HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Quotes from the Greatest ... » Reply #51

Response to Chathamization (Reply #49)

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 10:42 AM

51. Mischaracterization And Praise, Sir, Are Different Things

He mis-characterized Gov. Dean, in an attempt to make his own views seem both more mainstream and more palatable.

Mr. Greenwald's views on the matter are those of the extreme right, and those of an extreme right libertarian, and the characterization of them as extreme is justified by the terms in which they are expressed: referring to the Federal Government as 'sticking its claws in things' is a staple of far-right rhetoric.

I repeat that the reading of the Commerce Clause emerging in the 1930s is essential to most progressive legislation, and that to undermine it is exceedingly dangerous, and that undermining it is a very long-term project of the right wing in our country.

I will also repeat my extended comment above, as you still seem puzzled by my willingness to draw distinctions between a sound public servant with whom I may disagree on a point or two, and a gadfly purveyor of vitriol and hyperbole in pursuit of self-aggrandizement, secure in the knowledge he will never have to reckon with the consequences of anything he proposes, since he will never be in a position where he must exercise power or accept responsibility.

"First, it would be nice to have some support for the assertion you are basing your engagement on, namely this parenthetical "nobody speaks on that issue more powerfully, by the way, than former Vt. Governor and fervent States Rights proponent Howard Dean)." This is simply an assertion by a person whose credibility and judgement are open to serious question. I cannot recall anyone else characterizing Gov. Dean as 'a fervent State's Rights proponent', nor can I recall any ringing denunciations from him on the reach of the Commerce Clause. It is true enough that he ran afoul of it a time or two while governor, with a law to restrict dissemination of 'harmful material' to minors that could have affected residents of other states than Vermont, and if recollection serves in some of the manouvering around the health care system he established in Vermont. I know he has taken positions opposing any great restriction of the Commerce Clause in debates with free-marketeer types. Standard boiler-plate about 'states being free to implement their own solutions' on various questions ranging from health insurance to legalization of marijuana, is far short of what is needed to carry the point that he is 'a fervent State's Rights proponent'. The man has been in the public eye for many years, and what comes first to mind when his name is mentioned is not state's rights.

Second, your over-facile 'isn't anti-war under the wrong president' is nonsense based on a mis-reading ( were I to be in a kind mood ) or a deliberate distortion ( were I to be in my more usual mood ) of the comment you are replying to with it. This is what I wrote: "I have noticed he ( Gov. Dean ) spends very little time denouncing President Obama as a war-monger and fabricator of enemies...." It is quite possible to oppose military engagement in Iraq and Syria without claiming President Obama is a war-monger who is telling lies about the situation to have an excuse to go to war. It would be possible for even Mr. Greenwald to do this, were he a person of different character and temper. But he seems to have an inability to express or hold any view without descending to vitriol and hyperbole, and in short order coming to treat his exaggerations for effect as statements of fact. I did not bother to comment much on his rantings when Bush was in office, but I considered him an embarrassment, and someone who was of no help at all in any project to move the mood of the public in regard to the policies in Iraq. To say he preached to the choir only would be to greatly over-state the reach of his comments, and I suspect that, among people who did not already agree with his views who were exposed to his fulminations, a good many more were moved to contempt for him and his views than were moved to agreement and support.

Mr. Greenwald's main problem is that he is against whoever is wielding government power at the moment. It is like the teenager who, asked what he is rebelling against, answers 'What have you got?' People who have any interest in seeing anything achieved, in terms of law and policy, make a great mistake if they conceive of people like Mr. Greenwald as allies because, at some moment when persons who oppose the laws and policies they desire are in office, they share for a time a target. Mr. Greenwald's target is government, though he veils this somewhat in the posture that he is attacking only corrupt and corrupting people in government. Since in his eyes virtually everyone who actually wields any power in government is corrupt or corrupting, lawless, a liar, a tyrant, in embryo if not yet in full flower, the effect is the same. The result is to inculcate a feeling in people that nothing can be done through government, which, protestations and hopes to the contrary, is to say in fact that nothing really can be done. Government is the only tool available by which people have any chance to rein in private power and achieve any degree of balance or redress in economic life. That government at present is far too much under control of private wealth and most responsive to the interests of private wealth does not change this.

What Mr. Greenwald does is act as a sort of 'left auxiliary' to the right wing in this country. He works to discredit government among the young on the left, to convince them government, the people who hold office in government, are unworthy, and so cannot be used as a tool for anything that might benefit people. Without a feeling that government is there to be used, the commitment of the young to fairness, to social justice and economic equity, will be as seed fallen on rocky ground. Private economic power, the engine of inequality and iniquity, which ensures life is not and will not be fair, is the only beneficiary. I am willing to do the man the courtesy of considering him intelligent enough, and possessed of sufficient self-awareness and understanding of the world around him, to be aware of this."

Reply to this post

Back to OP Alert abuse Link to post in-thread

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 58 replies Author Time Post
geek tragedy Oct 2014 OP
NYC_SKP Oct 2014 #1
Scootaloo Oct 2014 #2
geek tragedy Oct 2014 #3
Scootaloo Oct 2014 #4
Autumn Oct 2014 #5
DisgustipatedinCA Oct 2014 #6
geek tragedy Oct 2014 #10
Capt. Obvious Oct 2014 #17
Eleanors38 Oct 2014 #7
scarletwoman Oct 2014 #8
SidDithers Oct 2014 #9
freshwest Oct 2014 #11
geek tragedy Oct 2014 #14
The Magistrate Oct 2014 #12
stevenleser Oct 2014 #15
The Magistrate Oct 2014 #23
freshwest Oct 2014 #26
stevenleser Oct 2014 #28
freshwest Oct 2014 #29
Chathamization Oct 2014 #34
The Magistrate Oct 2014 #35
Chathamization Oct 2014 #37
The Magistrate Oct 2014 #38
Chathamization Oct 2014 #42
The Magistrate Oct 2014 #44
Chathamization Oct 2014 #50
The Magistrate Oct 2014 #52
Chathamization Oct 2014 #54
Capt. Obvious Oct 2014 #13
stevenleser Oct 2014 #16
Savannahmann Oct 2014 #18
hootinholler Oct 2014 #21
stevenleser Oct 2014 #24
Savannahmann Oct 2014 #30
stevenleser Oct 2014 #31
DisgustipatedinCA Oct 2014 #32
stevenleser Oct 2014 #33
elias49 Oct 2014 #53
hootinholler Oct 2014 #19
Ichingcarpenter Oct 2014 #20
hootinholler Oct 2014 #22
randome Oct 2014 #25
Union Scribe Oct 2014 #27
Chathamization Oct 2014 #36
geek tragedy Oct 2014 #39
Capt. Obvious Oct 2014 #40
The Magistrate Oct 2014 #45
geek tragedy Oct 2014 #46
The Magistrate Oct 2014 #47
geek tragedy Oct 2014 #48
Chathamization Oct 2014 #49
LineLineLineLineLineNew Reply Mischaracterization And Praise, Sir, Are Different Things
The Magistrate Oct 2014 #51
Chathamization Oct 2014 #56
The Magistrate Oct 2014 #57
NCTraveler Oct 2014 #41
Blue_Tires Oct 2014 #43
Cali_Democrat Oct 2014 #58
Cali_Democrat Oct 2014 #55
Please login to view edit histories.