The Greenwald effect


While much has been written about the Snowden effect, another interesting feature of the recent NSA revelations is the Greenwald effect, which is the label I apply to the irrational hostility that Glenn Greenwald evokes from so many quarters in the media. I can understand those people in the mainstream media who hate him. Long before his involvement with the Edward Snowden NSA revelations, he had no hesitation in calling out the media and naming names when they carried water for the government and were hypocritical in the way they covered events when the US government or its allies/clients did it or when countries that were considered hostile did it. His relentless exposing of legacy media shallowness was not something they were used to. The last straw was him getting the opportunity to break the biggest story in decades precisely because they had proven themselves to be so feckless and unprincipled and untrustworthy.

As Peter Maass of the New York Times said in an interview on the radio program On the Media in response to the question of why Snowden did not go to the major media outlets, this shows how the media landscape has changed.

What this means is that there is a new role for journalists who are not part of the established major media. And yes, Laura’s [Poitras] won a MacArthur Genius Award, she’s won a Peabody Award. She was nominated for an Academy award. But she is not part of any major institution. And, as far as Glenn’s concerned, yes, he has the Guardian but, again, that’s not the same clout as the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal or the Washington Post. Sources actually may prefer to go to them, not despite the fact that they’re outside these major institutions, but because they’re outside these major institutions. [My italics-MS]

What Snowden said is that it was because they had been very vocal and straightforward about their views on the surveillance state, and because they could not be controlled by a major media organization that he went to them, because he wanted to be sure that if he took the risk that he was going to take, I mean, risking his life to give them this information, that they would publish it.

For members of the legacy media, that must not only sting, it must also scare them as they see themselves being ignored by sources and cut out of their privileged gatekeeper role.

But more surprising is the strong hostility to Greenwald from some members of the informal media, such as bloggers or writers for smaller publications, some of whom occupy the left/liberal end of the political spectrum. For example, take this piece from Balloon-Juice or this piece from Wonkette. Note that the criticisms are never about what Greenwald actually writes, which they have to concede is almost always right on target and backed up with evidence. They are personal attacks, accusing him of being narcissistic and self-aggrandizing and a publicity hound. I have followed Greenwald from the beginning and those were labels that would never occur to me to apply to him. It is true that he is now much sought-after for interviews and quoted but so what? He has an important story to tell and he is using every opportunity and avenue to tell it.

Part of this animus is because when president Obama does something wrong, Greenwald does not hesitate to attack his actions in strongly worded terms the same way he used to describe the actions of Bush/Cheney. These people are Obama supporters and they seem to want any criticisms to be worded more genteelly, accompanied by the dutiful genuflections that Obama is a good and well-meaning man who is forced to take these unpleasant actions and that anyway the Republicans are much worse. Greenwald clearly has little patience for these conventions.

But I don’t think that is the entire story. I think that what also sticks in their craw is that he has on occasion spoken favorably about Ron Paul and some of his stances on civil liberties and foreign policy. For some people on the left, libertarianism is a dirty word and by speaking favorably, though narrowly, of someone who was the standard bearer for the libertarian wing of the Republican party is enough to get you ostracized from their club. It is similar to the way Ralph Nader is treated. There are those who will never say anything good about him because they blame him for Al Gore’s loss in 2000. They ignore the huge number of good things Nader has said and done before and since that time.

What people tend to do is some sort of calculus that weighs the positives and negatives of people and comes out with some overall score. If that score is a net positive, then they support that person even to the extent of downplaying their faults, while if that score is negative, they fail to support them even if they say or do something good.

This leads to hyperpartisanship and disintegration of movements and is not constructive. If we are to get any progress we have to learn to unite with others on specific issues that we agree on while at the same time opposing them on issues that we disagree. We should not waste our time worrying about whether people are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ overall but which label to apply to specific actions that they take.

Comments

  1. colnago80 says

    There are those who will never say anything good about him because they blame him for Al Gore’s loss in 2000.

    IMHO, it is useless to blame Nader for Gore’s loss in 2000. The blame lies with the morons in New Hampshire and Florida who voted for him for whatever reason (they were sore at Clinton, Gore wasn’t liberal enough for them, etc.) The consequences of those decisions are, among other things, a futile war in Iraq, and Roberts and Alito on the Supreme Court. I would also argue that it is possible that the 9/11 attacks wouldn’t have happened because a President Gore would have listened to Richard Clarke’s warning of a coming attack. Clarke was ignored by the Bush Administration because he was a Democrat.

