Recent Items

Ron Paul Debate Flushes Out Gender-Baiting Right Wing Opportunists Masquerading as Progressives

Posted on by


The intense debate precipitated by a post on this site, “How Ron Paul Challenges Liberals,” and follow up posts by Glenn Greenwald and here serve to prove their simple yet frequently misrepresented thesis: that Ron Paul’s anti-war, anti-Fed positions expose fault lines among those traveling under the “liberal” banner.

Anyone who read comments on NC prior to this debate would have noticed some sympathy for Paul, ranging from the more common “he’s batshit and I’d never vote for him, but his opposition to our Middle East adventurism and the lack of accountability at the Fed is refreshing” to some making a stronger case for him. That shouldn’t be surprising given the point often made here and in the few lonely “progressive” outposts on the blogosphere (“progressive” is in the process of being co-opted in the same way “liberal” has been): that the Democratic party has been so deeply penetrated by the neoliberal/Robert Rubin/Hamilton Project types that it isn’t that different from the right on economic issues.

It should not be controversial to point out that the Democratic party uses identity politics as a cover for its policy of selling out the middle class to banks and big corporate interests, just on a slower and stealthier basis than the right. And we’ve seen the identity card used in a remarkably dishonest manner in this Ron Paul contretemps.

The strategy used is shameless straw manning in combination with gender baiting. Both Katha Pollitt (in “Progressive Man Crushes on Ron Paul“) and Megan Carpentier (“Ron Paul’s useful idiots on the left“) grossly misrepresent Glenn Greenwald’s posts on Paul, in which he says repeatedly that he is talking about broad policy issues, and not standing behind any candidate:

I’m about to discuss the candidacies of Barack Obama and Ron Paul, and no matter how many times I say that I am not “endorsing” or expressing support for anyone’s candidacy, the simple-minded Manicheans and the lying partisan enforcers will claim the opposite…”There are, as I indicated, all sorts of legitimate reasons for progressives to oppose Ron Paul’s candidacy on the whole.

What does this become in Pollitt’s piece? She depicts Greenwald as being on a par with Ron Paul enthusiasts like Andrew Cockburn:

Salon’s Glenn Greenwald is so outraged that progressives haven’t abandoned the warmongering, drone-sending, indefinite-detention-supporting Obama for Paul that he accuses them of supporting the murder of Muslim children…And yes, these are all white men; if there are leftish white women and people of color who admire Paul, they’re keeping pretty quiet.

Ah, the gender baiting card! No women or non whites have anything nice to say about Ron Paul! That’s patently untrue, but identity bigots like Pollitt apparently can’t wrap their minds around the notion that many people see themselves as citizens first and their demography second, and can and do have nuanced views based on how they weigh multiple political considerations: class, concentration of power, rule of law, civil liberties, and gender/race/sexual orientation. I’m not a Paul booster, yet I applaud his effort to curb the Fed, which has circumvented Constitutional budgetary processes to support a predatory financial services industry, as well as his criticism of Iran war-mongering. The fact that I ran a piece on how Paul is inconvenient to liberals meant I support this view, but Pollitt omits anything that undermines her tidy Obama-defending narrative.

But most important, I object to the presumption of the Pollitt position, that right-thinking women of the left-leaning persuasion must of course agree with her. I find myself appalled by the culture, such that it is, of soi-disant progressives in DC. That isn’t to say that there aren’t many talented individuals laboring to make things better. But from what I can tell, their efforts are too often at odds with and deliberately undermined by a puerile, often vicious style of discourse that values petty conformity over substantive contributions. And the sacred cow of petty conformity is political correctness (well, unless you are a “progressive” woman, that makes is OK to yell “white male oppressor” when you run out of arguments).

So it should come as no surprise that Pollitt ignored a tweet by no less than the publisher of the very magazine in which Pollitt ran her screed, Katrina vanden Heuvel. And she can’t claim to have missed it, since it was in the Greenwald piece she attacked:


Pollitt also chose to ignore a post by Yvette Carnell, a former Hill staffer (oh, and a Democrat). And not only is Carnell female, she’s black, doubly disproving Pollit’s assertion. Carnell objected vociferously to the presumption that identity politics trump other considerations:

… at the heart of the teeth gnashing are Paul’s racist newsletters and their import. For me, this would be a much tougher nut to crack if structural and/or cultural racism were still the most heinous defect in the American body politic. But in a country where indefinite detention just became the law of the land, it’s not. In a country where unmanned American drones are killing innocent children abroad, it’s not. And in a country where mortgage scammers are protected from prosecution while Americans are being foreclosed on in record numbers, it’s not. Sorry black folks, but race and racism are not the biggest issues of the 21st century and to imagine otherwise is to conflate the issue and put the needs of your community ahead of the needs of America in particular and the global community in general. In that way, it’s a selfish usurpation of the political agenda to placate the few, and it shouldn’t be tolerated by black people of conscience.

