Glenn Greenwald

by fp on September 20, 2010

in Party politics

Greenwald’s Salon column is always worth reading. Here he quotes Senator Feingold regarding his lone vote against the so called PATRIOT Act:

“There have been periods in our nation’s history when civil liberties have taken a back seat to what appeared at the time to be the legitimate exigencies of war. Our national consciousness still bears the stain and the scars of those events: The Alien and Sedition Acts, the suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War, the internment of Japanese-Americans, German-Americans, and Italian-Americans during World War II, the blacklisting of supposed communist sympathizers during the McCarthy era, and the surveillance and harassment of antiwar protesters, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., during the Vietnam War. We must not allow these pieces of our past to become prologue.”

Here Greenwald supports Jon Stewart’s planned “Million Moderate March,” while reminding us that indeed former President George W. Bush really does qualify as a war criminal (so Stewart needs a better example of left wing rhetorical excess):

I think Jon Stewart is one of the most incisive and effective commentators in the country, and he reaches an audience that would otherwise be politically disengaged. I don’t have any objection if he really wants to hold a rally in favor of rhetorical moderation, and it’s also fine if, as seems to be the case, he’s eager to target rhetorical excesses on both the left and right in order to demonstrate his non-ideological centrism. But the example he chose to prove that the left is guilty, too — the proposition that Bush is a “war criminal” — is an extremely poor one given that the General in charge of formally investigating detainee abuse (not exactly someone with a history of Leftist advocacy) has declared this to be the case, and core Nuremberg principles compel the same conclusion.

I especially enjoyed the Greenwald column underscoring the equivalence of the Tea Party with the Republican Party. He said,

For as long as I can remember — decades — I’ve been hearing that the new incarnation of the GOP is far more radical and dangerous than anything that preceded it, and it tragically threatens to banish the previously Reasonable, Serious, Adult version of that party. That was certainly said about Ronald Reagan, as he argued for the elimination of the Department of Education, brought in cabinet officials like Ed Meese and Jim Watt, catered to Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority, and nominated people like Robert Bork to the Supreme Court. That was certainly said about the Gingrich-led GOP of the 90s, with their Contract with America, obsessions with law-enforced morality, and impeachment of Bill Clinton. And it was said over and over about the Bush/Cheney era that ushered in the Iraq War, the torture regime, broad executive lawlessness, and an endless roster of vapid, know-nothing ideologues and religious fanatics in the highest positions.

Given all that, I’d really like to hear what it is about Christine O’Donnell, or Sharron Angle, or any of these other candidates that sets them apart from decades of radical right-wing elected officials who came before them? They seem far more similar to me than different. When was this idealized era of GOP Adult Reasonableness?

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