  2. TooManyJens says

    “For example, take this piece from Balloon-Juice or this piece from Wonkette. Note that the criticisms are never about what Greenwald actually writes, which they have to concede is almost always right on target and backed up with evidence.”

    Wow, no, I wouldn’t concede that at all. He’s often sloppy and misleading. Also, I think you’ve mischaracterized the Balloon Juice piece.

  3. says

    This leads to hyperpartisanship and disintegration of movements and is not constructive. If we are to get any progress we have to learn to unite with others on specific issues that we agree on while at the same time opposing them on issues that we disagree. We should not waste our time worrying about whether people are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ overall but which label to apply to specific actions that they take.

    This hits the nail right on the head.

  4. Funny Diva says

    Another reason for the animosity is probably that Mr Greenwald never hesitates to defend his arguments _AND_ demolish the arguments of his “mainstream” critics. And that he does so with full-length posts on the same platform he has for the rest of his reporting (he did this much more frequently before the Snowden revelations made him so very busy).
    IOW, any mainstream commentator who wrote a “Greenwald is wrong” piece almost always got a reasoned, nuanced and fact-based argument as to why GG’s points were correct and said commentator’s were not. GG would also point out when “criticisms” were personal or personality-based, rather than factual.

    Another, other reason that comes up boils down to “he’s popular”. GG has a _lot_ of regular readers and commenters; many of them are at least as smart and well-informed as the average “legacy journalist” and better at putting together a valid argument. Charles P Pierce pulled this one early on in the Snowden revelations saga, defending a fellow prominent, mainstream journalist whose criticism of GG had just been dealt with as I mentioned above.

  5. says

    At least for “liberal” bloggers, I think there’s another issue at work. I think a lot of bloggers are fundamentally unwilling to challenge the Democratic Party when it fails to live up to its traditional standards, and rather than admit that they put party over principles they attack people who behave in a more principled way. Greenwald is a constant reminder that they were lying about attacking Bush and Republicans on principle.

  6. Rob Grigjanis says

    But more surprising is the strong hostility to Greenwald from some members of the informal media, such as bloggers or writers for smaller publications, some of whom occupy the left/liberal end of the political spectrum.

    The response of some major lefty blogs to any mention of drones was (is? I don’t look any more) thoroughly nauseating.

  7. jamessweet says

    I think that what also sticks in their craw is that he has on occasion spoken favorably about Ron Paul and some of his stances on civil liberties and foreign policy. For some people on the left, libertarianism is a dirty word and by speaking favorably, though narrowly, of someone who was the standard bearer for the libertarian wing of the Republican party is enough to get you ostracized from their club.

    Emphasis added.

    Yeah, and that’s really the thing here, isn’t it, is the club mentality? I actually disagree with Greenwald about quite a number of things, and yeah, most of them have to do with his libertarianism. But that doesn’t make everything he says automatically wrong, by any means — in fact, what he does is incredibly valuable. He is doing a job that the establishment journalists have been failing to do for far too long. In that sense, he’s a hero. The fact that I think he gets some things wrong doesn’t change that.

  8. says

    Thank you colnago for the statement that 9/11 probably would not have happened had Gore been sworn in. I think this is pretty obvious IMHO and I’m thankful that more people are saying this outloud. But Clarke was not a Democrat. He was a Republican but he was not a Republican that hated Clinton. This is the reason he was ignored. Plus, had the Bush/Cheney administration paid more attention to terrorism and less attention to the star wars that they wanted to be at the forefront of their administration, it would have been harder to channel money to their cronies. (Though they managed to make up for that later with no bid contracts after they got their war.)

  9. Funny Diva says

    Exactly so, Improbable Joe!

    GG makes it much harder for Democratic Party Tribalists to hide their hypocrisy. The Party no has have a monopoly (if only the one in their minds) on “progressive” or “liberal” ideas and policy. People are seriously looking for somewhere else to go politically, and The Party (actually both Parties) really hate and fear that–they’ve got all the goodies nicely divided out between themselves…FSM forbid they should have to actually share them or *gasp* earn them from an electorate with actual choices…

  10. gshelley says

    That’s an extremely American centric argument. The Guardian is one of the most read newspapers in the world (according to a couple of reports I see, has the third biggest readership, and as the Daily Mail is number one, only the New York Times is a more read serious newspaper)

  11. 2up2down2furious says

    I think many Democrats view the Clinton years through rose-colored lenses. When we look back with clearer vision, I think there are many reasons why a left-of-center person may have been hesitant to vote for Clinton’s vice president. Clinton’s policies in Iraq killed a great many people, including nearly half a million children; he signed NAFTA, the most devastating quantum leap forward for neoliberalism ever in the US; he gutted welfare while continuing the Reagan-Bush tradition of dramatically expanding the prison industrial complex; instituted DADT, in effect blaming Barry Winchell for his own murder; signed DOMA, and many more examples.