Falguni Sheth also objected to Pollitt’s assertion that women and people of color would never give Ron Paul the time of day (emphasis original):

I am a brown woman… and I am downright livid at policies passed during the Obama administration …

Does that mean that I am a fan of Ron Paul? No. Do I admire the fact that he’s articulating an anti-war platform? Yes, but very cautiously and very sadly…And in part, we have only Paul to look to, because of “white leftish women” like Katha Pollitt, who says,

I, too, would love to see the end of the “war on drugs” and our other wars. I, too, am shocked by the curtailment of civil liberties in pursuit of the “war on terror,” most recently the provision in the NDAA permitting the indefinite detention, without charge, of US citizens suspected of involvement in terrorism. But these are a handful of cherries on a blighted tree.

Really? Half a million Iraqi civilians dead? Dozens of Pakistani children dead because of drones (or more. We are not allowed to know)? The reproductive systems of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi women decimated by decades of US-led chemical warfare? The curtailment of civil liberties of legal residents (and not merely citizens) in the US? The indefinite detention of tens of thousands of migrants, documented or otherwise? Those migrants include Latinos, South Asians, Arabs, Middle Easterners, Muslims from other parts of the world–detained not just for migrating without papers, but for merely being suspected of terrorism and held without charges, without lawyers, without family knowing, without judicial review–without a way out. These are what an anti-war position would resist. Seriously? Pollitt believes these are cherries on a blighted tree?..

Essentially, Pollitt’s column comes down to this: We want solidarity among liberals and progressives—but only on terms determined by WHITE leftish women and a segment of white men and some people of color.

The gender card is similarly played shamelessly and with remarkable hypocrisy by Megan Carpentier in the Guardian on the Greenwald post:

Nonetheless, there have been calls by progressives, most notably Glenn Greenwald, to ignore all of that and more, and focus instead on Obama’s policy failings to have “an actual debate on issues of America’s imperialism”. He went on to argue that there are no policy priorities more imperative than those – certainly not abortion, immigration rights, LGBT equality, racial justice or any other aspect of the US’s extensive foreign policy. (Greenwald, who is gay, was in the relatively privileged position of being able to travel to Brazil to circumvent Doma.) And so people whose lives, safety, livelihoods and health depend on them should accept that they are trading their concerns for, say, the lives of Muslim children killed by bombs in Afghanistan.

In fact, many of Ron Paul’s newest supporters on the left look strikingly like the majority of the ones on the right who have been following him for years: the kinds of people whose lives won’t be directly affected by all those pesky social conservative policies Paul would seek to enact as president, either due to their race, class, gender or sexual orientation.

Greenwald’s position on Paul is so blatantly distorted by Carpentier as to render her article worthy of retraction (see Greenwald’s objection for details) but her dissimulation is more important than her hatchet job.

The use of identity as a first-order loyalty test hasn’t merely diverted undue energy to what ought to be tertiary priorities; it has also allowed hard core conservatives who have mastered the PC secret handshake to be embraced as fellow travelers even when their history and stances show their loyalties lie elsewhere. By contrast, the right wing is too smart and disciplined to allow liberal operatives into its fold.

Who is Megan Carpentier? She’s currently the executive editor at Raw Story. And reading her salvo at Greenwald, most readers would assume she’s a progressive. She’s hectoring Greenwald from a presumed leftist position.

In fact, Carpentier is no such thing. She is a conservative opportunist using her feminist fundamentalism as a cover. She was a lobbyist for seven year and wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post which is noteworthy for trying to improve the public image of lobbyists by stating that they weren’t obscenely well paid, that they really were interested in politics, and that they provide helpful research to Congressional staffers.

