I have one question for the Salon.com blogger who repeatedly states that he does not endorse Ron Paul, and who coyly demurs that his vociferous statements of Ron Paul’s sheer awesome are not endorsement but simply a wistful desire to see certain issues discussed during the campaign: Why the fuck isn’t he endorsing Ron Paul?
He obviously thinks that Ron Paul is the bee’s knees and that Obama is some sort of Muslim baby-killing, drone-happy dictator. There’s a reason the Salon.com blogger refers to Obama as “Dear Leader” and to Obama supporters (85 percent of Democrats, mind you) as cultists (as well as depraved individuals who would defend anything, including Obama raping a nun.) So if he is spending thousands upon thousands of words touting the “really important shit” that Ron Paul brings to the 2012 election while also writing screed after screed (after screed after screed) about all the ways in which President Obama is the worst, and how Obama is a centrist Republican whose fault it is that the current Republican candidates are in a state of sheer clusterfuckery, it seems to me that the Salon.com blogger should saddle up and endorse Ron Paul.
It’s getting ridiculous — really. His non-endorsement endorsement nonsense is positively Clintonian: “It depends on what the definition of ‘endorsement’ is.” Render unto me a break. The Salon.com blogger is fooling no one but his rabid supporters and the feckless media which invites him to speak for progressives, even though he is about as progressive as Gary Johnson, which is not at all. Oh, and don’t you dare mention the Salon.com blogger’s Cato Institute affiliation. He’ll go berserk and deny it (even though, apparently, his ties to Koch/Cato are not as tenuous as he would have you believe.)***
But people are starting to get it. The Greenwald sweater of polemical deceit is unraveling, and I like it. I like it because I find his sort of polemical discourse and rhetorical bomb-throwing to be a reckless distraction from the serious problems that confront us.
I especially like this, from Tim Wise — “Of Broken Clocks, Presidential Candidates, and the Confusion of Certain White Liberals.” It’s a thing of beauty. You should read the whole thing, but I’m going to excerpt what I see as the most salient bit: Continue reading
[Hiya! This is a post by Milt Shook for which I'm quite grateful because now I probably don't have to write one. See? Procrastination works! -ABLxx]
(Stay to the end, and watch me expose Glenn Greenwald as a liar once again.)
One of the most galling things about the professional left is the number of times they lie to make a point. You can’t be a progressive and also lie to the people who read your stuff. As this blog notes time and time again, the truth has a liberal bias; Fox News needs to lie; we do not.
Case in point; the hysteria over what many pro and emo lefties refer to as the “Indefinite Detention Bill.” Even people I often admire are buying into the hysteria, and it’s become depressing.
First thing you should know is, there is NO SUCH THING as an “Indefinite Detention Bill.” The actual bill Obama first threatened to veto and has now agreed to sign is called the “National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012.” The part about the “indefinite detention” is actually a poison pill amendment Republicans inserted into the bill to portray any Democrat who votes against it or President Obama if he vetoes it as being “against our troops.” Republicans put it there, not Democrats or Obama.
Yet, who the hell do these supposed “liberals” go after? Not the people who put that crap into the bill in the first place, of course. They go after President Obama, who has command the military (which includes my son, who’s working hard trying to rebuild Afghanistan, by the way) and have little choice but to put up with such Amendments. How incredibly stupid is this? Did so many progressive really learn NOTHING from the 2010 elections?
Obama doesn’t have a line-item veto, so he can’t veto the “Indefinite Detention Bill” without vetoing the entire NDAA. Now, you may think that would be a good thing, but would it? It’s not just about the troops. What about all of those civilians who might lose their jobs for at least a month or two, while Obama and Congress, including teabaggers, who have declared defeating Obama as their main goal, worked out a new NDAA without that little amendment, assuming they could do so? What do you think canceling all those defense contracts for a month or two would do to the unemployment rate? How about six months? What would happen to all of those small towns that depend on the military bases and contractors to support their small businesses? Do you imagine the GOP might be a bit energized after the unemployment rate suddenly rises to 10%? Continue reading
I’m not a huge fan of Glenn Greenwald. There are many reasons why I dislike the man and his writings, but the main ones are his dishonesty and hyperbolic rhetoric. I only read him when I’m tipped off to something particularly crazy.
