He Likes the Troll Life, He Loves to Boogie


One thing you learn from following Glenn Greenwald on Twitter is a certain kind of specialized trolling. Glenn is very good at phrasing something he believes in a way that will piss off his erstwhile allies, people who voted for Obama but may be sympathetic to the more radical positions Glenn holds. This tweet is a good example. Can I argue with the underlying point Glenn’s making here? Not really–Obama’s change on gay marriage was a political calculation, as Portman’s was. It showed Obama’s cautious political nature and general unwillingness to grasp progressive causes unless he sees that cause moving towards the center.

But there’s at least one difference between Portman and Obama on this specific issue: Portman did it because changing his position will lead to a clear and direct personal gain–his actual gay son might get an real benefit from the state based on his father’s position. As far as we know, Obama’s change in position gives him no such benefit. For you freshman logic fans, that’s the fallacy of equivocation. Glenn’s trying to say that one of Obama’s stated reasons (his empathy for friends and staff who are gay) is the same thing as Portman’s (a real parental interest in the outcome of the debate).

That doesn’t invalidate Glenn’s whole argument–as I said above, he’s mostly right that Portman and Obama engaged in political calculation. But Portman’s political calculation was essentially random–lighting struck in the form of a gay son, so Portman changed one single position, while he holds on to his others. Obama has been slowly marching towards gay rights, perhaps too slowly, but his movement is based on a set of coherent, consistent political beliefs that might not be radical enough for Glenn but are certainly going to do more for gay rights than sitting around waiting for more lightning strikes.

To forestall the first dozen comments pointing out that Glenn trolled me here because I’m writing about one of his tweets, guilty as charged, and so what? Greenwald’s an interesting character and I sure don’t think I’ve gotten him figured out, because I don’t understand the need to piss off a whole swath of people who agree with a cause near to your heart to make your latest point about Obama’s lack of purity.






423 replies
  1. 1
    different-church-lady says:

    BATLIGHT!

  2. 2
    the Conster says:

    Wait, wait I’m going to go make popcorn.

  3. 3
    aimai says:

    Basically: Portman changed his supposedly unchangeable political and philosophical beliefs because it became personally inconvenient for him while Obama always held the position that his personal political and philosophical beliefs were seperate from his political duties as a legislator and a major political leader. So when Portman changed his stance he did so not from political motives (which I don’t consider a bad thing) but rather in the same manner as a man deciding that thievery shouldn’t be criminal once he’s been caught with his hand in the till. Obama fairly consistently drew a distinction between his own beliefs and those of his constituents or potential constituents, was concerned about the line between religious beliefs and religious and political freedom, and freely discussed the possibility of evolution as his role and duties (and constituents) changed.

    There’s basically no comparison at all between these two positions. One nakedly asserts that philosophy and principle bow before personal gain while the other takes from the beginning a relativist stance which leaves open the possibility that as larger social norms change personal beliefs must be re-examined.

  4. 4
    Johannes says:

    Yeah, I have to admit that GG has the knack of making me want to disagree with him, even when he’s just right. A remarkably uneasy ally, and one who marginalizes himself wholly unnecessarily. I seem to remember that William O. Douglas was accused of deliberately repelling other members of the Supreme Court with inflammatory language so that he could be the “lone dissenter.” Maybe GG has some of that desire to stand alone, romantically in dissent.

    ETA: I’m a huge fan of Douglas, whose First Amendment jurisprudence forms the core of a book I wrote , as I once was a fan of GG. The former has aged, for me, better than the latter.

  5. 5
    piratedan says:

    really? who gives a shit what Senor Sock Puppet has to say? It’s not like he’s adding anything to the discussion, just the same old narcissistic crap, “look at me, I’m so pure you should hang out at my table and be a political hipster like me!”.

  6. 6
    Corner Stone says:

    Purity!

  7. 7

    Greenwald frequently makes good arguments, but they’re selectively deployed, and the deployments are almost always selected such as to try to split the liberal base and convince Democratic voters to defect to supporting libertarians, or libertarian-leaning Republicans, instead.

    And then he and his supporters get volcanically angry when anyone suggests that he’s doing this, and the whole argument becomes Glenn Greenwald vs. His Enemies, who are always liberal Democrats, who are big hypocrites because they don’t support libertarians, only that’s totally not what he’s saying and if you say that’s what he’s saying it just proves that it’s true.

    I’m reluctant to criticize him too strongly in part because I think we need people who are willing to needle Obama over civil liberties and defense policy. But if all the energy is directed in this weird, defensively trollish way toward attacking Democrats and Obama supporters for not loving Rand Paul, it might not be doing a lot of good.

  8. 8
    bcwbcw says:

    Obama isn’t just a cautious politician he is extremely conservative for a Democrat. Portman is taking a substantial risk supporting gay marriage, Obama is not. Obama could have led without significant political cost on gay marriage, he just didn’t want to.

    Yet Obama is willing to take positions that antagonize Democrats: chained CPI, drone killings, secrecy and surveillance are three examples.

  9. 9
    Ash Can says:

    Aimai at #3 sums it up perfectly. Greenwald is full of shit.

  10. 10
    Suffern ACE says:

    Ok. You got me. Obama clearly deserved more ridicule from the left for evolving his position on gay rights. That’s the best stance. And then what? Thunderous ridicule served. Now what. I’m still not happy. I passed on the opportunity to be happy so that I could maintain my relentlessly unhappy dude branding. Good for me.

  11. 11
    askew says:

    And lets not forget that Obama had a good record on gay issues prior to his change on SSM, while Portman has a long record of being anti-gay. Plus Obama has proven his commitment to SSM by having his admin submit briefs on Prop 8 plus stop defending DOMA in court.

    This is another example that shows why it is about Obama and not the issue. When Obama came out in favor of SSM, they all bitched that it was just words or too late. And when his administration acted on overturning Prop 8, they ignore his actions.

  12. 12
    zoot says:

    both Greenwald and this post are full of shit!

    to answer Greenwald: yes there is a huge difference between obama and portman. obama’s change is evolutionary and perfectly consistent with the liberal tendencies he tries to pawn off as his positions, i.e., it HELPS HIM POLITICALLY. portsman’s change is diametrically opposed to his political position and would never happen without the personal experience because it HURTS HIM POLITICALLY.

    to answer this: Obama’s change on gay marriage was a political calculation, as Portman’s was. – Nooooo to portrman’s political calculation. People don’t make political calculations that HURT THEM POLITICALLY.

    shhheeesssshhhhh!!!!!

  13. 13
    c u n d gulag says:

    It’s too bad that, thanks to nepotism, none of our politicians have any family members or friends who are unemployed.

  14. 14
    Emma says:

    @bcwbcw: AAAANNND off we go!

  15. 15
    Jethro Troll says:

    This reminds me of how Greenwald was advocating for stricter immigration laws before he got a non-US citizen boyfriend.

  16. 16
    different-church-lady says:

    @bcwbcw:

    Obama could have led without significant political cost on gay marriage, he just didn’t want to.

    You seem to be under the impression that only liberal base voters vote in elections.

  17. 17
    Corner Stone says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    I passed on the opportunity to be happy so that I could maintain my relentlessly unhappy dude branding.

    You’ve succeeded in that effort. Happy now?

  18. 18
    MattF says:

    I guess I just don’t trust Greenwald– what he writes seems to be the end result of a logical calculation, but we don’t ever get to see the start of the calculation, where you set out your assumptions.

  19. 19
    aimai says:

    @bcwbcw:

    What risk is Portman taking? He withheld the information from the public when he was running for President and later when he was considered for VP. He has not committed himself to taking any specific policy position when he comes up for re-election. You have to assume that he believed his son’s “status” was going to come out and he simply chose to get ahead of the curve in order to manage it and to show it in the best light. ITs true that he could have won a lot of praise for disowning his son and continuing to champion the worst case hater’s right wing attitude towards gays but its not clear that this was his position to start with and he’s not up for re-election anyway. Whatever risk Portman has taken in terms of losing political support or social support from close friends or allies he clearly decided it was worth it to keep a relationship with his son. Is that admirable? Its certainly self interested. The moral principle is not one that I think is generally applicable or at all different than “Fuck you (my principles and my party) because I got mine (family, tribe).”

  20. 20
    Chyron HR says:

    @bcwbcw:

    Oh no, someone somewhere on the internet disagrees with Dear Leader Greenwald! Deploy the Glennbots!

  21. 21
    Culture of Truth says:

    Of course there’s a difference. And Greenwald knows it. I assume. So he either plays dumb… or whatever. I see his tweets from time to time (so not all of them) and seems to live to bash Democrats and Obama in particular. Perhaps he critiques Republicans as much, but it sure doesn’t seem like it. So that’s his M.O. and while I’m sure it makes him feel pure it’s not very helpful.

  22. 22
    aimai says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    Actually John Boehner is on record as not caring what the employment/unemployment status of his 11 siblings is.

  23. 23
    Paula says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    No shit, Sherlock.

    That’s because GG is not a liberal or a leftist in any sense of the word. He is a libertarian who wants people to throw their support to other libertarians and/or make other parties weak in elections. But he doesn’t want to admit that in writing because of the liberal suckers who comprise the bulk of his readership and thus keep him fed and clothed and on talk shows.

    As it happens, the Obama administration recently threw its support behind legislation that would allow same sex partners to immigrate to the US. Someone tell me when GG deigns to acknowledge this development.

  24. 24
    Rosie Outlook says:

    An issue I have not seen addressed in all the Portmanteau coverage: who cares what he thinks? Wasn’t he hired to represent the views of the people in his district, not his own?

    On more important matters, saw a third mystery bug, called landlord who called exterminator. Unfortunately, I didn’t talk to exterminator, office lady did, and he told her what they are but she forgot. Whatever they are, their normal habitat is outside (that narrows it down to about 99.5% of bugdom). If he has to come back next month I’ll try to get him to come on my furlough day so I can meet him and find out what they are.

  25. 25
    c u n d gulag says:

    @aimai:
    Why is it that I’m not surprised?

    After all, good Conservative that he is, ‘he’s got HIS!’

  26. 26
    Rosie Outlook says:

    Er, that is Port Man, my phone changed it to portmanteau. Fvck you Apple.

  27. 27
    Hunter Gathers says:

    You’re not wrong Walter Glenn. You’re just an asshole.

  28. 28
    Gex says:

    I think the answer lies in the Libertarian hostility towards Democrats no matter what. Even though the party represents many of the viewpoints that Libertarians care about. Maybe Dems would even represent those better if they hadn’t been beaten up about being soft on defense and crime while Libertarians consistently vote for tax cuts and refuse to incentivize ANY party to support their other views.

    For those folks, for some reason, it is just way, way worse if the Dems do something than if the GOP does. I don’t know how or why the GOP gets a free pass. I assume it’s because sometimes being a white man trumps everything else.

  29. 29
    Rosie Outlook says:

    And I had to break Port Man into 2 words. Fvck you, Apple, with a rusty chain saw.

  30. 30
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Rosie Outlook: do you have a picture of the bug? We’ve spent so much time over the years analysing the punditry, that we’re practically entomologists.

  31. 31
    pluege says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    I think you’re wrong here – many (maybe most) are on do-nothing jobs from their rich parents – think romney boys not enlisting because of the important job of helping their father win the presidency. No doubt many such other BS “jobs” are out their for the spawn of the powerful, i.e., non-jobs, jobs, or in other words they really are unemployed doing nothing important for society, but getting paid handsomely because of their connections.

  32. 32
    patrick II says:

    @aimai:
    Yes. Like the catholic politicians who, because of their religion, don’t believe in abortion but vote pro-choice because they are participating in a theoretically secular government, there is a real difference between them and those who would impose their religious beliefs on us all.

  33. 33
    dmsilev says:

    There’s also a rather large substantive difference between Portman and Obama. Obama has actually *done* things to support gay rights (DADT repeal, briefs to the Supreme Court arguing against DOMA and against Prop 8). Right now, Portman hasn’t actually done anything, and it’s not clear that he will. Say, for instance, that the Senate moves a bill to repeal DOMA. Will Portman break with his party and vote for cloture on the inevitable filibuster?

    Until that question, or something similar, gets put to the test, Senator Portman’s support for such things should be treated as purely hypothetical.

  34. 34
    Rosie Outlook says:

    @Gex: Being white sure worked out great for my father. He got to do hard manual labor his whole life except when he was on the front lines of two wars (look up Pork Chop Hill). Yep, sure is great being a white man.

  35. 35
    aimai says:

    @zoot:

    I think we are getting confused here by treating Obama and Portman’s “politics” as identical, as well as treating their stance on the personalization of politics as identical. They aren’t the same in any way. The status of an individual, a low level State Senator, a Congressman or a Senator and then, eventually, a President are entirely different in terms of the meaning or effect of their personal stance on a complex problem like “gay marriage.”

    The problem can’t be reduced to mere political calculation for either of them or rather, another way of looking at it is that politics is inevitably about calculation. That doesn’t make it immoral. Just makes it politics.

    Obama hung back and then led, pushing forward with (for example) DADT repeal when it was definitively politically inexpedient for him–knowing that the public and the states were going to see saw forward on their own, that the landscape would change over time but that the march towards equality was (from a long perspective) unstoppable. His moves on this chessboard were extremely deliberate–up to and including anodyne phrasing about his personal beliefs and evolution. I’d say Obama used his position as President and as Christian and as family man extremely cynically to advance equal rights for gays while giving voters a chance to see themselves in his evolution. The political calculation I see him making is pretending to be more conflicted about this and conservative about this than he probably was in order to lower the reactionry backlash against equal rights.

    Portman claims to have sincerely believed that homosexuality was a sin–over and above the question of civil rights he believed that homosexuality was a defiant choice against the will of his god but he saw no boundary between his personal religious convictions and his role as a policy maker in a secular state. To the extent that he has now “evolved” out of that position he has not done more than suggest that the harsh laws that apply to everyone should be relaxed when it impinges on his own family members. He has not re-examined his core convictions which include 1) demonizing liberals as “anti family” and generically bad for America and 2) maintaining a strong authoritarian state interference in private family matters where it won’t inconvenience his family.

  36. 36

    On the actual subject at hand, I don’t see how it makes a bit of practical difference to anyone whether Obama’s change of stance on same-sex marriage is morally better or worse than Rob Portman’s. Unless your whole point is just to advance a “liberals are big hypocrites and should be libertarians or something” thesis.

    Speaking as a big old liberal, I grumbled about Obama’s previous position on the subject all the time, and John Kerry before him, and Bill Clinton before him. I’m happy he eventually came around, and that’s about as much as is worth saying. The unspoken implication in GG’s tweet seems to be that some large population of pro-gay-rights people are all uncritical Obots on gay rights, and I don’t think that’s true; everyone I know was bothered by the fact that Obama used to be to the right of Dick Cheney on this.

  37. 37
    Rosie Outlook says:

    @Suffern ACE: No, when I see them I go into slaughter mode (the bugs, not the pundits). But I will find out what they are and report back.

  38. 38
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Sorry, but the instant Greenwald started talking favorably about the neofeudalist offal that is Ron Paul, he was dead to me.

  39. 39
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Corner Stone: I see what you did there.

  40. 40
    aimai says:

    @Rosie Outlook:

    That’s incredibly weird–privilige exists despite the fact that not every member of the class is priviliged in the same way. For example: white people were priviliged in being given access to lands opened up by federal policies moving or exterminating Native Americans. That doesn’t mean that the white people who took advantage of the opening of the West, claims etc…, didn’t have to do backbreaking labor or didn’t suffer terrible privations while doing so. White men had the privilige of voting but were also subject to the draft (as compared to women who were not drafted). On the other hand they also benefitted from generous post war benefits like the GI Bill. Does one cancel the other out?

  41. 41
    Gex says:

    @Rosie Outlook: Are you seriously going to assert that there is a disadvantage to being a white man in our society? I’ve made no claims that bad things don’t happen to white men.

    What the fuck? I just assume that all the white male gays that side with the GOP are doing so for the same reason the GOP is the party of the white male. Not all of them obviously. Sheesh.

  42. 42

    By George, I think you’ve got it! The solution to the Greenwald problem: it’s a personality issue. He’s as smart as he seems, and virtuous in all kinds of ways, but face it, he’s a troll. He’s the left equivalent of that fool at the CPAC who can’t hold his tongue in a meeting led by a black man even if the black man is as conservative as Calvin Coolidge. As that guy represents everything about conservatives that conservatives wish to deny, so does Glenn represent the nasty puritanism of which progressives are always being accused.

  43. 43
    driftglass says:

    Over in my Liberal Talk Show Rotisserie League, Glenn takes over Chris Hayes’ “Up” show on MSNBC.

    Topic #1: Why Liberal Talk Shows on MSNBC hypocritically refuse to address the issue Glenn wants to talk about.

  44. 44
    Rosie Outlook says:

    @aimai: I think you are confusing white men with rich white men. White men who aren’t rich are treated like everyone else who isn’t rich.

  45. 45
  46. 46
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Well, GG, in part because Portman has only switched on gay marriage for his son, while Obama has switched on gay marriage for everyone.

    I personally give Portman props for evolving, even if it’s only a little right now. But he’s easily had the same amount of time that Obama has.

  47. 47

    @Rosie Outlook: Lame. The OP is about trolling, after all. You need to step up your game.

  48. 48
    El Tiburon says:

    This blog can go months without MENTIONING HE WHO SHALL NEVER BE MENTIONED and yet you find the time to devote an entire front-page on this continuing juvenile and petty vendetta against Greenwald.

    Perhaps if you were to mix in some front-page real estate on some of his other issues other than fixating on one minor tweet where you think you wiggle your way to a win, you may not flush your credibility down the crapper.

    So, if I may, a Sadly,No inspired shorter Mistermix:

    Greenwald is of course right but goddamnit I hate that motherfucker.

  49. 49
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @Rosie Outlook:

    Not all unfairness is based on race. A lot of it is based on class.

    Your father’s life of hard labor and serving as cannon fodder came as a result of his being part of the working class.

  50. 50
    El Tiburon says:

    Oh, also Hamsher.

    Suck it.

  51. 51
    Redleg says:

    Obama at least has acted in accordance with his evolving view on gay marriage. What has or what will Portman do?

  52. 52
    Chris says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    His Enemies, who are always liberal Democrats, who are big hypocrites because they don’t support libertarians

    LMAO, I never read Greenwald, but if his big plan for how we should change the nation is that we should support libertarians, I can see why the Balloon Juice community holds him in such contempt. And I would have to concur.

  53. 53
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @Rosie Outlook: My white dad also did manual labor his whole life and fought in one war, not two. But your statement here is demonstrably false.

  54. 54
    Paula says:

    @Rosie Outlook:

    Eh, no. Because unless your dad was being asked to use separate entrances, refused membership to a union, or being intimidated out of voting he did not have the same experiences as a black man coming back from the war.

  55. 55
    Marc says:

    @bcwbcw:

    Obama isn’t just a cautious politician he is extremely conservative for a Democrat. Portman is taking a substantial risk supporting gay marriage, Obama is not. Obama could have led without significant political cost on gay marriage, he just didn’t want to.

    Yeah, pretty much everything here gets it exactly backwards. When Obama came out in favor of gay marriage, he ran a real political risk. Marriage equality had just been dealt a stinging defeat in North Carolina, one of the swing states he was heavily invested in for his re-election. There was no immediate political upside. And yet because he came out when he did, he spurred Democrats to unify around gay marriage and go four for four in ballot measures last November. (I suspect marriage equality would have won in Washington and maybe Maine anyway, but I guarantee you it would have lost in my state, Maryland, without the dramatic turnaround in black support that happened after the president’s announcement.)

    Meanwhile, Rob Portman sat on his big change of heart for two years and didn’t do anything about it until there was no longer any chance he’d be Mitt Romney’s VP. No risk, no courage. And the “extremely conservative” Obama has done more for gay rights than every other president in US history, combined.

    I know, I know, don’t feed the trolls–I just thought someone should set the record straight.

  56. 56
    Amir Khalid says:

    We’re at 40+ comments and Balloon Juice commenter Glenn Greenwald has still not shown up to defend himself. Where is he?

  57. 57
    Loviatar says:

    I think one of the things that pisses off some of the so called Democrats – Authoritarian Democrats, Conservative Democrats, former Republicans who left their party because it went batshit crazy but are still Republicans in most of their beliefs and principals – (pick the name that bests fits you) is that he points out the inconvenient truth about them and their dear leader.

    Obama is not a Democrat, he is a Republican.
    .

    Obama: More Moderate Republican Than Socialist

    “The truth of the matter is that my policies are so mainstream that if I had set the same policies that I had back in the 1980s, I would be considered a moderate Republican.”</blockquote>

  58. 58
    Ben Franklin says:

    GG tweets you will not see….

    Obama is the Greatest POTUS Evah !

    There’s the rub.

  59. 59
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Rosie Outlook: That’s false, too. Now, white rich people treat all the poor the same, but just like a fractal, inside the group of poor, the whites still have privileges. There’s still segregation in that group, and white people in the group tend to chose other whites more often than the person qualified.

    Yes, this white person has seen it. It was interesting how whites in the Navy would segregate themselves when the had the chance.

  60. 60
    El Tiburon says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    I’m reluctant to criticize him too strongly in part because I think we need people who are willing to needle Obama over civil liberties and defense policy. But if all the energy is directed in this weird, defensively trollish way toward attacking Democrats and Obama supporters for not loving Rand Paul, it might not be doing a lot of good.

    So as long as the energy is directed at Greenwald’s style of arguing or that he writes too many words or that he is smug or never admits when he is wrong, then it is all good.