    One can argue that the Nader voters were short-sighted or naive. I still have to disagree. Nader’s supporters generally were disaffected liberals and lefties who were alarmed by the massive rightward shift in the Democratic party and wanted to make the Dems “earn their vote” by moving leftwards. Given how right-wing many of Obama’s policies have been, it’s hard as a leftist not to sympathize with Nader voters.

  12. wayneturner says

    @colnago80 I take it from your comments that you are an expert on the 2000 election. Try reading the book The Grand Illusion by Theresa Amato and Ralph Nader. In the meantime, since you are an expert, here are some questions for you to ponder:

    1) How many purported Democrats voted for Bush in Fla in 2000?
    2) Which critical state did Gore lose that would have put him over the top, even without Fla?
    3) How many likely Democratic voters did the Republicans, illegally and without challenge by the Democrats, purge from the voter rolls prior to the election?
    4) How did the Republicans shut down the vote count in Dade County?
    5) After the Supreme Court installed Bush by not allowing the vote counting to continue, who was shown to be the winner by press initiated recounts?

    Oh, and here’s one for you from 2004: After Kerry and the Dems refused to fight what was clearly fraudulent manipulation of the election results in Ohio, what party pursued the Republican state machine until it was finally stopped by a court decision?

    Answers:
    1) over 300, 000
    2) His home state
    3) Nobody really knows, but at least 12000, twenty-two times Bush’s “win” margin
    4) mobs
    5) Gore,on a full recount

    Finally, The Greens and the Libertarians .

    Also, you can look at FireDogLake’s debunking of the myth that you and others are so strongly committed to. There are many other things I could say, but I think this is sufficient to express my opinion of your political awareness.

  13. freemage says

    The only person who should be blamed for Al Gore’s 2000 loss is… Al Gore. He had a chance to try and make a real campaign against an obvious idiot, but he flubbed it, badly (in part by not actually calling out the Clinton Administration’s failures and yes, lawbreaking). I also tend to believe that the only reason Obama won a second term is because the GOP picked the worst possible candidate, who then ran the worst possible campaign (as opposed to any virtues of the incumbent shining through).

  14. doublereed says

    I think it’s less of a club mentality and more of a “HOW DARE YOU DO REAL JOURNALISM!!” mentality. They don’t want to admit that they are the problem, hence the attitude that clearly Greenwald thinks he’s all brave and heroic by doing actual journalism.

    The truth is that Greenwald shouldn’t be considered brave and herioc. The other journalists should be considered pathetic and cowardly.

  15. sbuh says

    @freemage

    Let’s not forget that the media sold Gore (and later Kerry) as an effete, out-of-touch, self-glorifying elitist while casting Bush as the personable, slightly dim man of the people.

  16. colnago80 says

    Nader’s supporters generally were disaffected liberals and lefties who were alarmed by the massive rightward shift in the Democratic party and wanted to make the Dems “earn their vote” by moving leftwards.

    Let’s see, how did that work out? A useless war in Iraq, a 9/11 attack that possibly could have been prevented, Roberts and Alito on the Supreme Court, tax cuts for the rich pissing a budget surplus into a deficit. And the Democrats really learned their lesson in 2008 where both candidates for the nomination turned out to be Rockefeller Rethuglicans.

    By the way, under Clinton, unemployment sunk to 3.6% n a budget surplus was obtained. Not too shabby.

  17. colnago80 says

    1. What does that have to do with anything? There are hundreds of thousands of Democrats in the Southern states that vote Rethuglican in national elections. The fact are that Nader got some 20,000 votes in Florida and the margin when the vote count was stopped was 250.

    2. Unfortunately, Tennessee is, like the rest of the south, a deep red state. It is almost impossible for a Democrat to win a statewide election there these days. The number of Nader voters in New Hampshire also considerably exceeded the Bush margin in that state. New Hampshire’s 3 electoral votes would have put Gore at 270.