I’ll be honest and say that when he was assaulting the Bush administration, I was cheering him on. But even then, I noticed that Greenwald played loose with the facts and exaggerated things beyond recognition (Warning, right-wing link). So even though it was aimed at Bush, it still left a bad taste in my mouth. Lying and misleading is a Republican thing, but of course, anyone who knows about Greenwald, knows that he leans libertarian and doesn’t vote.
I was searching Google one day and came across an article in The Nation titled “A Response to Glenn Greenwald“, written by Mark Ames and Yasha Levine. Of course, I had to click on it. In recent years, Greenwald has become an example of how — with the growth of the internet — people have been given platforms who don’t deserve it and don’t have enough integrity to wield such power. Glenn Greenwald has shown time and time again that he is vicious in his attacks on people and uses every sleazy rhetorical technique known to humans to push his narrative. He is completely anti-Obama, anti-government and anti-Democratic Party. He used to be anti-Republican Party during the Bush years and that is when he established some false credibility with the left.
I did a study of his posts on Salon.com for a period of just over a month. What I found was — out of 43 posts, 38 of them were anti-Obama and the remaining 5 were about something non political. There were zero posts that attacked Republicans. ZERO! I guess the GOP hasn’t done anything recently that has upset Glenn.
If you want to experience the full impact of Glenn Greenwald’s hyperbole and over-the-top rhetoric, I suggest you read things in the order that I did. None of the articles are extremely long, with the exception of Glenn’s with his many updates, so it shouldn’t take that long. But you can certainly just keep reading here, too. Continue reading
If It Looks Like A Duck And Quacks Like A Duck…
Melissa Harris-Perry wrote a very thoughtful piece exploring the reasons why President Obama, with his many successes in the face of great opposition, is struggling in the polls with white liberals. It is something I’ve been frustrated with since before the President was sworn in — when people on the left began attacking him about his appointments to various cabinet positions.
At first, I didn’t want to believe that race was a large part of that equation and chalked a lot of it up to “bitterness” left over from the contentious primary fight with Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich and the others. But as his presidency progressed and more evidence continued to pile up, I, as a white liberal, began to see that the source of a lot of that disrespect and vitriol clearly was coming from an elitist and superior attitude, much of it rooted in race.
If you haven’t been following the story, I recommend you read Joy Reid’s piece at The Reid Report. She gives some background on the reaction to some on the left to Harris-Perry’s powerful post.
My first instinct whenever I come across something that is clearly over-the-top rhetoric is to attempt to find out the source of that vitriol. Strong opinions don’t usually materialize out of thin air, they come from somewhere and I like to find out where. Using the Google machine, I decided to go back and read some previous writing by Gene Lyons as it relates to race and particularly, President Obama. What I found was quite shocking, in my opinion. You decide for yourself.
On matters of race, I’ve learned as a white, 49 year old male to listen and defer to those who have a closer connection to the effects of racism. What the hell do I know about suffering from racism, other than what I can learn from those who have suffered through it. It’s impossible for me to completely understand what it is like without having experienced it. I’ve accepted that fact and when a person of color speaks about it, I listen and try to internalize it.
One person that I listen to very intently is Melissa Harris-Perry, a very wise and thoughtful person who always makes sense to me whenever I hear her speak or read her words.
Yesterday, founder of Salon.com, David Talbot announced that, after six years, he would be returning as CEO of the online magazine:
“In these increasingly hard times, Salon is dedicating itself to an American revival. Our editorial mission will become more explicitly and aggressively populist. We will be publishing more investigative pieces, exposing the shadow dance of power. And both Democratic and Republican targets will be fair game, since both parties are increasingly under the control of the same corporate forces.
It’s time to start our own country.1
Today, Gene Lyons led the charge for Salon’s “new populism” by going all in against Professor Melissa Harris-Perry, and by extension, the scores of black people who agree with her [images of the Lyons article are below; links to Professor Harris Perry's article are here ("Black President, Double Standard: Why White Liberals Are Abandoning Obama") and here ("The Epistemology of Race Talk")]:
This just in: Not all the fools are Republicans. Recently, one Melissa Harris-Perry, a Tulane professor who moonlights on MSNBC political talk shows, wrote an article for the Nation titled “Black President, Double Standard: Why White Liberals Are Abandoning Obama.”
