28 May 2010

Glenn Greenwald Taking Flak for Defending Ron Paul

All Posts 12 Comments

Poor Glenn Greenwald. After noting that people dismiss Ron Paul as “crazy,” GG lists a bunch of Paul’s signature stances, all of which are self-evidently plausible. He concludes:

If one wants to argue that Ron Paul and others like him hold specific views that are crazy, that’s certainly reasonable. But those who make that claim virtually always hold views at least as crazy, and devote themselves to one of the two political parties that has, over and over, embraced insane, destructive and warped policies of their own. The reason the U.S. is in the shape it’s in isn’t because Ron Paul and the rest of the so-called “crazies” have been in charge; they haven’t been, at all. The policies that have prevailed are the ones which the two parties have endorsed. So where does the real craziness lie?

Fair enough, right? And certainly Glenn Greenwald’s readers, of all people, should get the basic point he’s making.

Alas, ’twas not to be. GG felt the need to clarify in an update:

UPDATE: I’ll try this one more time: for those wanting to write about all the bad things Ron Paul believes, before going into the comment section, please read and then re-read these three sentences:

There’s no question that Ron Paul holds some views that are wrong, irrational and even odious. But that’s true for just about every single politician in both major political parties . . . My point isn’t that Ron Paul is not crazy; it’s that those who self-righteously apply that label to him and to others invariably embrace positions and support politicians at least as “crazy.”

This is a comparative assessment between (a) those routinely dismissed as Crazy and (b) the two party establishments and their Mainstream Loyalists who do the dismissing. Assessing (a) is completely nonresponsive and irrelevant without comparing it to (b).

Now out of curiosity I’m going to click to see what the “odious” views are that GG alludes to. I’m guessing newsletter stuff?

12 Responses to “Glenn Greenwald Taking Flak for Defending Ron Paul”

  1. Tom Woods says:

    Turns out the “odious” stuff is Paul’s opposition to birthright citizenship, a policy no other country follows (so I guess the entire world is “odious”).

    • bobmurphy says:

      Tom Woods is a nativist xenophobe! I have proof! Look at that parenthetical declaration!

    • Bob Roddis says:

      I think getting rid of birthright citizenship would be amazingly popular with the voters. It’s one of those “I don’t remember voting on that” issues. Naturally, the left will never allow debate on it, but will simply shout it down instead.

  2. Ash Navabi says:

    “But our modern welfare state creates perverse incentives for immigrants, incentives that cloud the issue of why people choose to come here. The real problem is not immigration, but rather the welfare state magnet.”
    What a hateful, repugnant, and disgusting position to hold!

    I thought generally the comments were good, though–of course, on the internet, you’re still bound to have a few crazies.

  3. roo says:

    I can see how you might be disappointed by his update, but while Greenwald’s writings may appeal to libertarians he’s never made any pretense of being one.

    • bobmurphy says:

      So what? If Glenn Greenwald said that Nazis should be allowed to sell books, and some of his readers pointed out that Nazis were thugs, I would be similarly surprised. It’s not because I mistook GG for a Nazi.

      • Bob Roddis says:

        Federal District Judge Victoria Roberts is a black female democrat Clinton appointee in Detroit. She wrote the opinion a few weeks back ruling that the Hutaree militia folks could get out on bail (while wearing ankle bracelets at home) because all they did was BIG TALK. (She was then immediately reversed by the appeals court and I haven’t kept up with the case since.)

        No one accused her of being a right wing Christian militia simpathizer.

        99.9976 of our opponents are anti-intellectual know-nothing bullies who haven’t the slightest familiarity with libertarian or Austrian School scholarship and they intend to keep it that way.

  4. Murray de Soto says:

    Wow, that’s awesome. I was shaking my head at the first paragraph thinking “but Paul really is a crazy” and then I read the update and I thought that he was spot on.

  5. Murray de Soto says:

    “99.9976 of our opponents are anti-intellectual know-nothing bullies who haven’t the slightest familiarity with libertarian or Austrian School scholarship and they intend to keep it that way.”

    here’s my null hypothesis: there’s no statistically significant between libertarians and non libertarians in terms of openmindedness, knowledge or intelligence.

    • Bob Roddis says:

      I’m referring to our express critics, generally in the media and academia. Whereas libertarian and Austrian School scholars have carefully examined, sliced, diced and pureed each and every nonsensical statist proposition, our critics, being dishonest and intellectually lazy, do not reciprocate. None of them have even the slightest familiarity the most basic Austro-Libertarian concepts such as the non-aggression principle or the problem of socialist calculation. They could not explain what either concept concerned nor attribute either as a basic foundation of libertarianism and Austrian economics respectively.

      This is why they don’t review groundbreaking best sellers like Tom Woods’ “Meltdown” and Bob Murphy’s “P.I.G. Guide to the Great Depression and the New Deal”. They don’t because they can’t.

      When confronted with new ideas challenging their conformist pose, they can only scream some variation of “racist racist racist”, fringe fringe fringe and/or “anti-Semite” “anti-Semite” “anti-Semite”.

      Expect it and be ready.

  6. Murray de Soto says:

    So wait, let me get this straight. Out of the scores of brilliant minds who enter the social sciences, spending decades of their life in education and the rest of it devoted to producing their own research, only a small sect are intellectually honest? And by some coincidence of nature (act of God?) these guys also happen to be correct, moral and intelligent?

    Wow, that’s not half self serving.

    I suppose that’s one explanation. Here’s another one though, people disagree and for whatever reason Austrians and libertarians just haven’t done a very good job of convincing people. Which would also explain why there are plenty of people (Gene Callahan is a great example) whose “conversion” to libertarianism doesn’t last all that long.

    • Bob Roddis says:

      You are right. We haven’t done a very good job convincing people. One can generally only learn Austrian economics from actually READING books and articles, most of which have no pictures.

      We have failed to produce a $4 million PIXAR style animated version of the ABCT, and until then we will probably continue to fail.