23 Jun 2010

Glenn Greenwald, Become a Libertarian!

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Wow I feel Glenn Greenwald’s pain. Lately he has been in an argument with “moderate” liberals over Obama’s capitulation on important progressive goals. (The thing you need to remember, is that Barack Obama is a “liberal” the same way George W. Bush was a “conservative.”)

The moderates have been pooh-poohing the “fanatics” on the Left for thinking that Obama should have pushed for a public option, really cracked down on the Fed and big banks, pulled the troops out of the Middle East, closed Guantanamo, etc. According to the moderates, the president of the United States is actually quite weak, except possibly on military issues. But for sure on health care and financial reform legislation, they claim, Obama’s hands were tied.

So GG has been going nuts, pointing out all the different reasons that this argument is crazy.

Now the funny part. In this post, Glenn links to one of his numerous critics, Robert Farley, who wrote:

I haven’t really seen anyone claim that the US Presidency is “weak, helpless, and impotent”; Glenn certainly intimates that his interlocutors have this view, but he fails to demonstrate such, and my own cursory reading of the discussion has thus far failed to uncover anyone who holds such a view of the US executive.

At this point Glenn turns into George Costanza, he is so frustrated. (“Jerry, I’m losin it!”) Glenn fires back:

Gee, I wonder where I got that idea from. And you know what the title of Bernstein’s post was? This: “The Presidency Is Weak. Really.” Farley says that he’s never encountered anyone who argued that the presidency is weak, helpless and impotent even though Bernstein’s post — which Farley himself cites when disputing (and thus presumably read) — says exactly that (“Is the idea of an ‘Impotent, Helpless President’ a joke? No, it’s basic American politics”).

I realize with the block quotes and he-said, she-said, I may have lost you, so let me give you the chronology:

(1) A defender of Obama writes an article with THE TITLE of, “The Presidency Is Weak. Really.” In the body of the article, the Obama apologist literally writes, “Is the idea of an ‘impotent, helpless president’ a joke? No, it’s basic American politics.”

(2) Greenwald goes nuts, saying that the modern president has a ton of powers. Obama clearly could have pushed for progressive goals, if they were actually important to him.

(3) Greenwald’s critic says, “I haven’t seen anyone actually claim that the president is weak and impotent; Greenwald is attacking a straw man.”

Glenn, you need to become a libertarian. Sure, we have petty infights all the time. But we know how to read article titles.

7 Responses to “Glenn Greenwald, Become a Libertarian!”

  1. Daniel Hewitt says:

    Bush was responsible for converting many conservatives into libertarians. Perhaps Obama will be responsible for converting lots of liberals? Greenwald seems to be particularly disenchanted lately with Barry.

  2. Contemplationist says:

    But we know how to read article titles.

    Not if you’re a 100% reserves, goldbug

    • bobmurphy says:

      Is that a generic swipe, or did a Rothbardian really do that? (I’m genuinely curious.)

  3. Roger says:

    Liberal = Fascist
    Conservative = Fascist
    Libertarian = Liberal

    Am I wrong?

  4. Bob Murphy's Love Child says:

    I feel like Bob would pull an Orszag and run off and marry Greenwald if he had the chance.

    • Bob Murphy's Love Child says: