19 Sep 2009

Murphy Corresponds with Glenn Greenwald

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In this state of mind, I sent a polite email to Glenn Greenwald with the subject line “a fan who disagrees strongly with you on tea parties etc.” To his extreme credit, Greenwald not only answered me, but went back and forth twice. (That is far more than you’ll get out of me, unless you pay a consulting fee.)

Let me reproduce our last exchange, since it was the best. In response to my original point, GG asked me why all these protesters suddenly got so mad right after Obama was inaugurated. I replied:

It’s a good point, but my answer is: They’ve finally woken up. The tipping point of a single $700 billion injection into Wall St. was so ludicrous that people finally woke up out of their stupor.

Last point and I’ll leave you alone: We both agree that right now, millions of Americans are for the first time really MAD about what the federal government is doing. But they’re not political junkies, they don’t have well-thought out views the way you and I do. So they’re looking around for someone to help channel their frustration and above all, give them something concrete to do about it.

So in that void, you’ve got Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh coming in, saying, “I’m so proud of you folks. You are real patriots. Thomas Paine would have been proud. What you need to do, is march on DC on 9/12, and call your representatives and tell them to close the border and defund ACORN.”

At the same time, you’ve got Keith Olbermann, Jimmy Carter, Janeane Garofalo, and Glenn Greenwald saying, “You guys are a bunch of racist hypocrites. Stop whining about ‘oh I oppose socialist medicine.’ No you don’t. You know darn well you took your weekend off to to go to DC because you hate black people.”

Is that really the right way for you to play this? Is this the way to help the guys who are still locked up in Gitmo, and the people getting blown up by Obama’s cruise missile attacks?

[/melodramatic rant]

Bob Murphy

In response–and I’m assuming he won’t mind if I quote him here–GG said:

I’ve never said the protesters are motivated by race. I’ve never said their anger is unjustified.

What I said is that their anger is WARRANTED, but is being misdirected and exploited by their leaders for purely partisan ends that have little to do with — and are often directly at odds with — the things they claim they’re angry about.

You’re generalizing about these protesters. Some are politically unsophisticated people who are angry — though I need a better explanation for why they weren’t angry during Bush — but many, many, many are nothing more than Rush-Limbaugh-listening Republicans angry because they are no longer in power.

I think we both did a good job venting. I judge our exchange a stalemate.

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