicpanic says:

    @LT: Because Greenwald is ignoring things that don’t fit his argument, like he often does. Obama has already pledged numerous things that he never followed through on. Everyone knows about them- how often is the right bringing up his failure to close Gitmo? Why would Paul bringing them up be anything special?

    Add that Greenwald’s history of supporting primarying politicians and it’s not that odd to wonder if he doesn’t want Obama to lose.

  203. 203
    Emma says:

    @IM: Leaving Omelas is a copout. The proper solution in that story is to TAKE THE DAMN KID OUT OF THE CELL and let the chips fall where they may. Nobody has the gonads in the story.

  204. 204
    IM says:

    Since I am talking about foreign policy too much anyway, I will try to reconnect to the actual issue. And play Paul devil’s advocate.

    Paul don’t recognize many federal powers, but he does seems to think that the federal government can go to war. As long as congress declares war. So his arguments against the war against Iraq, in Afghanistan and a possible war against Iran are substantial arguments. Mostly he seems to argue that the wars are not in the US national interest. Isn’t that a possible and legitimate left-wing argument too?

    Regarding Iran his argument is actually that there is no threat from Iran. Isn’t that a common left-wing argument, if not left-wing premise?

    So at least on this question he is to the left of Clinton and Obama, not to mention Romney and co.

  205. 205
    Mnemosyne says:

    Here’s the thing about people like Paul and Greenwald: as far as they’re concerned, “civil liberties” and “civil rights” are two completely different things that are unrelated to one another. That’s how Paul can claim to be a “civil libertarian” while calling for a return to legal discrimination against minorities. That’s how Greenwald can support murderous white supremacists like Matthew Hale and still claim to be about “freedom.”

    Civil rights =/= civil liberties. I really wish people who claim to be on the left would stop pretending that when Ron Paul talks about civil liberties, he gives a shit about civil rights, because he doesn’t. The two things may occasionally overlap, but when you’re dealing with someone who is operating from the basic assumption that you should be allowed to refuse service to a black person who walks into your store based solely on the color of his skin, we’re clearly living on two different planets.

  206. 206
    El Tiburon says:

    @shortstop:

    But I do notice that the people screaming incessantly about her alleged ill motives won’t take a break from doing that to discuss the issues, despite having received multiple invitations to do just that in this thread.

    Its kind of hard to discuss the issues when the issues are so murky due to the mischaracerization from the get-go. The entire premise of this post is flimsy, so it’s like trying to argue that there is no War on Xmas or that John Kerry was not a war hero.

    The real issue with these posts are not the stated issues- its just a McGuffin for the real purpose: Greenwald is an idiot.

  207. 207
    Corner Stone says:

    @different-church-lady:

    It occurs to me that if GG truly wished to not be misunderstood he wouldn’t be in the business of trash-tweets.

    Honey badger, I don’t know where your disdain for tweets comes from, or your challenging someone’s integrity for twitting but maybe you should ask Cole or Barack Obama about it.

  208. 208
    slag says:

    @Corner Stone:

    ABL would not have front paged this hit piece if GG were left out of the discussion.

    Possibly. Maybe even probably. This feud between you all is the least interesting thing about this blog. So, I haven’t kept up.

    However, there are actually issues here worthy of discussion. Issues that I think the left should be discussing. And I think how you decide to balance your own self-interest against that of another is actually a worthy discussion. I, for one, find the process challenging and it probably sits on one or more of the foundational blocks on which I’ve built my worldview.

    That said, I think a debate between Obama and RuPaul would actually be more fascinating than a debate between him and Ron Paul. If my criteria for this debate were that one has to be the President and one a C-list celebrity that appears to have divergent views than Obama on some issues.

  209. 209
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Ron Paul is not to the left of anything, Ron Paul is an antisemite fascist whose anti-Israel support comes from people who think Jews meet yearly to fix the currency markets

    This was repeatedly described in the Ron Paul newsletter (as the ‘Rothschild’ conspiracy) although those stories haven’t gotten as much traction as all the stuff about his dislike of fleet-footed Negroes

  210. 210
    Mnemosyne says:

    @IM:

    So no foreign policy position – intervene, non-intervene, isolate, non-isolate is left or right?

    Not inherently, no. You can come to an interventionist position from the right or the left. You can come to an isolationist position from either the right or the left. You had people arguing against getting into WWII from both right and left, but that doesn’t mean that the pacifists on the left agreed with Lindbergh that Hitler was a great man whose actions we shouldn’t interfere with.

    You could maybe argue that pacifism is an inherently left position, but Paul is no pacifist. He’d be more than happy to start bloody wars that he thought were in the best interest of the US.

  211. 211
    Soonergrunt says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    expect nothing but idiocy in reply. Prove me wrong, Church of Glenn acolytes.

    They’ll sure die trying.
    If we’re lucky.

    @El Tiburon:

    You want a link to prove GG does not support Ron Paul? How about any link to ANY fucking article he has ever written on Ron Paul.

    But you didn’t provide one, did you? It’s your assertion. Make it happen.

  212. 212
    IM says:

    @Emma:

    True, but isn’t that the Greenwald position?

    fiat justitia et ruat caelum?

  213. 213
    Corner Stone says:

    @El Tiburon:

    its just a McGuffin for the real purpose

    Oooo, McGuffin! Kind of like Mike Franks in NCIS. What a canvas that character is.

  214. 214
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    I expect nothing but idiocy in reply. Prove me wrong, Church of Glenn acolytes.

    Greenwald is usually right where ABL is wrong but I have openly invited opprobrium from him by attacking him over this, is that good enough for you darlin

    It doesn’t make him wrong where he’s right, or make ABL right where she’s wrong, and yeah, I think that’s what this post was probably about

  215. 215
    shortstop says:

    @El Tiburon: Alas, there is no foolproof method for distinguishing genuine subtext from reader paranoia/projection/prejudice, even if you could get everyone else to care as much as you do about what got the conversation going to begin with. So why not, as many have suggested here, go with the overall subject of interest: does holding certain views that are identical to the left’s make Paul left of Obama, at least on those issues? Or do the reasoning and moral foundation behind a stated position matter?

    Or you can keep boxing shadows and the conversation will go on around you.

  216. 216
    Corner Stone says:

    @Soonergrunt: Ask your drinking buddy ABL. Or maybe the Hall Monitor has it framed and he’ll share with you.

  217. 217
    AA+ Bonds says:

    I also like to needle him over his standard right-wing position on international law, that is, that it only applies to the United States if we sign a treaty saying that it does, which when you think about it is absolutely ludicrous

    That POV is a lot like rabid pro-Israel sentiment: it’s only mainstream in the United States, and in the United States, you’re not allowed into the mainstream unless you endorse that POV

  218. 218
    Darnell From LA says:

    Sure, Ron Paul would eliminate the EPA, costing the lives of thousands of Americans every year. But, hundreds of Pakistanis would be saved. You see, hundreds of Pakistani lives are more important than thousands of American lives, or so says Glenn Greenwald from a beach in Brazil.

  219. 219
    El Tiburon says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    That’s how Greenwald can support murderous white supremacists like Matthew Hale and still claim to be about “freedom.”

    Ding ding ding the stupidest fucking thing yet and that’s saying something. Did you know the ACLU represented the KKK? A white Jewish lawyer represented the KKK.. Does that mean they support the KKK? No. It means ey support the constitution for ALL.

    Douchenozzle

  220. 220
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Emma: It’s not just her gender that people attack her on.

  221. 221
    Mnemosyne says:

    @IM:

    Mostly he seems to argue that the wars are not in the US national interest. Isn’t that a possible and legitimate left-wing argument too?

    You can make that argument from the left, but that’s not where Paul is making his argument from. He’s making his argument from a rightist isolationist position where we should only take action that’s in the country’s best interest. If conquering Iraq really had been as easy as the Bushies claiming it would have been, Paul would have been behind it 100 percent.

    The leftist position would be that Iraq is a sovereign country that we shouldn’t invade without a direct threat to the US. Have you ever seen Paul make that argument against the war?

    Regarding Iran his argument is actually that there is no threat from Iran. Isn’t that a common left-wing argument, if not left-wing premise?

    There’s absolutely nothing inherently “left” about that argument, any more than it’s somehow inherently “left” to say the sky is blue. Again, the left argument would be that Iran is its own sovereign country that we should not interfere with unless they directly threaten us. Have you seen Paul make that argument, or his argument solely that there’s no benefit to us in attacking them?

  222. 222
    different-church-lady says:

    @Corner Stone: I frequently mocked Cole for tweeting when he first started at it.

    Barack? He never listens to me.

  223. 223
    eemom says:

    Among its other attributes, this discussion highlights exactly how profoundly fucked up is Greenwald’s brand of one trick pony single issue-ism and those who swallow it.

    We have the usual clowns here defending him on the ground of “but but BUT these are the issues Glenn CARES about!”

    Even if Ron Paul were as principled as Greenwald presents him to be on civil liberties — which, as Tom aptly point out, he is not — there is something wrong with a man who would praise a racist, anti-Semitic, anti-abortion zealot for ANY reason — much less hold one up as a paradigm for public office.

    I am a dog lover. You know who else was a dog lover?

  224. 224
    AA+ Bonds says:

    It would pro o o o o o obably be more productive for ABL to attack Ron Paul rather than using Ron Paul as a proxy for attacking Glenn Greenwald, who is not running for anything more exalted than Person Who Happens To Piss Off ABL

  225. 225
    shortstop says:

    @different-church-lady: I wonder if he would listen to me. He calls me by my given name in emails and everything.

  226. 226
    Corner Stone says:

    Personally, I hate people who can study issues from somewhere outside of a classroom centrally located to the issue.
    I mean, if you can’t stick your fucking face in the pie then how can you be more informed than people who aren’t even sure the pie exists?

  227. 227
    Emma says:

    @IM: I don’t think so. The person who took the kid out of the room would have to be in Omelas and suffer the consequences; Mr. Greenwald has no consequences to face if Mr. Paul destroys the civil rights advances of the last forty years.

  228. 228

    […] This gets it right: But the nature of his anti-war stance is fundamentally different from that of liberal opposition to any given war. The tipoff is in his opposition to foreign aid, and his anti-United Nations position: he’s anti-war because the rest of the world just isn’t worth it. His is not the pacifism of the anti-war movement but the nativist isolationism of the America-Firsters; Paul is “to the left of Obama” the way Lindbergh was to the left of Roosevelt. (That may be true in a fairly literal sense, although I wouldn’t trust anything from Big Government without further corroboration.) […]

  229. 229
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @IM: The specific foreign policy position is almost never left or right. How one got to it is.

  230. 230
    Lojasmo says:

    @Rob:

    Is anyone seriously disputing that?

    Yes.

  231. 231
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @LT: ABL says in the actual post…

    I understand that progressives praise Ron Paul’s foreign policy and Paul’s anti-war stance, but I don’t entirely understand why. What I find puzzling is the belief that these views make Ron Paul liberal or liberalish or lefty. They don’t.

    I have a similar pet peeve. Greenwald is critical of Obama on many things, several of which are linked under the heading of “civil liberties.” Great, bully for him. But that doesn’t make him a critic of Obama “from the left.” And, frankly, if not for the fact that Greenwald was similarly up in arms about Bush administration developments in civil liberties, I don’t think anyone would have seen him as particularly “left” in the first place.

    It seems pretty clear that he’s something else. He’s a civil libertarian who takes exception to breaches in protections for civil liberties across the board. He made his bones defending free speech for the Klan, IIRC. How does he feel about anti-bullying and hate speech initiatives? How does he feel about the confederate flag? My guess is that he probably falls on the side of “free speech” rather than trying to protect social outcasts. (I’d be glad to be proven wrong on that.)

    He cares very deeply about a set of ideas that cut across left/right lines. Good for him. He may also be a liberal. But finding positions where his views match up better with Paul’s than with Obama’s doesn’t by some kind of transitive property put Paul to the left of Obama on them. To talk about them in that way corrupts the meaning of “left” profoundly.

    IMHO the whole point of being on the left is to ameliorate suffering and fight for justice and equality. Civil liberties and, their mirror image, intrusive state power intersect with that notion of what it means to be left, but it’s not hard to imagine cases — such as businesses that discriminate — where the state has to intrude to make justice and establish equality. Or, in foreign policy, consider genocide. Is it more “left” to want to aid the victims, or to want the US military to shorten its reach before making more victims? Well, we don’t have an automatic answer to that, which is why we fought tooth and nail about it on threads about Libya.

    I’m starting to stray from the point, which is, I think, rather simple. And that’s this: Greenwald’s criticisms of Obama and praise for certain Paul stances are valid and correspond well to other of his cardinal views. But those views aren’t well-described as “left,” and when he wants to claim them as such, or when other people want to cite them as such, I’m going to keep squawking myself, and if Tom Hilton and ABL do the same, more power to them.

  232. 232
    AA+ Bonds says:

    But you know, whatever, keep workin on those own goals, everyone in the stands loves those………………..

  233. 233
    Darnell From LA says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: Cornerstone is just a garden variety racist. I should know. Anyone who takes him/her seriously hasn’t been paying attention.

  234. 234
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Corner Stone: I don’t drink enough to have a buddy. But if I did, it would probably be her.
    If she took something Allan wrote, and posted it, well, then good on her for supporting writers she thinks should get more attention. Not necessarily my cup of tea, but nothing wrong with that either that I’m aware of.

  235. 235
    different-church-lady says:

    @AA+ Bonds: So the fact that almost all of ABL’s original text addresses Paul, and not Greenwald, does not qualify for your definition of productive?

  236. 236
    Emma says:

    @Soonergrunt: Nope, but that makes an early appearance in most of the threads.

  237. 237
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @eemom:

    Among its other attributes, this discussion highlights exactly how profoundly fucked up is Greenwald’s brand of one trick pony single issue-ism and those who swallow it.

    He actually has three issues

    1) The Bill of Rights (personally, I support this)
    2) Prosecutions for the Bush administration (personally, I support this)
    3) Critique of Israel and America’s Israel policy (personally, I support this)

  238. 238
    Mnemosyne says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Did you know the ACLU represented the KKK?

    That’s why they’re the American Civil Liberties Union and not the American Civil Rights Union. They want to preserve a balance between civil liberties and civil rights, but at least they understand that there is a conflict between the two stances:

    “Here we are supporting Matt Hale when we spend every single day working against his vision of America,” Yohnka said. “But we believe that, if you begin to allow government agencies to chill people’s free expression, it won’t be long before that is turned on a number of people.”

    I take it that you agree with Paul and Greenwald that civil liberties should be supreme over civil rights and if a restaurant owner wants to have a black guy arrested for sitting at his lunch counter, he should be allowed to do that in the name of his private property rights?

  239. 239
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @different-church-lady:

    If she edits Greenwald out altogether we have a deal, because frankly otherwise the post is a joke

  240. 240
    AA+ Bonds says:

    I dont really give a shit about how much center-rightists hate liberals, that’s for sure, you want to hit Glenn Greenwald over his Ron Paul kiss-ass, take it to his comments on Salon like I do, I guarantee you that he will read it and you will get a nasty response from him

  241. 241
    IM says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I see, I must go on on my Paul apologia.

    You can make that argument from the left, but that’s not where Paul is making his argument from. He’s making his argument from a rightist isolationist position where we should only take action that’s in the country’s best interest.

    If you can an argument from the left that something is not in the national interest and from the right and get the same result, getting to the same result with the same process, I don’t really see the difference.

    If conquering Iraq really had been as easy as the Bushies claiming it would have been, Paul would have been behind it 100 percent.

    I actually think that is unfair to Paul.

    The leftist position would be that Iraq is a sovereign country that we shouldn’t invade without a direct threat to the US. Have you ever seen Paul make that argument against the war?

    No. I have seen that argument from Larison, though. And since absence of evidence ( I don’t listen much to Paul) is not evidence of absence, he could well have made the argument that the sovereignity of countries not threatening the US should be respected.

  242. 242
    Corner Stone says:

    @FlipYrWhig: The only people who describe GG’s critiques as from the left are the assholes trying to pin him on any available target.
    He’s not, and never has been, a liberal. Or a “leftie”. Or anything else.
    Never claimed that, written that or done that.
    His critique has been the same from GWB until now.
    The people that can’t handle that hate the fact that he has criticized President Obama.
    GG isn’t endorsing RP. The fact that a conversation may be interesting is enough to get the rabid dogs humped up.

  243. 243
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mnemosyne: I don’t know if Greenwald would take that stand, but, if he did, I’m pretty confident he would not respond very politely to being described as “to the right of Alberto Gonzalez” on civil rights.

  244. 244
    LT says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I’m starting to stray from the point, which is, I think, rather simple. And that’s this: Greenwald’s criticisms of Obama and praise for certain Paul stances are valid and correspond well to other of his cardinal views. But those views aren’t well-described as “left,” and when he wants to claim them as such, or when other people want to cite them as such, I’m going to keep squawking myself, and if Tom Hilton and ABL do the same, more power to them.

    Thanks for the whole thoughtful comment. But let’s remember, this right here was an opportunistic post about one tweet. It’s another explosion of puss from a familiar boil.

  245. 245

    @Mnemosyne: “@Mnemosyne: “If conquering Iraq really had been as easy as the Bushies claiming it would have been, Paul would have been behind it 100 percent.”
    What stupid crap. Do you actually know anything?

  246. 246
    eemom says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    IMHO the whole point of being on the left is to ameliorate suffering and fight for justice and equality. Civil liberties and, their mirror image, intrusive state power intersect with that notion of what it means to be left, but it’s not hard to imagine cases—such as businesses that discriminate—where the state has to intrude to make justice and establish equality. Or, in foreign policy, consider genocide. Is it more “left” to want to aid the victims, or to want the US military to shorten its reach before making more victims? Well, we don’t have an automatic answer to that, which is why we fought tooth and nail about it on threads about Libya.

    Quite right and very well said.

    I personally find it not only wrong, but frankly just obnoxious, for Greenwald — he who SO totally glorious in his [bullshit] persona as principled and so very much above partisan politics — to utter a single fucking word on the topic of who is more “left” than anyone else.

  247. 247
    Allan says:

    @Soonergrunt: That’s pretty much it. A couple of times ABL has chosen to cross-post something I wrote for her blog.

    Corner Stone is the Mark Knoller of the Balloon-Juice Press Corps. He dutifully chronicles the number of times people not named Corner Stone are featured above the fold.

  248. 248
    slag says:

    @eemom:

    Even if Ron Paul were as principled as Greenwald presents him to be on civil liberties—which, as Tom aptly point out, he is not—there is something wrong with a man who would praise a racist, anti-Semitic, anti-abortion zealot for ANY reason—much less hold one up as a paradigm for public office.

    I agree with this. But the problem is that it goes both ways. Some people can’t understand why people will overlook foreign drone attacks and praise someone’s position on the rights of American women, minorities, and the poor. I think I might be deciding that those people are freaks. And those people are probably deciding that I’m a freak. Fuck them; they’re idiots.

  249. 249
    eemom says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I’m pretty confident he would not respond very politely to being described as “to the right of Alberto Gonzalez” on civil rights.

    heh. I think we should try it and see what happens.

  250. 250
    Mnemosyne says:

    @IM:

    If you can an argument from the left that something is not in the national interest and from the right and get the same result, getting to the same result with the same process, I don’t really see the difference.

    If you define “national interest” in two completely different ways, how is that getting to the same result with the same process?

    Example: a person on the left decides that Iraq was not in our national interest because we could have spent all of that money on infrastructure and education. A person on the right decides that Iraq was not in our national interest because we could have used that money on more tax breaks for people making more than $250K. Are those still the same thought process and the same conclusion?

  251. 251
    Fed Up In Brooklyn says:

    I’m starting to believe J.C. lets ABL post on this blog as a monumental practical joke. Like a blog version of Andy Kaufman’s wrestling career. She’s just so terrible, it has to be a put-on….

  252. 252
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone: The whole point of the tweet is to say that Paul’s views on those areas, which happen to square neatly with _Greenwald’s_ views on those areas, are “to Obama’s left.” The rest is you trying to view everything as a battle between personalities. Who gives a shit? Let’s talk about civil liberties, civil rights, Paul, Obama, the right and the left. Like we were, and like some of us keep trying to do, if not for the handful of people who don’t like ABL posts and feel like it’s very important to say so as loudly and insistently as possible.

  253. 253
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Darnell From LA:

    Or they just joined in the melee here. ;)

    @different-church-lady:

    Yup. ABL mentioning GG just once is enough to bring out Glenzilla’s Gonzo Guerrillas. Never mind the actual content, the fact that ABL even wrote his name is blasphemous and offensive to them.

  254. 254
    different-church-lady says:

    @AA+ Bonds: If only we could get everyone else in the world to do that too, the world would be a saner place.

  255. 255
    Ronbo says:

    There are a lot of reactionary comments here today. But let me know your thoughts….

    If I say that Rush Limbaugh is to the left of Glenn Beck, then I’m endorsing Limbaugh? That’s like accusing someone who says the toilet handle is on the right side of the the tank must obviously like floaters.

    It’s not at all true; but, it can be said. Yep, it can be said.

  256. 256
    Ronbo says:

    There are a lot of reactionary comments here today. But let me know your thoughts….

    If I say that Rush Limbaugh is to the left of Glenn Beck, then I’m endorsing Limbaugh? That’s like accusing someone who says the toilet handle is on the right side of the the tank must obviously like floaters.

    It’s not at all true; but, it can be said. Yep, it can be said.

  257. 257
    Tom Hilton says:

    @slag:

    To some extent, I think it would be better for all concerned if Greenwald were left out of the discussion and the dissection of Paul’s civil liberties stance resumed accordingly. I think he’s an unnecessary distraction in this discussion.

    A distraction, arguably, but in writing this I considered him a necessary distraction–because he is the foremost proponent of the Ron-Paul-takes-liberal-positions meme. I figured (rightly or wrongly) that I couldn’t really address that meme while omitting any specific expression of it–and that means, in practical terms, Greenwald.

  258. 258
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Clark Stooksbury:

    What stupid crap. Do you actually know anything?

    If you have evidence that Paul is an actual pacifist who dislikes war because war is inherently bad and not just an old school right-wing “America First!” isolationist, please present it.

  259. 259
    different-church-lady says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: Well, to be fair, there’s big fat picture of GG’s face right there at the top. At first I thought, “Oh fuzz it, more GG bait.” Then I read the post and was a bit surprised. Something that apparently the “Guardians Of Quality” around here didn’t bother with.

  260. 260
    IM says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    The conclusion – no attack on Iraq is the same. And the thought process – if I pick a bipartisan cause: Both left and right think it is in the national interest to spend money on agricultural subsidies and not on war.

  261. 261
    Mnemosyne says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    The whole point of the tweet is to say that Paul’s views on those areas, which happen to square neatly with Greenwald’s views on those areas, are “to Obama’s left.”

    I’m still waiting for some kind of evidence from someone that Paul’s anti-interventionist stance is leftist in any way and not the same right-wing isolationist crap that Pat Buchanan has been spouting for years.

    Isolationist is not the same thing as pacifist. I really wish some people on the left would wake up to that.

  262. 262
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Ronbo: If you’re simply classifying Limbaugh’s position vis-a-vis Beck, no, that’s not an endorsement. If you’re classifying Limbaugh’s position vis-a-vis Beck on an issue you’ve dedicated your professional career to trumpeting, and calling Limbaugh’s views on that issue are “left,” and Limbaugh’s views are like yours, that’s much closer to an endorsement.

  263. 263
    Mnemosyne says:

    @IM:

    The conclusion – no attack on Iraq is the same. And the thought process – if I pick a bipartisan cause: Both left and right think it is in the national interest to spend money on agricultural subsidies and not on war.

    Find me an actual leftist who loves agricultural subsidies. Congressional Democrats from farming states don’t count.

  264. 264
    LT says:

    @Tom Hilton:

    because he is the foremost proponent of the Ron-Paul-takes-liberal-positions meme

    Translation: “It was important for to take this tweet – which was about Obama, and used Ron Paul to make a point about Obama – and twist its meaning because Glenn Greenwald – who I admit has gone out of his way to say he doesn’t support Ron Paul – is responsible for promoting that dangerously pervasive meme that Ron Paul takes liberal positions.”

    You only have a few balloons left for that lawn chair, Tom…

  265. 265

    Since math seems to have missed some folks…

    You and I are to meet at a store parking lot at noon. I leave early, take my time, and get there without incident. You leave late and yet get there at the same time I do. However, your car is beat to hell and in your wake are six smashed cars and twelve run over pedestrians. Even though we’re standing in the same parking lot and have driven cars, I don’t think you can make an arguement that we’re the same. In fact, you’re an irresponsible criminal asshole and I’m nothing of the sort.

