Crossposted from The People's View.
I am beginning to find Glenn Greenwald's logic seriously twisted and angry with near-zero intellectual prowess. In a column he penned on Salon.com, Greenwald starts by taking on the Charles Krauthammers of the far right, but then in his usual fashion, turns right around and shovels a load of garbage on the Democrats. Richly, Greenwald thinks that Republican racism and xenophobia is "added to" by Democrats who remind minority voters who our friends are.
When the execrable, desperate Harry Reid isn't feeding this majoritarian paranoia by demanding that the Park51 community center move, he's seeking to capitalize on it through explicit advocacy of ethnic-based voting in order to salvage his worthless political career.
There is of course no defending Reid's pandering on the Park 51 Islamic Community Center. But one wonders how a passing comment is taken to be the equal of active day-and-night protestations and vitriolic demonstrations by the right.
But here's the fun part about Greenwald. He doesn't stop at the Park 51 accusations - which, while hyperbolic, has merit. No, he has to go on and attack Harry Reid for saying this:
Speaking with Hispanic supporters Tuesday at Hermandad Mexicana in Las Vegas, Reid took several shots at Republicans, blaming them for the fact that comprehensive immigration reform has not yet been passed.
"I don't know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican, OK?" Reid said, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
"Do I need to say more?" he asked.
That, to Glen, is "explicit advocacy of ethnic-based voting in order to salvage his worthless political career." Well, Glenn, can you think of a reason why anyone of Hispanic heritage -- hell, any immigrant -- should be a Republican, the party that is so anti-skin pigmentation that it wants to do away with birthright citizenship (translation: if you are a brown baby born in this country, you shouldn't be a citizen)? Praytell, why is making it crystal clear to minority voters that the Republican party is our political enemy "advocacy of ethnic based voting?"
In this instance, Harry Reid spoke the truth. Just as Howard Dean spoke the truth in 2005 when the then-newly minted Chair of the Democratic National Committee called the GOP a white, Christian party. Funny, I didn't see any Glenn Greenwald columns back then slamming Dean for "explicit advocacy of ethnic based voting."
Oh by the way, Harry Reid has little reason to be "desperate." Sharron Angle is digging her own political grave and doing it well. In a month and a half all polls except Rasmussen (who have a clear bias for Republicans) conducted show Reid ahead in Nevada. The race may be tight, but the only desperation is that of Glenn Greenwald to try to stay politically relevant. As for whether Harry Reid's political career is "worthless" we're sure glad Glenn Greenwald does not get to appoint Senators from Nevada.
But wait. This gets better. Greenwald thinks it's one of the "great failures" of the Obama presidency that the economy has "worsened" under Obama. He correctly points out that the breakdown is the fault of Bush and Republicans, but couldn't resist making that baseless claim that the economy is "progressively worsening" thanks to what Obama has done. Progressively worsening. You know, a worsening economy that:
- has stopped us from bleeding nearly a million jobs a month to now creating private sector jobs, albeit at a slow pace.
- resulted in GDP growth, the comeback of the American auto industry, and the solvency of the nation's financial sector.
- has given us the 13th straight month of manufacturing growth.
And never even mind that this "worsening economy" averted a second great depression, thanks to the actions of this administration. Don't think about that. It doesn't fit the whine-about-Obama narrative well.
The economy is by no means out of the woods. But to complain that things are getting worse than they were during the Bush days requires a level of disconnect from the facts that only the likes of Greenwald are capable of.
Then there's the real heart of the matter. Ready? Yup, you guessed it -- scream that Obama is a sellout corporatist who squandered the opportunity to capitalize on the "populist anger."
That crisis presented a huge opportunity for Obama and the Democrats to bring about real change in Washington -- the central promise of his campaign -- by capitalizing on (and becoming the voice of) populist anger and using it to wrestle away control from Wall Street and other financial and corporate elites who control Washington.
Yeah! See? It's easy! You just grab the bull by the horn and you go. It's not like most of the things done on Wall Street to screw the American people were actually legal, thanks to the right's prevailing economic principle: deregulation. You just take advantage of the populist anger, and send out people with guns and batons and beat the crap out of the Wall Streeters, regardless of whether what they did was actually legal, or if something illegal was done, whether or not it can be proven in a court of law.
And besides, it's not like Obama has ever fired a CEO, or stopped greedy bank executives from spending $50 million on jets while the taxpayers were rescuing their bottoms, or slashed the pay of 25 financial executives at seven firms that. Nah, none of that ever happened.
You know, if only Obama had spent his time taking advantage of the anger to stoke more anger (kind of like the Tea Parties do, yes, let's all be just like them), and not done anything about Wall Street reform or credit card reform, we'd all be so much better off.
How can an administration represented by Tim Geithner and Larry Summers -- and which specializes in an endless stream of secret deals with corporate lobbyists and sustains itself with Wall Street funding -- possibly maintain any pretense of populist support or changing how Washington works? It can't.
Oooh, boy, where to start? First, Glenn starts talking about Wall Street, but then switches to alleged health care deals made with big pharma, supposedly confirmed by the discovery of a memo. I quote from the article on Huffington Post that Greenwald links to make his ironclad point:
The memo, which according to a knowledgeable health care lobbyist was prepared by a person directly involved in the negotiations, lists exactly what the White House gave up, and what it got in return.
In other words, the so-called memo was prepared by an unnamed person that yet another unnamed health care lobbyist swears is authentic. Ahh, now I feel so much better. You see, I forgot that when it suits Glenn Greenwald's and the Huffington Post's narratives, we are supposed to trust unnamed health care lobbyists -- the same terrible horrible lobbyists just talking to whom should cost Barack Obama and the Democrats 100 proverbial lashes. But hey, when they give anonymous "memos" from yet another anonymous person, their words are to be taken Biblically.
For too long, Glenn Greenwald and his friends on the leftier-than-thou paranoid crowd have been at this. For too long, they have slipped in baseless attacks in the name of advocacy and gotten away with it - gotten away with it even with a great deal of praise from those who are too eager to claw the Obama administration. This is disturbing, and this is harmful to the progressive movement. The reactionaries like Glenn Greenwald need to stop coming unhinged and starting acting like adults in this debate.