    But hey, of course we need someone to needle Obama over his civil liberties issues, right? Just needle because, afterall, who really gives a rat’s ass about civil liberties. Better to just rattle Obama’s cage here and there. And much better for Greenwald to do it OVER THERE then have it stink up the nice aroma of the Obamabots OVER HERE, right?

    It’s the same with all of you Greenwald haters: you can never point to anything of substance (except for the great FIND of MISTERMIX here where Mistermix agrees with Greenwald but really hates himself in the morning afterward).

    It’s Greenwald’s style you hate. It’s that he uses reason and logic and facts to force you to confront something you would rather not confront (Hey, Obama is worse than BUSH on many issues, do you get that?) You would rather not deal with it, so you attack Greenwald for his style.

  61. 61
    Paula says:

    @Chris:

    It actually is his big plan, if he has one. And support for de-militarization and civil liberties is perfectly consistent with that world view, so he ain’t being a troll about any of that.

    He is, however,not to be trusted when speaking about who to vote for in elections, or when speaking about what issues liberals should prioritize. Because he’s not a liberal or progressive. His being a run of the mill libertarian (who thought Citizens United was justifiable) makes a lot more sense than the logic puzzles his acolytes have to create in order to justify the idea of him being a “progressive”.

  62. 62
    Gex says:

    I guess we now have to all pretend that there hasn’t been and still isn’t an advantage to being a white man in our society. Because sometimes bad things happen to white men.

    I don’t think anything I said came off as an attack on her father specifically. I just can’t think of any other reason the GOProud and LCR groups exist in the first place if there wasn’t a strong tendency for those white men to identify with the Grand Old Party. But whatever.

    I even used the word “sometimes.”

  63. 63
    aimai says:

    @Rosie Outlook:

    No, I’m not confusing white men with white men who are rich. I pointed out that people can benefit from privilige without enjoying it (the opening of the west, staking claims, gaining farm land) and that priviliges like voting (post the civil war) came with pains like the draft.

    Anyone familiar with the history of the US, slavery, race, and the federal and state governments know that lower class whites were prevented from recognizing the potential of cross race alliances by the creating and maintenance of specific race based priviliges for whites regardless of their class up until the Civil War and then after Reconstruction. Some of these priviliges included the right to a segregated education, to the vote (as long as you voted the right way in support of upper class whites) and to the benefits of taxes levied on other people (libraries, swimming pools). One of the reasons Unions are so disfavored in the South was specifically that they had the potential of creating a working class alliance that would not have benefitted the upper classes.

    Look: I’m sorry your father had a shitty life. People have shitty lives despite having a kind of race and gender privilige in a ruthless capitalist system. That doesn’t change the fact that at key points in his life he did have both race and sex privilige that, although invisible to you and perhaps counteracted by the demands placed on him as a white man, were real. Just to dramatize this for you I’d like to point out that while blacks and women have frequently fought to “pass” into white or male society very few whites or men have renounced their privilige to “pass” into black or female society.

  64. 64
    Chris says:

    @Gex:

    I think the answer lies in the Libertarian hostility towards Democrats no matter what

    A good chunk of libertarians seem to be disgruntled Republicans who broke with their party when they finally reached the point where they could no longer pretend it was sane or healthy in any way… but for whom the “liberals have cooties!” belief is so deeply ingrained that they simply can’t bring themselves to move over to the Democrats. “Libertarianism” is the feel-good third option, where you admit you were wrong but don’t have to admit that the other side was right.

    ETA: and by “libertarians” I mean “people who actually hold libertarian beliefs,” as opposed to “Republicans calling themselves libertarians because they’re trying to get laid.” Which is already three quarters of self-described “libertarians.”

  65. 65
    El Tiburon says:

    @MattF:

    I guess I just don’t trust Greenwald– what he writes seems to be the end result of a logical calculation, but we don’t ever get to see the start of the calculation, where you set out your assumptions.

    And right on cue to back up my assertion in comment #60.

    So now Greenwald doesn’t show his work? How sublime. But of course any regular reader of Greenwald knows that he often links to his earlier drafts of his final posts that clearly show the genesis of his conclusions.

    But again, so much fun to have group-hate on the nerdy, know-it-all. Plus I hear he sniffed Hamsher’s panties once.

  66. 66
    Paula says:

    He liked Citizens United.

    He supported going into Iraq as late as 2005.

    He was against immigration reform at least until 2006, but he’s given very little ink to the subject so I don’t know what he believes now.

  67. 67

    @Chris: Greenwald, as I said, would take major issue with my suggestion that he’s advocating supporting libertarians. He just happens to think liberals are being hypocritical and supporting tyranny every time they say mean things about libertarians.

  68. 68
    MomSense says:

    @Prefect….Mistermix

    “It showed Obama’s cautious political nature and general unwillingness to grasp progressive causes unless he sees that cause moving towards the center.”

    There is no center. This whole idea of a political center is pure mythology. There are people who are oriented toward the idea of mutual responsibility-interdependence (left). And then there are people who have a more authoritarian orientation–the strict father (think God, think of the Christ-centered marriage wife submits to the husband movement).

    We can see how these two orientations line up in our politics in terms of taxation, economic policy, social safety net, environment, etc. Then there are a set of issues like reproductive rights, guns, marriage equality where the strength of one’s belief or value on them might push them to vote for a Democrat (interdependence) or a Republican (strict father). But people who vote on these wedge issues are really not centrist. They are making a determination about which value is more important. Once you spend significant time doing voter persuasion either for a candidate or an issue you see how this plays out all the time in a voter’s calculation.

    In terms of the President–I think that he wants to win. Regardless of his stance on marriage equality he had already done the patient work of sustainable change in the military, expanding rights and protections for same sex couples in terms of hospitals, benefits, etc and had long stopped enforcing DOMA. The real issue was timing–endorsing marriage equality at a time when it would be a positive force to push more people in his coalition to acceptance and not have it be a divisive action. My background is in organizing so I have experience with doing the right thing at the wrong time and hurting the people you are trying to help.

    Glenn Greenwald has no experience with how to build support for progressive change. He is clearly a cynic so he will interpret everything through that filter. And I will never hitch my wagon to that kind of person–because they never actually accomplish anything. They don’t celebrate the victories large and small, they don’t do the heavy lifting in terms of organizing, and they often do harm to the causes they say they care about.

    My test for Portman is whether or not this experience will cause him to reevaluate his opinions on other issues.

  69. 69
    Ben Franklin says:

    @El Tiburon:

    the great FIND of MISTERMIX here where Mistermix agrees with Greenwald but really hates himself in the morning afterward).

    …and that he gets to compare GG to Portman as a sort of ‘hair of the dog, that bit me’ therapeutic remedy.

  70. 70
    Rosie Outlook says:

    Well, now we know what’s the matter with Kansas. It’s full of Those People, and you know how They are, with their White Privilege and stuff. Except for the occasional Good One.

    Look, if you want to hate white guys it’s all right with me. But don’t continue to be surprised when such hate drives non-rich white guys to the only other available alternative when they vote. Me, I’d still vote for the liberals who talk about how awful I am over the conservatives who want to make me a serf–but enough white guys take the opposite view that elections are a lot closer than they should be. Open liberal hate of white guys drives away the people who should be your natural allies. Your assignment is to read “Deer Hunting with Jesus” by Joe Bageant and report back.

  71. 71
    different-church-lady says:

    @Rosie Outlook:

    White men who aren’t rich are treated like everyone else who isn’t rich.

    Uhhh… that’s not even remotely true. A poor white man will still get treated like shit, but not nearly as much as a poor black man.

    In the end the whole fucking “ranking system” is one of the things that’s the most tedious of being liberal. Not content to merely point out social and economic oppression, these competitions for the top slot have got to break out on a regular basis.

  72. 72
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    DR0NZ

    nothing else matters

  73. 73
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Loviatar: I’m curious what state you’re from. I’m a Democrat in Texas. I suspect in states like MA or NY, were I to not have any idea of the shitstain that Republicans are here, I would probably be torn between the parties. I am definitely a moderate.

    But, if you notice, you’re reading the quote a tad bit wrong. If I’m reading it right. “if I had set the same policies that I had back in the 1980s” to me means that you would have to look at his views in the 80s, and those would have made him a moderate Republican back then. But, two things have happened, the Republican party has shifted right, and his policies have shifted to the left a little (gay marriage for instance).

  74. 74
    Corner Stone says:

    I thought this thread would be more fun. Maybe I’m just tired.

  75. 75
    El Tiburon says:

    @Chyron HR:

    Oh no, someone somewhere on the internet disagrees with Dear Leader Greenwald! Deploy the Glennbots!

    Let’s examine Mistermix’s disagreement with GG shall we:

    Can I argue with the underlying point Glenn’s making here? Not really–

    That doesn’t invalidate Glenn’s whole argument–as I said above, he’s mostly right

    So, Glenn Greenwald, who is gay, and therefore has bit more personally-vested interest in this issue, stated something about Obama that Mistermix basically agrees with. And I am certain that many of the gay, liberal pundits out there have said similar things about Obama and his stance on teh gay.

    But, you know, Greenwald said it, he won’t relent, and, and, and, and, and…

  76. 76
    different-church-lady says:

    @El Tiburon:

    It’s Greenwald’s style you hate. It’s that he uses reason and logic and facts to force you to confront something you would rather not confront (Hey, Obama is worse than BUSH on many issues, do you get that?) You would rather not deal with it, so you attack Greenwald for his style.

    His style is usually the very thing that clues me in to the fact that his substance is weak. Guy is a three card monte player of rhetoric.

  77. 77
    Napoleon says:

    The more I think of it the more I think Portman changed positions because his son being gay gives him the political cover to change his position on an issue that the Republicans are increasingly in the minority on without doing what appears to be a naked flip-flop.

    Barro kind of gets to why this provides him cover at the end of this:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/.....ebate.html

  78. 78
    Corner Stone says:

    @Rosie Outlook:

    Open liberal hate of white guys drives away the people who should be your natural allies.

    How did we get here?

  79. 79
    different-church-lady says:

    @El Tiburon: If you make an analogy between diagramming sentences and this post, I’d say you failed to identify the subject noun.

  80. 80
    Gex says:

    @Rosie Outlook: Who said they hate white guys? I said “sometimes being white and male” trumps anything else. And I said that in the context of explaining why some white males are doing things that don’t seem to make sense to us.

    Feel free to read that as: “All white men have it made and I hate them all” if you want. But you look like an asshole who just decided to take your shitty mood out on someone else.

    Quit fucking putting words in my mouth. And please make a note of the qualifier word I used. Perhaps you could be so kind as to MAYBE grant that I think that your father is not covered by the “sometimes.”

    Wow.

  81. 81
    Gex says:

    @Corner Stone: I suggested that white male gays find affinity with the GOP because of their white maleness.

    Literally. I was discussing Glen Greenwald and his weirdness. And explained it by suggesting maybe sometimes being white and male trumps anything else.

    And now, apparently, I hate white men. Especially Rosie’s dad.

    ETA: And, apparently I should caveat the shit out of anything I say about this by saying that I am referring to white male gays who vote Republican. Lest I be accused of hating white male gays too.

  82. 82
    El Tiburon says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Of course there’s a difference. And Greenwald knows it. I assume. So he either plays dumb… or whatever. I see his tweets from time to time (so not all of them) and seems to live to bash Democrats and Obama in particular. Perhaps he critiques Republicans as much, but it sure doesn’t seem like it. So that’s his M.O. and while I’m sure it makes him feel pure it’s not very helpful.

    So, now, finally we may be getting to the root of the problem. Greenwald is too eager to bash OUR TEAM and not the other guys enough. And you know this from a few tweets – but not all of them. From a few tweets you can sense that Greenwald is an Obama Basher!

    Let me ask you: is it bashing if it is true? Take the current example of gay rights. Is it not true what greenwald tweeted? Remember, Mistermix said it was. Therefore, is it bashing or portraying the hypocrisy in many on the left where we call out Portman for being a douche (yes, he is) while forgetting Obama had a similar stance.

    Why does this trouble so many of you?

  83. 83
    aimai says:

    @MomSense:

    Momsense that is a great, great, post and it clarifies something that I think I was struggling to say less clearly. Timing, Tactics, Strategy, Long Range Goals, the shifting political and cultural status assigned to a figure like a President as opposed to a private citizen or a Senator–these are all more important ways of understanding legislative and cultural change than blanket categories like “Democrat” or “Republican” or Conservative vs Progressive. IF, on a long march, you stop and rest or eat or recruit new members does that mean you don’t have the same goal you started out with? Are you less “real” or “virtuous” than someone who thinks you can sprint a thousand miles and drops out or fails to maintain the unity of the organization while proceeding at a slower pace?

  84. 84
    Rosie Outlook says:

    @aimai: OK, continue to talk about how trailer-park residents with rotting teeth and a McJob or three (if they’re lucky) benefit so greatly from white privilege. Fox, Limbsugh, and the Kochs will appreciate it.

  85. 85
    Chyron HR says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Let me taste your tears, Glennbot.

  86. 86
    aimai says:

    @El Tiburon:

    El Tiburon lots of us have pointed out in detail why, despite what Mistermix or anyone else may say, Obama’s stance/evolution/actions on equal rights are not identical to or equivalent to Portman’s. Not even close.

  87. 87
    Zagloba says:

    @Chris: I’m not aware of any time GG’s used his soapbox to advocate voting for a libertarian candidate. He has argued for voting against/primarying insufficiently libertarian Democrats, however.

  88. 88
    bystander says:

    You know, I’m unconvinced that Glenn’s “trolling” has anything to do with Obama’s “purity.” I could be wrong … I have no special insights into Glenn’s thinking. But, in thinking about this current twitter exchange of Glenn with “the world,” and reflecting back on some of his longer form writing, I suspect Glenn is trying to make a familiar, and more general, point about Obama’s supporters – or partisan Democrats.

    And, the weakness in my thought pattern is I’m not sure (a) that Obama’s supporters are partisan Democrats, or (b) that partisan Democrats are Obama supporters. The two groups tend to be conflated, and I’m not at all convinced that they’re one and the same. Likely they overlap, but I’m not sure how Glenn distinguishes between them, or if they can be distinguished.

    That weakness acknowledged, I think the premise that Glenn is trying to advance has little, or nothing, to do with Obama per se, but rather how partisan Democrats/Obama supporters responded to Portman’s vs how they respond to Obama’s “evolution.” Yes, I understand how he phrased the question in the tweet that’s highlighted here.

    I suspect his assumption is that partisan Democrats/Obama supporters (hereafter referred to as pD/Os) will work to make a distinction between the evolutionary thinking of the two men. Personally, I find that distinction to be a really weak one. There are “personal” and “political” elements for both, and I don’t feel any particular need to assign a priority to which category of elements was predominate for either of them. Sure. Some will assert (and, I could be one; a nod to Thomas Frank in the April issue of Harper’s) that Portman’s evolution carries a greater political risk for him than Obama’s has, given their respective constituencies. And, therefore, to accept that risk Portman’s evolution is more “selfishly (personally) motivated.”

    My guess is that discussion is merely the background – or battleground, of you prefer – for the point Glenn strives to advance. Ie; it has less to do with Obama than the response of pD/Os. It’s less the phenomena, than the response of pD/Os to that phenomena. And, that’s why/how his “trolling” succeeds in eliciting a response. Otherwise, my assumption is, people would simply roll their eyes and ignore him.

    I suppose there is one more category of responder that I’ve failed to acknowledge – the cottage industry of Glenn Greenwald’s opposition for its own sake. But, seems to me, that category of individuals has its motivation anchored elsewhere and isn’t all that interesting.

  89. 89
    Rosie Outlook says:

    @Rosie Outlook: Er, Limbaugh, and that wasn’t Apple’s fault!

  90. 90

    @El Tiburon: You Glennbots would defend your Dear Leader if he went on TV and raped a priest.

  91. 91
    different-church-lady says:

    @Rosie Outlook: Sayyyy… you weren’t at CPAC yesterday, were you?

  92. 92
    Gex says:

    @Rosie Outlook: Well you’ve really twisted the statement “sometimes being white and male trumps everything else” into something entirely different haven’t you.

    Do you feel better?

  93. 93
    Ben Franklin says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Why does this trouble so many of you?

    You just can’t criticize Obama, especially, if you’re white and gay.

  94. 94
    aimai says:

    @Rosie Outlook:

    You are full of shit. This is exactly the perspective of Limbaugh and the guy at CPAC who sees Black people voting as taking away from his life as a white man. If he doesn’t have white privilige what’s he bitching about? White privilige sees the world as a zero sum game in which granting blacks the vote, educational opportunity, or even freedom of religion gets subtracted from the sum total of goodies available for white southern males.

    This has nothing to do with legitimate concern for the way modern american capitalism and politics uses people up and leaves them stranded. Your ressentiment leads to nothing more than CPAC hysteria in which your father is the only person who suffered economically and you think, somehow, he suffered more because of his whiteness and his maleness. Poor people do manual labor in this country and poor people fought and died in the wars. This is not surprising. Poor people also can’t afford dental care. If your father squatted in all white enclaves and waited for upper class white politicians to give him a hand up he wasted his time–as any anarchist, socialist, communist, and Martin Luther King Jr. tried to point out to him.

  95. 95
    different-church-lady says:

    @bystander:

    I suspect Glenn is trying to make a familiar, and more general, point about Obama’s supporters – or partisan Democrats.

    Of course. The bigger question is: why on earth is he bothering with that?

  96. 96
    Chyron HR says:

    So now that the True Progressive Greenwaldian Firepups have been ordered to support Portman, would one of you mind telling us what his voting record is on drones, wiretapping and those other issues about which you you care so very very deeply?

  97. 97
  98. 98
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Loviatar: Both parties have moved significantly right in the last 30 years, genius. Republicans are way to the right of Reagan. Some Dems are to the right of Reagan, while others are to his left.

    Despite moving to right on some policies, he still can’t get shit done due to the intransigence of the confederacy Republicans.

    As for the Greenwald trolling, he acts as like Obama did nothing to advance LGBT rights before coming out for SSM, which is demonstrably false. He worked hard to repeal DADT; gave same sex partners of executive branch employees as much rights as he could without going through congress; lifted the HIV/AIDS travel ban; stopped defending DOMA; filed briefs in support of ending Prop 8; openly supported civil unions.

    As was pointed out earlier, Obama has done more for the LGBT community than all the other Presidents combined. I suspect Greenwald knows this, but he just wanted the attention.

  99. 99
    Soonergrunt says:

    @aimai: One thing to remember about those duties like the draft and the back-breaking labor of taming the wilderness they siezed is that those duties and the pain that goes with them were often seen (not explicitly, but even so) as exactly that–a duty. The White Man’s burden as the British used to tell themselves about taming the wogs while stealing their resources.
    The fact that there was real suffering involved for white (lower class) men was seen and presented as the duty of whites, and not the exertion that accompanies exploiting stolen property as it actually was.
    The guys who hijack trucks spend a lot of labor and effort unloading those trucks and stripping them of their parts for sale, but that sweat doesn’t make the theft any more legal.

  100. 100
    scav says:

    So, if life was ever even slightly unfair to a white man, racism isn’t an issue? Things somehow become ever so much clearer.

    Speaking of superficially plausible statements that still manage to be somehow off, how’s this one by Catholic Archbishop of Durban, Wilfrid Fox Napier? TGOC

    He said: “What do you do with disorders? You have got to try and put them right. If I as a normal being choose to break the law knowing that I am breaking the law, then I think I need to be punished …

    “From my experience, paedophilia is actually an illness, it is not a criminal condition, it is an illness.”

    The cardinal spoke of two priests he knew who were abused as children and went on to become paedophiles.

    He told the BBC: “Don’t tell me that those people are criminally responsible like somebody who chooses to do something like that. I don’t think you can really take the position and say that person deserves to be punished when he was himself damaged.”

    Now, isn’t it lucky how the “they’re just like that, so avert your eyes” card falls when it benefits their organization? This offer seemingly not available to so many others, Speaking of privilege and self-serving positions, by-the-by.

  101. 101

    @Rosie Outlook:

    White men who aren’t rich are treated like everyone else who isn’t rich.

    Bullshit. I know there are cases, generally dealing with law enforcement, where I’ve been treated better than a black man would have been in the same situation.

  102. 102
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Chyron HR:

    Firepups have been ordered to support Portman, would one of you mind telling us what his voting record is on drones, wiretapping and those other issues about which you you care so very very deeply?

    Holy shit. You’re serious !

  103. 103
    Gex says:

    Let’s not forget I was describing what I thought was going on with ONE SINGLE WHITE MALE and how he behaves. And now I am accused of hating all white men.

  104. 104
    different-church-lady says:

    @Zagloba:

    I’m not aware of any time GG’s used his soapbox to advocate voting for a libertarian candidate.

    Well, the Paul-love certainly was something to see. Of course, in signature GG’ian fashion he left himself a technical out: “Oh, no, I wasn’t actually telling anyone they should vote for Paul, I was just verbally tonguing his asshole. There’s a difference!”

  105. 105
    Corner Stone says:

    @bystander: While there are clearly Democrats who are enthusiastic supporters of Obama, it simply can’t be denied that there also exists a huge block of Obama partisans only. A huge chunk of which comment here on the reg.
    They have little desire in acknowledging or supporting “Democratic” policies or even “democratic” principles. For that chunk of recent D voter it’s of a piece to savage anyone who damages the most powerful man in the world. No matter how truthful or trivial the critique may be.

  106. 106
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Chyron HR: Oh, if only Rand Paul and Rob Portman could be one man!

  107. 107
    MomSense says:

    @Jethro Troll:

    YES!! Had forgotten about that.

    I also loved how he thought George W. Bush deserved the benefit of the doubt on Iraq.

  108. 108
    bemused says:

    @Rosie Outlook:

    There’s a big difference between driving, walking, shopping, just going about your business while black than while white whether you are dressed in a suit carrying a briefcase or in jeans wearing a baseball cap.

  109. 109
    Baud says:

    I for one welcome future pie fights about the real reason people support full equality.

  110. 110
    different-church-lady says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    I suspect Greenwald knows this, but he just wanted the attention.

    Thread over.

  111. 111
    Chris says:

    @Rosie Outlook:

    Trailer park residents with rotting teeth and a McJob or two or three are in the shitty situation they’re in because of the number of white people who decided that supporting The Man as long as The Man talked white was more important than standing with black, Hispanic, Asian and other people in demanding better treatment for all. The symptom goes all the way back to the post-Civil War days, when Appalachian mountain Southerners who’d often sympathized with the Union started rallying to the Lost Cause bullshit after competition from freed slaves became a thing (which is how we got to the point where Confederate flags are a common sight in West Virginia – and, hell, even in much of the North).

    Which was the original point being made.

  112. 112
    aimai says:

    @bystander:

    I guess my quarrel with Glen over this shit is that I don’t see the point of all this tweeting and bitching other than that it undermines Democratic action on a number of policy fronts. Glen has his focus: a narrow one on civil liberties issues. And it seems very important to him that all current Democratic political actors with any real clout lose their popular base of support, and specifically lose the admiration and money and energy of the voting population of Democrats. I don’t respect that politically–he’s a gadfly and a poison tongued critic (at this point) of an administration which is attempting to do what it can while it has its hands on the reins of power. He’s no different (though his focus is different) than the NRA or the Club For Growth. He sees people in power who are not 100 percent on board with what he wants and he seeks to deligitimize them and cut them off at the knees. Regardless of the harm that this might do to other causes not his own.

    To me its like watching the Club for Growth guys attack the few Republicans who are willing to raise taxes. Voters/Constituents say “we’d like to fund head start” and their elected leaders look nervously over their shoulder at the money boyz and the Club for Growth and fear they will lose the next election if they raise taxes. That’s an actual principle on the right, btw, and the end result is no head start or whatever.

    If Glen got his way and all voting democrats, pro equality, anti war, etc..etc..etc… democrats and progressives became totally disgusted with Obama and the democrats in power and we withdrew our consent/stopped voting–what would we get? A Glenneriffic utopia? Uh…no. We’d lose whatever limited influence we had on our elected officials and we’d end up with Romney and Rob Portman and the rest of the closeted assholes and anti taxers.

  113. 113
    The Other Chuck says:

    @Rosie Outlook: They aren’t demonized on FNC as shiftless moochers with Obamaphones, and tend to not be randomly harrassed by the police. Oh and they tend to fucking vote for the assholes who would like them to stay in their double-wides forever.

  114. 114
    different-church-lady says:

    @Baud:

    I for one welcome future pie fights about the real reason people support full equality.

    Thread receives a coup de grace.

  115. 115
    Emma says:

    Rosie Outlook: Bull feathers. Historically if a white man with no high school degree applied for a job in a factory, they got hired over the black guy with the high school diploma. If a white woman and a black woman with the same educational background applied for a job, the white woman would most likely be hired. Until not so long ago in the South, a black man had to get off the sidewalk if a white man of whatever social position came by.

  116. 116
    Rosie Outlook says:

    @different-church-lady: Suggest you look at any discussion of white privilege and substitute “special treatment” and whatever minority group you like, and maybe you’ll begin to get the point. It’s offensive when conservatives do it, and it’s offensive (and counterproductive) when liberals do it. I thought liberals were all about better lives for everybody, and for a while the Balloon Juice liberals, in particular, had me believing it; I actually suspected all that stuff one hears about liberals vs. non-rich whites was conservative propaganda designed to further divide the 99%. And then that white-privilege crap started popping up here and finally I just had to say something, mainly because liberals are the only hope the 99% has.

    You are, of course, correct that a hundred years ago it WAS great to be white, even poor. But what you don’t see is that that Walmart employee with the aching teeth doesn’t care, if she even knows, about that history. She has her own problems, many of them, and she needs help. If liberals don’t help her, who will? Don’t chase her away with this stupid white-privilege crap. Don’t chase her boyfriend away, either. He too needs all the help he can get.

  117. 117
    Ben Franklin says:

    I guess my quarrel with Glen over this shit is that I don’t see the point of all this tweeting and bitching other than that it undermines Democratic action on a number of policy fronts.

    Here’s the problem. The same thing could have been said by Southern Democrats in the 1940’s.

    They needed the National Security Act of 1947, so nigras voting will have to wait.

  118. 118
    El Tiburon says:

    @aimai: @Paula:

    El Tiburon lots of us have pointed out in detail why, despite what Mistermix or anyone else may say, Obama’s stance/evolution/actions on equal rights are not identical to or equivalent to Portman’s. Not even close.

    Talk about moving the goal posts. Nobody said any stance/evolution was ‘identical’ did they?

    Greenwald asked: “Is there a big difference…”

    And he linked to a trancript of an Obama interview where Obama clearly stated that part of his ‘stance/evolution’ was based on his personal connections. Now, Portman’s ‘stance/evolution’ is based on his personal connections.

    Is that a big difference? Perhaps, if we refer back to Mistermix’s reference to the fallacy of equivocation.

    I will agree with Mistermix to an extent with his argument. I don’t think Obama and Portman’s ‘stance/evolution’ are the same, but we can’t deny they are based on many of the same principles.

    Furthermore, many of you then take the argument where Greenwald did not even sniff at: what has Obama done and what has Portman done? For the sake of Greenwald’s tweet, it is irrelevant.

    Go back and read the original tweet. Read the transcript. Can you declare with conviction that there is indeed a BIG DIFFERENCE in the two mens evolution on this topic; not on the results of that evolution.

  119. 119

    @Rosie Outlook: Because it’s reading the comments at Balloon-Juice that’s chasing them away from becoming Democrats?

  120. 120
    geg6 says:

    @MomSense:

    This. This. This.

  121. 121

    @El Tiburon: How dare these mere mortals read implications into the received word of Dear Leader!

  122. 122
    different-church-lady says:

    @Rosie Outlook: Look, the swipe at whites that set you off in the first place was stupid and unnecessary. But you’re now compounding the stupidity by a good order of magnitude.

  123. 123
    Rosie Outlook says:

    @aimai: No, asshole, I did not say he suffered more because he was white and male. I said exactly the opposite: being white and male did not protect him. Idiot.

  124. 124
    Loviatar says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    I was raised in the mid-Atlantic states (NY, NJ, CT, etc.), but I’ve had the benefit of travel through out the US, so I do understand there are difference between a Texas Democrat and a Massachusetts Democrat. However, my question to you and the other Obots who populate this site:

    Whats the difference is there today to the person at the end of the policy if Obama calls himself a Democrat or an 80s era Republican?

    There is none.
    – We still have full support from the administration for trickle down economics, which started in the 80s. The 80 Republicans were the ones who set the stage for wage stagnation, union busting and the acceleration of the income gap.
    – We still have full support from the administration for rolling back civil rights, which started in the 80s. We have a straight line from stop and frisk to warrant less searches.

    So please don’t try to spin it as if 80s era Republicanism was any great shakes. It wasn’t. For Obama to favorably compare himself to an 80s era Republican just reconfirms my opinion of him.

  125. 125
    Hoodie says:

    @El Tiburon: Ok, I’ll bite. MM was being nice, the real point is that GG trolling for outrage by using faulty analogy, and he clearly has an animus toward Obama. Differences? There are a ton. Obama is president of the entire country, Portman is a relatively unknown senator from Ohio. Obama knows a large portion of the people he was elected to represent were/are not high on gay marriage for their own reasons and will weight what he says more than what one senator says. He knows that was that a large part of his AA base is/was conflicted on the issue for religious and other reasons, despite its civil rights dimensions. That’s a large part of what fueled the magnitude by which the anti-gay marriage amendment passed in NC. It’s a good thing that Portman has changed his views, but I don’t think it really was much of a political motivation behind it. Rather, it seems to be more based on the fact that he is personally effected. GG is full of it because there is nothing wrong with a politician being politically calculating, it’s largely what they’re there to do. Obama has done more to advance equal rights for gays and lesbians than any president or, for that matter, any major national elected official. Portman had a press release.

  126. 126
    Paula says:

    @Zagloba:

    He spent some ink defending the Pauls, Pete et fils, over the years. He got into a blog fight with two writers over at the American Prospect over Ron Paul’s contributions to racist newsletters; this was in 2007-08, so it predates anything Obama presidency related. He’s also had kind words of Gary Johnson, although this was at off blog speech events.

  127. 127
    Gex says:

    @Rosie Outlook: And then maybe you can figure out that if I’m talking about Glen Greenwald, I am not talking about the Walmart guy with bad teeth that you are so obsessed with.

    Maybe it is YOU who thinks all white men are the same. Because I, like this thread, was discussing a SPECIFIC white man when you decided to get outraged.

    ETA: Or maybe you don’t agree that the GOP is mostly white men. Or maybe you disagree that Glen is a white man. Or maybe you disagree with the idea that maybe some white men identify and prefer to associate with other white men. I’m not entirely sure what your real objection to my post would be if you didn’t go global with it.

  128. 128

    @Rosie Outlook:

    OK, continue to talk about how trailer-park residents with rotting teeth and a McJob or three (if they’re lucky) benefit so greatly from white privilege.

    You mean other than meth being treated much more leniently than crack?

  129. 129
    scav says:

    @Self-Righteous Little White Guy: They need to be cherished like snowflakes and assured that their misfortunes are more important than everyone else’s or they’ll run away and take their all-important vote elsewhere. Speaking of expecting privilege.

  130. 130
    Emma says:

    @Ben Franklin: You know, I usually stay away from the Greenwald brouhahas around here. But that is absolute bullshit. He is free to criticize, even unfairly (IMO), and has done so repeatedly. But if you put your opinion out there, don’t be surprised if someone disagrees with you. And don’t then start attributing to them nefarious views they do not hold.

  131. 131
    Emma says:

    @Rosie Outlook: Jesus christ, a hundred years ago? You don’t read much history, do you? I arrived in the United States in 1970, lived in Chicago, and the racial lines were clearly drawn even then — in favor of whites. And this was in a Northern city (supposedly where all the liberals lived)!

  132. 132
    mapaghimagsik says:

    @different-church-lady:

    It seems more shell game with no pearl under the cup.

    It’s interesting that people are dismissive of any assessment of style, when a lack of a decent presentation means even good messages are ineffective.

    I’m just glad I have a job where I produce something meaningful, and don’t have to troll grift for my next TV gig.

  133. 133
    Zagloba says:

    @different-church-lady: I’m going to avoid relitigating the saga of “I have magic powers to see into Glenn Greenwald’s mind and know that he means exactly the opposite of what he says! Because context clues and fuck you, that’s why!”

  134. 134
    El Tiburon says:

    @Hoodie:
    Ok, let’s get past your reading and comprehension deficiencies first.

    Let’s revisit the original tweet and deal with that, not with the imagined tweet twirling around in your dome.

    Is there a big difference b/w Portman switching on gay marriage b/c of his son & Obama because of his gay friends?

    Now, Hoodie, do you see clearly where Greenwald is NOT discussing that Obama is The Man and Portman is just some douchenozzle? Can you more clearly see the point of the tweet was to discuss the “Switching…” based on similar issues? Are you incapable of seeing the distinction?

    Portman switch = Gay son
    Obama switch = gay friends

    This is the gist of the tweet. If you want to refute the notion that one of the reasons Obama clearly stated in the interview for his switch was his gay friends and colleagues, then have at it.

    So, now, again, is there a big difference in switching your thoughts on the gay because of a gay son or a gay friend? Perhaps, but not a big one.

  135. 135
    Rosie Outlook says:

    @Gex: Oh, no, I do agree that the GOP is mostly white. And I agree with Bageant that attitudes like yours are one reason it’ll likely stay that way. Funny thing: people tend not to vote for parties they think don’t like them.

    So how did you like “Deer Hunting with Jesus”?

  136. 136
    scav says:

    CHREEEE-IST, look at 123, It looks like if all white men don’t live in Versailles under perfect conditions, they’re not privileged. Is this a simple case of definition fail or deliberate misuse?

  137. 137
    lojasmo says:

    @Rosie Outlook:

    The fact that your father made choices that did not fully leverage his privelege as a white male in our society does not obviate the fact that he had it.

    SATSS

  138. 138
    aimai says:

    @El Tiburon:

    That seems an astonishingly naive reading both of Glenn’s tweet (which is a classic cavuto mark kind of push poll question) and of the idea of the politician’s statement. For one thing Obama was asked about his evolution becuase its clear from the way he has been moving policy and law that his actions are changing–so people want to know why. Portman’s statement came out of the blue and he crafted it to explain in advance why he would be changing his stance (theoretically) at least as it applied to his own family.

    I see Obama’s interview not as a sincere expression of his actual evolution but a kind of political “story” that he sees as resonant with the public. Both he and Portman share this: a knowledge that the public sees personal experience and a narrative of personal growth/change as meritorious. Both come out of a confessional, “I saw the light” religious tradition which values the idea of an ephiphany (scales fall from your eyes, you come to jesus, the road to damascus) and which also value the idea of taking a personal stance for what is right on principle. In that sense the two share the same cultural tropes with respect to the idea of individual conscience and acting on conscience.

    But I don’t think that Obama and Portman’s actual political work towards equality can be compared at all: Obama’s done a ton, whether he did it because he loves gays personally or because he thought it was the right thing to do while holding classic christianist homophobic views or not. Portman has held classic homophobic views all the way along and has relinquished them (supposedly) without acknowledging any kind of wider duty towards citizens in a secular state, any kind of humility with respect to his change in position, or any attempt to do anything politically for this group of people against whom he previously worked legislatively, religiously, and socially.

  139. 139
    different-church-lady says:

    @mapaghimagsik:

    It’s interesting that people are dismissive of any assessment of style, when a lack of a decent presentation means even good messages are ineffective.

    It’s actually much more complicated than that: Greenwald’s style is the very thing that gets him what he wants. His style is not at odds with his information, his style is the rasion detre. The “information” is nothing but raw material for the shtick.

    In that sense his presentation is terribly effective.

  140. 140
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Zagloba: Would that Mr. Greenwald would do that very thing regarding other people.

  141. 141
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @aimai: I don’t think Greenwald cares about what comes next. He tried working to recruit candidates and it failed. From what I can tell, his model of political change is to harrumph himself into nirvana. By making it all a matter of Principle! he also conveniently gets himself off the hook for how to put those principles into effect.

  142. 142
  143. 143
    different-church-lady says:

    @El Tiburon: I think this analysis is a good example of why Socrates ended up chugging hemlock.

  144. 144
    aimai says:

    @Rosie Outlook:

    That’s a weird thing to say. Just because the current Republican party is all white and deliberately maintains a “small tent” model in order to keep minorities and women out doesn’t mean that the Democratic party keeps white people out. I’m white. A huge number of white people vote Democratic. I don’t think “my party” hates white people at all. I feel very embraced there. What are the attributes of whiteness that you feel are scorned in the Democratic party? Is it the attempt to get health insurance and dental care to people in trailer parks regardless of their color? You do realize that the only people preventing Medicaid expansion to the largely white impoverished communities of red state America are Republican governors and republican politicians, don’t you?

  145. 145
    Chyron HR says:

    @El Tiburon:

    So, now, again, is there a big difference in switching your thoughts on the gay because of a gay son or a gay friend?

    I’d suggest the difference might be whether you and your political party actively support or oppose gay rights, but that’s just Obotomized Obot talk.

  146. 146
    lojasmo says:

    @Gex:
    Cornerstone is a fucking contrarian shitheel, and a notorious troll. Engage at your peril.

  147. 147
    Chris says:

    @different-church-lady:

    I disagree with the first sentence, much as I agree with the second one.

    “Sometimes being a white man trumps everything else” is a perfectly accurate snapshot of how certain people think to this day, as we JUST YESTERDAY saw at CPAC – and why these people tend to give the GOP a free pass. People cling to that because being white IS a status marker in this country, and if you want to know why, look no further than incarceration rates by ethnic group, unemployment rates by ethnic group, and, you know, the fact that this is a country where, when a black teenager is shot for wearing a hoodie and the shooter isn’t even investigated, half the country will STILL rise up that everything worked like it was supposed to.

    If Rosie wants to interpret Gex’s acknowledgment of that as “OMG you’re saying that nothing bad has ever happened to white people!” that’s her problem. If Rosie wants to interpret our acknowledgment of that here as “OMG Balloon Juicers hate white people, or at least blue collar white people!” despite the number of people here who are white and either working class or raised in that background, that’s her problem. Gex isn’t responsible for her utterly fact-free persecution complex.

  148. 148
    bystander says:

    @different-church-lady:

    The best answer would come from Glenn, himself. Imposing my own point of view, I think steadfast support – unequivocal support – die on this hill support – for any particular politician or political party is risky; democratically damaging. We have a two party system that, in ways which genuinely hurts citizens, converges more than diverges. My own benchmark is where I stand on a particular policy or issue. [Disclaimer: I’m unaffiliated, Colorado doesn’t admit to “Independent.”] Historically, I am a voter who reliably supports Democrats. But, I’m quite willing to threaten a Democrat with a different vote is that Democrat is unsupportive of a policy I’ve established as a priority. Personally, I offer steadfast support – unequivocal support – die on this hill support for individual policies. And, that’s where, and why, I think Glenn advances the “trolling” that he does. He might (emphasis on might – I have no mind reading capability) assert that people default to that which emerges as “lesser of two evils” too quickly and too easily, and fail to hold politicians accountable in credible ways. The flip side to that – or one manifestation of that – is the defensive inclination to draw distinctions that aren’t as solid as the individual defending might assert. Does the purported distinction really make – or signify – a difference? Between Portman and Obama on gay marriage, I honestly don’t see one that much matters to me as a voter who sets gay marriage as a policy worthy of support. I genuinely don’t much care how they get there.

  149. 149
    Zagloba says:

    @Paula: I’m not familiar with the older Paul/newsletters exchanges, but I’ll take your word for it if you like. My point was more that any explicit vote-related advocacy he’s done has been about voting against, rather than for, some candidate. “Defending” someone is a very broad umbrella; I’m specifically remembering cases when GG’s been on a “primary everything that moves, otherwise the bastards will never respect us” kick.

    And yes, that certainly does leave him open to charges of purity-trolling (or naivete about the realities of political tactics in a two-party system). No dispute from me there.

  150. 150
    El Tiburon says:

    @aimai:
    You know, I don’t really have much of an issue with what you say, but, then this:

    But I don’t think that Obama and Portman’s actual political work towards equality can be compared at all:

    Who is wanting to compare the two men and their work towards equality? Certainly not Greenwald.

    Is it not possible to say this:

    You know, Obama and Portman do share a certain link in that they began as anti-gay to an extent and both changed in part due to their personal connections. But, of course, Portman is a right-wing bigot and Obama has done more for gay rights than any other President in our history.

    Can we not say this? And by doing so, it does not negate Greenwalds TWEET. Remember, it is all of you who are insisting on adding so much to a simple tweet.

  151. 151
    scav says:

    @El Tiburon: There is that teeny little difference between hiring people you know and nepotism that might pop lightbulbs.

  152. 152

    I wish you didn’t frame this as “Greenwald is technically right, but…,” because he’s not even technically right. Is there a big difference between Portman’s shift and Obama’s? Of course there is!

    For one thing, except in the sense that every decision made by a politician is a political calculations, these are not really both political calculations, or at least not calculated for political benefit. Obama “evolved” away from same-sex marriage, and then “evolved” back toward it, both for a calculated political benefit. Portman is balancing personal gain against political loss and finding that it comes out on top, which it didn’t do eight months ago when he was a prospective VP candidate with a gay son.

    It’s perfectly reasonable to disagree about which of these is worse; I think it’s Portman, but YMMV. But there is a big difference.

  153. 153
    Gex says:

    @Rosie Outlook: And I’m saying that nothing in my statement was an indication that I don’t like white men. I was explaining what I think motivates Glen Greenwald, the subject of this thread.

    Why does Glen Greenwald seem to align himself with liberals yet acts like he’s on the right? In particular, I think with him, being white and male trumps being gay. That’s it. I said nothing about white men. I said something about Glen Greenwald who is a white man.

    Christ. You are deliberately misreading me to have this fight. Unless your position is that NO white men are biased against people not in that group. Which might be your point. I don’t know. Just stop saying that my discussion of a single individual is me painting an entire demographic.

  154. 154
    NCSteve says:

    I call bullshit, not on Greenwald, who Mistermix rightly calls out for engaging in the fallacy of equivocation, which is what 90% of his oh-so-reasonable post-Bush communications come down to, but on Mistermix for his heh indeedy to Greenwald for attacking Obama for his timidity on the issue.

    Bull. Fucking. Shit.

    Looking back, it all seems easy, but in 2007, the idea DADT would be gone by 2010 and DOMA would be on the path to extinction would have been met with incredulity. And it’s not just law, it’s the attitude. I have no doubt that there are still more than enough haters and violent homophobes to make being openly gay in most places a daily struggle with idiocy and danger. But when a majority of straight opinion moves from a range between violent hatred and “whatever they do in private is their own business but don’t do it in public” to one where a majority of straights can face the idea of PDA’s by gays with, at most, a shrug or a smile in five years, that’s a pretty remarkable thing. It certainly took a fuck of a lot longer for us to get from Loving v. Virginia,388 U.S. 1 (1967)to a world where an interracial couple doesn’t get a second glance in a restaurant in North Carolina.

    No president has spoken so forcefully, so openly and so often, before running, while campaigning or in office, in support of LGBT rights. No one now seems to remember how surprising, even jarring, it was to hear a candidate talk about gay rights so often and openly in 2007. No one seems to recall that prior to his election, putting an anti-gay measure onto the ballot was a standard Republican presidential election turnout tool whereas, by 2010, they had to sneak them onto midterm ballots to get them to pass and by 2012, they largely surrendered.

    Obama’s entire “evolution” on gay marriage was a calculation, but it wasn’t a calculation about what was in his best interest. It was a calculation on how best to assemble majority for change in the shortest possible time. The entire essence of leadership by a president in generating majority support for minority rights–real leadership, not the shrill pulpit pounding and gallant windmill tilting that idiot Firebaggers equate with leadership–is to move majority opinion from point A to point B by getting out just slightly ahead of where the majority’s thinking is and publicly engaging in a dialogue that is ostensibly about his own supposed tortured evolution on the issue. At the same time, the same president who’s supposedly struggling with the issue also engages in very public mainstreaming efforts, both substantive and symbolic. And always, the president hovers just very slightly outside the comfort zone of the people whose opinions he’s trying to move until, finally, they achieve their breakthrough moment and think they’re the ones ahead of the curve.

    The mainstreaming efforts recontextualize the way the public views the issue. The dialogue ostensibly about the president’s own supposed struggle to grow becomes the framework by which the public works through its own issues.

    This is precisely how Lincoln moved a white northern majority that, however it felt about secession, was largely virulently racist into acceptance of emancipation. It’s how Johnson–for all his faults and beginning in his days as Senate majority leader who depended on racist southern senators for his majority–slowly assembled a white northern majority for an assault on segregation. It’s the same game Kennedy played throughout his short term.

    The change in straight attitudes toward gay rights during the course of the Obama Administration has been stunning. I’m not saying he did it all himself, because that would be foolish. Johnson couldn’t have done what he did without the Civil Rights movement and the powerful symbolic presence of the ghost of John F. Kennedy to push him past the finish line. Lincoln couldn’t have freed the slaves without the Radical Republican faction–a faction that abused and scorned him even as he privately acknowledged that his aims were theirs.

    But anyone who thinks Obama just went along with what was already happening and would have inevitably happened in the same time frame rather than very systematically and deliberately if gently, leading public opinion through a dramatic evolution to a desired destination is blind as only the smugly cynical or tendentious libertarian purity trolls can be. He didn’t do it alone, but to refuse to grant him his fair share of credit for the radical transformation in both the legal landscape and social attitudes is at best small-minded and at worst churlish.

  155. 155
    aimai says:

    @aimai:

    I hasten to add that I’m not arguing with Rosie Outlook because I think its worth doing or that she can have her mind changed. I’m just doing it because I find this particular strand of Uriah Heeplike self aggrandizement combined with self abasement fascinating in a historical and cultural sense. Its quite common, its not interesting because its unusual. And its so classically the mode of special pleading used by authoritarian followers who are dissapointed in the scraps that fall from the master’s table but are convinced that if they identify strongly enough with the master they will at least get more scraps than the other dogs.

    Rosie’s as much as saying to all of us “If the democrats don’t ressurrect a cultural story in which whiteness is priviliged and we can at least feel good about our presumed ethnic white trash heritage then we will continue to vote against our self interest because at least we know that we won’t have to hang with the minorities and the bi-coastal elites who all hate us and make us sad.” A commenter over at Alicublog always says (paraphrasing) “The American people will happilly live under a bridge and roast sparrows on a curtain rod for dinner as long as they know that the other guy, under the next bridge, doesn’t even have a curtain rod to toast his sparrows on.”

  156. 156
    geg6 says:

    @Rosie Outlook:

    Well, as the daughter and granddaughter and great granddaughter of a long line of working class Brits, Irish and Germans who came to America for a slightly better working class life as steelworkers, coal miners and grave diggers in Youngstown, Aliquippa, and Johnstown, I beg to differ. My dad, considered a super progressive guy on race back in the early to mid-60s, had a black friend who actually visited our home (definitely not the done thing in that time and place). Ernie came to the back door, though, never the front. No white person except for children did that. He called my dad Mr. Geg and my dad called him Ernie, as did we kids, a privilege we were not allowed to use except with aunts, uncles, and godparents. They worked together in the seamless tube mill, doing essentially the same job (this was before dad was promoted many years later). My dad made a lot more money than Ernie did, though neither made all that much. My dad oozed white privilege whenever Ernie came to our house. Not because he didn’t genuinely like Ernie, he definitely did since he was one my dad’s few co-workers who was ever invited to our house. But it was so obvious that my dad was much higher on the societal totem pole than Ernie was, even to a child of 5 or 6 or 7, like I was at the time.

    It still happens today. Not as blatantly and today’s racial progressives would be horrified by the casual privilege of my dad, but it still happens. Every day and right here in purple to blue Pennsylvania.

  157. 157
    Joel (Macho Man Randy Savage) says:

    The question ignores where the respective politicans are shifting from. This is relevant, for what it’s worth, as is the fact that Obama’s shift came much earlier. You could argue that the tide change in favor of gay marriage has been shepherded by the fact that Obama became the first POTUS to support it.

  158. 158
    Ben Franklin says:

    Equating Portman with GG is just a tactic. I feel certain democrats have evolved since a privateer (MLK) led the charge for civil rights, not democrats. But they have done so out of political expediency, not out of love of liberty for all.

    GG provides the discussion, which we would not be having here, if it weren’t for the occasional, misdirected post.

  159. 159
    max says:

    Very late. And dipping in, I see a lot of stuff I’m going to skip.

    he’s mostly right that Portman and Obama engaged in political calculation.

    And also: who cares? Portman had his personal epiphany, Obama got dragged, we’re here where we’re at and what Greenwald thinks is of no real concern.

    because I don’t understand the need to piss off a whole swath of people who agree with a cause near to your heart to make your latest point about Obama’s lack of purity.

    A small child, seeking attention.

    To forestall the first dozen comments pointing out that Glenn trolled me here because I’m writing about one of his tweets, guilty as charged, and so what?

    It’s fine if you want to troll the troll back, but I have seen Greenwald be both deliberately (or worse, accidently) disingenuous enough (and thus, intellectually dishonest enough) that I know not to waste time listening. Plus, the SOB is boring.

    He’s a big gay libertarian that supported the Iraq war until he didn’t. Good for him. I think Pierce’s 5:00 minute should probably apply here. (Although it’s not 5:00 until he sounds nuts, it’s 5:00 until he starts with the sleight of hand tricks. Lawyers. Jesus Christ.)

    By comparison, whatever beefs you or I might have with Sully, Sully is at least honest.

    max
    [‘Now that I have gone and wasted my time with this, I am going to stop being dumb.’]

  160. 160
    scav says:

    Another funny thing about Rosie’s 135 is that it absolves the GOP from any fault, indeed agency, in their racial make-up. It’s not their fault they’re not appealing to minorities: it’s the Democrat’s fault for not being attractive to a (subset of) whites.

  161. 161
    Zagloba says:

    @aimai: “The American people will happilly live under a bridge and roast sparrows on a curtain rod for dinner as long as they know that the other guy, under the next bridge, doesn’t even have a curtain rod to toast his sparrows on.”

    Oh, Last Place Aversion, how I wish I could quit you…

  162. 162
    different-church-lady says:

    Picking up on the lyrics, the real problem is that he wants to give it, but doesn’t want to get some too.

  163. 163
    Chris says:

    @NCSteve:

    Looking back, it all seems easy, but in 2007, the idea DADT would be gone by 2010 and DOMA would be on the path to extinction would have been met with incredulity

    This, and all that came after it, especially the Lincoln analogies.

    I remember 2007. Was thinking a lot about the social issues at the time (result of strong differences with fundie friends I’d made in college). As I recall, I thought we’d be lucky just to see a DADT repeal enacted by the end of the next Democratic President’s time in office (you know, after reelection and midterms were no longer a thing and he had nothing left to lose). I certainly didn’t expect an endorsement of gay marriage from a presidential-level Democrat for another twenty years, at least.

    Kind of hard for me to blame Obama for not being 100% on board with gay rights RIGHT FROM THE GET-GO, for the same reason it’s hard to me to blame FDR for not moving on civil rights.

  164. 164
    El Tiburon says:

    @Zagloba:

    @Paula: I’m not familiar with the older Paul/newsletters exchanges, but I’ll take your word for it if you like.

    Best that you not take Paula’s word for it.

    Yes, Greenwald did spend some ink defending the Pauls, or to be more precise, he defended Ron Paul’s anti-war stance. GG had to go to great lengths to soothe people like Paula who ignorantly assume that if you agree with someone’s stance on issue you must therefore support that person completely.

    GG was very clear on his stance with Ron Paul. But, again, his arguments and reasoning are just too much for people like Paula to understand.

    I mean, it assumed around here that Greenwald is a libertarian and big Ron Paul supporter. Neither is true.

  165. 165
    aimai says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Are you under the impression that normal people get up and tweet stuff without intending it as part of a larger discussion? Because I’m not. Glenn has a goal with this tweet, as with all his communications and its a political/personal goal which I (personally) think intends to aggradize his imaginary position as an arbiter of good and bad political actions.

    I also dislike the blanket use of the term “anti gay.” There is zero evidence that Obama and Portman ever shared an “anti-gay” stance at all in the sense that they were both equally involved in homophobic religious and political organizations or pushing as a matter of their religious dogma homophobic goals. There is no evidence that anyone in Obama’s life would have assumed that if the law permitted equal marriage that he would ever have fought to overturn it and you have to admit that Portman belongs to a party and also personally has asserted an interest in crafting laws that would specifically disenfranchise and disable gay people. There’s a huge difference between a political actor choosing when to make his move towards greater equality for other people and a political actor who actively works against the rights of all other people until it hurts members of his own family.

  166. 166
    Jeremy says:

    @Hill Dweller: Actually Nate Silver wrote an article 2 years ago on DW nominate scores which rank liberal and conservative beliefs and Obama is ranked right in between the the most liberal democrat and most conservative democrat. So pretty much Obama is within the main stream of the democratic party. Polls by PPP also back this up.

    Now it’s true that the democratic party moderated while the republicans moved to the right but based on Nate Silver’s analysis the Democrats are moving slowly to the left as well due to a decrease in conservative democrats. The democrats have a lot in common with the liberal Rockefeller Republicans of the 50, 60,70’s but overall Obama and the Dems hold the same stringent old school democratic beliefs (universal health care, education, higher minimum wage, tax fairness, etc.)

  167. 167

    Not only are we not allowed to intuit implications into the Word of Greenwald, we are also not allowed to hold him accountable for things he wrote years ago, when he was but a fetus 35 years of age. http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.....legal.html

  168. 168
    YAFB says:

    @Jethro Troll:

    This reminds me of how Greenwald was advocating for stricter immigration laws before he got a non-US citizen boyfriend.

    !

    Counter-troll is counter-trolly. It would make a decent tweet.

  169. 169
    Corner Stone says:

    @max:

    By comparison, whatever beefs you or I might have with Sully, Sully is at least honest.

    I wish people who thought this would make it their first sentence, instead of their last. That way I could skip all of their comment.

  170. 170

    @El Tiburon:

    Who is wanting to compare the two men and their work towards equality? Certainly not Greenwald.

    Certainly not. That would require that he acknowledge all the good things Obama has done, and that’s the last thing he ever wants to do. This is exactly what pisses people off about Greenwald. He pretends to care a lot about the issues, but in practice he’s a partisan who supports the party that’s working against his stated position on those issues.

  171. 171
    Anya says:

    That doesn’t invalidate Glenn’s whole argument–as I said above, he’s mostly right that Portman and Obama engaged in political calculation.

    This post is as flawed as Greenwald’s arguments (trolling). You are both making an idiotic argument. Comparing President Obama’s stands on gay rights with Portman is dishonest and despicable, Mistermix. It’s so frustrating. What does President Obama have to do to get the respect he deserves from white progressives? It boggles the mind. Clinton is forgiven and even adored despite all of his policies yet President Obama is constantly attacked and compared to bigoted republicans. This is really depressing.

    People talk about public opinion shifting on gay rights and yer discount president Obama’s role. Having a president or a presidential candidate talking about gay rights in major speeches makes a huge difference. After 8 years of Rove dirty tricks and using gays as a force to drive bigots to the polls, don’t tell me Obama changing the conversation did not shift public opinion?

    This shit is really disheartening. I can’t even.…

  172. 172
    Gex says:

    @scav: Further, we are trying to go from a system where few, wealthy white men had most of the power and most of the wealth to a system that balances things more evenly. Some of the people who will benefit from that are, in fact, white men. Many, in fact.

    But if they balk at this process because we accurately describe the people who have all the stuff and have oppressed the rest of us (including working class whites) then what are we to do? It isn’t MY fault that it was white guys who had it all at the start. And it isn’t my fault that those folks used demographics and tribalism to decide who had access and who didn’t. That’s just the situation we’re in and we have to deal with it. But apparently we have to do it pretending that green intersexed people are at the top of the totem pole, lest white men get offended.

  173. 173
    patroclus says:

    I’m pleased that both Obama and Portman changed their positions on gay marriage – I hope that DOMA is repealed/found to be unconstitutional; I want ENDA to be enacted; I’m thrilled that DADT is gone. My reasons are because all of that would be consistent with the equal protection of the laws. As long as we get the results I desire, I don’t care that much why politicians have changed their positions.

    Regarding Dear Leader Greenwald, he wrote one post on Obama’s amazing pro-gay record – since then, he’s been trolling. For what it’s worth, I kind of agree with him here, but it doesn’t change my rather low opinion of him generally.

  174. 174
    MomSense says:

    @aimai:

    I thought you said it very well! The thing about President Obama’s endorsement was that it was not a clear political winner at all. In fact it was just the opposite in places like NC and Maine’s 2nd Congressional District and Maryland. The endorsement was followed up with on the ground persuasion and outreach to key religious and political figures.

    Biden jumped the gun a bit so those of us on the ground had to move faster than we planned.

    I get frustrated because much of the commentary regardless of where it falls on the conservative vs progressive spectrum is completely divorced from what is happening on the ground. My favorite writer and journalist is Al Giordano (an organizer turned journalist!) who calls this the “view from above”. People who analyze the President from above are going to get it wrong most of the time.

    I remember watching Rachel Maddow blast the President for including the unnecessary provision in the ACA to prohibit federal funding for abortion. It was obviously unnecessary because of the Hyde amendment and she thought he was betraying progressives and pandering to conservatives. I had just finished making calls into Maine’s second district on the ACA and heard countless times that they really want to support it but they need assurances that their tax dollars won’t fund abortions. My point in this was that these are people who align with Democrats on economic and health care policy but who are Catholic and against abortion. They have competing values. They are on the left but may vote Republican or not support a particular issue because of a competing value. Obama wasn’t tracking center he was keeping a coalition together. There is no monolithic progressive set of opinions.

    I’m probably getting way too wordy and picky on this but I think the false assumptions lead to poor analysis and really poor decision making.

  175. 175
    Corner Stone says:

    @Joel (Macho Man Randy Savage):

    You could argue that the tide change in favor of gay marriage has been shepherded by the fact that Obama became the first POTUS to support it.

    You could make this argument. And I would enjoy that.

  176. 176
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @El Tiburon: Gay friends (and staffers) are not equal to Gay son. The former requires empathy while the latter involves parental love. Can you see the difference in immediacy?

  177. 177
    Jeremy says:

    @Jeremy: Also I might add that DW nominate scores show that Obama is to the left of many 90’s democrats and to the left of moderate 80’s republicans. This was all backed up in Nate Silver’s research so the idea that Obama is a 80’s moderate republican is not true.

  178. 178
    Mike E says:

    @MattF: Are you suggesting that GG is starting with a conclusion, then reverse-engineering an argument to support it? And that he’s some sort of queer amalgamated chimera of Brooks and Friedman?? Alright, sorry, I made that last part up. But is it irresponsible to speculate?! I mean, while we are all divining another person’s thought pattern & all…

  179. 179
    srv says:

    @NCSteve:

    I call bullshit, not on Greenwald, who Mistermix rightly calls out for engaging in the fallacy of equivocation, which is what 90% of his oh-so-reasonable post-Bush communications come down to, but on Mistermix for his heh indeedy to Greenwald for attacking Obama for his timidity on the issue.

    It was mistermix’s job to win this morning this morning.

  180. 180
    different-church-lady says:

    @Jeremy:

    the idea that Obama is a 80′s moderate republican is not true.

    Most zombie lies aren’t.

  181. 181
    minutemaid says:

    Cole thinks Greenwald is dreamy. Everytime wr0ng way Cole thinks of Greenwald he sees starbursts and sparkles.

  182. 182
    bystander says:

    @aimai:

    re: [GG} undermines Democratic action on a number of policy fronts

    I think I’ve already indicated my own limiting bias in response to different-church-lady. I’m not looking at a *number* of policy fronts. I’m going to focus on a policy-by-policy basis. Is that what Glenn does? I have no answer. If Glenn is threatening some larger Democratic project, that’s of little concern to me. It’d be helpful to have some sense of what the larger Democratic policy project might be. I honestly have the view that not unlike the Republicans they have their fingers in the wind and are trying to figure out how to keep their voters and their campaign funding at the same time. And, for the most part, being relatively assured of their voters, trade-off in favor of funding. I don’t see the Democrats acting like the “Democrats of yore” unless they feel threatened by a 360-degree shitstorm (h/t Atrios) and a credible and significant loss of votes.

  183. 183
    Anya says:

    @max: I suggest you read @NCSteve: excellent agrument. You might learn something.

  184. 184
    Zagloba says:

    @Self-Righteous Little White Guy: “Not allowed to hold him accountable” by getting him to say he was wrong, and in particular his opinions at that time were the result of “uncritically ingesting conventional wisdom, propaganda, etc.”?

    Next time, maybe don’t link to the old blog post with a highlit update at the top talking about why, in retrospect, he got it wrong.

  185. 185
    El Tiburon says:

    @aimai:

    Are you under the impression that normal people get up and tweet stuff without intending it as part of a larger discussion?

    What exactly is the larger discussion? Do you disagree that at one time Obama had a stance on gay issues that many prominent liberal and gay pundit-types had an issue with? This is not at dispute, is it? Do you disagree that, according to Obama’s very own words, he has evolved on the issue?

    So, sure, tweets and blog posts are all for larger discussions. But when that discussion veers so far off-course then it ceases to be part of a larger discussion and turns into a big turd-parade aimed at Greenwald. And you have to admit, most of the commenters here, they love nothing more than squeezing out a big turd while misstating and misrepresenting what Greenwald said.

  186. 186
    JoyfulA says:

    @Rosie Outlook: Joe Bageant was a friend of mine—

  187. 187
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @MomSense: What an excellent comment, MomSense. The “view from above” is especially astute and is what separates my liberal self from the firebaggers, Greenwalds, etc. On the ground we are assisting the politicians we support by navigating minefields in order to not only keep the coalitions together but grow them. The “view from above” is about looking at an ideological end-point and measuring everything against a utopian standard.

  188. 188
    MomSense says:

    @NCSteve:

    Awesome, awesome, awesome post!

  189. 189
    Corner Stone says:

    @bystander:

    undermines Democratic action on a number of policy fronts

    The issue of “undermines Democratic action” is a limiting bias all by itself.

  190. 190
    Narcissus says:

    Glenn is just an A Number One Asshole. People get confused because he holds some positions that we do. He’s still an asshole.

  191. 191
    patroclus says:

    I went to an Obama for Senate rally here in Chicago in 2004 and there were some gay protestors outside complaining about his position at that time. Although I certainly agreed with them on gay marriage at that time, I think it turned out better that he was elected and then changed his position than their preferred outcome (voting for Alan Keyes). At the time, I thought they were Republican plants – now, they just remind me of Dear Leader Greenwald.

    Obama has a stunningly amazing record on gay rights – I hope Portman matches it but I have my doubts. Dear Leader Greenwald has virtually no record on gay rights – he rarely writes about it, and when he does (as here), he just be trolling…

  192. 192
    different-church-lady says:

    @Zagloba:

    Next time, maybe don’t link to the old blog post with a highlit update at the top talking about why, in retrospect, he got it wrong.

    But is there a big difference b/w Greenwald switching on immigration and Obama and Portman switching on gay marriage?

    I ask this, not so much because I want the answer, but because I’m really interested in seeing El Tiburon defend me using the most narrow possible interpretation of the exact words I used.

    (And, btw, if I’m reading correctly, the main reason for that update was not because he got it wrong, but because of “Obama cultists”.)

    (Edited mistaken double use of immigration, didn’t want to use strike thru because it would have looked ironic instead of corrected)

  193. 193
    David in NY says:

    Greenwald~=Nader

  194. 194
    Chyron HR says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Truly, why must these Obotomized Obots who mindlessly worship (and/or fantasize about getting raped by) Dear Leader keep derailing legitimate discussion with their personal attacks?

  195. 195
    Chris Andersen says:

    I think you hit on the key thing that pisses me off so much about Greenwald. He says a lot of things I could agree with, but he seems incapable of doing so in a way that isn’t designed to poke unnecessarily at a sore point.

    That’s the behavior of a bully. A bully who uses intellect instead of fisticuffs to dominate, but a bully none-the-less.

  196. 196
    WereBear says:

    I got over Greenwald when I realized he just likes to complain about everything and everybody while doing very little to change such things. I considered him a huckster when I pre-ordered his book on the Constitution and received something that barely qualified as a pamphlet.

    He stakes out an extreme position, derides attempts to move towards it, then complains that he doesn’t get his extreme position the next morning.

    I agree with aimai that Obama was political calculation towards his goal. Portman is “oh, suddenly this messes with me!” and now he’s throwing his principles overboard.

    Totally not the same thing, but here we are talking about Greenwald. The incredible thing about Greenwald is that Greenwald is an incredible thing!

  197. 197
    MomSense says:

    @pamelabrown53:

    And by assisting–you mean working and that is another thing that separates me from the firebaggers. They are never working with me on the ground so they deal in utopian standards because they are not organizing their asses off to build the coalitions and then keep the coalitions together.

    Seriously, they don’t show up to canvass or if they do–one shift and they stop saying firebagger stuff because they get to a door and talk with an actual human being and realize that this is not the world they thought it was.

  198. 198
    Loviatar says:

    @@Jeremy: / different-church-lady:

    the idea that Obama is a 80′s moderate republican is not true.

    —–

    From the mouth of our dear leader himself:

    Obama: More Moderate Republican Than Socialist

    “The truth of the matter is that my policies are so mainstream that if I had set the same policies that I had back in the 1980s, I would be considered a moderate Republican.”

    Take up your disagreement with dear leader. Oh yeah, I forgot you guys are Authoritarian Democrats, you can’t/won’t disagree with leadership.

  199. 199
    bystander says:

    @ Corner Stone:

    Okay. Good catch. Which is, undoubtedly, why I am doomed to “talk past” some folks. And, was – actually – the premise of my initial comment.

    Reengaging lurker status and off to Saturday-stuff. Thanks, All.

  200. 200
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @Gex: oh, this is where they were going the whole time. Classic politrollery.

  201. 201
    Keith G says:

    Portman did it because changing his position will lead to a clear and direct personal gain–his actual gay son might get an real benefit from the state based on his father’s position. As far as we know, Obama’s change in position gives him no such benefit.

    No

    Obama’s prior stance was either opportunistic political posturing (which many Obama supporters winked and nudged at) or he really did have a moral problem with gays being able to assert basic human rights.

    If it was the latter, what new information was introduced to the world in early 2012 to change Obama’s often stated, principled stand?

    I have no problem with Obama being a mere mortal and acting pretty much like every politician known to man. He was tacking against the political winds in a way that he found the most advantageous on what he probably considered a secondary issue. I found his initial statements lacking in bravery, but ya can’t always get what ya want, or so I hear.
    When the political ground was safer, Obama eventually did jump on the pile and make things right.

  202. 202
    different-church-lady says:

    @Loviatar: I am so glad you linked to that. Because I never saw it in context before. And now that I have I can see its constant use the way you have just used it for the complete and utter bullshit it is.

  203. 203
    Ben Franklin says:

    To sum up the diff…Portman is a NIMBY to Obama’s GUMBY.

  204. 204
    Todd says:

    Gosh, wealthy gay white hipster progressive male continues to bash on the black guy – the one who took it on himself to take a risk on working toward getting DADT repealed legislatively, and actually succeeded, and one whose Justice Department is throwing the “uphold” game on DOMA. Count me as so very, very surprised at this momentous development.

    Clearly, Obama is history’s greatest monster on LGBT issues. Vote GOP.

  205. 205
    aimai says:

    @Loviatar:

    You have an almost biblical literalist view of stuff, don’t you. Do you think it proves that Obama is actually “like a Republican” because he says it? If he says “I’m a pretty good guy” do you also think that is true? He’s speaking in a certain context–a persuasive context. Its called rhetoric. Its for effect. Stop quoting random lines as though they don’t have to be understood in context.

  206. 206
    scav says:

    @Loviatar: because rhetorical political statements made for rhetorical political purposes are entirely equivalent as to statements involving, oh, for example, data.

  207. 207

    @Roger Moore: You can tell how Greenwald didn’t want to compare Obama and Portman by the way he mentioned them together in a tweet. / El Tiburon

  208. 208

    @Roger Moore: You can tell how Greenwald didn’t want to compare Obama and Portman by the way he mentioned them together in a tweet. / El Tiburon

  209. 209
    aimai says:

    @Keith G:

    Bullshit. By 2012 Obama had already ended DADT using the full weight of the Military to do so and thus forever changed the landscape within which all other future debates would occur–just like the GI Bill and the returning black soldiers altered the landscape for discrimination in this country.

  210. 210
    patroclus says:

    @Loviatar: I think you’ve got your labels wrong – Dear Leader Greenwald is “our dear leader.” Barack Obama is “President Obama.” When you link an article written by Dear Leader Greenwald, please cite it as such and when you link to an article quoting Barack Obama, please identify him as the POTUS. It would be much more clear if you follow my advice.

  211. 211
    different-church-lady says:

    @scav: Maybe Loviatar should “unskew” Nate’s figures for him.

  212. 212
    Rosie Outlook says:

    @lojasmo: Yup, you’re right. He chose to be born dirt poor, to grow up in the Depression. He chose to leave school in the 8th grade because of a habit he formed early in life (eating). And it was his free and informed choice to be drafted into two wars.

    You’re as bad as the conservatives. You don’t like somebody, his problems are all his fault.

  213. 213
    Corner Stone says:

    @scav: I find the argument that some statements are true and some statements only rhetoric to be very persuasive.

  214. 214
    Jeremy says:

    @Loviatar: Statements mean nothing when the facts go against what you provided. Look DW nominate scores are highly accurate and show how conservative, moderate, or liberal a politician is based on overall beliefs and policies (whether they implement them or couldn’t).

    The fact is that Obama has been ranked smack in the middle of the most conservative and most liberal democrat in the party. Nate Silver ( a man who knows about stats) said that Obama is no moderate republican and the stats clearly show that he is to the left of an 80’s moderate republican and the many 90’s democrats. Here is the link to that article :http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.n.....ent-obama/

  215. 215
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Keith G: Granted, it had a separate but equal feel to it, but Obama did support civil unions. I think that was his attempt to advance LGBT civil rights while not enraging the religious community. In other words, the most politically expedient route.

    At the end of the day, if Obama’s goal was to advance LGBT rights as quickly as possible, while not undermining the popular support of his party, he’s done a damn good job.

  216. 216
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Rosie Outlook:

    Open liberal hate of white guys drives away the people who should be your natural allies.

    Bullshit. Your whole schtick throughout this thread is asinine. Your dad was privileged vis a vis a working class black man of his era. White privilege is different than class or economic privilege.

  217. 217
    YAFB says:

    @different-church-lady:

    But is there a big difference b/w Greenwald switching on immigration and Obama and Portman switching on gay marriage?

    I ask this, not so much because I want the answer, but because I’m really interested in seeing El Tiburon defend me using the most narrow possible interpretation of the exact words I used.

    (And, btw, if I’m reading correctly, the main reason for that update was not because he got it wrong, but because of “Obama cultists”.)

    Heaven forbid that anybody, let alone the old instashield “Obama cultists” that GG invokes so readily, ever tried to hold GG to the standards he seeks to impose on others.

    FWIW, I think Portman’s evolution to paying lip service (that’s all he’s actually done so far) to an acceptance of at least a less punitive attitude towards LGBT rights is one that many people go through when they let life experiences educate them.

    The real question that goes beyond GG’s trollery and that of his defenders here is what is Portman going to do about it? His son came out to him over two years ago. A late as 2010 (the latest I can find without going wild on Google), he was still heavily on favor of anti-LGBT measures. The charge if there’s any is likely to be one of hypocrisy rather than selfishness.

    What Obama had achieved in terms of DADT before his announcement about marriage equality makes any equivocation ridiculous. You could argue that Obama’s actions paved the way for Portman to make his statement. In the end, both are good things if you believe in marriage equality.

    More pressure on Portman to clarify his stances on other related issues (such as his opposition to ENDA) would probably be a more effective focus for GG at this point if he wasn’t just trying to troll the “cultists.”

  218. 218
    Keith G says:

    @aimai: You are exactly right. So I am curious why it took Joe Biden plus a wealth of polling data about the preferences of younger voters for Obama to finally come out (be dragged out?) on this.

    I love the man and am so glad he eventually did this. I am just responding to some above who seem to be saying that Obama’s behavior on this issue of Gay marriage was free of political wind testing and calculations of loss/gain.

    Edit

    @Hill Dweller: I don’t disagree. See the paragraph immediately above.

  219. 219
    Kristin says:

    @different-church-lady: As an aside, when he uses the term “Obama cultists,” I just stop reading.

  220. 220
    marshall says:

    I long ago stopped caring what Glenn Greenwald writes. “Concern troll” is what comes to mind.

  221. 221
    Todd says:

    @Baud:

    I for one welcome future pie fights about the real reason people support full equality.

    “Understand this: as the military struggle draws to a close, the political struggle intensifies. In the hour of victory, the military will have served its purpose – and all men will be judged POLITICALLY – regardless of their military record! “ – Lt. Razin, “Dr. Zhivago” (1965).

  222. 222

    @Zagloba: @different-church-lady: You’re saying we should simply disregard Glenn Greenwald’s past Arpaio-like frothing about “illegals” because he’s “evolved”? Would that Greenwald applied a similar standard to, well, anyone not named Paul.

  223. 223

    @Self-Righteous Little White Guy:

    You can tell how Greenwald didn’t want to compare Obama and Portman by the way he mentioned them together in a tweet.

    I think you’re missing the point. Greenwald is happy to compare what Obama and Portman have said, since both of them have changed their positions is a way that can, with some fairness, be characterized as political expediency rather than principle. What Greenwald carefully avoids doing is comparing what they’ve actually done to benefit gay rights, which is a night and day difference. It’s classic Greenwaldism; he cares far more about slagging the Democrats, Obama in particular, than making accurate and fair comparisons.

  224. 224
    Loviatar says:

    @different-church-lady: / @aimai: / @scav: / @patroclus: / @patroclus: /

    You guys are amusing. When it suits your purpose you take President Obama (patroclus: thanks for the heads up. It is disrespectful to call him anything other than President Obama) at his word, i.e. I’ve evolved on Gay Rights. Yet when given a direct quote by him you portend to have some insight into his soul so as to truly understand what he means, even though it directly contradicts his words and POLICIES.

    Noticed I capitalized and bolded policies, because unlike most Democrats – who have been beaten until they are unrecognizable as Democrats and who are now willing to accept any pseudo Democrat that may or may not resemble an actual Democrat – (please raise hand if description fits) I actually review and consider President Obama’s policies and their impact on me and mine. And you know what, he is an 80s era Republican in policy as well as words.

  225. 225
    Todd says:

    @Chris:

    Trailer park residents with rotting teeth and a McJob or two or three are in the shitty situation they’re in because of the number of white people who decided that supporting The Man as long as The Man talked white was more important than standing with black, Hispanic, Asian and other people in demanding better treatment for all. The symptom goes all the way back to the post-Civil War days, when Appalachian mountain Southerners who’d often sympathized with the Union started rallying to the Lost Cause bullshit after competition from freed slaves became a thing (which is how we got to the point where Confederate flags are a common sight in West Virginia – and, hell, even in much of the North).

    I’ve always viewed this “step all over me as long as you’re white” thing as a cultural defect of Scots-Irish clannish upbringing.

  226. 226
    aimai says:

    @Rosie Outlook:

    Well, why do you argue that the Republican party can easily pick up all those suffering white votes if you don’t, actually, think they respect your father’s white suffering all that much? I can’t follow your logic. Both my grandfather’s grew up poor and white in the depression–before the depression just slightly–and both did fine. Do you know why? Because things were looking up for white guys and they worked their way through school (despite supporting siblings and unemployed parents) and worked their way into the middle class. Other people didn’t manage that. What part did whiteness play in this passion play? My grandfathers would admit that it gave them a leg up.

  227. 227
    Anya says:

    @Loviatar: Reading comprehention. There’s a difference between the policies a president might advance and his actual ideological stand. Policies are usually what you think will be passed. It would be different if he was writing a paper for a think tank.

  228. 228
    Loviatar says:

    @different-church-lady:

    @scav: Maybe Loviatar should “unskew” Nate’s figures for him.

    No need to unskew anything I’ll just use President Obama’s words.

    Obama: More Moderate Republican Than Socialist

    “The truth of the matter is that my policies are so mainstream that if I had set the same policies that I had back in the 1980s, I would be considered a moderate Republican.”

  229. 229
    Kristin says:

    @marshall: I used to read him rather religiously, and even donate to him. But, I now want nothing to do with him. He routinely embarrasses himself. It’s not because I’m an Obama cultist. It’s because he would characterize me as one because I don’t hate everything Obama does.

  230. 230
    Jeremy says:

    @Jeremy: Actually I should clarify. It’s mainly based on policies and roll call votes.

  231. 231
    different-church-lady says:

    @YAFB:

    What Obama had achieved in terms of DADT before his announcement about marriage equality makes any equivocation ridiculous. You could argue that Obama’s actions paved the way for Portman to make his statement. In the end, both are good things if you believe in marriage equality.

    Exactly! Obama eventually came around right. Portman eventually came around right. And apparently we’re now supposed to have a big fight over who came around righter for the righterist reasons just because some professional asshole on Twitter is crawlspaced by people who fawn too easily (those monsters!).

  232. 232
    Yutsano says:

    Sigh. I expected more Glennbots. Maybe they’re all sleeping in.

  233. 233

    @Roger Moore: No, I agree completely with you. My comment had more to do with Greenwald Fundamentalist El Tiburon’s insistence that every word that Dear Leader Greenwald writes is literally true, but that any interpretation of those words is an abomination.

  234. 234
    aimai says:

    @Keith G:

    I think that Obama was on a very carefully constructed trajectory that took into account that there are a lot of moving parts in moving an entire country towards not just acceptance but full legal equality. Its not really clear which parts have to move first. All you can know, looking at history and the current legal/political framework is that with 50 states, divided state legislatures, two parties, entrenched interests, evolving interests, people coming out, test cases, etc… there are going to be impulses that push in different directions. Obama strikes me as a guy who takes a very long view of things and his goals in this matter (which I think were full equality all along) were being served just as well when people elsewhere in the system pushed for them as when he did himself. More so since, as we know, to paraphrase Cleek, the current republican party agenda is “whatever is the opposite of what Obama says, updated [hourly.]” I think Biden got out ahead of him (they say he did but I rather assumed it was pre-determined) but that was perfect because Biden embodies something to the public that Obama does not embody: an older, white, nice guy, catholic, daddy [all things which half the population will never see in Obama even as they attack even his blackness and his christianity.]

    The whole process was aimed at not letting one branch (legislative, legal, or executive) get so far out in front of the others that there would be a reactionary backlash.

    I think they’ve done amazingly. The proof is in the pudding.

  235. 235
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Loviatar:

    Yeah, but that’s just what he said. He didn’t mean it.

  236. 236
    different-church-lady says:

    @Loviatar: So, you appear to be under the impression that you can re-inflate a popped balloon?

    Please continue — the more people who read that article, the less effect the quote will have the way you intend it to.

  237. 237
    marshall says:

    @Rosie Outlook:

    Rosie Outlook Says:

    @aimai: I think you are confusing white men with rich white men. White men who aren’t rich are treated like everyone else who isn’t rich.

    That sure wasn’t true when I was growing up in Georgia.

  238. 238
    scav says:

    I think I’ve identified the source of that persistant whishing sound past Lovistar’s ears. Probably scared of the pointy bit and stepping quickly out of the way.

  239. 239
    YAFB says:

    @Loviatar:

    Even allowing for ABC’s spin, context is everything:

    During an interview with Noticias Univision 23, the network’s Miami affiliate newscast, Obama pushed back against the accusation made in some corners of south Florida’s Cuban-American and Venezuelan communities that he wants to instill a socialist economic system in the U.S. The president said he believes few actually believe that.

    “I don’t know that there are a lot of Cubans or Venezuelans, Americans who believe that,” Obama said. “The truth of the matter is that my policies are so mainstream that if I had set the same policies that I had back in the 1980s, I would be considered a moderate Republican.”

    “What I believe in is a tax system that is fair. I don’t think government can solve every problem. I think that we should make sure that we’re helping young people go to school. We should make sure that our government is building good roads and bridges and hospitals and airports so that we have a good infrastructure,” he said. “I do believe that it makes sense that everyone in America, as rich as this country is, shouldn’t go bankrupt because someone gets sick.”

    In the actual interview, the second quoted passage follows directly on from the first.

  240. 240
    Loviatar says:

    @Jeremy:

    Statements mean nothing when the facts go against what you provided. Look DW nominate scores are highly accurate and show how conservative, moderate, or liberal a politician is based on overall beliefs and policies (whether they implement them or couldn’t).

    So because the Democratic party has skewed right this makes President Obama a “moderate/centrist” Democrat. Dude you’re not helping your case.

    President Obama is an 80s era Republican by words and policy.

    And thats not a good thing for the country.

  241. 241
    Jeremy says:

    @Anya: True !There is a difference. It’s like the public option discussion all over again. Majority of the Dems supported it along with the president but they didn’t have enough support because Conservative senate democrats were going to filibuster the bill if it was included. So they compromised and included non profit options because there was no way to get a public option through budget reconciliation rules. Now they still support it as good policy and their views haven’t changed but they were unsuccessful in passing it.

  242. 242
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Keith G:

    I love the man and am so glad he eventually did this. I am just responding to some above who seem to be saying that Obama’s behavior on this issue of Gay marriage was free of political wind testing and calculations of loss/gain.

    Reportedly, they wanted to wait until closer to the election to announce his support for SSM, which, in theory, would have been wind at the campaign’s proverbial back in the home stretch. It was strictly a strategic consideration.

    Perhaps it’s naive, but I think Obama’s personal beliefs are more in line with someone like Bernie Sanders, but in order to advance any sort of legislation, he has to tack significantly right.

  243. 243
    different-church-lady says:

    @Self-Righteous Little White Guy: According to what certain people are saying here on this thread, I am not saying anything at all outside of the exact words I just used. Because my purpose of posting such things is not to create implications, it’s because I wish to make clear, declarative statements that stand on their own, unconnected to any of my previously stated views, and I feel the best way to do that is to phrase the statement as a question because doing so will… awww fuck it [plunges fork into brain through eye socket…]

  244. 244
    Jeremy says:

    @Loviatar: Facts are facts ! You can scream Obama is an 80’s moderate Republican but he is not. Look if you want to know Obama’s personal political beliefs read his books and watch his inauguration speeches and other speeches on his views.

    Obama even said he is not a hard leftist but a pragmatist who leans left. Most of the stuff he said he was going to do in 2008 he has done or tried to do so you can’t get mad at him and scream betrayal when he tells you what he is going to do.

  245. 245
    different-church-lady says:

    @Keith G:

    I am just responding to some above who seem to be saying that Obama’s behavior on this issue of Gay marriage was free of political wind testing and calculations of loss/gain.

    Yes. In one way, that actually makes it “worse” than Portman’s journey. Obama was being icy cold on this. I suspect he got good on gay marriage personally long before he got good politically. If so, dude deserves no points for personal integrity. But if the end result is legal acceptance of gay marriage then I don’t give a shit about his personal integrity. And I don’t give a shit about his legacy or him getting credit for his role. I only care about the outcome.

  246. 246
    aimai says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    I agree with this comment by Hill Dweller. I also think that its too simplistic to talk about any political action (in the real world) as though “political wind testing and calculations of loss/gain” are somehow immoral or unnecessary. I see Obama, Clinton, Pelosi and Sanders and basically any worthwhile, functioning, political actor as someone who pays attention to “political winds and calculations of loss/gain” because 1) the first rule of gaining political power is to gain it and 2) politics is the art of the possible. If you have the best program in the world but you can’t implement it you have failed your constituents. If you have the second best program, or you advance the interests of your constituents partially with a view to full implementation later, you’ve done good. Bernie Sander’s managed to shoe horn into the ACA some damned good stuff for community clinics. Obama tried to widen the safety net by offering to all the states what he thought would be an unrefusable quid pro quo: expand medicaid coverage to 132 percent of the poverty line and the feds would pay for it. Both of these are attempts to get more service to the poor. One (temporarily) succeeeded because the appropriation Sander’s got looked like it couldn’t be turned back by the states (but I believe it may have been slashed in other ways) and Obama’s is on the knife edge. The decision to try to get health insurance and coverage to the poorest and the uninsured was the goal–how they got there had to be subject to political winds and struggle because its a god damned democracy struggling with an oligarchy.

  247. 247
    Jeremy says:

    @YAFB: Thanks ! It’s good to see the entire context.

  248. 248

    @different-church-lady: Probably a wiser course of action than attempting to engage Greenwaldians.

  249. 249
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Loviatar: Why, yes, there has been a big, giant rightward swing in politics since about 1968. Gee, I wonder if that affects the degree of freedom a politician has to push policies that are left of center. Probably not. I bet things like Medicare for all would just sail through Congress if only someone would propose it.

    Jesus, left and right, liberal and conservative, progressive and reactionary, have to be judged by the standards of the time. I am hoping that the rightward pendulum swing has ended and our politics are moving in a leftward direction, but I try not to be blind to the facts on the ground.

  250. 250
    👽 Martin says:

    @bcwbcw:

    Obama isn’t just a cautious politician he is extremely conservative for a Democrat. Portman is taking a substantial risk supporting gay marriage, Obama is not. Obama could have led without significant political cost on gay marriage, he just didn’t want to.

    Actually, I think you might have it backward. Obama changed his position months before an election. Portman changed his 4 years before one. And if we all stick our fingers in the wind, I think we would probably all agree that gay marriage will be much more broadly acceptable to the public in 2016 when Portman needs voters again than it was in 2012 when Obama did.

    Look at the lineup of GOP support for Prop 8 at SCOTUS. Aside from there being no current legislators, there’s quite a lot of broad GOP support there. It’s not a huge gamble to say that Prop 8 will be overturned by the court, that it will be even further mainstreamed as a result, and that aside from the heart of the confederacy it’ll be a non-issue by 2016. I’m not saying that Obama’s change was a particular act of courage – it wasn’t. But I don’t think Portman’s is either. There’s a same-sex marriage amendment coming up in Ohio this November, so there’s enough support to get it that far. The issue was polled in Ohio just before the 2012 election by WaPo and support for same-sex marriages was 52/37. +15 is a clear political winner, and that will open further by the end of this year, and much more by 2016. By comparison, nationally going into the 2012 election (so what Obama was facing) it was 53/46, only +7.

  251. 251
    different-church-lady says:

    @Self-Righteous Little White Guy: It hurts my head less, that’s for sure.

  252. 252
    ruemara says:

    @Matt McIrvin: I find it odd that people really believe that Obama was to the right of Dick Cheney on gay rights. At what point do you leave reality, where Dick Cheney has done nothing on gay rights, except protect his daughter-to the fantasy where Dick Cheney in his political life has stood up for gays in America as being worthy of the same rights as all straights.

    And frankly, just because you personally don’t think you’ve benefited from white male privilege, does not mean it you haven’t and it doesn’t exist. If that makes mad, so be it.

  253. 253
    Paula says:

    @El Tiburon:

    what has Obama done and what has Portman done? For the sake of Greenwald’s tweet basis of opposition, it is irrelevant.

    Wow, thanks for making other people’s points for them.

  254. 254
    Loviatar says:

    @Loviatar:

    Even allowing for ABC’s spin, context is everything:

    Silly me, how could I have been so wrong about President Obama.

    Quick question; what was President Obama signature legislative achievement from his first term? Obamacare

    I mean how could I think a bank protecting, individual mandating, warrant less tapping, Libya intervening, gay rights evolver was acting like an 80s era Republican. I know, I know thats how Democrats typically act. Silly me, its only his words and policies that I had to judge him by. I should have been able to look into his heart like you guys.

    So tell me, what else is in his heart for the next 4 years? What entitlements will he cut? Whose civil rights will he ignore or roll back?

    Policies people, policies are what matter. His policies say he is a Republican.

  255. 255
    different-church-lady says:

    @Loviatar: I love people who collect the whole set.

  256. 256
    YAFB says:

    @Jeremy:

    It’s good to see the entire context.

    To do that, I’d listen to the whole interview, bearing in mind the wider political context at the time. I just lifted what ABC chose to transcribe and cut the intervening blurb.

    Anyway, the second part of the quote is never cited by people trying to make the argument Loviatar wants to put forward. It’s like somebody called them “retards” or something.

  257. 257
    Ben Franklin says:

    @different-church-lady:

    I sense your defense mechanisms still operate with one eye.

  258. 258
    Paula says:

    @Zagloba:

    No by all means, this is a highly obscure episode that managed to involve small time columnists like Andrew Sullivan. Not even worth mentioning:

    http://prospect.org/article/ro.....e-takedown

  259. 259
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Loviatar: Uh huh. Remember when Ronald Reagan passed universal health care, advocated for gay rights, put two pro choice women on the Supreme Court, signed the Lily Ledbetter Act, called for tax increases, expanded Medicaid, basically created a renewable energy industry, appointed a transgender person to a sub-cabinet level job…

    I realize you’re an infantile whiner, and you’re well aware that you’re taking that quote out of context, but what I think some people who aren’t tantrum throwing eight year olds might be forgetting, or too young to know, is what a moderate Republican looked like in 1980s, people like Jeffords, Chaffee, Heinz, Javits and William Cohen.

  260. 260
    YAFB says:

    @Loviatar:

    I mean how could I think a bank protecting, individual mandating, warrant less tapping, Libya intervening, gay rights evolver was acting like an 80s era Republican.

    It could be worse. He could be another Bill Clinton!

  261. 261
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Loviatar:

    con·text (kntkst)
    n.
    1. The part of a text or statement that surrounds a particular word or passage and determines its meaning.
    2. The circumstances in which an event occurs; a setting.

    What are the words that surround those you continue to quote?

    During an interview with Noticias Univision 23, the network’s Miami affiliate newscast, Obama pushed back against the accusation made in some corners of south Florida’s Cuban-American and Venezuelan communities that he wants to instill a socialist economic system in the U.S. The president said he believes few actually believe that.

    Then comes your quote, followed by:

    “What I believe in is a tax system that is fair. I don’t think government can solve every problem. I think that we should make sure that we’re helping young people go to school. We should make sure that our government is building good roads and bridges and hospitals and airports so that we have a good infrastructure,” he said. “I do believe that it makes sense that everyone in America, as rich as this country is, shouldn’t go bankrupt because someone gets sick.”

    He’s talking about being an ’80s MOTR Republican on taxing and spending (MOTR Republicans actually did both). He did not say that he is like an ’80s MOTR Republican on social policy (anti-LGBT rights, anti-choice, et cetera). You might be a moron for linking it once, but you’re definitely a moron for linking it a second time, after the word context had been dropped in numerous replies.

  262. 262
    different-church-lady says:

    @Ben Franklin: You’re making me want to reach for another fork.

  263. 263
    Ben Franklin says:

    Obama’s troubles just got worse.

    http://www.wired.com/threatlev.....itutional/

  264. 264
    David in NY says:

    I also think that after aimai’s comment (#3), we could have just stopped this thread.@aimai:

  265. 265
    different-church-lady says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Now, I’ve looked at your laundry list and I’ve looked at Loviatar’s laundry list and holy crap it’s almost as if there’s a completely different set of items on each list!

    Sometimes I can’t tell the difference between political views and 50 state coin sets ordered complete from the Franklin Mint.

  266. 266
    Loviatar says:

    @Jeremy:

    @YAFB: Thanks ! It’s good to see the entire context.

    Instead of YAFB or my word for it why don’t you go listen to the interview yourself. President Obama clearly aligns himself in a positive way with an 80s version of the Republican party. While some here may believe that is a good thing, I don’t. My remembrance of the 80s Republican party and President Reagan is that they began the rollback in:
    – Civil Right – state rights became fashionable and the assault on Roe began.
    – Economic inequality – wage stagnation, union busting and the acceleration of the inequality gap

    Tell me, why should I see it as a good thing that President Obama positively compared himself to an 80s era republican.

  267. 267
    different-church-lady says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    You might be a moron for linking it once, but you’re definitely a moron for linking it a second time, after the word context had been dropped in numerous replies.

    Get a head start on appropriate descriptions of the third, fourth, and fifth times, because they’re inevitable.

  268. 268
    Ben Franklin says:

    The Telcom who showed unbelievable crust and a complete lack of appreciation for Obama’s get out of jail free card, gets their comeuppance.

    http://www.wired.com/threatlev.....-over-nsl/

  269. 269

    @Loviatar: Thanks, I learned something today!

    Loviatar (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈloʋiɑtɑr], alternative names Loveatar, Lovetar, Lovehetar, Louhetar, Louhiatar, Louhi) is a blind daughter of Tuoni, the god of death in Finnish mythology. She was said to be the worst of them all. She was impregnated by wind and gave birth to nine sons, the Nine diseases.

    Well-chosen, especially the blindness part.

  270. 270
    Todd says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    Obama’s troubles just got worse.

    Oh noze – all those tens of thousands of NSLs issued pursuant to the Patriot Act prior to Obama even entering the Senate were totally his fault. Not only does the Obama time machine work on birther issues, it also works on the kludge that was the Patriot Act.

  271. 271
    Paula says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Or, you could argue the fact that it was the number of states passing gay marriage laws in the last 4 years and the highly publicized repeal of DADT that actually turned the tide rather than a sentimental but legislatively worthless admission of support from Barack Obama.

  272. 272
    Todd says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    How did it feel to make that Romney mark on your ballot? Did it give you a tingle?

  273. 273
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    Obama’s troubles just got worse.

    That sentence makes no real sense in the context of either this thread or the article you linked. If the decision holds up through the appeal process, NSLs will no longer be allowed. This is a good thing. How this equates to troubles for Obama is rather murky.

  274. 274
    different-church-lady says:

    @Loviatar:

    Tell me, why should I see it as a good thing that President Obama positively compared himself to an 80s era republican.

    OK, you’ve completely convinced me he should be a Spanish-style socialist instead. Happy now?

  275. 275
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I realize you’re an infantile whiner, and you’re well aware that you’re taking that quote out of context, but what I think some people who aren’t tantrum throwing eight year olds might be forgetting, or too young to know, is what a moderate Republican looked like in 1980s, people like Jeffords, Chaffee, Heinz, Javits and William Cohen.

    Bob Dole, who seemed like a liberal Republican when he retired in ’97, was a conservative Republican in the mid ’80s.

    ETA: And that guy never changed a bit.

  276. 276
    Alison says:

    One thing this thread has shown me is that white privilege is a hell of a drug…

  277. 277
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Todd:

    Oh, I voted for Obama… Did it give you a tingle?

    It’s the same feeling I get when the grocery bagger asks ‘paper or plastic’

  278. 278
    different-church-lady says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: The topic of the thread is trolling, so I think Ben’s just being OT.

  279. 279
    Loviatar says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Uh huh. Remember when Ronald Reagan passed universal health care, advocated for gay rights, put two pro choice women on the Supreme Court, signed the Lily Ledbetter Act, called for tax increases, expanded Medicaid, basically created a renewable energy industry, appointed a transgender person to a sub-cabinet level job…

    If Reagan passed those things we wouldn’t need Democrats. Silly strawman argument try again.

    —–

    but what I think some people who aren’t tantrum throwing eight year olds might be forgetting, or too young to know, is what a moderate Republican looked like in 1980s, people like Jeffords, Chaffee, Heinz, Javits and William Cohen.

    You keep saying this like its a good thing for the Democratic party to be made up of moderate Republicans from the 80s. Its NOT a GOOD THING.

    —–

    I realize you’re an infantile whiner

    I was wondering when the insults would start.

  280. 280
    Loviatar says:

    @Self-Righteous Little White Guy:

    Always glad to help the illiterate

  281. 281
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    How this equates to troubles for Obama is rather murky.

    Murky, yes. So why would DOJ sue if it’s a good thing?

  282. 282
    Paula says:

    @Yutsano:

    I was up early walking the dog. I was expecting to spend a few minutes laughing my head off but this is some weak shit to be entertaining me.

  283. 283

    @Loviatar: I was wondering when the insults would start.

  284. 284
    Jeremy says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): That’s what I got from the interview especially on taxes and spending.

  285. 285
    Todd says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    This is a good thing. How this equates to troubles for Obama is rather murky.

    Obama is history’s greatest monster on national security. this is true even though Congress hasn’t seen fit to repeal those aspects of the Patriot Act, and PBO’s government has asked for 55,000 of the things as opposed to roughly 250,000 that his predecessor asked for.

  286. 286
    different-church-lady says:

    @Yutsano: It’s all Google’s fault for killing that RSS feed thingy. How you gonna light a decent batlight when you can’t get the smartphones to start vibrating the moment the letter G is typed after the name Glenn somewhere in the world?

  287. 287
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Loviatar:

    You keep saying this like its a good thing for the Democratic party to be made up of moderate Republicans from the 80s. Its NOT a GOOD THING.

    You say this as if the electorate hasn’t swung to the right.

    You also seem to miss the point that, if Citizens United stands, as GG thinks it should, the electorate won’t swing back to the left as it could. Is there a big difference between Greenwald and the Koch brothers on Citizens United? It’s a question that needs to be asked.

  288. 288
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Loviatar:

    Tell me, why should I see it as a good thing that President Obama positively compared himself to an 80s era republican.

    I have to admit, I find it amusing that you’re so completely ignorant of politics that you have no clue whatsoever why Obama would want to tell Cuban-American voters in Florida that he’s not a socialist, he’s just like an 80s-era Republican.

    I mean, please continue, because I can’t stop laughing at this point at how completely oblivious you are to your own lack of knowledge about politics and recent political history.

  289. 289
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ben Franklin: Administrations lose court cases all the time. This isn’t a signature policy initiative for the administration, so I have trouble seeing how you find it to be a sign of “troubles.”

  290. 290
    Chris says:

    @Todd:

    Maybe. I always tend to be suspicious of cultural explanations, for a variety of reasons, though.

  291. 291
    Paula says:

    I look forward to more Iraq war supporters to teach me about being liberal.

  292. 292
    YAFB says:

    @Loviatar:

    Tell me, why should I see it as a good thing that President Obama positively compared himself to an 80s era republican.

    Well, on all the evidence you’re unlikely to abandon this line whatever anyone says, but pointing out that he’s not a “socialist” for believing that government can play a positive role in the face of Republican frothing could be argued to be a good thing.

    President Obama clearly aligns himself in a positive way with an 80s version of the Republican party.

    He aligned himself in a positive way with a deliberately selective subset of what the Republican Party was actually veering away rightwards from during the 1980s to point out that if he was a “socialist,” so were they at the time (it could be termed a species of reductio ad absurdum), as well as pointing out how far right the Republican Party of today’s posturing is. If you don’t defend that ground, you cede it.

  293. 293
    Ben Franklin says:

    In case some memories need to be jogged, a little.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07......html?_r=0

  294. 294
    Jeremy says:

    @Loviatar: What you forget is that the republican party always had liberal and moderate republicans before they were purged by the arch conservatives. Both parties had moderate, liberal, and conservative elements which balanced the parties out and made compromise and passing legislation easier than today.

    Some of those republicans you named were more liberal than Southern democrats in office at the time. Many of those republicans supported Civil rights, environmental laws, medicare, reasonable taxation, a more streamlined government, etc. So I don’t know why you keep on harping on this.

  295. 295
    YAFB says:

    @Loviatar:

    If Reagan passed those things we wouldn’t need Democrats.

    I just wanted to see that again because I couldn’t believe it the first time.

  296. 296
    Ajaye says:

    GG is just another petty hack who spends too much time focusing on bullshit. Because the debate on the relative moral courage of Portman versus Obama is fucking USELESS. It reflects the complete intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the pundit class. I don’t care about this topic. Portman v Obama does not enlighten. It does not inform. It does not help the cause of ssm. It does not help people embrace common values or show a path forward. It only adds to more partisan bickering and pettiness. I am sick to death of goddamn pundits who waste their national and privileged platforms writing or talking on tv about petty ridiculous contrived nontroversies and beltway gossip. I accept this as the type of stuff that partisan bloggers are going to blog about and I have no problem with it because most bloggers don’t make any claims of moral or intellectual superiority which is GG’s stock in trade.
    I am relentlessly partisan. I make no pretense otherwise and I understand perfectly well and agree with the point that as a general rule conservatives only care about stuff when it affecta them personally. But Jesus can’t we just say for once hey this is great, we are winning the fight on this issue! Welcome to the right side of history Gov Portman. And once again for good measure Fuck Off Glenn Greenwald. You fucking hack.

  297. 297
  298. 298
    Ajaye says:

    GG is just another petty hack who spends too much time focusing on bullshit. Because the debate on the relative moral courage of Portman versus Obama is USELESS. It reflects the complete intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the pundit class. I don’t care about this topic. Portman v Obama does not enlighten. It does not inform. It does not help the cause of ssm. It does not help people embrace common values or show a path forward. It only adds to more partisan bickering and pettiness. I am sick to death of goddamn pundits who waste their national and privileged platforms writing or talking on tv about petty ridiculous contrived nontroversies and beltway gossip. I accept this as the type of stuff that partisan bloggers are going to blog about and I have no problem with it because most bloggers don’t make any claims of moral or intellectual superiority which is GG’s stock in trade.
    I am relentlessly partisan. I make no pretense otherwise and I understand perfectly well and agree with the point that as a general rule conservatives only care about stuff when it affecta them personally. But Jesus can’t we just say for once hey this is great, we are winning the fight on this issue! Welcome to the right side of history Gov Portman. And once again for good measure Fuck Off Glenn Greenwald. You fucking hack.

  299. 299
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Jeremy:

    So I don’t know why you keep on harping on this.

    [stage whisper] Because it’s all s/he’s got.

  300. 300
    Paula says:

    @YAFB:

    FWIW, Democracy Now cut that interview so that it could be deliberately interpreted as a positive review of Reagan. As it happens, he didn’t say he actually agreed with anything he did.

    Candidate Obama had a way with backhanded compliments. To my ears, he was just short of open contempt for everything Reagan came to represent, but it was expressed in the blandest way possible.

    I.e., people be dumb.

  301. 301
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ben Franklin: Dude, no one is arguing that this decision is not a defeat for the administration. As I said earlier, how is losing a court case a sign of “troubles?”

  302. 302
    liberal says:

    @Jeremy:

    …the stats clearly show that he is to the left of an 80′s moderate republican and the many 90′s democrats.

    Don’t have time to read the linked blog post, and this is intended in a non-flame bait manner (just getting at some of the more theoretical pol sci stuff): is that really true?

    I’ve only skimmed descriptions of DW Nominate, but my impression is that while you can try to use it longitudinally over longish time periods, it’s not by any means clear that the resulting claims are true.

    Not to mention a problem that can’t be overcome by number crunching alone: how to factor out the ideological background of society at the time. Many abolitionists, ISTR, would still be considered pretty racist by today’s standards, but not by their own day’s.

    In terms of relatively current politics, Obama appears to be “to the left” of Clinton on gay rights, but if we take into account national popular attitudes towards that issue (namely, the “leftward” trend that’s been pretty obvious), it’s not clear that Obama is “any better”.

    (Again, just raising some theoretical issues. While I often critique Obama from the left, I was hardly a fan of Clinton back in the day.)

  303. 303
    Jeremy says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: People forget that it was a moderate republican who sponsored medicare part B in the 60’s. It seems like Loviatar is very ignorant about political history and politics in general.

  304. 304
    Loviatar says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    You say this as if the electorate hasn’t swung to the right.

    Its funny, we always talk about how the right is locked in a media bubble. In fact David Frum coined a term for it (Conservative Entertainment Complex). I can see the same capture with your statement.

    The electorate hasn’t changed significantly, the media (now mostly corporate owned) has changed. Previously we had a political but relatively honest media, now we have mostly corporate hacks whose business model is to suck up to the boss and their advertisers(who by the way happen to be mostly conservative white guys). Guess which way there going to spin their talking points as to why their advocating conservative policies. They’re not going to say we the media’s changes they’re going to no, no, no you’ve changed and we’re just reflecting your changes.

    —–

    A quick aside, most people don’t become more conservative when exposed to different people and ideas. Through prolonged exposure you typically become more open to different ideas (see Senator Portman and Gay Marriage). You can’t tell me America is a more closed society today than it was 20, 30 years ago.

  305. 305
    Chris says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Ah, this whole debate about whether Obama is an eighties Republican –

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t the eighties have been the last era in which there was actually a contingent of moderate, even liberal Republicans lying around? They lost control of their party in the sixties, but they still existed until 1994 pretty much finished them off.

    So, if Obama is actually a “moderate 80s Republican,” which is the full quote – ah, I don’t know if it’s true, but if it is, where’s the problem? “Moderate Republican” is the tradition of Dwight Eisenhower, Nelson Rockefeller, George Romney, Jacob Javits, Fiorello LaGuardia, Teddy Roosevelt. It hardly strikes me as a disgrace to be on that list, especially on the subject of economics.

    (As for telling Cuban-Americans that he’s not a socialist – DUH. Even the most hardcore New Dealers weren’t socialists. Even in the most left-wing countries in Scandinavia, you don’t have “socialism” in the sense of “state control of the means of production” – it’s always the hybrid model of free markets and welfare state. It’s a bigger welfare state elsewhere, we think it should be bigger here too, but if you’re looking for an American candidate from either party to declare himself a socialist, you’ll be waiting for a long long time).

    Mnemosyme, this isn’t aimed at you in particular, I’m just tacking it onto that whole conversation of which you were the latest link.

  306. 306
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    how is losing a court case a sign of “troubles?”

    I assume your position is that Obama would like to be rid of his National Security
    position, if he could. If that is not the case, and there is no evidence that it is, that means this is a crack in the egg of secrecy, and that means trouble.

  307. 307
    Corner Stone says:

    @Ajaye: I’m not sure there’s any actual reward for it, but I have to say that in terms of carnival barking madness, your screed is loudly dinging the bell at the top of the pole.

  308. 308
    liberal says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    You say this as if the electorate hasn’t swung to the right.

    Is that really true?

    If we poll people on actual issues, in a specific enough way to pin them down?

    It’s pretty clear that the electorate has been moving “left” on gay rights. And while there’s a lot of noise about the abortion issue, it’s hardly clear there’s been a true shift to the right.

    Similarly on economic issues.

  309. 309
    YAFB says:

    @Paula:

    Candidate Obama had a way with backhanded compliments.

    It’s a rhetorical device Obama (among many others) uses quite often in debate — “I agree with so-and-so that … [beat], but …” — and it not infrequently excites those who want to misrepresent him.

    IIRC, anything that could be construed as praise of Reagan that Obama said boiled down to the fact that he was a transformational president, which is no doubt true. He never said he transformed things in a positive direction.

  310. 310
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Because only losers lose, while people like Glenn Greenwald never, ever, ever lose?

  311. 311
    Gex says:

    I also would like to add, that I really, really enjoy having my life’s assets and savings getting GUTTED right now because I have no right to marry and yet having to listen to how fucking hard white men have it.

    You don’t get to claim your white man dad has it as bad as me when the government specifically singles me out for different, and worse, treatment.

  312. 312
    chopper says:

    @dmsilev:

    There’s also a rather large substantive difference between Portman and Obama. Obama has actually *done* things to support gay rights (DADT repeal, briefs to the Supreme Court arguing against DOMA and against Prop 8).

    of course that difference is lost on greenwald. which makes sense, as GG is all talk. when it came to actually trying to do something about gay rights in america, GG’s solution was to move to another country and bitch from there.