Joan Walsh and David Sirota will *never* get it, and I am giving up.
This week’s comment of the week comes not from this blog, but from Salon.com. It was submitted in response to Joan Walsh’s meandering and defensive article on Melissa Harris-Perry’s suggestion that maybe — just maybe — race is a factor in the seemingly relentless (and often fact-deficient) criticism of President Obama.
Salon commenter Jcwtts1 writes:
Let me begin in the simplest way. Race and Racism are two different things. What happens in discourse, especially internet discourse, is that those two issues become conflated.
This is dangerous for both sides. On the one hand, you have the dismissive white response that is typical. “Just because I criticize the president doesn’t make me a racist.”
[This post is third in a series of four posts about the Melissa Harris Perry Kerfuffle. The other posts can be read here, here, and here.]
Nobody asked you. Put your hand down.
I made the mistake of reading John Aravosis’ take on the furor induced by Melissa Harris-Perry’s articles in The Nation. I don’t know why I bothered.
After all, John Aravosis rarely (if ever) has anything nice to say about Obama; never has a word of understanding to offer; and — on the day that black Americans watched in horror as President Obama “prove to the man” that yes, he is an American citizen born in this country, actually had the temerity to wonder why President Obama “took so long” to release his birth certificate. With that in mind, John Aravosis’ “good show, old girl” post in defense of Joan Walsh is unsurprising:
Posted in LGBTQ Shenanigans, Miscellany, Now That's Some Racist Bullsh*t, Puritopians
Tagged Americablog, Clueless, John Aravosis, LGBT, Melissa Harris Perry, nobody cares, racism, Salon, Salon.com, The Grand Conversation on Race
[This post is first in a series of four posts about the Melissa Harris Perry Kerfuffle. The other posts can be read here, here, and here.]
As Zandar has already written here and here, Professor Melissa Harris-Perry set off a firestorm with her article in The Nation. In that article, Professor Harris-Perry argued what many black (and white) Americans believe to be true: that the disappointment felt by disaffected white liberals may be a result of their tendency to hold African-American leaders to a higher standard than their white counterparts (notice I said “may”):
The 2012 election may be a test of another form of electoral racism: the tendency of white liberals to hold African-American leaders to a higher standard than their white counterparts. If old-fashioned electoral racism is the absolute unwillingness to vote for a black candidate, then liberal electoral racism is the willingness to abandon a black candidate when he is just as competent as his white predecessors.
Professor Harris-Perry’s statement came as somewhat of a shock to white liberals (as gauged by the harsh response Professor Harris-Perry has garnered on Twitter and in the comment section of her post at The Nation), and it is interesting which white liberals have come out against Professor Harris-Perry’s article — almost as if they were positive Harris-Perry was talking about them.
I will address three of these liberals in separate and consecutive posts, and then end on a post which is solid advice that every liberal and/or progressive should heed.
First up? Joan Walsh.
Melissa Harris-Perry responds
This weekend’s post on Melissa Harris-Perry’s piece at The Nation about the lack of real discussion about race among liberals touched a few nerves at ABLC, and I am very glad to see the fact she handily responds to her critics at the Nation today.
I logged onto Twitter on Sunday night and discovered that my recent article for The Nation was causing a bit of a stir. Some members of the white liberal political community are appalled and angry that I suggested racial bias maybe responsible for the President’s declining support among white Americans. I found some responses to my piece to be fair and important, others to be silly and nonresponsive, and still others to be offensive personal attacks. But those categories are par for the course.
I make it a practice not to defend my public writings. Because I often write about provocative topics like race, gender, sexual orientation and reproductive rights, if I defended every piece I wrote against critics I would find little time to sleep. But the responses to this recent article have been revealing in ways that I find typical of our contemporary epistemology of race. Often, those of us who attempt to talk about historical and continuing racial bias in America encounter a few common discursive strategies that are meant to discredit our perspectives. Some of them are in play here.
Do read the entire piece, it’s worth it if only to arm yourself with the knowledge of the fallacies that have been thrown at people who have brought the topic up in the past.
The ending is worth it: