13 Oct 2009

Glenn Greenwald Defends Republicans

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GG is awesome. After Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, and of course conservative pundits rolled their eyes, some Democratic honchos actually accused the critics of “siding with the Taliban” etc. (Naturally enough, the Taliban and others who are being targeted with Darth death drones don’t want to give Barack a high-five on his pacifism.) So here’s GG:

If George W. Bush had won the Nobel Peace Prize as [Joe] Klein suggested he might deserve [in 2005], would it have been the solemn obligation of every American — including liberals — to stand up and cheer, to hold a “national celebration,” to congratulate and express support, happiness and patriotic pride? Or would it have been appropriate even for Americans to make arguments about why that Prize was wrongly awarded? If Bush had won, surely the Taliban and Hamas would have objected, just like they did yesterday with Obama. Would Bush critics have been guilty of “casting their lot with the terrorists” if they echoed those objections? Karl Rove and Fox News would have done so, but would Media Matters have condemned liberals who questioned Bush’s Nobel Peace Prize as “unseemly and downright unpatriotic.” Please.

The difference between 2003 and now, of course, is that Democrats are in power and thus benefit from the rule that it’s unpatriotic and Terrorist-embracing to do anything but praise the President like some sort of college cheerleader. But that isn’t always going to be true. And there are many times when it is progressives who are making arguments similar to The Terrorists and Other Bad People; after all, there are only so many sides of an issue, and that is inevitable. Calling people unpatriotic and comparing them to Terrorists for failing to fulfill their solemn duty to praise the President on his Special Day and mindlessly support his accolades isn’t clever or tough politics. It’s weak, counter-productive, unprincipled, dumb and dangerous.

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