  313. 313
    liberal says:

    @Loviatar:

    Previously we had a political but relatively honest media…

    This is very, very doubtful. I’m in my 40s, and I never remember a time when the media were “honest”. And the little I’ve read about media history suggests it wasn’t honest before my time, either.

  314. 314
    liberal says:

    @Loviatar:

    Previously we had a political but relatively honest media…

    This is very, very doubtful. I’m in my 40s, and I never remember a time when the media were “honest”. And the little I’ve read about media history suggests it wasn’t honest before my time, either.

  315. 315
    Loviatar says:

    @YAFB:

    I just wanted to see that again because I couldn’t believe it the first time.

    Both parties are captured heart and soul by their corporate masters. This has been obvious with the Democrats since the 90s and Clinton. The sole difference was that we could occasionally get Democrats to show a little empathy and care about those less fortunate than themselves. If we could get Republicans to do so why would we need Democrats.

    —–

    Support the House Progressives’ Back to Work budget.

    Analysis: House Progressives have the best answer to Paul Ryan

  316. 316
    Ajaye says:

    Portman’s political courage versus Obama’s: Here we have another worthless debate. The fact that GG has waded into it shows he is just another hack and the pettiness of this nontroversy underscores the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the political pundit class. GG’s been bitching and moaning about trifling bullshit for years. He is a concern troll of the highest magnitude. I can take the civil liberties he writes about seriously but because of his stupid vendetta against Obama I can’t take him seriously or read anything he writes.

  317. 317
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Loviatar: If Reagan passed those things we wouldn’t need Democrats. Silly strawman argument try again.

    What?

    You keep saying this like its a good thing for the Democratic party to be made up of moderate Republicans from the 80s. Its NOT a GOOD THING.

    Didn’t you say issues are what matter to you? You list choice as your chief concern, which just makes your whining and jibbering that much more incoherent. (and since that was my first comment in this thread, I don’t think I “keep saying” anything. Do you have me confused with one of the voices in your head?)

    I was wondering when the insults would start.

    Sorry I didn’t get here sooner. You’re a complete fucking moron. If you had a brain, you’d take it out and play with it.

  318. 318
    Ajaye says:

    Portman’s political courage versus Obama’s: Here we have another worthless debate. The fact that GG has waded into it shows he is just another hack and the pettiness of this nontroversy underscores the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the political pundit class. GG’s been bitching and moaning about trifling bull for years. He is a concern troll of the highest magnitude. I can take the civil liberties he writes about seriously but because of his stupid vendetta against Obama I can’t take him seriously or read anything he writes.

  319. 319
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @liberal:

    If we poll people on actual issues, in a specific enough way to pin them down?

    We do this. We have elections. The electorate tends to choose Republicans who are far to the right of Barry Goldwater and Democrats who are to the right of George McGovern (but to the left of Bob Dole). Or at least enough of them to make a difference in that system set up by those most constitutionalist of constitutionalists, the rich old white guys who wrote the Constitution.

  320. 320
    liberal says:

    @Chris:

    …it’s always the hybrid model of free markets and welfare state

    IMHO “welfare state” doesn’t necessarily have much to do with socialism.

    In my mind, socialism is precisely “government ownership or control of the means of production.” You can have a very generous welfare state that is almost completely non-socialistic if it’s handing out cash in some form or another.

    Another example would be Medicare. While it’s socialist to the extent that it’s socialized medical insurance, it’s hardly socialist in terms of medicine (though perhaps one could claim that price schedules are a means of control).

    The USPS, of course, is a socialist entity.

  321. 321
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ben Franklin: No, that is not my assumption.

  322. 322
    YAFB says:

    @Loviatar:

    Both parties are captured heart and soul by their corporate masters. This has been obvious with the Democrats since the 90s and Clinton. The sole difference was that we could occasionally get Democrats to show a little empathy and care about those less fortunate than themselves. If we could get Republicans to do so why would we need Democrats.

    What? Are you trying to tell me the context of what you wrote

    If Reagan passed those things we wouldn’t need Democrats.

    changes its meaning? Not seeing it. If my auntie was my uncle, etc. etc.

    Meanwhile, no good deed can go unpunished. Wonder why it’s so hard to get politicians to stick their necks out and get good things done?

  323. 323
    liberal says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):
    No. People don’t directly vote on issues in elections; they vote for candidates. And there are all sorts of constraints operating on the set of available candidates which don’t apply to consideration of the issues themselves.

  324. 324
    aimai says:

    @Ajaye:
    So good it needed to be said twice!

  325. 325
    Jeremy says:

    @liberal: Well I think that Obama is clearly better when you compare the records of Clinton and Obama. DADT gone, DOMA (on the way), and the expansion of protection and benefits through executive action, legislation, and the courts.

    If you look at the reckless de-regulation trend which Clinton supported has now been opposed by many in the democratic party. I think you won’t find many dems talking up Clinton’s Welfare reform. So I do see some movement in the other direction.

  326. 326
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    And………….

  327. 327
    El Tiburon says:

    @pamelabrown53:

    Gay friends (and staffers) are not equal to Gay son. The former requires empathy while the latter involves parental love. Can you see the difference in immediacy?

    Nobody is claiming they are equal. Who said that?

    Here is what has been claimed:
    Obama admitted in an interview that a reason his views evolved were his relationships with gay friends and staff. Ergo, before this involvement, his stance on gay issues was not as progressive. Right?

    Portman admitted his views shifted after his son came out. Ergo, before this involvement, his stance on gay issues was not as progressive. Right?

    There can be no argument to the two statements I just listed. Right?

    Now, is there a big difference in the two? Not really. Is there a big difference in Portman and Obama? Yeah, I think so. But the fact remains both men listed personal relationships as a motivating factor for change. Why is this so difficult?

  328. 328
    Chris says:

    @liberal:

    I remember reading numbers (here, a few months ago I think) that showed that the public had in fact moved to the right on abortion – not that there was a clear majority but basically, that there was much more of a pro-choice consensus in the early seventies than today. Chalk it up to the religious right’s appearance in the meantime, which channeled ex-Dixiecrat sentiment into religious expression.

  329. 329
    ruemara says:

    @Loviatar: You do understand that a statement from Obama, vs an actual examination of the data concerning positions from said eras and a rational examination of his current positions to those political positions, are not the same thing. Which would make his opinion fine and personal, but not something supported by the data? I’m just wondering if you’ve considered this.

  330. 330
    Loviatar says:

    @Jeremy:

    People forget that it was a moderate republican who sponsored medicare part B in the 60′s.

    So, I should care that it was proposed by the holy grail of a “moderate” Republican (imagine that in a deep sonorous James Earl Jones type voice).

    What you don’t to realize is that this hugely complex and expensive regulation was proposed to stymie the US moving to a Universal Healthcare plan. Ok, now that I think about it I will credit an 80s era Republican for the proposal.

    —–

    It seems like Loviatar is very ignorant about political history and politics in general.

    No I’m not naive or ignorant, just not as gullible as some of my fellow travelers.

  331. 331
    Zagloba says:

    @Paula: Jeebus, I realize this is a flamewar, but take a beat and learn the difference between “I’m not familiar with that episode” and “that episode is unimportant, if it occurred at all”.

  332. 332

    @El Tiburon:

    Obama admitted in an interview that a reason his views evolved were his relationships with gay friends and staff.

    Emphasis added to show you where you lose the argument.

  333. 333
    Jeremy says:

    @Paula: But how can some on the left take the high ground and call out the right for taking things out of context when they do it to their side.

  334. 334
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @liberal:

    What, candidates never take positions on issues? Incumbents don’t have voting records? The electorate must choose from column A or column B?

    I mean, sure, you could- ZOMG!- amend Glenn Greenwald’s holy Constitution, switch to a direct democracy, but do you want someone who doesn’t even understand the word “context” to be the deciding vote on changes to the tax code, or on which parts of the infrastructure spending bills can be axed and which are too crucial, despite costs, to be axed? Governance ain’t all National Security Letters and LGBT rights, ya know.

  335. 335
    ruemara says:

    @Ben Franklin: Those were in use long before Obama and the chart in the article shows that use has dropped exponentially under Obama. How is it his troubles?

  336. 336
    liberal says:

    @Jeremy:
    I have to respectfully disagree.

    IMHO Obama’s take on gay rights has followed that of the public. “Not that there’s anything wrong with that” [heh].

    Re deregulation, I don’t see how it can be argued that Obama is much better. (NB: the trend started with Carter, prior to Reagan!) We’ve just had a world catastrophe due to one of the worst aspects of deregulation (that is, financial deregulation). In that historical context, post-crash reform has been tepid, at best.

    As for specifics, if Obama were a lot better than Clinton on e.g. finance, he wouldn’t have populated the executive with so many Rubinites.

    Again, no love of Clinton from me (the welfare reform thing really really pissed me off), but the notion that Obama is on policy far better than Clinton has little evidence in support of it, IMHO.

    Doesn’t mean that the right response is to vote third party, although I guess if you’re General Stuck, you view anyone who attacks Obama (from the left) yet gives him lots of money (e.g., me) as a firebagging heretic.

  337. 337
    Loviatar says:

    @YAFB:

    What? Are you trying to tell me the context of what you wrote

    Your strawman was that Reagan would pass all the legislation you listed. My context was; both parties are corporate whores. Democrats used to be better on social and civil rights. If the Republicans were better on social and civil rights (i.e. passing all the things you listed) why would we need Democrats.

  338. 338
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ben Franklin: And nothing. The administration lost a court case. I agree that it was good that they lost it. Now, the administration and most people will take stock of the situation and move forward. Like I have repeatedly said, I don’t see this as a sign of troubles.

  339. 339
    Loviatar says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    .

    You are an ASS.
    .

    I wrote that very slowly so you could understand it.

  340. 340
    El Tiburon says:

    @Ajaye:

    Portman’s political courage versus Obama’s: Here we have another worthless debate.

    The stupid burns like acid piss.

    I believe the debate Greenwald wants to have is the prevalent hypocrisy by the Obamabots. You all want to pretend Obama’s stance on gay-right issues and his pronouncements during his first term never existed. Don’t forget many in the liberal/gay community were very upset with Obama’s posture on many LGBT issues during his first term.

    That he has evolved has surprised many Gay leaders and activists. This is not myth – this is fact. So, just a few short years ago, we did not know if Obama would ever lead on these issues. But he has. He has evolved. And part of the evolution is based on his personal relationships with friends and staff.

    So, again, where was GG wrong in his original tweet? Oh yeah, he wasn’t. But since he is a smug, gay hipster who changed his mind on immigration and writes too many words with logic then he must be wrong.

  341. 341
    liberal says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    What, candidates never take positions on issues? Incumbents don’t have voting records? The electorate must choose from column A or column B?

    I don’t have time to look at the numbers, but my impression is that support for single payer has held up relatively well.

    Depending on how you word the question, you could claim that support for abortion has weakened, but IMHO hasn’t changed all that much.

    Or take war—sure, by the 1970s a large fraction of the public was against the war, but AFAICT that didn’t really start happening until 1968 or so, and by some measures we’d been involved in Indochina since the mid-1950s. Not to mention we still had conscription.

    As for column A or column B, you’re kidding, right? That’s exactly the choice faced by most voters. It’s called “the two-party system.”

  342. 342
    Rita R. says:

    The wingnut welfare way of making a living doesn’t just apply to wingnuts. Being a loudmouthed troll gets Greenwald attention, which gets him a job working for The Guardian, gets him TV appearances, sells his books, etc. It isn’t a secret that there’s fame to be had and money to be made in attacking Barack Obama, and doing it as a contrarian instead of a wingnut doesn’t make the money any less green. Mr. Purity really ain’t so pure.

  343. 343
    Jeremy says:

    @Loviatar: Actually it wasn’t used to stymie us from moving to a universal health care plan. The regulations in the bill will push many for profit insurers out of the health insurance market and into other endeavors. My father who sells life and health insurance said that the ACA will push us towards a government run plan. A number of conservatives have said that the ACA will push many insurers because of the regulations and rules and that was the whole idea in the first place

  344. 344
    different-church-lady says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): Dammit man, you just turned Ben’s perfectly good Euler diagram into a Venn diagram.

  345. 345
    liberal says:

    @El Tiburon:

    And part of the evolution is based on his personal relationships with friends and staff.

    I find that very, very hard to believe. We can never know what a politician “really thinks,” and some people argue pretty reasonably that it doesn’t matter, but I find the idea that Obama’s actual views on the subject (as opposed to what he’s willing to say openly, in his role as a politician) have changed very, very unlikely.

  346. 346
    YAFB says:

    @Self-Righteous Little White Guy:

    Obama admitted in an interview that a reason his views evolved were his relationships with gay friends and staff.

    FWIW, Greenwald on Twitter does the same thing in equivocating (my bold):

    Glenn Greenwald

    @EamonMurphy1 What? Portman said having a gay son led to him switching – Obama partially attributed his to gay friends he knows

    He’s also put up a Twitlonger screed, which if we take it on face value, explains what he’s been driving at:

    Re: Portman & Obama: get as angry as you want, but:

    (1) if, as many have argued, it’s “selfish” and “narcissitic” for Portman to switch his gay marriage view because he realized the effect discrimination will have on his gay son (and I don’t disagree with that characterization), then the same must be true of others who attributed their switch on gay marriage to realizing that discrimination harms gay people close to them, as Obama did when explaining his switch (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics.....ePage=true).

    (2) What Portman did is incredibly common. The primary reason there has been such a monumental opinion shift on gay marriage is because more and more gay people have come out, which made more and more people realize that those close to them were gay, which in turn made them less willing to support discriminatory laws:

    http://www.pewresearch.org/200.....o-are-gay/

    It may be selfish and narcissistic to support equality only once you realize inequality harms those you care about, but that has been a very common dynamic – among people from both parties and across the ideological spectrum, whose switch from opposing gay marriage to supporting it was triggered by a very similar experience to the one motivating Portman.

    That’s why coming out has been such a powerful act: because people are less willing to support discrimination when they they realize it harms those they care about. It’s true in general: it’s much harder to demonize people when they’re familiar.

    I wish it weren’t that way. It’d be nice, for instance, if fewer people supported US militarism and aggression and civil liberties abridgments because those who are victimized are Invisible and Distant Others, but, as Tejun Cole pointed out (http://www.motherjones.com/med.....mall-fates), that “empathy gap” is a major reason why US aggression and militarism are tolerated: because it doesn’t kill people whom most Americans care about.

    Portman’s explanation is far from aberrational or confined to one ideological group: it’s how political opinions are often shaped and how political progress is often achieved. And it’s definitely the leading reason why so many people who opposed gay equality a short time ago now support it.

    Since I haven’t characterized Portman as either “selfish” and “narcissitic,” that’s straw man as far as I’m concerned, since Portman’s hypocrisy, if it’s ongoing, is what would bother me if I was bothered at all. The rest is pretty unexceptional, and echoes what a few of us have been saying.

  347. 347
    aimai says:

    @El Tiburon:

    There’s a huge difference between the words “Obama admitted” and “Obama said”–you seem determined to imagine that you are like some kind of junior grade detective inquisitioning the truth out of a reluctant, lying, politician. The implication of your word choice is that Obama and Portman both were solely influenced by “people close to them” and therefore their “self interest” in the matter was identical. This is just false. First of all, Obama didn’t “admit” in the sense of offered an excuse to an inquisition–he gave an interview in which he described in narrative form a long progression from a period of ignorance to a period of better understanding. Again that is a rhetorical device within the specifically Christian tradition in which the new self reflects back on the information/life experiences of the old self and discovers a new truth which they then share with other people. Obama’s goals in that speech was to convince other people to follow along with him in his evolution, to recognize the gay people around them as equal citizens, and to relinquish policy discrimination against gays without necessarily seeing themselves as relinquishing personal religious beliefs. This was part of an ongoing campaign of both cultural and political acts/speeches/gestures meant to lower the level of hysteria and religious bigotry and enable (some) voters to stop voting their religious bigotry and start voting their civil rights consciousness.

    Portman came out and said that he now recognized that people like his son deserved political protection and that it could also be the case that the GOP could get more votes–not that gay people could get GOP votes and support but that the GOP could get gay votes. That was a straight up admission (!) of self and party interest. In addition Portman came out and took a swipe at liberals for being “anti family” while he made his pitch that outreach to gays could be considered a new front in the pro-GOP war against liberals.

    Show me ANYWHERE where Obama has made a directly partisan pitch, or done anything with respect to gay rights which delegitimized conservative voters and their perspective? The point of what I’m saying is that Obama’s speeches have to be understood as directed at everyone in the country and therefore he usually takes on the rhetorical role of the man who agrees with everyone up to a point and who seeks common ground with everyone. Portman’s speech was both personal and partisan in a totally different way–as was his evolution.

  348. 348
    liberal says:

    @Jeremy:
    Jesus, let’s hope so, but the fact of the matter is that one can’t really tell what’s going to happen.

  349. 349
    YAFB says:

    [Grr. In moderation for including too many links in a quoted passage from GG. here it is with just a link in the hope it gets through.]

    Obama admitted in an interview that a reason his views evolved were his relationships with gay friends and staff.

    FWIW, Greenwald on Twitter does the same thing in equivocating (my bold):

    Glenn Greenwald

    @EamonMurphy1 What? Portman said having a gay son led to him switching – Obama partially attributed his to gay friends he knows

    He’s also put up a Twitlonger screed, which if we take it on face value, explains what he’s been driving at.

  350. 350
    liberal says:

    @Marc:

    There was no immediate political upside.

    Huh? I thought the upside was donations from big-money gay-friendly people.

  351. 351
    different-church-lady says:

    @Jeremy: Now there you go pushing back against off-the-rack dogma with actual knoweldge about stuff…

  352. 352

    @El Tiburon:

    I believe the debate Greenwald wants to have is the prevalent hypocrisy by the Obamabots.

    Now that’s a worthy topic for debate. Please proceed.

  353. 353
    aimai says:

    @El Tiburon:

    That’s bullshit. Lots of us expected him to lead and he has led. If “some” gay activists didn’t that is their shortsightedness. It may also be the difference between a politics of confrontation and a politics of getting things done. There’s a time for each style and they may need to be ping ponged back and forth. Choosing one over the other should be a question of rational choice and situational decisionmaking. Greenwald’s problem, and yours, is that you want everything to be done t a shout all the time even if that means nothing actually gets done. I’m glad you’ve finally admitted what we all started out with: Greenwald is trolling because he wants to attack and discomfit people he sees as too attached to Obama and the Democrats. Given that Obama and the Democrats are the only game in town right now for political action this goes right back to my observation, way upthread, that Greenwald’s goal (for whatever selfish reason) is simply to delegitimize political action undertaken by Obama and the dems. Since he can’t effect any kind of political change–or legal change for that matter–without action in the Executive or the Legislative branches his goal is nihilistic and merely destructive without being constructive. I’m happy to settle for half a loaf on everything from gay rights to civil liberties to taxation policy if the alternative is nothing but GG carping and bitching from Brazil. The ego on that motherfucker is amazing!

  354. 354
    different-church-lady says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Why is this so difficult?

    Because we’re actually trying to answer the question Greenwald asked when it’s patently clear Greenwald didn’t want us to actually do that.

  355. 355
    YAFB says:

    @El Tiburon:

    I believe the debate Greenwald wants to have is the prevalent hypocrisy by the Obamabots.

    Well, Mr. Mindreader, if we’re to believe Greenwald himself, this is the debate he wants to have!

    [PS If there’s somebody with a moderator hat on, I’ve got a couple of comments pending up there.]

  356. 356
    eemom says:

    Clicked on here for the first time today; saw this thread and its 353 comments; LMAO.

  357. 357
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Loviatar: I’m glad you retreated from your brief attempt to discuss actual issues, you just confused yourself. It was like watching a three-legged baby gazelle try to stand, and you just know the herd is going to leave it behind for the jackals.

  358. 358
    Jeremy says:

    @liberal: Well I’m sorry but I disagree. You can argue that reforms have not gone far enough to some but the reforms are a big step in the right direction. Also Obama has an extensive gay rights record and I don’t know why you would compare him to Clinton because Obama came out for marriage later in his term. We pretty much knew he supported it by his deeds. Also not everyone in his cabinet is a “Rubinite”. Yes some worked under him because they served in the Clinton administration but people like Jack Lew served liberals like Paul Wellstone, and Tip O Neill, Most administration bring experienced people from the previous administration of the party. Reagan brought along Nixon people and liberal hero Paul Krugman was on his economic council.

  359. 359
    different-church-lady says:

    @El Tiburon:

    I believe the debate Greenwald wants to have is the prevalent hypocrisy by the Obamabots.

    Yessssssssssssss… I mean, really good eye there.

    So we get back to the actual topic: what the fuck is the point in such? Other than trolling?

  360. 360
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Loviatar: “80s Republican” is not the same thing as “80s MODERATE Republican,” you realize. You’re using them interchangeably in this thread. 80s Republicans include Helms and Thurmond. The Democrats from that era include people like Exon and Boren and Richard Shelby, rather antithetical to liberalism; a “moderate Democrat” by 80s standards can be pretty ugly politically, FWIW. You’re also stretching the “moderate Republican” concept beyond fiscal policy, which was pretty clearly the context of the remark.

  361. 361
    Jeremy says:

    Also how come no one talks about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which Obama and Warren fought hard for in the Dodd- Frank legislation which the banks didn’t want. That agency has done great things cracking down on predatory lending, banks, non- bank financial entities,etc. The republicans have been attacking that entity from the start.

  362. 362
    different-church-lady says:

    @eemom: Sometimes a 15-12 ballgame is just badly played and sloppy, and sometimes it’s a thriller.