  266. 266
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mnemosyne: I think it could be said that it doesn’t really matter what the thought process is because the important thing is the result, and when it comes to politicians we never really know deep down what the _true_ thought process ever is.

    And I think that would be fine. You could leave out the question of motives entirely. You could say, “It’s funny, I’m a liberal and yet I think when it comes to terrorism I like what Ron Paul would do better than what Obama has done and will do.” A reasonable enough thing to say, I suppose. But it has no bearing on whether Paul’s handling of terrorism could be fairly characterized as “to the left” of Obama’s.

    (I know you get this already, but I wanted to walk through my thinking yet once more.)

  267. 267
    El Tiburon says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I take it that you agree with Paul and Greenwald that civil liberties should be supreme over civil rights and if a restaurant owner wants to have a black guy arrested for sitting at his lunch counter, he should be allowed to do that in the name of his private property rights?

    Dorothy called and wants her straw man back. Seriously, so much bullshit packed in here. Paul and the other Randoids believe this crap, but GG does not.

    Perhaps you should read some Greenwald instead of relying on half-ass quotes for ABL and her Legion of Dunces.

  268. 268
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @different-church-lady:

    The GGG’s would have been happy if ABL had put a subtitle below the pic that said Glenzilla’s my personal hero!”.

    Anything less than that and…

  269. 269

    @Mnemosyne: @Mnemosyne: I don’t think and didn’t argue that Paul is a pacifist, although he is about as close as you can get in the Republican party. You, on the other hand, stated that,“If conquering Iraq really had been as easy as the Bushies claiming it would have been, Paul would have been behind it 100 percent.” That is absurd, and you have no evidence. If anything, Paul seems to oppose the wars, such as WWII, that everyone supports.
    If you want to say that he is a racist or is homophobic, I won’t argue because there is lots of evidence. But on Iraq, you don’t know what you are talking about.

  270. 270
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @IM: Okay, let’s take this hypothetical: Someone who opposed the Iraq War because it was unnecessary and therefore illegal and someone who opposed the Iraq War because it would drain resources from his preferred war with China. Are both of these guys on the left?

  271. 271
    IM says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    And now you have thrown most democrats in congress out of the left.

    Firebagger!

    (What do think actual democratic voters about farm subsidies?)

    Seriously, I think you can find some example right and left like to spend money on. Israel or military spending or VA benefits. (Do you want to argue that no serious liberal likes to spend money on Israel and congressman from N.Y. and Florida don’t count?)

  272. 272

    @El Tiburon:

    No, I’m not sniffing glue, yes I DO have an idea what the debate is about and fuck you very much.

    Honestly, I think people here have some serious ABL derangement syndrome.

  273. 273
    El Tiburon says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    I do, I guarantee you that he will read it and you will get a nasty response from him

    You try dealing with a bunch of Morans like yourself and you too might write some nasty replies.

    Anyone who has read any Greenwald knows he has to contend with a certain segment of his commenters totally fabricating quotes or otherwise misinterpreting what he said. And his so-called ‘nasty’ replies are nothing compared to the vitriol spewed froma certain front pager here . I won’t say her name, but it rhymes with Bangry Brack Mady.

    And I quote: “go fuck yourself in the face”

  274. 274
    Tom Hilton says:

    @LT: I write clearly and precisely enough not to require translating. If anyone wants to know what I mean, they can simply read what I write.

    But thanks for your efforts, unnecessary though they are.

  275. 275
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone:

    He’s not, and never has been, a liberal. Or a “leftie”. Or anything else.

    A few threads back, the one about Paul’s worries about gay dudes’ bathrooms, a poster by the name of Mona (who said she had worked as an editor on Greenwald’s books) said that they had rejoiced together over the Democrats taking the Senate in ’06. She was emphatic that he was not a libertarian and more appropriately called an “anti-authoritarian.” No one used the vocabulary of liberalism there, but it was awful close…

  276. 276
    IM says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    But you do know that “Iraq drains resources from Afghanistan” was an actual argument on – perhaps not the left – but the democratic side.

    And no, the second is not on the left. But Paul doesn’t wants to attack China. Or as far I know any other country.
    “Country X isn’t a threat, don’t attack it” isn’t an leftish argument per se. But it isn’t an right-wing argument per se either.

  277. 277
    WeeBey says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Does Glenn pay you?

    Because if not, you’re wasting your life.

  278. 278
    Mary says:

    @Emma: “What fascinates me about all this is not Glenn. Is the ABL hatred, mostly from people whose handle indicate they are males, and whose first instinct is to put her down with words like “childish.” It’s not the Glenn-hatred; it’s the ABL contempt and the need to insult her that is amazing in these threads.”

    This. Times a thousand. I see a whole heck of a lot more bile direct at ABL than from ABL.

  279. 279
    slag says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Good example!

    Actually, I’m starting to agree more and more with Hilton. Obama would probably actually win the civil liberties debate from the left. Whether his decisions in office have met my own expectations of him is not the issue. I think he would actually be better than Paul at explaining his positions from a liberal perspective.

  280. 280
    MacKenna says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Jerry Rubin is one hell of a changeling. From egotistic Yippie asshole in the 70s to Wall Street Yuppie broker douchebag.

    Rubin was always more preoccupied with Rubin than anything else. I wonder how much money he made on toxic mortgages before it all went south.

  281. 281
    Mary says:

    @slag:

    However, there are actually issues here worthy of discussion. Issues that I think the left should be discussing. And I think how you decide to balance your own self-interest against that of another is actually a worthy discussion. I, for one, find the process challenging and it probably sits on one or more of the foundational blocks on which I’ve built my worldview.

    That said, I think a debate between Obama and RuPaul would actually be more fascinating than a debate between him and Ron Paul. If my criteria for this debate were that one has to be the President and one a C-list celebrity that appears to have divergent views than Obama on some issues.

    I think I’m in love. Seriously, the points that you and Tom Hilton are making here are making a really shitty day a whole lot better, so thanks for that.

  282. 282
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @IM: Many Democrats are not of the left. Most of those who are left of center are center-left. Also, there are many issues that don’t actually breakdown on a left-right axis; some are truly bipartisan. Traditionally, social security was one of those; obviously, things have changed with respect to that. Is the final position taken on a specific issue so important to you that you would ignore how they got there? Someone from the right who agrees on a particular issue of interest to the left is a useful ally on that issue. That is all.

    “Country X isn’t a threat, don’t attack it” isn’t an leftish argument per se. But it isn’t an right-wing argument per se either.

    That’s what people have been saying to you.

    @IM: You should note that I posed it as a hypothetical. I am addressing your seeming insistence that the thought process that leads to the decision does not matter.

  283. 283
    Gex says:

    @Mary: Welcome to the Internet. Or the world. Where it is better to disguise your voice as male on Xbox live than to take all the abuse that will be directed your way because some men can’t feel manly without denigrating women.

  284. 284
    Emma says:

    @Mary: It’s a given, I suppose. People can let their inner arsehole fly when they’re not face to face with someone. If nothing else because face to face you risk a punch in the snout.

  285. 285
    Mnemosyne says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Paul and the other Randoids believe this crap, but GG does not.

    Yes, that’s why Greenwald defended Matthew Hale in court after the ACLU declined to do so, has defended other racists, and is now claiming that Ron Paul’s views about the Iraq War should automatically trump Paul’s views on the Civil Rights Act — because Greenwald just luuuurves civil rights. And yet everything I’ve ever read from Greenwald indicates that he thinks that civil liberties are paramount and should always trump mere civil rights.

  286. 286
  287. 287
    moonbat says:

    Explain to me how ABL posting on Greenwald’s wrongheadedness over Ron Paul is in any way different from Cole posting on Bobo’s wrongheadedness on Romney or any other front pager commenting on the idiocy of our punditocracy over any particular issue. Hell, more than half the post on BJ have this as their kernel/raison d’etre. But there sure is a whole storehouse of venom saved up for her posts by the usual suspects. Greenwald fanboys or just ABL haters?

  288. 288
    Mnemosyne says:

    @IM:

    Seriously, I think you can find some example right and left like to spend money on. Israel or military spending or VA benefits.

    You can, but you’re generally not going to find that they like spending money on it for the same reasons.

    Politics make strange bedfellows and people are free to use Ron Paul as their conservative friend who agrees with them about Iraq, but Paul’s isolationist stance doesn’t put him “on the left” any more than my support for increased VA funding puts me “on the right.” It puts him into an area where we can work out a solution to a common problem even though we got there by completely different routes.

    The right/left divide is not a flat line. It’s a circle. You can take a position that’s so far to the left (or the right) that it becomes almost indistinguishable from the opposite pole, which is why libertarians and anarchists can be difficult to tell apart even though one philosophy is based on thinking from the right and the other is based on thinking from the left. That doesn’t mean that libertarians are further to the left than a centrist like Obama is.

  289. 289
  290. 290
    IM says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    But the Afghanistan first argument was used, no hypothetical needed. Including on the left blogosphere. And if you want to claim that most democrats are not on the left, well – but somehow that is opposite day. I say things like what left – there is no left in the US. Is today imitate FDL day or something?

    That’s what people have been saying to you.

    Now you lost me.

    To recap: arguing that sovereign states should not be attacked without a threat from them and that attacking X or Y is not in the national interest can be right-wing or left-wing arguments. Both arguments have indeed been used by left and right (and center-left and center-right) regarding Iran and Iraq. So if the same arguments lead to the same results, there is the problem? Is there some sort of immaculate conception needed?

  291. 291
    Mary says:

    @Gex:

    Welcome to the Internet. Or the world. Where it is better to disguise your voice as male on Xbox live than to take all the abuse that will be directed your way because some men can’t feel manly without denigrating women.

    Preach!

    @Emma:

    It’s a given, I suppose. People can let their inner arsehole fly when they’re not face to face with someone. If nothing else because face to face you risk a punch in the snout.

    Sad but true.

    Sorry, I don’t usually like to go meta in comments, but sometimes it feels necessary.

  292. 292
    Mnemosyne says:

    @IM:

    So if the same arguments lead to the same results, there is the problem?

    The problem is in deciding that if a right-wing isolationist makes the same argument as a left-wing pacifist, that automatically means that the right-wing isolationist is making an argument from the left.

    Basically, you’re arguing that Pat Buchanan and Cindy Sheehan are ideological twins who are both on the left because they both agree that the Iraq War was stupid and never should have been started.

  293. 293
    IM says:

    By the way , if the results never matter, was the newsletter story in TNR wrong? After, all it was authored by James Kirchick and his motives were probably quite dubious.

  294. 294
    Cassidy says:

    Is it really Team Red and Team Blue and never the two shall mix?

    Yes. That is reality. Team Blue, while disappointing at times, still tries to govern responsibly. Team Red is batshit insane. That was there choice. We did not do that. If they ever decide to come down from thier meth addled, rentboy Jeebus psychosis, then we can entertain more than one plan. Right now, the safe bet for everyone is to assume that team red is lying and planning and stealing your kidney while you’re sleeping.

  295. 295
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Ronbo:

    If I say that Rush Limbaugh is to the left of Glenn Beck, then I’m endorsing Limbaugh?

    No, but you are saying something demonstrably fucking stupid, and you should be called out for it.
    Just like Greenwald saying that Ron Paul is to the left of Barack Obama.

  296. 296
    IM says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Now you are building some sort of a strawman. As far as I understand, only very few democrats, a small minority of liberals and a minority of leftists are pacifists. Most of the several anti Iraq war arguments on the left were not pacifist arguments. After all, most of these groups did support the war in Afghanistan. (There they once again meet Ron Paul, AUMF supporter).

  297. 297
    Mnemosyne says:

    @IM:

    Now you are building some sort of a strawman.

    It’s a strawman to point out that two people with completely different political views can come to the same conclusion, so the conclusion itself can’t be said to be automatically “left” or “right”?

    I think your cry of “strawman” is because you see your argument that Paul is to the left of Obama on, well, anything collapsing underneath you.

    I’ll put it even more simply: his right-wing isolationist arguments against the Iraq War do not put Ron Paul to the “left” of anyone. His right-wing libertarian arguments against the War on Drugs do not magically move Paul to Obama’s “left” on anything. This is why Greenwald is a moron.

  298. 298
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @IM: A number of people, including myself, have been trying to indicate that there is a difference between someone who is an ally on one issue, or even a few issues, because s/he arrived at the the same place by a different (and potentially horrific) route and someone who is an ally on many issues because s/he views the world through a broadly similar lens. At this point, I tend to think that the fact that you seem to misunderstand this is deliberate.

    And yes, many Democrats are not liberals. Almost every Democrat, though, is broadly left of any Republican.

  299. 299
    OzoneR says:

    @TG Chicago:

    Why is it so hard for people to accept that Paul is to the left of Obama on many others? It’s a simple fact.

    because his rationale isn’t leftist. It’s like saying you support abortion rights because you think some babies need to be killed vs. because women should have the right to choose. The former doesn’t make you a liberal. The latter does.

  300. 300
    IM says:

    Well, I will end it here. If you look only at foreign policy and then only at the wars and almost wars in the middle east, Pauls arguments are not rooted in an exclusively right-wing mind set. That puts him in this regard to the left of Romney and Lieberman and TNR.

  301. 301
    LT says:

    @OzoneR:

    because his rationale isn’t leftist.

    And GG’s tweet doesn’t in any way say it is. Rread it again. Saying “to the Left” doesn’t imply rationale. It just locates it as a position that, say, YOU might take, if for different reasons.

    That’s why Hilton’s and this post is so wrongheaded. The tweet is about Obama, and is entirely consistent with past critiques by GG of Obama. He simply used the fact that many of Paul’s positions – not their rationale for them, it is NOT in the tweet – are to the left of Obama’s to remake the point.

    To have this uproar over that is really reaching. It MUST by its nature ignore the actual important issues GG is talking about – drone wars, whistleblower protection, etc., and that is just depressing. John Cole should not let that kind of crap happen on the FP here.

  302. 302
    IM says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    No it isn’t. And that is quite unfair. Of course Paul hasn’t a left wing or even center -left worldview. Have I claimed that? I only argued that some of political positions can’t be explained by his pre 1860 worldview. Especially on middlle eastern war policy.

    And claiming that a measurable portion of the americamn center-left are pacifists is nuts.

  303. 303
    Soonergrunt says:

    @IM:

    That puts him in this regard to the left of Romney and Lieberman and TNR.

    Which isn’t saying anything remotely impressive or applause-worthy.

  304. 304
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mnemosyne: Frankly, it’s probably not that hard to read Greenwald selectively and tendentiously and thereby succeed in pinning him “to the right.” I mean, like I was saying before, the kinds of militia-movement nutters David Niewert specializes in studying have great skepticism about government power and dissent-silencing authoritarian thuggery too. I don’t think Greenwald would take kindly to that, even though it would be fair game by his own standards.

  305. 305
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @IM: Who claimed that a measurable portion of the American center-left are pacifists? Link please.

  306. 306
    IM says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    No. It is still true.

  307. 307
    IM says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    So you admit that the american center-left did not oppose the Iraq war out of pacifistic reasons?

  308. 308
    El Tiburon says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Yes, that’s why Greenwald defended Matthew Hale in court after the ACLU declined to do so, has defended other racists,

    So what are you saying? Greenwald is a racist? Obama snorted coke. So fucking what? Big fucking shock that a lawyer may represent some reprehensible clients. Again, the ACLU represented the KKK. It is really astounding that you are now relying on right-wing tactics to smear someone because they PERFORMED THEIR FUCKING JOB.

    and is now claiming that Ron Paul’s views about the Iraq War should automatically trump Paul’s views on the Civil Rights Act—because Greenwald just luuuurves civil rights.

    This makes no sense. Trumps in what sense? But I’ll play along. On a scale of what is more important, would you rather have a politician who would vote against another stupid costly war or a politician who disagrees withe the CRA like it would ever come up for a vote again anyway?

    And yet everything I’ve ever read from Greenwald indicates that he thinks that civil liberties are paramount and should always trump mere civil rights.

    Could you provide just ONE link where this happens?

  309. 309
    Fed Up In Brooklyn says:

    @LT: Amen, LT.

  310. 310
    OzoneR says:

    @LT:

    He simply used the fact that many of Paul’s positions – not their rationale for them, it is NOT in the tweet – are to the left of Obama’s to remake the point.

    so what? so were Mussolini’s, that doesn’t make him to the left of Obama. Like I said, if a politician supported late term abortion rights because he thought mothers who have a second girl should abort the child, would that make that candidate “to the left of Obama” who doesn’t support late term abortion rights?

    No, it wouldn’t, but that’s not a leftist point of view.

    Positions don’t put you on a political spectrum, rationales do. If the political left believes in equal rights and fairness, then it matters what rationale a person has when taking a point of view that matches the left.

    Ron Paul opposed war not because he wants to world to leave in peace, he opposes war because he doesn’t think its our job to get involved. He opposes the Iraq War for the same reason he hates the UN or the Red Cross. That’s not a leftist point of view. I don’t consider Paul’s isolationist policies “to the left” of Obama cause I don’t consider them leftist.

    Greenwald is, unsurprisingly, missing a lot of substance in his posts, that’s the center of the criticism. Just because it falls from the sky, it doesn’t make it rain.

  311. 311
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @IM: I opposed it because it was stupid and immoral. What is your point?

  312. 312
    El Tiburon says:

    @OzoneR:
    Are you saying that on no issue is Obama to the right of Ron Paul?

  313. 313
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @LT: But I don’t think you’re really listening to the substance of the critique. Paul’s positions _aren’t_ “to the left” of Obama’s just because Greenwald likes them better than he likes Obama’s. They’re different from Obama’s, but not on a left vs. right axis. That’s why Greenwald is wrong about the meaning of left. We can also hash out whether Greenwald is correct about what Paul thinks or about what Obama thinks, but that should take place on a plane other than the left-right one.

  314. 314
    TG Chicago says:

    @Tom Hilton #72: Well, okay. But that sounds like a somewhat semantic argument. I imagine if Greenwald had been writing about this issue in more than 144 characters, he might not have used the rather limiting “to the left of” framing.

    I think the point is this: most of us here probably support most of Obama’s agenda, but are less enthusiastic about stuff like secret drone attacks, the continuation of the drug war, the continuation/escalation of foreign wars, etc. If the race came down to a charismatic, largely successful 1st term president vs. a kooky, clearly flawed guy who pressured the president to dial down the drug war and the abuses related to the “war on terror”… wouldn’t that be kind of awesome?

    I think that’s what Greenwald was saying.

  315. 315
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @El Tiburon: Do you do this intentionally? I mean the mischaracterizing of other’s comments?

  316. 316
    IM says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    That this could well be a right wing position.

    same rationale -> same result.

  317. 317
    OzoneR says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Are you saying that on no issue is Obama to the right of Ron Paul?

    on substance, no, probably not.

  318. 318
    LT says:

    @OzoneR:

    He simply used the fact that many of Paul’s positions – not their rationale for them, it is NOT in the tweet – are to the left of Obama’s to remake the point.
    __

    so what? so were Mussolini’s…

    Okay. You win!

  319. 319
    OzoneR says:

    @TG Chicago:

    If the race came down to a charismatic, largely successful 1st term president vs. a kooky, clearly flawed guy who pressured the president to dial down the drug war and the abuses related to the “war on terror”… wouldn’t that be kind of awesome?

    no, because kooky, clearly flawed dude would never get the president to dial it down. Obama would dial it up. Drone attacks and the drug war are popular positions with public support, Obama would stand by them with pride.

    Besides, if Ron Paul ever secured the GOP nomination, I would wager a guess they’d be a right wing third party candidacy.

  320. 320
    LT says:

    @OzoneR:

    Are you saying that on no issue is Obama to the right of Ron Paul?
    __

    on substance, no, probably not.

    Let’s put it another way: Are there any Obama policy positions that Greenwald criticizes that you, too, have trouble with?

  321. 321
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @El Tiburon: I think it all boils down to the meaning of right and left. If right and left have to do with (1) individual liberty and the coercive power of the state, that leads in one direction. If right and left have to do with (2) alleviating suffering and establishing justice, especially for disempowered groups, that leads in a very different direction. I think a “bleeding-heart liberal” would embrace (2), and in that case I would say that on no issue is Paul to the left of Obama. I don’t think Glenn Greenwald is one of those.

    I think a libertarian or a “classical liberal” would embrace (1), and in that case you could find issues like Greenwald does and call them “to the left” of Obama. My sense is that Greenwald would slot himself here. But I would argue vehemently that that’s not a useful way of defining left and right, or a very reliable touchstone for determining how a self-described “liberal” would behave on a given issue. In short, it’s libertarian rather than liberal or left, and while libertarians and lefties have overlaps, a libertarian critique of Obama would not be a critique from the left as I would define it. And I think most people who see themselves on the left would come closer to (2) than (1) when asked to articulate what the core of liberal/left identity was.

  322. 322
    OzoneR says:

    @LT:

    Are there any Obama policy positions that Greenwald criticizes that you, too, have trouble with?

    yes, and the left of him on those is Bernie Sanders, Dennis Kucinich, Russ Feingold, not Ron Paul.

  323. 323
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @IM: Yes, sometimes people on the right and people on the left agree about something. Pat Buchanan and I agreed about the Iraq War. It is probably the only time we ever agreed on anything. Buchanan probably ould have used the savings to fund further tax cuts and run the abortion police while I would have invested it in infrastructure and health care. See the difference? Also, I was concerned about international law and the fate of the Iraqi people. Buchanan just didn’t give a fuck about that. See the difference?

  324. 324
    LT says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    @LT: But I don’t think you’re really listening to the substance of the critique. Paul’s positions aren’t “to the left” of Obama’s just because Greenwald likes them better than he likes Obama’s. They’re different from Obama’s, but not on a left vs. right axis. That’s why Greenwald is wrong about the meaning of left. We can also hash out whether Greenwald is correct about what Paul thinks or about what Obama thinks, but that should take place on a plane other than the left-right one.

    But come on. That is a semantic game. If GG had NEVER criticized Obama about drones, for example, before, you could say he was reaching. But this is entirely consistent with his position on these things, positions he has written on for years!

    And a great majority of people, I think you have to agree, would call simply being against what Obama is doing with the drones more to the Left that Right. There’s no reach there.

  325. 325
    Allan says:

    @LT:

    John Cole should not let that kind of crap happen on the FP here.

    Careful, I’m told that people here really hate hall monitors who try to silence opposing voices. Corner Stone will certainly be along to chastise you for this egregious comment in 3, 2, 1…

  326. 326
    OzoneR says:

    @LT: Ron Paul doesn’t disagree with drone use because he cares about the lives of innocent civilians, THAT’s the fundamental difference.

    If India was flying drones into Pakistan, you’d all be up in arms and Ron Paul would say “not our problem”

    And a great majority of people, I think you have to agree, would call simply being against what Obama is doing with the drones more to the Left that Right.

    a great majority of people think the Earth was created in 6 days, doesn’t necessarily make it so.

  327. 327
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @LT:

    Let’s put it another way: Are there any Obama policy positions that Greenwald criticizes that you, too, have trouble with?

    This is a VERY different issue and cuts to the heart of the dispute. Greenwald can have valid criticisms of Obama that aren’t _left_ criticisms of Obama. IMHO they’re basically libertarian criticisms of Obama, and can be held by people on the left, on the right, or anywhere in between.

    If you think that Obama isn’t doing enough to, say, crack down on p0rn, you might come to that position because you’re an Andrea Dworkin style radical feminist, or because you’re an Ed Meese style bluenose busybody. But it would be bogus to say that a candidate who would battle p0rn the way you saw fit would be “more feminist” than Obama.

  328. 328
    Allan says:

    @LT:

    But come on. That is a semantic game.

    Welcome to the internets!

  329. 329
    TG Chicago says:

    To AA+ Bonds at #119:

    You said Greenwald “believes in this left-right combo fantasy…” I don’t believe that’s true. He’s indicated in the past that the left-right dichotomy is sadly limiting.

    You know what else is sadly limiting? Twitter. I doubt he would have used the “to the left of” framing if not for the limitations of Twitter.

    If you want to dive deep into the weeds of what exactly it means to be “to the left of” Obama, okay, fine. But you’re basically arguing with twitter. Let’s imagine Greenwald said Paul “aligns his policy views with folks like Sanders or Kucinich, who are to the left of” Obama.

  330. 330
    ruemara says:

    @Soonergrunt: ABL, Allan and Nick are frontpaging everywhere Corner Stone looks.
    @slag:
    1. I would support this as fiercest thing in the universe.
    2. I demand that RuPaul wear something spangly. With WINGS!

  331. 331
    LT says:

    @OzoneR:

    Ron Paul doesn’t disagree with drone use because he cares about the lives of innocent civilians, THAT’s the fundamental difference.

    So you do care about the lives of innocent civilians, we can gather from than self-righteous little outburst? But you are also telling us that what we should really all be mad about is this one tweet by GG. (Who, as it happens, has actually written extensively about drone strikes killing innocent civilians.)

    Priorities, baby.

    EDIT: And I dont’ know how I missed this: “Ron Paul doesn’t disagree with drone use because he cares about the lives of innocent civilians…”

    Do you realize what you just implied or straight out said about Obama (And Greenwald!) with that?

  332. 332
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @LT: It’s consistent with Greenwald’s positions, yes, but those aren’t left positions, those are the positions of a civil libertarian, and I think it’s introducing unnecessary confusion to classify them as “left.” Glenn Greenwald doesn’t like drones and warrantless wiretapping, Russ Feingold doesn’t, John Cole doesn’t, and probably a whole host of techno-libertarians don’t. That’s not because they’ve all taken a “left” view on the subject, it’s because they all have similar views on surveillance and the power of the government, which happen to cut across the left-right spectrum.

    Just as a thought experiment, I think a Republican candidate who endorsed full marriage equality could be considered “to the left” of Obama on a major matter of gay rights. It would be to the left because it would have to do with justice and equitable treatment for an out-cast group.

    Again, this is a question of defining right and left for me, this time, not a question of the merits of Greenwald’s claim on any other level.

  333. 333
    OzoneR says:

    @LT:

    So you do care about the lives of innocent civilians, we can gather from than self-righteous little outburst? But you are also telling us that what we should really all be mad about is this one tweet by GG.

    Yes, because Glenn Greenwald is erroneously promoting the idea that Ron Paul cares more about those civilians than Barack Obama, which is unequivocal untrue. Anyone who cared about their lives would make a note of that. Glenn Greenwald is wrongly endorsing the idea that a candidate agrees with him, and he doesn’t. Ron Paul doesn’t want to save their lives, he wants them to die another way. Glenn Greenwald doesn’t.

    If you care about innocent civilians, the last thing you should be doing is defending Ron fucking Paul.

  334. 334
    OzoneR says:

    @LT:

    Do you realize what you just implied or straight out said about Obama with that?

    That Obama doesn’t care about innocent civilians killed in drone strikes? Yeah, we knew that already. So what? Neither does Ron Paul, that’s my point.

  335. 335
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @OzoneR: I gotta say, I don’t see Greenwald making an argument about “care” here. And it doesn’t really sound like his M.O.

  336. 336
    LT says:

    @OzoneR:

    You’re like a child lost in a mall.

    So you do care about the lives of innocent civilians, we can gather from than self-righteous little outburst? But you are also telling us that what we should really all be mad about is this one tweet by GG.
    __

    Yes, because Glenn Greenwald is erroneously promoting the idea that Ron Paul cares more about those civilians than Barack Obama,

    Wow, you’re giving be goosebumps. (You do know who is actually ordering the drone strikes right? Because you’re really losing me here.)

  337. 337
    OzoneR says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I don’t see Greenwald making an argument about “care” here. And it doesn’t really sound like his M.O.

    Which is exactly why he’s wrong.

  338. 338
    LT says:

    @OzoneR:

    That Obama doesn’t care about innocent civilians killed in drone strikes? Yeah, we knew that already. So what?

    Also from OzoneR:

    “If you care about innocent civilians, the last thing you should be doing is defending Ron fucking Paul.”

  339. 339
    OzoneR says:

    @LT:

    You do know who is actually ordering the drone strikes right? Because you’re really losing me here.

    I don’t understand where you’re going here? Do you think because Barack Obama would order drone strikes and Ron Paul would not, that automatically means Paul cares about them?

    Ron Paul would also not send aid to earthquake victims while Barack Obama would.

    Obama doesn’t prioritize civilians in another country and neither does Ron Paul.

  340. 340
    OzoneR says:

    @LT: And? I’m not asking you to defend Obama either.

    We’re talking about Ron Paul, what is your obsession with bringing this back to Obama?

  341. 341
    eemom says:

    You know what is hilarious? That the Glennbots are now reduced to blaming Twitter for their hero’s ill-advised use of the word “left.”

    Cuz Twitter, like, reached out and grabbed Greenwald and hissed “Enough with the infinity word posts and eleventy zillion updates. You’re gonna stick to my 140 characters and you’re gonna LIKE it, ‘Zilla boy!”

  342. 342
    LT says:

    @OzoneR: You are a messed up motherfucker.

    Here’s what you’ve done:

    • Killing civilians with drones is bad,

    • Ron Paul not killing ciivilians with drones is bad.

    • Obama killing civilians with drones – eh.

    • Greenwald bad for… fuck, I have no idea now.

  343. 343
    Allan says:

    @eemom: Greenwald cannot fail; he can only be failed.

  344. 344
    LT says:

    @OzoneR:

    We’re talking about Ron Paul, what is your obsession with bringing this back to Obama?

    Holy fucknuts. You’re serious. I gotta go.

  345. 345
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @LT: Bye.

  346. 346
  347. 347
    OzoneR says:

    @LT:

    Here’s what you’ve done:
    • Killing civilians with drones is bad,
    • Ron Paul not killing ciivilians with drones is bad.
    • Obama killing civilians with drones – eh.
    • Greenwald bad for… fuck, I have no idea now.

    yeah, I completely understand you projecting whatever you want on what I said.

    You want me to criticize Obama? Fine, done, Fuck Obama for killing innocent civilians with drones. You happy? Is that what you wanted?

    Guess what, Ron Paul does not care about those civilians either. Sure he won’t kill them with drones, but they’d better home some calamity doesn’t befall them because President Paul would turn the other way.

    Ergo, he is NOT to the left of Obama, because “the left” in opposing drones is that they often take out innocent civilians. Innocent civilians Ron Paul couldn’t give a flying fuck about.

    Ron Paul opposes drone attacks because he doesn’t think we have a place doing things in other countries. Thing that include aid to hungry people or people displaced by war, famine or natural disasters. Thats not a “left” argument.

  348. 348
    IM says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    No, I really do think somebody can have positions on this or that policy without fitting that in a flawless, seamless ideology. Most people don’t have such a build up, in all ways coherent ideology. I doubt you have. Especially so called liberals don’t have much of an ideology, but rather an sometimes contradictory bundle. Now you can claim the american right is different. But if you see how subordinated the ideology is to the partisan needs of the day, I doubt that too.

    Now the so called dissident american right, Buchanan, Paul is probably even more of a collection of contradictions. So if you think Pauls opposition to an attack against Iran flows directly from his interpretation of commerce clause, go ahead. I will take him, like anybody else, policy by policy. And look first at his stated reasons on foreign policy. I don’t think his opposition to the Iraq war was just a clever way to abolish the FED or that his opposition to a possible Iran war is just his way to abolish the Civil Rights Act. Even Paul is not that consistent an ideologue.

  349. 349
    TG Chicago says:

    While I’m generally not a fan of ABL, I truly appreciate what she said in her last paragraph of this post. As I see it, she laid it down like this:

    (note: for the following, “candidate” is defined as “person who has at least one chance in hell of getting the nomination of either the Democratic or Republican party”)

    *There is exactly one candidate in the race whose views on abortion are significantly better than the others. That is Barack Obama.

    *There is exactly one candidate in the race whose views on drone strikes are significantly better than the others. That is Ron Paul.

    *ABL is more interested in abortion rights than drone strikes, so she supports Obama.

    I wish we all could be that intellectually honest. She looks at the pros and cons and admits that it’s not a complete slam-dunk, but she makes her call. That’s what adults have to do every day. But so many of us hardcore political partisans desire a perfectly pure candidate that we’re not willing to evaluate their inevitable flaws.

    I have often thought of ABL as a reflexive and consistent Obama defender, but here she showed that she is willing to be honest about the areas in which she disagrees with the president. I’m glad to see that, and I’m happy to revise my view of ABL.

    I wish more people in this thread were willing to admit that there truly is a tradeoff between the civil rights policies of Obama and Paul.

  350. 350
    OzoneR says:

    @TG Chicago:

    I wish more people in this thread were willing to admit that there truly is a tradeoff between the civil rights policies of Obama and Paul.

    opposing drone strikes does not equal better civil rights policies and if you think so, you’re a complete idiot.

    Obama is 100 times better than Paul on civil rights, even with his drone strikes.

    Paul’s opposition to drone strikes has no basis on civil rights, none at all.

  351. 351
    FlipYrWhig says:

    You know, it occurs to me… the views I laid out earlier would probably put Greenwald in the category of small-r “republican.” Republicanism vs. liberalism is a longstanding, irksome problem in political theory. Davis X. Machina likes to make quips about the perverse trajectory of the word “republican” in American politics, so maybe he could weigh in…

  352. 352
    Keith G says:

    @MacKenna:

    Rubin was always more preoccupied with Rubin than anything else. I wonder how much money he made on toxic mortgages before it all went south.

    None.

    He died a decade ago.

  353. 353
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @IM: Okay, dial back on your caffeine intake. I have been trying (and obviously failing) to make one point on this thread. Very little, if any, of what you are saying even touches on my point. If you want to disagree with my actual point, please do so, and I am willing to discuss it. You clearly are not, so I am through trying to discuss things with you. Cheers.

  354. 354
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @TG Chicago: I don’t think “civil rights” is the best phrase for what you mean. Paul doesn’t even much like the Civil Rights Act, and neither does his son, because it involves the federal government intruding into matters that should be up to either local governments or individual discretion. “Civil rights” surely includes the rights of people suspected of terrorist connections, but it’s a lot more than that, and on the great preponderance of the issues Obama’s stance on civil rights is a lot better than Paul’s, especially because he believes the federal government should be in the business of protecting those rights, and Paul doesn’t.

  355. 355
    Mnemosyne says:

    @LT:

    Saying “to the Left” doesn’t imply rationale. It just locates it as a position that, say, YOU might take, if for different reasons.

    So Pat Buchanan is to the left of Obama because Buchanan opposed the invasion of Afghanistan and Obama didn’t. Buchanan’s reasons for opposing the war are completely immaterial as long as he came to a final conclusion that you agree with and therefore you can place him on the left.

    Good to know.

  356. 356
    TG Chicago says:

    @ Darnell From LA #218: Can you please show me where Greenwald has advocated for the elimination of the EPA? I seriously doubt that he has.

    (note: he hasn’t endorsed Paul for president. He simply agrees with Paul on some issues.)

  357. 357
    Suffern ACE says:

    @AA+ Bonds: His newsletters had columns on how to set up militia cells. He rails against the tri-lateral commission. He’s a paranoid goldbug. His economic policies are based on paranoid lunacy and deliberate falsehoods about the supposed evils of fractional reserve banking. Would civil rights under vigilantes be advanced? I don’t think so.

  358. 358
    TG Chicago says:

    @Mnemosyne #285 — You said that Greenwald “is now claiming that Ron Paul’s views about the Iraq War should automatically trump Paul’s views on the Civil Rights Act”. Can you please link to where he said that? I’m pretty sure he never claimed any such thing.

    Thanks.

  359. 359
    magurakurin says:

    357 Magnum, baby

    say what you will about ABL, she’s a consistent .300 hitter.

  360. 360
    Mnemosyne says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Ron Paul voted against extending the Voting Rights Act because it’s not the job of the federal government to make sure that states don’t block minorities from voting. If states want to prevent certain people from voting, that’s their right.

    Again, civil rights =/= civil liberties.

  361. 361
    TG Chicago says:

    @OzoneR #319: Can you show me an example of when Obama has been faced by Republican opposition and has responded by dialing up his position? I can’t think of one.

  362. 362
    Corner Stone says:

    @slag:

    Whether his decisions in office have met my own expectations of him is not the issue. I think he would actually be better than Paul at explaining his positions from a liberal perspective.

    This may be the stupidest fucking thing posted on this thread.

  363. 363
    Corner Stone says:

    @Allan: That’s it. I’m writing a long and heartfelt letter to John Cole explaining why I simply can’t continue here until he does his duty as bloghost.

  364. 364
    Corner Stone says:

    @ruemara: Bless your poor heart child.

  365. 365
    Corner Stone says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Hmmm…

  366. 366
    Corner Stone says:

    @TG Chicago:

    I have often thought of ABL as a reflexive and consistent Obama defender, but here she showed that she is willing to be honest about the areas in which she disagrees with the president. I’m glad to see that, and I’m happy to revise my view of ABL.

    Well, she’s on record as saying she wouldn’t withdraw support even if she caught him fucking a goat. So…
    I guess that’s honest, at least to some degree.

  367. 367
    TG Chicago says:

    @OzoneR #350: I think the targeted drone strike on Anwar al-Awlaki (an American citizen who was never found guilty of any crime by a court of law) is a civil liberties issue. How is it not?

  368. 368
    Corner Stone says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    No one used the vocabulary of liberalism there, but it was awful close…

    Holy mother fucking shit! Where the fuck for fuck’s sake is my mother fucking fainting fucking couch?!
    “Awful close?!”
    My balls!! They are awful close to your face!

  369. 369
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mary:

    This. Times a thousand. I see a whole heck of a lot more bile direct at ABL than from ABL.

    Maybe there should be a question of the utter bullshit that she front pages?

  370. 370
    Mnemosyne says:

    @TG Chicago:

    It was not a direct quote from Greenwald. That’s why it was not in quotation marks. It was my opinion derived from the fact that Greenwald was able to look at Paul’s entire record on race and yet write this editorial for the Guardian.

  371. 371
    Mnemosyne says:

    @TG Chicago:

    I think the targeted drone strike on Anwar al-Awlaki (an American citizen who was never found guilty of any crime by a court of law) is a civil liberties issue. How is it not?

    Civil liberties =/= civil rights. OzoneR specifically said “civil rights” and yet you responded “civil liberties.”

    You keep conflating the two when they are separate things.

    (Edited to fix a half-started other point that I decided to drop.)

  372. 372
    Jason says:

    Not that it pays me anything to defend the Bete Noir of Balloon Juice, but my interpretation is that Glenn Greenwald’s agenda is far more to debunk the notion that being a pro-civil liberties, anti drug war, anti war candidatate is unviable, than to push the apple cart for Ron Paul. You might think Paul is insincere, but it is indisputable that his rhetoric pushes such a line, giving the lie to the notion that Obama dodges these issues because he is constrained by the need to remain electorally unviable.

    I don’t know how good an argument that is, but it’s a far cry from Greenwald being a simple Ron Paul water carrier.

  373. 373
    kay says:

    Well, ABL you can stop wondering whether Ron Paul would enforce the VRA.
    Ron Paul voted against re-authorizing Sec. 5 of the VRA in 2006.
    He was 1 of only 32 GOP House members to do so.
    Sec 5 is the preclearance requirement that the DOJ is relying on to stop voter suppression in SC
    Ron Paul thinks the VRA interferes with private property rights and is too expensive.
    Plus, we don’t need it, except last week, in SC, when we did.

  374. 374
    kay says:

    There are 2 live lawsuits right now contesting sections of the VRA.
    Conservatives and Libertarians lost a round in court. last week, but they’ll be back.
    The idea that civil rights legislation is safe from attack by these guys is naive, and contradicted by the facts.
    The most amusing part of libertarians and election law is, they whine constantly about ballot access for their candidates, yet they oppose ballot access for, ya know, VOTERS.

  375. 375
    eemom says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    oh sweet Jesus jumping Christ on a trampoline. Forget the Twitter tweet. Look at this from that Guardian piece you linked:

    In fairness to the much-maligned GOP field, they face a formidable hurdle: how to credibly attack Obama when he has adopted so many of their party’s defining beliefs. Depicting the other party’s president as a radical menace is one of the chief requirements for a candidate seeking to convince his party to crown him as the chosen challenger. Because Obama has governed as a centrist Republican, these GOP candidates are able to attack him as a leftist radical only by moving so far to the right in their rhetoric and policy prescriptions that they fall over the cliff of mainstream acceptability, or even basic sanity.

    Yes, the motherfucker is BLAMING OBAMA for the craziness of the republican field.

    That’s it. I’m done. FUCK that despicable little pig, and anybody who defends him. FUCK. THEM.

  376. 376
    TG Chicago says:

    @FlipYrWhig #354: Maybe you’re right. Would “civil liberties” work better than “civil rights”?

    I agree that words are important, and I’m willing to accept it if I’ve used the wrong words. But between this and the whole hair-splitting over “to the left of”, I think we’re getting into highly semantic territory.

    But I’m willing to concede that point if we’re willing to say that the fact that Paul believes “an American citizen shouldn’t be assassinated by the government without a trial” does, in fact, constitute a more progressive position than the Obama Administration.

    (note: the above does not automatically mean “You should vote for Paul, not Obama”. One’s vote has to take many factors into consideration. This is just one. Paul’s wrongheaded views on race, gay rights, abortion, economics, etc, are all other factors to consider — and they all point towards Obama.)

  377. 377
    Joe Buck says:

    Greenwald is an ACLU-style civil libertarian and not an economic Ron Paul kind of libertarian, whose passion is for the rule of law and for justice, not for guns and no taxes. Of course everyone above is correct when they say that even where Ron Paul is right, he’s right for the wrong reasons, and Greenwald seems to think more highly of Paul than I think he should.

    But it’s stupid in the extreme to call Greenwald a “water carrier for Ron Paul”. He’s a stickler for the rule of law, regardless of whether it’s a Democrat or a Republican who is violating it, and I’m afraid that he’s right that Obama, by institutionalizing and covering up for the crimes of Bush II, may be sealing our fate as a country that has abandoned even lip service to its founding principles.

    I am appalled at Ron Paul’s idiot economics, but hell, maybe we deserve him. If he causes the US to stop killing foreigners by the hundreds of thousands and merely wrecks our economy, maybe the world will be better off even if we aren’t. Too bad ABL doesn’t care about the innocent civilians being killed in large numbers by illegal drones. I care, and when the US no longer has a monopoly on high-tech drones, the people we have killed will have drones of their own, and a future president might be killed by one, and the world might just decide that we deserve it.

  378. 378
    eemom says:

    @Joe Buck:

    No, Greenwald is a despicable lying pig.

    See above.

  379. 379
    LT says:

    @TG Chicago:

    You do know that you can hit the “reply” thing that comes up in teh bottom right of comments to get a link to comments, yeah?

  380. 380
    TG Chicago says:

    @Mnemosyne #371: You’re right. I apologize to OzoneR for mixing up the terms.

    That said, I believe there is a civil right to a jury trial before a sentence is executed, is there not? In other words, if I had said “civil rights”, as I should have, I believe my point would still stand.

  381. 381
    Tony says:

    Re: his terribly-clever use of the weasel word “many”

    How about your idiotic failure to understand the word “many”?

    He was weaseling out of nothing, you were misreading what he wrote. Thanks for pointing out that I should ignore the rest of your opinion.

  382. 382
    Jay says:

    “So, am I monster for caring more about my uterus and the rights of minorities and the underclass than I am about the victims of drone strikes in a foreign land? Maybe. But I’m ok with it.”

    TNC:

    “I wonder about that 16 year old’s younger siblings, about what they think of country they executes children a world away with a joystick. I wonder about their anger. But mostly I wonder about the secrecy here at home. In this business, the American president is the steward of his country’s accounts. But Obama has a stated policy of keeping these sorts of expenses off the books. Some decades from now the bill will surely come due.”

    Really, ABL, your “PROTECT OBAMA AT ANY COST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111111one” language has gone WAY over the top. It doesn’t help the President, it emasculates him. Further, your indifference to the casualties of war is something you’d surely criticize if it came from a rightist blogger.

    Were President Obama not in office, I have no doubt you’d allow for equal concern over abortion rights and drone strikes.

    Look, I’m a realist. I understand that we must consider a variety of issues when voting, and that when looking at the bigger picture, we can end up with the least worst electoral option.

    Given this, I’d suggest that big – picture thinkers also concerned about, say, drone strikes consider a kind of “vote swap” that’d go this way: 1)If you live in a state that will be a lock for the President (or against him) in ’12, find a non – batty, non – Paul type and write him or her in. It is not that hard. Then: 2)Convince someone in a more critical state to vote for the President. 3)If you live in a toss – up state but are quite mad at the President, vote for him, but make the case for your write – in to someone in an out – of – play state.

  383. 383
    Tom Hilton says:

    @moonbat: Fucking THIS. Times, I don’t know, a really big number.

  384. 384
    Tom Hilton says:

    @LT: “to the left” means “to the left”. It doesn’t mean “to the right in a way that happens to coincide with a particular left/liberal position”. It means “to the left”.

    If you’re saying Greenwald is so hopelessly inarticulate that he’s incapable of saying what he means, then you’re saying nobody has any reason to read him.

  385. 385
    kay says:

    FWIW, Tom Hilton and ABL, I thought it was a really good post.
    Liberals need to discuss who they are and what they believe, and they can do that w/out the guidance of pundits.

  386. 386
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jason: That can all be true, but it would not position Paul “to the left” of Obama, or Greenwald “to the left” of Obama. It would indicate that Paul has views Greenwald likes better than Obama’s.

  387. 387
    ABL says:

    Too bad ABL doesn’t care about the innocent civilians being killed in large numbers by illegal drones.

    Too bad your reading comprehension skills are so lacking that you could read what I wrote and make such a mind-numbingly stupid statement.

    Here’s a hint. Look for the word “more” in my post.

    Get it now?

    Jesus Christ on toast, some of you people are just unfuckingbelievable. And not in a good way.

  388. 388
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone: What are you on about now? You said Greenwald never claimed to be a liberal. To that I said that on a recent thread someone close to Greenwald at least came close to saying that Greenwald saw himself as a liberal. And in return you started talking about your balls. I give you _tremendous_ benefit of the doubt that you’re ever talking about a subject other than your own fitfully coherent rage at the cosmos. Want to give it another shot?

  389. 389
    OzoneR says:

    @TG Chicago:

    Can you show me an example of when Obama has been faced by Republican opposition and has responded by dialing up his position? I can’t think of one.

    we just had one- the payroll tax cut debate

  390. 390
    Corner Stone says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Sigh. Don’t tell me “Mona” said something somewhere. Quote where GG himself dialed up the liberal or “leftie” tag.

  391. 391
    OzoneR says:

    @TG Chicago: ,

    I believe there is a civil right to a jury trial before a sentence is executed, is there not?

    legally, that area is murky because there’s precedence set for someone who publicly renounces his citizenship like he did and there’s also precedence against it.

  392. 392
    ABL says:

    Really, ABL, your “PROTECT OBAMA AT ANY COST!!11111111one” language has gone WAY over the top. It doesn’t help the President, it emasculates him. Further, your indifference to the casualties of war is something you’d surely criticize if it came from a rightist blogger.

    Please tell me you didn’t quote TNC to me in order to make some statement akin to “this black person thinks drone strikes are bad, why don’t you?” when nowhere in my post do I make an argument contrary to what TNC wrote in his blog post, and when, indeed, my blog post was not about nor intended to be about drone strikes per se, but rather about why I “car[e] more about my uterus and the rights of minorities and the underclass than I am about the victims of drone strikes in a foreign land.”

    Please tell me that’s not why you quoted TNC to me. Because — dude, really?

    And whether you did or not (and I hope you didn’t), you should try reading what I wrote and dialing down your impotent outrage to a respectable level, especially since it is based solely on your inability to comprehend what I wrote and not based on what I actually wrote.

  393. 393
    TG Chicago says:

    @Mnemosyne #370: You said back at #285 that Greenwald “is now claiming that Ron Paul’s views about the Iraq War should automatically trump Paul’s views on the Civil Rights Act”. That was your direct quote. Now you’re saying that was merely an opinion based on an editorial that mentions Paul once and mentions the Civil Rights Act not at all.

    That is not a fair assessment.

    If I said Obama was a holocaust denier because he never mentioned the holocaust in his latest weekly radio address, you’d say I was off my rocker. And you’d be right.

    You’re entitled to your opinion, but I’m entitled to point out if your opinion is based on extremely faulty premises.

  394. 394
    taylormattd says:

    @Mathias: Greentards are the new Paultards apparently.

  395. 395
    taylormattd says:

    @Jay: Oh my, and the PUMAs from Atrios’ site swoop in to defend St. Glenn Greenwald and Ron Paul.

    Hey Holden: HILLARY LOST, GET OVER IT.

  396. 396
    taylormattd says:

    @Corner Stone: Oops, the site owner posted that he agrees with her.

    Inquiring minds want to know: will you direct as much rage, anger, and condescension at John as you do at ABL in this thread? Or is that reserved only for the black woman?

  397. 397
    Allan says:

    @taylormattd: To be fair, Corner Stone did rage impotently at Cole in that thread for his betrayal.

    However, Corner Stone does have the habit of disrespecting FPers who are black by intentionally misspelling their names, e.g. ACL for Angry Clown Lady and Zander instead of Zandar.

    Just so they know he retains the privilege to re-name them at will.

  398. 398

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    You should note that I posed it as a hypothetical. I am addressing your seeming insistence that the thought process that leads to the decision does not matter.

    Fuck hypotheticals, I’ll give you a real example, from the history books: The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.

  399. 399
    the farmer says:

    Glenn Greenwald is a ninny.

    *

  400. 400
    Paul in KY says:

    @MacKenna: I saw him give a speech at UK in 1978. It was just after his ‘conversion’.

  401. 401
    MBunge says:

    @Joe Buck: “But it’s stupid in the extreme to call Greenwald a “water carrier for Ron Paul”. He’s a stickler for the rule of law”

    No, not really. For example, Greenwald really didn’t seem to give a shit for the rule of law when it came to the killing of al-Awlaki. Lots of folks pointed out there was plenty of legal authorization for that action, but The Last Honest Man wouldn’t hear any of it.

    Mike

  402. 402
    gaz says:

    @Allan: Corner Stone comes here to post when he’s drunk off his ass. I swear he doesn’t comment while sober. He can’t even string 3 words together without sounding incoherent.

    This blog needs beer goggles.

  403. 403
    Xanthippas says:

    And while I agree that a national conversation about our foreign policy and global imperialism is desperately warranted, ultimately, I’m not willing to give up, for example, my reproductive freedom to have such a conversation, a conversation that will ultimately be futile because any president that would seek to impose isolationist policies, including withdrawing aid to Israel, would without a doubt be hamstrung by Congress.

    Somehow during the Bush administration we liberals were able to have a conversation about the administration’s excesses on both of these fronts. Now with Obama running the show we’ve suddenly lost the ability. Not that Greenwald needs people like me to defend him, but people on the left who are mad at him would be more sympathetic to his viewpoint if they still cared about the current administration’s abuses of civil liberties and their national security powers.

  404. 404
    Xanthippas says:

    @MBunge:

    Lots of folks pointed out there was plenty of legal authorization for that action, but The Last Honest Man wouldn’t hear any of it.

    Really? “Plenty of legal authorization”? Are you aware that their “legal authorization” is basically the same that “authorized” the Bush administration’s excesses?

  405. 405
    Xanthippas says:

    @TG Chicago:

    I have often thought of ABL as a reflexive and consistent Obama defender, but here she showed that she is willing to be honest about the areas in which she disagrees with the president. I’m glad to see that, and I’m happy to revise my view of ABL.

    I wish I could agree with you, but that absurd “Language Matters” post regarding the NDAA makes her come off exactly as a “reflexive and consistent Obama defender.” There is no liberal defense of anything the administration did with that bill; there are only partisan ones.

  406. 406
    TG Chicago says:

    @OzoneR #389: I don’t agree. Obama dialed down the tax on millionaires and opposition to Keystone XL. I can’t think of what he dialed up.

  407. 407
    MBunge says:

    @Xanthippas: “Are you aware that their “legal authorization” is basically the same that “authorized” the Bush administration’s excesses?”

    No, it really, really wasn’t. Like Greenwald, however, you don’t care about that.

    Mike

  408. 408
    shortstop says:

    @gaz: You noticed that too, eh?

  409. 409
    eemom says:

    @Xanthippas:

    Not that Greenwald needs people like me to defend him, but people on the left who are mad at him would be more sympathetic to his viewpoint if he were not an outright lying, opportunistic hack when it suits his purposes to be one and were not a sanctimonious, sneering hypocrite the rest of the time. they still cared about the current administration’s abuses of civil liberties and their national security powers.

  410. 410
    Observer says:

    So, am I monster for caring more about my uterus and the rights of minorities and the underclass than I am about the victims of drone strikes in a foreign land?

    Yes you are.

    …overheard somewhere in Europe circa 1650: “So, am I a monster for caring more about my economic well being and the property rights of my progeny than I am about the victims of the slave trade in a foreign land?”

  411. 411
    Xanthippas says:

    @MBunge:

    Yes, it is. The Obama administration has principally relied upon the 2001 AUMF, which was the cornerstone of nearly all of the Bush administration’s abuses of executive power. Please explain to me what other new and independent legal rationale you believe they are using, because I’m not seeing it.

  412. 412
    Xanthippas says:

    @eemom:

    The time you spent on that could have otherwise been used on a substantive response.

  413. 413
    eemom says:

    @Xanthippas:

    Go read that Guardian piece, and then we’ll talk about “substantive.”

  414. 414

    […] Angry Black Lady is all over that, as is Tom Hilton and Matt Osborne. I have nothing else to add. […]

  415. 415
    ABL says:

    @Observer: That analogy is positively laughable. If you think my statement about my uterus (and by that I meant women’s reproductive rights, generally) and minority and underclass rights is comparable to rich white property owners turning the other cheek during the slave trade in order to protect their economic well-being, then you are truly fucked in the head.

    Stop being ridiculous, won’t you?

  416. 416
    MBunge says:

    @Xanthippas: “the cornerstone of nearly all of the Bush administration’s abuses of executive power.”

    Love the weasel wording there. Including the modifier “nearly” along with the empty phrase “abuses of executive power” is nicely done.

    But let’s not get off point. Greenwald was described as a “stickler” for the rule of law. The reality is that he doesn’t really care that much about what the law is when it conflicts with what he wants it to be, something you’ve completely failed to address.

    Mike

  417. 417
    Spectre says:

    @ABL:

    So, am I monster for caring more about my uterus and the rights of minorities and the underclass than I am about the victims of drone strikes in a foreign land? Maybe. But I’m ok with it.

    What a supremely dishonest post. A paragraph like that is only relevant if Greenwald endorsed Paul over Obama. He didn’t. He merely highlighted how the right wing crazy is more progressive than Obama on things like “You shouldn’t assassinate U.S. citizens.”

    You of course used it to try to launch a gutless guilt by association. So if one were to do the same to you, it would probably go:

    1. Under Obama we became the first western nation post WWII to prosecute and torture a child soldier.
    2. Obama has granted waivers to allow countries that use Child Soldiers to receive U.S. aid.
    3. Clearly, by defending Obama from some arguments, ABL doesn’t value the torture and murder of children.

    Of course you’re a propagandist though, so this is more directed to the people silly enough to believe anything you write.

  418. 418
    Spectre says:

    @ABL:

    Please tell me that’s not why you quoted TNC to me. Because—dude, really?

    Why would you assume that he did that? Is a black blogger nothing but a plot device to you? That’s the most racist leap I’ve seen on a liberal blog in quite some time. Shame on you.

  419. 419
    Robert says:

    @Spectre: Is it really that big a leap when people round these parts do it all the time when ABL posts about racism in new media/the blogosphere?

  420. 420
    appleinaz says:

    So on one hand we have Obama fans saying we shouldn’t be harsh on the poor guy for facing the realities of a presidency, his presidency (nevermind the wasted opportunity in the first six months of his presidency) but those same people are also willing to take Greenwald to task for maybe being wrong once.

    Greenwald has been one of the liberals’ most effective – in terms of getting people in power to change or respond, in terms of highlighting the bullshit – but now he’s on a “quixotic quest for the title of ‘World’s Dumbest Man.'” Uh-huh.

    The Paul detractors – and I’ve never voted for him, nor will I this year – also want any and all association to “teh bad, teh nasty” to be disavowed, while also pointing to Obama’s need to dance with the devil and compromise his principles to get shit done.

    Who’s on the one-way puritan kick?

  421. 421
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    @Satanicpanic: Well said.

  422. 422
    ABL says:

    @Spectre:

    A paragraph like that is only relevant if Greenwald endorsed Paul over Obama.

    uh…. what?! i’m not even sure what the hell you’re talking about. i was explaining my position on ron paul. you need to learn how to read.

  423. 423
    ABL says:

    @Spectre:

    Why would you assume that he did that? Is a black blogger nothing but a plot device to you? That’s the most racist leap I’ve seen on a liberal blog in quite some time. Shame on you.

    hi, welcome to the comment thread on ABL’s posts. maybe read some of my other posts and then come back and see if you can still manage to call me racist.

    idiot.

  424. 424
    Spectre says:

    @ABL:

    uh…. what?! i’m not even sure what the hell you’re talking about. i was explaining my position on ron paul. you need to learn how to read.

    You weighed choices regarding Ron Paul. The weighing of these potential impacts of his election is only relevant if…wait for it…you’re advocating that someone elect him POTUS!See how that works? That’s how that works.

    Your implication then is that pointing out that his views are in some areas better than Obama’s (which is a pretty damning indictment on Obama) = advocating for Paul, is false. It’s nothing but a political smear. The whole point of your post was to try to attack Greenwald by tying him to Paul and acting like it was a choice about racism.

    T-R-A-N-S-P-A-R-E-N-T

  425. 425
    Observer says:

    @ABL:
    ABL, the correct answer to your original question in the post (it was an implied but unasked question) is:
    “people should care about both issues equally”.

    Caring about one does not displace the need to care about the other. One can dislike Paul in the extreme while at the same time dislike Obama and his drone war in the extreme too.

    You shouldn’t complain about Republicans anymore, many of them have the *exact* same sentiments towards you as you do towards the blown up unnamed foreign drone war victims.

  426. 426
    Spectre says:

    @ABL:

    hi, welcome to the comment thread on ABL’s posts. maybe read some of my other posts and then come back and see if you can still manage to call me racist.

    You made a racist leap. In addition, you cheapen the charge by throwing it out so loosely. How so? Well:

    TNC is a great writer. He’s written a highly regarded book, tons of articles, and runs an acclaimed blog. He’s good at fiction, and he’s also emerging as an authority on various historical topics.

    Yet, you just assumed “OMG ARE YOU USING HIM CAUSE HE’S BLACK!?” “IS HE YOUR BLACK FRIEND!!??”

    You assumed he was a stereotype. Why is that? Why was your first thought when you saw his name “generic black guy symbol”? Is that how you look at him? What’s really going on here ABL?

  427. 427
    Spectre says:

    @ABL:

    That analogy is positively laughable. If you think my statement about my uterus (and by that I meant women’s reproductive rights, generally) and minority and underclass rights is comparable to rich white property owners turning the other cheek during the slave trade in order to protect their economic well-being, then you are truly fucked in the head.

    What a joke of a response. Even bad high school debaters ca do better than the “just repeat what they said and act incredulous” rebuttal.

    Observer made a point about how your non-mutually exclusive trade off fails at various prices. You’ve conceded the principle.

    Not much intellectual courage on your part to dodge Observers’ question like that. Then again, If I were dishonest like you, I’d probably avoid answering things too.

  428. 428
    Spectre says:

    Also, on that trade off. How fucking stupid can you get to invoke “caring more about rights” in this sort of thing.

    If you care about “rights” then you don’t let your president violate the right to life of both your own citizens and those abroad.

    Know why? ‘Cuz if you aren’t alive – THEN YOU CANT HAVE ANY RIGHTS.

  429. 429
    maus says:

    @eemom: Apparently. I don’t remember him being this deceptive/insincere in order to be pithy, but there he is.

  430. 430
    Layla says:

    @Spectre:

    Ron Paul is only relevant as a candidate for the office of President. If ABL or anyone is discussing Ron Paul it is through the lens of characterizing his strengths and weaknesses for office.

    P-A-R-A-N-O-I-D

  431. 431

    […] “left” or “right,” in our midst.  This time we have a nice twofer from the liberal camp (one, two), wherein we learn, among other things, that Ron Paul isn’t really a civil libertarian […]

  432. 432
    Xanthippas says:

    @MBunge:

    Where is your retort in that?

  433. 433

    […] views. Of course Greenwald has a point, but at the same time it’s difficult to argue with this: But (you might say) if the result is the same–if, whatever the twisted origins of his […]

  434. 434
    RickD says:

    This is one of the most narcisstic things I’ve ever read:

    “So, am I monster for caring more about my uterus and the rights of minorities and the underclass than I am about the victims of drone strikes in a foreign land? Maybe. But I’m ok with it.”

    Is this supposed to pass for advanced moral thinking? Is it OK for drones to kill innocent people as long as they are in a “foreign land”? You care about “the underclass,” but only in America?

    At least don’t tell me you care about the underclass. I’m sure you care about your uterus.

  435. 435
    Treg Loyden says:

    Talking about Ron Paul: “He has no real objection to states violating the rights of their citizens; it’s only a problem if the Feds do it.” — this is not really true at all. Just as ALL LIBERTARIANS DO, if Ron Paul was running for governor or a State congressman, his same libertarian principles would apply and so he would be arguing for more even power decentralization, down to the County level, city level and citizen level. That is something I could support.

  436. 436
    Treg Loyden says:

    “So, am I monster for caring more about my uterus and the rights of minorities and the underclass than I am about the victims of drone strikes in a foreign land? Maybe. But I’m ok with it.” Please, before voting for Obama who you must admit has just maintained GW Bush policies, stop and think of Nixon & Kissinger carpet bombing innocent people in Vietnam and Cambodia from 33,000 feet from above. Think of Bill Clinton doing the same thing again in Bosnia and Iraq. Think of GW Bush and now think of President Obama and what he is doing. Ron Paul will CHANGE USA foreign policy, period. Lives will be saved, period. Most of all, a President Paul could not highhandedly change Roe vs Wade. Bush didn’t do it, the conservative Supreme Court didn’t do it, and nothing is going to change that. But it is within President Paul’s power to fundamentally change America’s foreign policy. He will do it. The Israelis who practice Apartheid won’t like it, but its about time. Don’t worry about your womb so much, think of children with white phosphorus burns, blown off limbs, and bloodied shattered faces. Think of the millions of children without parents and most of all, think of the mental damage done by war.

  437. 437
    Mike says:

    I don’t think you understand why Ron Paul is against the Civil Rights act:

    The Civil Rights Act of 1964 gave the federal government unprecedented power over the hiring, employee relations, and customer service practices of every business in the country. The result was a massive violation of the rights of private property and contract, which are the bedrocks of free society. The federal government has no legitimate authority to infringe on the rights of private property owners to use their property as they please and to form (or not form) contracts with terms mutually agreeable to all parties. The rights of all private property owners, even those whose actions decent people find abhorrent, must be respected if we are to maintain a free society.

    This expansion of federal power was based on an erroneous interpretation of the congressional power to regulate interstate commerce. The framers of the Constitution intended the interstate commerce clause to create a free trade zone among the states, not to give the federal government regulatory power over every business that has any connection with interstate commerce

    http://www.ronpaul.com/on-the-.....ights-act/

    Private property rights are just as important as any other, and to infringe on one to protect the other is not justice.

  438. 438
    The Detective says:

    So,

    Are we to sleep better at night knowing that the wars (both covert and overt) that are advanced by the Obama Administration – you know, those same wars that many of us cried about under Bush – because Obama is right on civil rights and other issues dear to our hearts? The flip floppery regarding policies on war, terror, and the utter decimation of civil liberties under this (allegedly) democratic president is truly astounding.

  439. 439

    […] Candidate X’s position on Y” as “I oppose Candidate X for President.” Even worse are the lying partisan enforcers who, like the Inquisitor Generals searching for any inkling of heresy, purposely distort any […]

  440. 440

    […] Candidate X’s position on Y” as “I oppose Candidate X for President.” Even worse are the lying partisan enforcers who, like the Inquisitor Generals searching for any inkling of heresy, purposely distort any […]

  441. 441
    William Hurley says:

    ahh, the joys of reading the misanthropic missives of a solipsist. Yet, as much a joy reading ABL’s stab at misrepresenting then dismissing Greenwald’s essay, her creative talents pale in comparison to the late, great Jorge Luis Borges.

    For those of us living in the world, the real not projected vision our solipsistic thread creator imagines, the reality of drone use is a fact-of-life here in the US. So too are all manner of detention “policies” pursued by the increasingly militarized civilian police forces that placard their vehicles with the marketing phrase “to protect & serve” – without now clarifying who it is exactly they’re serving and protecting. Now, one may believe that because I don’t fit a “profile” demographically, ethnographically or behaviorally to be at risk of provoking the ire of the security state’s agents – but that believe is not only solipsistis but are also future denying.

    Whether Obama wins in Nov or not, there will be a day when he’s not President. Who ever it is that follows Obama will enjoy not only the legal institutionalization of anti-American practices, the myriad executive branch agencies will be ever more seasoned at both using these extraordinary powers – and the tools they invent (Kakfa-esque or of steel & gunpowder) – they will have had endless hours of practice defending these powers (and the tools) from any legal or political challenge. At that time, reality may be inclined to reach into your well – that circular protective tube that bounds your world – and pluck you out depositing you in this real world where making public statements in support or defense of reproductive autonomy may “earn” you “3 squares & a cot” just down the hall from Jose Padilla.

    And if you think “social media” will be a means to bring about different ends, I can only encourage you to think again – before or after giving this keynote speech a viewing. If you do visit the 28c3 presence on youtube, you’ll find a cornucopia of information thats similar to and also diverges from Morozov’s thesis – but more of the former.

    Consider that, as a comparison, the Senate Democratic majority decided not to act to remake the rules of cloture. The Senators acted as they did, to much derision from some, because they knew that they would not be forever a majority and loathed “disarming” themselves in the future despite the complications now – complications many o-bots complain very loudly about. So imagine, on Nov 7th America wakes up to a GOP majority in the Senate and the new minority has no right to filibuster. Now imagine that you – and everyone here – at present has no legal right(s) to challenge a Presidential order to detain or kill you right here on good, ole’ US soil.

    Oh yes, and about those drones I was mentioning:

    Unmanned aircraft from an Air Force base in North Dakota help local police with surveillance, raising questions that trouble privacy advocates.

    Sourced from the LA Times of Dec 10th.

    In closing, you may or may not realize it – but with every apology for Obama’s Unitary consolidation you make Ben Franklin’s wise words about security and freedom more and more true – and more and more terrifying.

  442. 442
    Escapee from Cults of Nationalism says:

    ABL ends her piece with a faux-reflective rhetorical question:

    So, am I monster for caring more about my uterus and the rights of minorities and the underclass than I am about the victims of drone strikes in a foreign land? Maybe. But I’m ok with it.

    You are no more a monster for not thinking about or caring for the global minorities and underclasses that suffer and die due to the consequences of US militarism and US service to the interests of its capitalist elite than you are for paying the taxes that make it all possible. But you share a degree of complicity nonetheless.

    If it comes down to an unlikely contest between Obama and Paul, my radical left expatriate vote will go to the one who will diminish American harm to members of the species, not further exacerbate it.

  443. 443
    Carl Miller says:

    This entire post and the comments that follow are complete hapless meanderings from little ninnies. Listen to yourselves. Not talking about militarism, it’s funny now to see why social and civil libertarians are starting to see through the bullshit that is the democratic party, what happened to tolerance? all you do is name call and purport things that are not true. Good luck folks.

  444. 444

    […] Candidate X’s position on Y” as “I oppose Candidate X for President.” Even worse are the lying partisan enforcers who, like the Inquisitor Generals searching for any inkling of heresy, purposely distort any […]

  445. 445

    @The Other Chuck: Chuck asks what power Ron Paul will have to end the drug war without the help of congress. The power of the Executive to refuse to prosecute. That’s what.

  446. 446
    AZVern says:

    @carpeduum: You say “The same Gary Johnson that opposes civil rights and child labour laws.”

    Do you have anything to support that?

  447. 447
    Jelperman says:

    @eric:

    Bullshit.

    It doesn’t matter why a person does the right thing, it’s doing the right thing that matters. Appealing to Motive is a moronic fallacy anyway, and shows real dishonesty.

    http://fallacies.findthedata.o.....-to-motive

  448. 448
    Jelperman says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    I remember four years ago when pwogwessives squealed like stuck pigs when the name of Bill Ayers was mentioned. If Obama’s association with a creep who planted a nail bomb at a police station can be handwaved away, why not Paul’s more sinister backers?

  449. 449

    […] position on Y” as “I oppose Candidate X for President.” Even worse are the lying partisan enforcers who, like the Inquisitor Generals searching for any inkling of heresy, purposely distort any […]

  450. 450

    […] Candidate X’s position on Y” as “I oppose Candidate X for President.” Even worse are the lying partisan enforcers who, like the Inquisitor Generals searching for any inkling of heresy, purposely distort any […]

  451. 451

    […] Candidate X’s position on Y” as “I oppose Candidate X for President.” Even worse are the lying partisan enforcers who, like the Inquisitor Generals searching for any inkling of heresy, purposely distort any […]

  452. 452

    […] Candidate X’s position on Y” as “I oppose Candidate X for President.” Even worse are the lying partisan enforcers who, like the Inquisitor Generals searching for any inkling of heresy, purposely distort any […]

  453. 453
    antiwarrior says:

    Wow. When you have foreign policy friends like the Paul haters, who needs the neocons?

  454. 454
    Harold says:

    Something is really bothering me about this cognitive dissonance that I’m seeing between the people who are thinking critically and coming to the (ironic) conclusion that a hard-right libertarian has views on issues that match their own more than the Democrat president, and the people who aren’t thinking critically who are barking when they see people they assume try to write against said Democrat president

    Ron Paul is an idealist; so was Milton Friedman and his ilk, and so is anyone who sees the only solution as wiping the slate clean and installing a “perfect” system. We can see the results of this in the free-market fallacy – “Oh, it hasn’t failed! We just haven’t made it pure enough!” That sounds suspiciously like racial supremacy to me.

    We don’t need idealists shoving their ideals down our throats. We need people who are willing to work with other people to reach a consensus on how to run our nation – because a nation is one big community, and communities survive by taking care of its members.

    Obama isn’t doing that, and no one else on either “side” is either. So they’ve all got it wrong, from my point of view.

  455. 455
    brs says:

    “So, am I monster for caring more about my uterus and the rights of minorities and the underclass than I am about the victims of drone strikes in a foreign land? Maybe. But I’m ok with it.”

    a. yes. the notion that the .0001% chance that being critical of Obama will result in the overturning of roe or nullify the civil rights act is worth the lives of thousands of children is indeed monstrous.
    b. YOu’re missing the point entirely by making the two mutually exclusive

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  1. […] Candidate X’s position on Y” as “I oppose Candidate X for President.” Even worse are the lying partisan enforcers who, like the Inquisitor Generals searching for any inkling of heresy, purposely distort any […]

  2. […] Candidate X’s position on Y” as “I oppose Candidate X for President.” Even worse are the lying partisan enforcers who, like the Inquisitor Generals searching for any inkling of heresy, purposely distort any […]

  3. […] Candidate X’s position on Y” as “I oppose Candidate X for President.” Even worse are the lying partisan enforcers who, like the Inquisitor Generals searching for any inkling of heresy, purposely distort any […]

  4. […] position on Y” as “I oppose Candidate X for President.” Even worse are the lying partisan enforcers who, like the Inquisitor Generals searching for any inkling of heresy, purposely distort any […]

  5. […] Candidate X’s position on Y” as “I oppose Candidate X for President.” Even worse are the lying partisan enforcers who, like the Inquisitor Generals searching for any inkling of heresy, purposely distort any […]

  6. […] Candidate X’s position on Y” as “I oppose Candidate X for President.” Even worse are the lying partisan enforcers who, like the Inquisitor Generals searching for any inkling of heresy, purposely distort any […]

  7. […] Candidate X’s position on Y” as “I oppose Candidate X for President.” Even worse are the lying partisan enforcers who, like the Inquisitor Generals searching for any inkling of heresy, purposely distort any […]

  8. […] views. Of course Greenwald has a point, but at the same time it’s difficult to argue with this: But (you might say) if the result is the same–if, whatever the twisted origins of his […]

  9. […] “left” or “right,” in our midst.  This time we have a nice twofer from the liberal camp (one, two), wherein we learn, among other things, that Ron Paul isn’t really a civil libertarian […]

  10. […] Angry Black Lady is all over that, as is Tom Hilton and Matt Osborne. I have nothing else to add. […]

  11. […] This gets it right: But the nature of his anti-war stance is fundamentally different from that of liberal opposition to any given war. The tipoff is in his opposition to foreign aid, and his anti-United Nations position: he’s anti-war because the rest of the world just isn’t worth it. His is not the pacifism of the anti-war movement but the nativist isolationism of the America-Firsters; Paul is “to the left of Obama” the way Lindbergh was to the left of Roosevelt. (That may be true in a fairly literal sense, although I wouldn’t trust anything from Big Government without further corroboration.) […]

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