    3. Good point but does not absolve Nader voters.

    4. Good point but does not absolve Nader voters.

    5. So what, what happened, happened. Does not absolve Nader voters.

    FireDogLake link doesn’t work.

  18. colnago80 says

    Worst possible candidate? You have to be kidding me. Worse then Santorum? Worse then Bachmann? Worse then Cain? Worse then Gingrich? Not hardly.

  19. colnago80 says

    The real issue for Greenwald relative to the Democrats is their refusal to throw Israel under the bus.

  20. colnago80 says

    I don’t live in Great Britain but since when is the Daily Mail a serious newspaper. I don’t get that impression from comments about it on blogs.

  21. jabes says

    I think you may have misread the comment — the top three papers are the Daily Mail, the NYT and the Guardian, and since the Daily Mail is not a serious paper, that makes the Guardian the second-most widely read “serious” paper in the world, after the NYT.

  22. wayneturner says

    Firedog lake link is here.

    So, I have shown at the Democrats lost 2000 through a mixture of cowardice and incompetence, and yet you still want it to be the fault of Nader backers? This is the kind of mental concrete I expect from Tea Party adherents, not progressives. I voted Dem in 2000 and watched the Florida debacle unfold. It was clear to me at that point that the Dems were no longer worth voting for, and I have seen little since 2008 to make me believe otherwise. This isn.t 1980. The Dems are gone. The few progressives they can put up are hamstrung by the leadership and opposed in re-election bids by their own party. They are kept alive by the same corporate money and the same hopeless system that prevents the re thugs from being knocked out for sheer mendacity. Go die with the Dems if that’s what you want to do. I will never pull another lever for a Dem.

  23. says

    Yes, and, speaking as a disaffected lefty, look how the Democrats have worked out. They had a majority for two years and deliberately avoided doing anything but kubuki theater about the banks or the mortgage crisis or pulling troops out of Iraq or Afghanistan because they “had to work on health care reform” (and yes, it was deliberate; I remember asking my local Democratic party rep why they weren’t doing any of the obvious things, and that was the reason, and Obama said it to the press repeatedly). And when health card “reform” à la Democratic Party showed up, it was a plan written by Mitt Romney which absolutely guaranteed our corrupt health insurance industry a profit forever and ever. Meanwhile, they lost their majority, and then spent all the time since then claiming that they can’t do anything because those mean old Republicans won’t let them; they haven’t forced the Republicans in the Senate to actually filibuster, Harry Reid permits Republicans to put holds on bills but won’t put holds on bills at the request of Democrats, and no strategy for actually calling out the Republicans for their intransigence ever gets put in practice — instead, every time they demand anything at all, Obama gives in, which has taught them not to worry about any bluffs which come through about actually taking action. Meanwhile, Obama not only expanded the Afghanistan campaign in practice (although with some creative accounting he’s claiming it has wound down), he tried hard to keep us in Iraq but couldn’t get the Iraqi government to extend the agreement preventing us from being prosecuted for war crimes (and without it we couldn’t possibly stay), pushed the NSA, invaded Libya when Congress explicitly voted not to go there (so much for that “Constitutional Scholar” thing), has a kill list which includes U.S. citizens, drone bombs when the program is widely agreed to be self-defeating, prosecutes whistleblowers, has expanded state sponsorship of religion, has deported a record number of people, has continued militarizing the civilian police, has met with Republicans all along to try to undermine Social Security and Medicare (revealed a little while back if you missed it; he was planning on doing it as long ago as 2009 and met with the Republican leadership to discuss strategy), personally killed off discussion of the public option and universal care in the health care “reform” debate, settled the health care “reform” behind closed doors after promising it would all be transparent, has stepped up the counterproductive War on Drugs, etc. ad infinitum. In practice, Obama’s policies have been Bush’s, with a little sprinkling of Mitt Romney added in here and there.

    In other words, and I know that Democratic partisans like, apparently, you have a hard time even seeing these words so I’m going to make them bold and italic for you: the Obama administration has confirmed absolutely everything Nader voters said about Democrats and Republicans being effectively the same. If you want us disaffected lefties to come back into the fold and start voting for Democrats again, you’re going to have to do more than just point fingers at the Republicans and say “they’re insane and scary!” Yeah, they’re insane and scary. But the Democrats are just as scary, and since they pursue the same insane policies in practice, whatever nice rhetoric they may use to justify it (or whatever tricks they employ to pretend they aren’t doing it), they are effectively just as insane as the Republicans.