  363. 363
    Corner Stone says:

    @aimai:

    I’m happy to settle for half a loaf on everything from gay rights to civil liberties to taxation policy if the alternative is nothing but GG carping and bitching from Brazil.

    Wow.

  364. 364
    Loviatar says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    The OTB corollary to Godwin’s law.

    As an online discussion grows longer and as an Obot begins to lose the argument, the probability of a insult or a FIREBAGGER chant approaches 1.

    It too you almost 300 post to prove the corollary.

  365. 365
    YAFB says:

    @different-church-lady:

    I believe the debate Greenwald wants to have is the prevalent hypocrisy by the Obamabots.

    Shhhh. GG says:

    if, as many have argued, it’s “selfish” and “narcissitic” for Portman to switch his gay marriage view because he realized the effect discrimination will have on his gay son (and I don’t disagree with that characterization), then the same must be true of others who attributed their switch on gay marriage to realizing that discrimination harms gay people close to them, as Obama did when explaining his switch …

    Since I (and a number of others here) haven’t classed Portman as “selfish” and “narcissitic,” but more likely a hypocrite, it’s a bit of a straw man (not least since Obama’s actions haven’t contradicted his words), as is GG’s subtly falsely equivocating tweet of a couple of hours ago (my bold):

    Glenn Greenwald ‏@ggreenwald

    @EamonMurphy1 What? Portman said having a gay son led to him switching – Obama partially attributed his to gay friends he knows

    But the rest of what he writes on this occasion is pretty unobjectionable. Which is ironic because this is the most attention I’ve ever paid the guy!

  366. 366
    Ben Franklin says:

    @different-church-lady:

    So we get back to the actual topic: what the fuck is the point in such? Other than trolling?

    Well, the topic is dangerous, therefore the need to keep narrow aspects of the overarching issues within boundaries which enable the local mindset. I don’t know why y’all complain about ‘trollin’. You seem to enjoy the diversion from the average post about entertainment news.

    Now how about a nice post about the helpful idiot democrats and their partners in crime, the republicans. That’s an easier lift.

  367. 367
    different-church-lady says:

    @Corner Stone: Dude, chill, it was a deliberate false dichotomy. I mean, like dichotomy absurdum, if such a thing existed.

  368. 368
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Loviatar: Your incoherence borders on the fantastic. You think you won your argument that Obama is a Republican?

  369. 369
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @liberal:

    I don’t have time to look at the numbers, but my impression is that support for single payer has held up relatively well.

    Yeah, but the case for single payer has been put out there in very broad terms. What do 200 million + people know about the rates of taxation that would be required to pay for it? How do that many people become educated to decide on waiving liability or capping rewards from lawsuits? Should cancer treatments by psychics be paid for? There are thousands of smaller issues that arise when you’re considering legislation like single payer- how do you educate the entire electorate on all of the minutiae when swaths of the electorate have a hard time with picking out on a map any state but their own?

    As for column A or column B, you’re kidding, right? That’s exactly the choice faced by most voters. It’s called “the two-party system.”

    Nope, deadly serious. If they can’t figure out how to organize a political party when they so hate the parties they’ve got, how in the hell do you expect ’em to pass a transportation bill?

    The problem with representative government is one of trust. We tend to trust those we elect into office, but distrust our candidates’ opponents and those elected from other states and districts. This was true in the distant past, too, the level of mistrust ebbing and flowing. Our problem isn’t the government or the two-party system, our problem is us.

  370. 370
    different-church-lady says:

    @Loviatar: Hey, great, you’ve won. Now you can leave the thread in victory and go out to enjoy the rest of your day.

  371. 371
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @aimai: And, again, I think this goes back to the cheapness and low-risk nature of judging everything by “principle.” Yes, on principle, there are many things that could be done that would be better than what is actually being done. Point taken. So how do you make those better things happen instead? I don’t feel inclined to giving Greenwald a lot of credit for doing the equivalent of Homer Simpson banging the TV and saying “Stupid TV, be more funny!”

  372. 372
  373. 373
    Jeremy says:

    I agree with Liberal that Dodd Frank could have gone even further but the legislation has not even been fully implemented and there are some good things and we should give it a chance. I do like the claw back regulation and liquidation rules which give regulators the power to shut down and dissolve failing financial banks and charge wall street firms in the process. Those are some of the regulations out of many that I like and more should be done.

  374. 374

    @YAFB: Wait, El Tiburon misinterpreted the Scripture of Glenn Greenwald? Does he have to flagellate himself with thorns now?

  375. 375
    AxelFoley says:

    @dmsilev:

    There’s also a rather large substantive difference between Portman and Obama. Obama has actually *done* things to support gay rights (DADT repeal, briefs to the Supreme Court arguing against DOMA and against Prop 8). Right now, Portman hasn’t actually done anything, and it’s not clear that he will. Say, for instance, that the Senate moves a bill to repeal DOMA. Will Portman break with his party and vote for cloture on the inevitable filibuster?

    Until that question, or something similar, gets put to the test, Senator Portman’s support for such things should be treated as purely hypothetical.

    Bingo. Like someone upthread said, it’s about Obama. It’s always about Obama with dishonest assholes like Greenwald.

  376. 376
    Loviatar says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    You’re also stretching the “moderate Republican” concept beyond fiscal policy, which was pretty clearly the context of the remark.

    When reviewing President Obama’s policies (beyond fiscal matters) I still don’t see much to separate him for a typical 80s era Republican.

    – Libya intervention
    – Warrant less wiretapping
    – Too Big To Fail Banks
    – Too Small To Succeed Stimulus plan
    – Obamacare instead of Universal healthcare or Single Payer

    etc, etc, etc.

    —–

    Finally (last thoughts on this post),

    While I have a strong dislike for the policies advocated by Republicans, I don’t have much of an issue with Republicans advocating for them, thats their belief, thats their job. What I have an issue with and what this crowd can’t seem to understand is that we have a Democratic president advocating for Republican policies. Not Good.

    At the end of the day I have to ask whose advocating for Democratic policies?

  377. 377
    patroclus says:

    @El Tiburon: Well, I stated way up in the thread that I pretty much agreed with Dear Leader Greenwald on his little tweet. But that doesn’t change the fact that he’s wrong on Citizen’s United, wrong on immigration, wrong on the Iraq war (initially), doesn’t pay much attention to gay issues and is an insufferable twit who generally sides with Republicans in their insane criticism of Obama.

    Dear Leader Greenwald has written one post about Obama’s fabulous record on gay issues – to which he evolved (much like Portman). Dear Leader Greenwald knows that Obama has a real substantive pro-gay record and Portman doesn’t (as yet). And yet the Dear Leader leapt to defend Portman rather than write about the real substantive issues. I wonder why…

  378. 378
    rikyrah says:

    Fuck Greenwald.

    that is all.

  379. 379
    YAFB says:

    @Self-Righteous Little White Guy:

    I think Greenwald must have been reading this thread, because apart from the introductory paragraph I quoted, he agrees with me!

  380. 380
    different-church-lady says:

    @YAFB:

    GG: …then the same must be true…

    The idea that any intelligent person falls for his claptrap for even three seconds just makes my jaw drop.

  381. 381
    aimai says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    On a side note I have yet to meet a person in the real world–I’m talking about someone you might meet who was blue collar, working class, or middle class–who actually knew what Single Payer was or who had even heard about it. I don’t mean they were misinformed–I mean when I brought it up during the context of arguing for it/during the run up to the ACA people routinely had no idea what I was talking about. They had a general idea that things were done differently in Canada, the UK, or Switzerland and France but they had no grasp of how things were done in those places, why they were different, what the cosgts were, or what it meant for medical decisionmaking. I still find that to be true. Medical care, medical costs, the relationship between insurance and coverage is completely opaque to most people. If they are lucky they pay into a system they don’t understand and they helplessly receive benefits they don’t control. If they don’t ahve a major financial disaster/health care disaster they think things are ok. As soon as they have to access health care for an emergency or cross their insurance company or lose their jobs they realize they are screwed but they don’t know what can be done about it other than bankruptcy. Obama and the Dems had to push for the changes they pushed for against a tide of voter confusion and learned helplessness.

  382. 382
    El Cid says:

    Greenwald didn’t define “big”, so it’s a fairly easy to answer objective question as long as one can define what amounts to a “big difference” in one’s own mind.

    I would say that, yes, while you can argue a variety of similarities, there are enough differences in the context, the prior actions, the motivations, the benefits, and so forth, between Obama’s changed public views and Portman’s changed public views to be fairly categorized as a “big” difference.

    Particularly when one does a hypothetical experiment in which the view-changing variable is altered and asks then the likely policy implications:

    Had Obama not had the ‘gay friends’ referred to in the tweet, it seems likely that Obama’s role as President in policies relating to equality of marriage recognition and legal rights would be largely or entirely the same.

    Had Portman not had a child who informed him of his sexual orientation, he very likely would have continued to oppose marriage equality in both rhetoric and policy.

    That seems to me to qualify as a “big difference,” but I suppose you could ask if it was an “absolute” or “infinite” or “complete” difference until you got the response desired.

  383. 383
    YAFB says:

    @Loviatar:

    Dude, on the basis of what you’ve listed, having lived through the era, there’s little to separate Obama from a typical 80s-era Democrat. Except the DADT repeal thing, ACA, lack of 500,000 dead in Iraq, and a few other fripperies.

  384. 384
    patroclus says:

    @Loviatar: On gay issues, it’s been Obama advocating for Democratic policies. Dear Leader Greenwald knows this and once wrote a post about it – 2 or 3 years ago. I suggest you read Dear Leader Greenwald’s one substantive post on Obama and gay rights – it’s in his archive – and come back and make a substantive point about Obama’s real record on gay rights.

  385. 385
    AxelFoley says:

    @Marc:

    Yeah, pretty much everything here gets it exactly backwards. When Obama came out in favor of gay marriage, he ran a real political risk. Marriage equality had just been dealt a stinging defeat in North Carolina, one of the swing states he was heavily invested in for his re-election. There was no immediate political upside. And yet because he came out when he did, he spurred Democrats to unify around gay marriage and go four for four in ballot measures last November. (I suspect marriage equality would have won in Washington and maybe Maine anyway, but I guarantee you it would have lost in my state, Maryland, without the dramatic turnaround in black support that happened after the president’s announcement.)

    Meanwhile, Rob Portman sat on his big change of heart for two years and didn’t do anything about it until there was no longer any chance he’d be Mitt Romney’s VP. No risk, no courage. And the “extremely conservative” Obama has done more for gay rights than every other president in US history, combined.

    I know, I know, don’t feed the trolls–I just thought someone should set the record straight.

    Thank you. No, regardless of one’s trollery, the record should always be set straight. We can’t let these assholes get away with lying.

  386. 386
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @aimai:

    I’m one of those working class folks, if one who’s always taken the time to educate myself, and my experiences aren’t just similar to yours with other working class folks, but with the highly educated people at the sites we service, too. It takes not only a brain to understand health care and how we pay for it, but the time to do the reading- and how many people are there who have got (or can make) the time for the reading?

  387. 387
    aimai says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    And don’t get me started on the number of people in the top 5 percent of income brackets who literally have no clue how tax brackets work in this country. This has nothing to do with class position: Americans as a whole have almost no idea how their economy, tax system, or health care systems work. I used to think that Republicans were lying when they gave simplistic and false answers to questions like “if taxes go up how much will my tax bill go up?” Now I know from talking to some pretty wealthy people that they don’t, actually, know how marginal tax rates work.

  388. 388
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @aimai:

    Now I know from talking to some pretty wealthy people that they don’t, actually, know how marginal tax rates work.

    Which is why they hire specialists to do their taxes, or to cover their asses for other reasons regarding the law…Just as the electorate appoints to elected office and hires staffers and bureaucrats to formulate the law. Go figure.

  389. 389
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): Someone said last night that Bill Maher was whining about paying 50% of his income in taxes. I’m neither an account nor a tax lawyer nor even in that 450K + tax bracket, but it seems to me that means he’s got some really shitty people managing his money.

  390. 390
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @YAFB: that was part of my point too. If what Lov is evoking as a, or the, Democratic position is something that wasn’t held by Democrats from these halcyon days of yore, the notion of Obama as having betrayed something essential just shrivels up to nothing. The 80s still had major elected Democrats whose careers dated back to segregation days, while Republicans still had cultural-social liberals.

  391. 391
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @aimai: I think there should be a box on the tax form that tells you what your household paid in taxes as a percentage of your gross income. I don’t think anyone knows that. I definitely don’t.

  392. 392
    Carlos says:

    @Emma: I actually witnessed this in the mid-sixties when I visited my working class white Dad’s hometown in Oklahoma.

  393. 393
    taylormattd says:

    @El Tiburon: go somewhere else then

  394. 394
    Alex S. says:

    Hey liberals! Obama is just like a republican, which you hate, so vote republican.

  395. 395
    YAFB says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I’m always torn in these situations. I obviously think it’s very healthy for folks in the US to be pushing from what could broadly be described as “the left,” but if it’s done in a way that gets the backs up of even the “less pure” lefties that are around, it’s self-defeating. If you can’t even find common ground there, how the hell are you going to persuade your neighbors, folks on the doorstep, etc.? And invoking some mythical past when things were rosy just makes it worse because it’s so frikkin insultingly naive and conveniently ignores the fact that the current administration has its own hurdles to clear.

    Clinton functioned in the adverse political milieu he inhabited at the time, as did the sainted FDR. Both did a number of things that would have filled many a lefty blog with adverse comments if they’d been around in those eras, as well as bringing about some positive advancements.

    In more recent times, we in the UK used to feel that compared to our own political setup, there was very little to choose between the Republicans and Democrats. That’s not true nowadays, and hasn’t been for the best part of a couple of decades. Depressingly, it’s more true nowadays of Labour vs. the Conservatives over here. The whole overdeveloped world shifted right with the Thatcher–Reagan axis. It’s important not to lose the political distinctions, sure, but base them on facts and reality, not wishful thinking and faulty fond memories.

  396. 396
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @YAFB: there are people who just don’t have a lot of patience for the whole “finding common ground” aspect of politics and just want to be right, sneer at the wrong, and wait for the world to come around. Not all compromises are smart, but not all uncompromising stands are either.

  397. 397
    LurkyLoo2 says:

    “Greenwald is technically right, but…,”

    As soon as you use the word BUT everything before BUT is a lie.

  398. 398
    Alex S. says:

    By the way, it’s Greeenwald’s typical shtick. OF COURSE, Obama’s change of heart (or mind) was a change for the better and OF COURSE, Portman’s change of heart (or mind) was another change for the better, but no, the purist Greenwald finds pure evil in all good things.

  399. 399
    patroclus says:

    @YAFB: Dear Leader Greenwald is in the long line of British politicians like Anuerin Bevan, Stafford Cripps and today’s George Galloway.

  400. 400
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    GG says something really stupid again, people point and laugh again, then GG’s Hammer Legion Members rush to his defense.

    SOP, SSDD and all of that stuff. GG must have been feeling lonely today and needed a quick pick-me-up.

  401. 401
    jshooper says:

    When it comes to Gay issues that is where Greenwald’s RACISM really shines through.

    1) here you have Pres. Obama who has done more for LGBT than any other President in history…up to and including his support for Marriage Equality.

    2) Obama is such a strong advocate that he even shifted the views of the African American community on this issue.

    3) On the other side u have the bigoted GOP who hates gays and does everything in their power to oppress them legislatively and through public opinion.

    4) Yet despite all of this Greenwald (and his followers) consider Obama to be the greatest enemy to LGBT.Not only do they ignore his accomplishments, they openly mock them as worthless and then turn around and sing the praises of any white man in the GOP who doesn’t think gays should be stoned to death.

    5)in the eyes of Greenwald any white man can do 1/1000th of the work Obama has done and still be considered equal or even superior on gay issues. That is RACISM 101

  402. 402
    AxelFoley says:

    @NCSteve: @post #154

    Thank you, sir. Damn well said. All of it.

  403. 403
    El Tiburon says:

    @liberal:

    I find that very, very hard to believe.

    Fuck me running.

    Seriously. Did you even read the original tweet at the top of the fucking page. Did you even care to read the interview posted?

    But I have to tell you that over the course of– several years, as I talk to friends and family and neighbors. When I think about– members of my own staff who are incredibly committed, in monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together. When I think about– those soldiers or airmen or marines or– sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf– and yet, feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is gone, because– they’re not able to– commit themselves in a marriage.

  404. 404
    El Tiburon says:

    @Self-Righteous Little White Guy:

    Emphasis added to show you where you lose the argument

    Perhaps you would care to elaborate.

  405. 405
    Matt says:

    @NCSteve:

    I’m generally of the “don’t read the comments” school, let alone the “don’t comment in the comments” school, but holy cow that was awesome.

  406. 406
    Heywood J. says:

    But there’s at least one difference between Portman and Obama on this specific issue: Portman did it because changing his position will lead to a clear and direct personal gain–his actual gay son might get an real benefit from the state based on his father’s position.

    Well, that and Obama, while politically calculated, at least took the risk of enunciating his change of heart just as the campaign season was getting into full steam, while Portman — who could have said something back in August while he was short-listed as a possible Rmoney veep candidate — waited until there was absolutely zero chance of political fallout for him.

  407. 407
    Heywood J. says:

    But there’s at least one difference between Portman and Obama on this specific issue: Portman did it because changing his position will lead to a clear and direct personal gain–his actual gay son might get an real benefit from the state based on his father’s position.

    Well, that and Obama, while having some political calculation, had his change of heart just as the campaign season was heading into full steam. He waited until the NC referendum had finished, but he still had some political skin at risk here. Portman could have said something while he was a short-list veep candidate, but chose to wait until there was absolutely no political risk at all.

    It would be nice if politicians of either stripe could abandon the “I have gay friends/family” trope and just say that equality is the right thing for a modern nation to aspire to, period.

  408. 408
    rikyrah says:

    @jshooper:

    5)in the eyes of Greenwald any white man can do 1/1000th of the work Obama has done and still be considered equal or even superior on gay issues. That is RACISM 101

    ain’t that the truth.

  409. 409
    rikyrah says:

    NC Steve at 154:

    YOU ROCK!!

    thank you

  410. 410
    TS says:

    @Rosie Outlook:

    @aimai: I think you are confusing white men with rich white men. White men who aren’t rich are treated like everyone else who isn’t rich.

    I might be late to the party – but not in a million years – try living as a poor black man in a major US city – your chances of ending up in jail or dead are way beyond those of a poor white man.

    I weep for your poor misguided soul.

  411. 411
    liberal says:

    @Jeremy:

    I do like the claw back regulation and liquidation rules which give regulators the power to shut down and dissolve failing financial banks and charge wall street firms in the process. Those are some of the regulations out of many that I like and more should be done.

    I’m not an expert in finance or accounting, but from my lay perspective, the fact that there’s some kind of nominal ability to wind down huge, complicated finance firms doesn’t mean it can actually be done.

    It’s like passing a law saying that all commercial buildings must be fireproofed, without setting in motion any actual process to get them fireproofed.

    AFAICT, the only way to avoid taxpayer bailouts is to (a) make the firms much smaller (break them up), or (b) make them much less complex (disallowing transnational firms, and/or firms that have multiple roles (e.g. investment vs commercial banking), etc etc).

  412. 412
    TS says:

    @Chyron HR:

    Truly, why must these Obotomized Obots who mindlessly worship (and/or fantasize about getting raped by) Dear Leader keep derailing legitimate discussion with their personal attacks?

    Seems those who think rape should be the law of reproduction – rather than a crime – cannot understand it is possible to like and/or love someone without thinking sex – abusive or otherwise.

  413. 413
    liberal says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Did you even care to read the interview posted?

    The interview consists of statements by Obama. Why do I have to believe them?

    Sure, it’s possible that Obama was telling the truth when he said he was against gay marriage. That hardly means it’s at all likely.

    I’ll let you in on a little secret…there’s a class of people known as “politicians”. These people often, like it or not, for better or worse, don’t always tell the truth.

    And an even more amazing secret—I’ll even let you in on this one for free—President Obama is [drum roll]…one of these politicians!

  414. 414
    xian says:

    @Rosie Outlook: that’s simply not true. white privilege is not extended only to the rich.

  415. 415
    xian says:

    @Rosie Outlook: hate?

    this is concern trolling at best

  416. 416
    xian says:

    @different-church-lady: at this point I assume El Tiburon is one of GG’s sock puppets. Never see it post here on any other topic.

  417. 417
    xian says:

    @scav: and if Rosie wants to get all tactical about this, well, we’ve got a winning national Democratic coalition without said self-defeating poor whites. They are welcome to join it or they can keep voting as useful idiot serfs for the plutocrat war-fodder party and losing.

  418. 418
    xian says:

    @bystander: this is a good point. a lot of purity trolling boils down to “you can’t trust any politician. they’re all the same. Gush v. Bore. etc.”

  419. 419
    xian says:

    @El Tiburon: Obama began as anti-gay?

  420. 420
    xian says:

    @Loviatar: no, we must understand how politics works by framing ideas for audiences.

  421. 421
    xian says:

    @FlipYrWhig: my tax accountant gives me that percentage. I think it’s called effective tax rate.

  422. 422
    John S. says:

    @AxelFoley:

    It’s always about Obama with dishonest assholes like Greenwald.

    Which is why dishonest assholes like El Tiburon love him so. It’s just a cargo cult of contempt for Pbama

  423. 423
    Tonybrown74 says:

    @John S.:

    Which is why dishonest assholes like El Tiburon love him so. It’s just a cargo cult of contempt for Obama

    I stopped reading what El Tiburon had to say the moment (in a previous thread) he compared President Obama’s inability to get things done to President Bartlet’s ability to take action and use the bully pulpit to get things passed.

    That was truly spectacular.

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