    Honestly, I no longer care what happens in the 2016 elections vis-à-vis the major parties. Everything since 2008 has convinced me that the Democratic party and the Republican party are basically the same thing, only the Democrats pretend they aren’t and the Republicans enthusiastically embrace their shared identity. Until we see the Democrats in power actually grow spines and take some ethical action, I’m sticking with the Greens, thanks.

    Bottom line: if I’m not going to get what I want either way, I might as well at least vote my conscience. For it to be a compromise, I have to actually get something, and from the Democrats, I don’t.

  24. says

    From a practical perspective, yes, worse than all of those. If I were trying to put a Republican in power in the run-up to the 2012 election, I would have picked anyone but Romney. The Republican base weren’t sure who they liked, but they hated him. They would have been able to get moment a lot faster if they had had a candidate who, at least, some small core of people actually liked.

    And, of course, there was the “it’s his turn” curse. If the only real reason for nominating a candidate is “it’s his turn”, they are almost certain to lose. Something the Democrats may want to remember with Hillary Clinton.

    Mind you, I’m not going to vote for Hillary Clinton anyway; she’s basically Obama melted down and poured into a white female mold, and Obama has been enough of a disgusting waste of opportunities.

  25. chrislawson says

    Agreed. That was an incredibly US-centric view…I guess it’s defensible on the grounds that the Snowden story is primarily a US event, but still…the biggest newspaper in the world is Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun which has a circulation 5x that of the largest US newspaper (WSJ).

  26. colnago80 says

    Those are the same exit polls that showed Gore carrying the state, which CNN and other networks called for him. Of course, these exit polls included a precinct from Palm Beach Co. in which the confusing ballot caused over 1000 votes which were intended for Gore to be discarded, an amount greater then the difference in the final tally at the time the SCOTUS stopped the recount.

    Well, when clucks like you refuse to vote for the Democratic candidate in 2016 and Ted Cruz is elected and replaces Breyer and Ginsburg on the SCOTUS with clones of Alito and Scalia, I don’t want to hear any complaints from you. STFU.

  27. says

    “they had a majority for 2 years”

    No, they really didn’t. In the Senate it has become necessary to have 60 votes to get anything done and there was a very short period of time (less than 6 months as i recall) where that actually was the case . You cannot put any serious legislation through in that period of time.

  28. says

    I disagree. I think that his biggest fault was running away from Clinton too much. Remember that Clinton was more popular than Gore right up to the moment that they left office.

  29. colnago80 says

    You are completely full of prunes. Had, say Santorum, been nominated, there would have been an Obama landslide because of the former’s extremism which would have turned off even those sane Rethuglicans who held their noses and voted for Rmoney. The Tea Party nutcases who dominate Rethuglican primaries do not make up even a majority of the Rethuglican base.

  30. colnago80 says

    Hopefully, you will be out in the Democratic primaries supporting a candidate more to your liking (Elizabeth Warren?). Unfortunately, because of the influence of money in elections these days, Warren and other possible contenders will quite possibly give 2016 a pass if Hillary decides to run. One possible contender, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, in an interview with an Israeli newspaper during a visit there admitted that his decision would be based on money raising considerations.

  31. says

    WTF good has Nader done since? Wiki stops at 2001, and they’re just listing associations.

    Nader did good thirty years ago. Today he’s most well known for crappy presidential campaigns instead of building support for actual politics to get policies changed.

  32. says

    Had, say Santorum, been nominated, there would have been an Obama landslide because of the former’s extremism which would have turned off even those sane Rethuglicans who held their noses and voted for Rmoney. The Tea Party nutcases who dominate Rethuglican primaries do not make up even a majority of the Rethuglican base.

    Yeah, right. Because the Republicans are so susceptible to logic and reason, and so shy of extremism. It’s not like the Republicans have been extreme-right-wing since the 1970s — oh, wait, that’s exactly the case. May I remind you that they control the House and more than half of state governorships?

    Shall I tell you what would have happened if any candidate other than Romney had gotten the nomination? There would have been a massive campaign based not on religion but on economics. Since Obama refused to go after the banks and peppered his entire staff with bankers and Wall Street types, he would have been a sitting duck — and fighting the banks was and continues to be a wildly popular idea; when Obama took office, over 90% of the country wanted the banks prosecuted, but Obama refused to do so and started “Health Care Reform” as a red herring. (And you idiot Democratic loyalists bought it.) It doesn’t matter that the Republicans are largely responsible for having caused the crash, Obama decided to own the mess when he decided not to go after the banks — and in any event, most Americans are easily confused about recent history. A few months of sound bites about how the collapse was Obama’s fault, and you’d have similar numbers in polls about the issue as you have for whether Iraq had WMDs. (Which is to say: even now, when the Bush administration even admitted that they lied about the whole thing, about a third of Americans still believe the lie.)

    The religious stuff would have been de-emphasized except to very specific audiences. And it would work; that was the strategy of both Reagan and the second Bush (and even Rick Perry when running for Governor) — act personable and “like someone you’d want to have a beer with” and hide the crazy until it’s too late, except for the people who are, themselves, crazy. Stupid doesn’t matter. Every single one of the non-Romney Republican candidates could have pulled it off, even the really awful ones. I guarantee you that if Santorum had been the pick, within days of the beginning of the official campaign the “frothy mixture” thing would be basically gone from search engines; Google can nobble their own engine (and have done so in the past, as with the time they entrapped Microsoft over Bing scraping results) and they are much more politically savvy and money-hungry than the naive like to think. (For a start, Google is the largest spender on lobbying in the tech industry by a huge margin — more than the next two largest spenders combined in 2012.)

    Romney was the only candidate who couldn’t do that, because he is not just as much on the banks’ side as Obama (as are all Republicans, in actual fact) but obviously so, and he can’t possibly pose as “someone you’d like to have a beer with” because he doesn’t drink beer. And every single person in the base hated him; if Obama hadn’t been black to bring out the racists, it wouldn’t even have been close.

  33. says

    Hopefully, you will be out in the Democratic primaries supporting a candidate more to your liking (Elizabeth Warren?). Unfortunately, because of the influence of money in elections these days, Warren and other possible contenders will quite possibly give 2016 a pass if Hillary decides to run. One possible contender, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, in an interview with an Israeli newspaper during a visit there admitted that his decision would be based on money raising considerations.

    Yeah, so? Warren is less awful than most of the other Democrats, it’s true, but she still isn’t as good as any Green, and I would be willing to bet a fair amount of money that, if she’s actually interested in running, the Democratic leadership will spend all the time between now and 2015 throwing banana peels in her path, and her tendency towards somewhat less corruption than most of the Democrats now favor means that she will be a prime target for internal Swiftboating.

    More importantly, though: at this point, why should I bother with the Democrats any more? You, like most partisans, seem to think that voters exist to support the parties, rather than the other way around. Until the Democratic leadership stops pushing so hard to the right, there is absolutely no reason for me to help them. I repeat: in order for there to be a compromise, I have to get something in return for what I give up. The Democrats currently give me nothing. If I’m going to get nothing, I might as well vote for a party — the Greens — which at least isn’t hip-deep in corruption and pushing further right with every passing week.

  34. says

    In the Senate it has become necessary to have 60 votes to get anything done and there was a very short period of time (less than 6 months as i recall) where that actually was the case . You cannot put any serious legislation through in that period of time.

    The Senate has become that way because the Democrats have refused to call the Republicans’ bluff, and also — despite the fact that it is and has been since 2000 blatantly obvious that the Republicans do not act in good faith in any way — refuse to change rules which are merely traditional, not legal. The dam has broken flooding half the town, the other half is on fire, and the Republicans are out hanging people from lampposts, but the Democrats are sitting primly at their desks, refusing to take action because it’s traditionally frowned upon to take action unless there’s a quorum. And you’re enabling them by pretending that we aren’t in a situation severe enough to warrant even the slightest extreme measures (such as a minor rule change, or even just forcing filibusters to actually involve speaking, as Bernie Sanders proved is the case when it’s a matter of going against the Democratic establishment’s right-wing goals).

    For that matter, Obama is just as bad as the Senate, because whenever there’s a left-ish goal to be accomplished (like closing Gitmo) he refuses on Constitutional grounds because he needs Congressional approval (which the Democrats have guaranteed will never happen by pretending that 60 votes is a hard and fast requirement), but when it comes to his own right-wing desires (like sending the military to Libya or violating the 4th amendment rights of the whole country) then to heck with Congress and the Constitution, he’ll do whatever he wants.

    And you sit there and pretend that all of this is acceptable, and we should vote for more of the same. Absolutely astonishing, accent on the first syllable of the second word.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>