But Carpentier is less than forthcoming about her history and her ideological leanings. Her last gig as a lobbyist was for the Tax Foundation, which was an early anti-New Deal outfit founded in 1937 by reactionary oligarchs like GM Chairman Alfred Sloan. It was “financially troubled” when the Koch brothers purchased its name and other assets and made it a unit of their’ “Citizens for a Sound Economy” (CSE in 2004 split into Americans For Prosperity and FreedomWorks). The Tax Foundation newsletter that announced she had joined touts her “extensive experience in promoting sound economic and tax policies to Congress and state legislatures.” In other words, she is a loyal and effective foot soldier for the right.

I’ve put out some feelers in the small community of self-styled DC progressives, and virtually every one I contacted was ignorant of Carpentier’s history of lobbying for the right. And perhaps more important, there is evidence that she has adopted a shrill feminist posture to divert attention from her efforts to advance a right-wing agenda in “progressive” publication (Carpentier has gone on far too often in her writings about how she got a bad grade from a professor in a women’s studies course, and presents herself as the True Feminist and her instructor as a dinosaur. I found both melodrama and frequency with which told this story to be a sign of narcissism and perhaps mental instability, but it is likely to be far more calculated, a way to make sure she is thought of first and foremost as a feminist, so people don’t probe her views too deeply).

It’s disingenuous for Carpentier to cavil about white male privilege and the need for women to have rights to abortions, when those rights are less meaningful if you can’t afford to exercise them. Soi disant feminists like Carpentier are missing in action when it comes to defending their supposed sisters on economic issues, most importantly, labor rights.

Now your might claim I’m being unfair, that Carpentier had a Pauline (pun intended) conversion from her former faith. Why is there no mention of her Koch connection?. Why hasn’t she done a David Brock mea culpa? Rather than proudly put forward why she had changed her views (which is what you’d expect if they really had changed) has she instead tried to downplay the power of lobbyists? Why, when the influence of the Koch brothers were one of the biggest progressive story of the past 3 years, has she had NOTHING to say about her time working for one of their key outfits?

In addition, as executive editor for Raw Story, she is ultimately responsible for story selection, and given that it is not that large an enterprise, one can assume she has a hand in many, perhaps all, of the day-to-day editorial decisions. It is noteworthy that one of Raw Story’s few original pieces was a hit piece on the prominent GI group The Courage to Resist, trying to connect it to an alleged plot to attack Fort Hood. The Courage to Resist has been a thorn in the side of the military establishment. Why would Raw Story give a story hinging on a thin link (a mentally unstable applicant for conscientious objector status) such prominent play?

In fact, her attack on Greenwald appears to be a badly needed effort to bolster her leftie bona fides, given the rather shameless way she’s put pro Ron Paul stories on Raw Story in her current role as executive editor. A sampling from the last year, when she has been at the helm (March of last year):

Ron Paul suggests basic freedoms depend on property rights (includes: “Paul dismissed claims that he is a racist as “outlandish” and said he would have voted to desegregate public facilities.”)

Ron Paul: Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan too regressive

Rep. Ron Paul praises whistle blowers like WikiLeaks

Ron Paul: Abolish minimum wage to ‘help poor people’

Ron Paul calls Occupy Wall Street a ‘legitimate effort’

‘Bunny Ranch’ sex workers endorse Ron Paul

I went through the first 100 stories picked up on a Google search limited to Raw Story on “Ron Paul” from March onward in 2011. Of those, just looking at the headlines, I would classify 48 as positive, 31 as neutral, and 21 as negative (and I did my classifications quickly and not scientifically but still from a “progressive” perspective, so “Ron Paul compares Social Security and Medicare to slavery” and “Ron Paul calls for spending cuts before hurricane relief” would be negative). And aside from the skew, the intensity of the Ron Paul coverage was also noteworthy.

And when I looked at the Ron Paul headlines chronologically in my RSS reader, starting in March, you’d see headlines that were almost entirely positive or reporting on Republican poll results (even then, with Paul featured prominently) and only a scattering of headlines like this:

Ron Paul to meet French far-right nationalist leader (October 12)

Ron Paul calls Elizabeth Warren ‘a socialist’ (November 6)

Ron Paul gets ‘mic checked’ by New Hampshire protesters (November 21).

But starting on December 20, there is a shift towards negative Ron Paul coverage. Did Carpentier need to cover her tracks? Here are some examples:

In ad for newsletter, Ron Paul forecast ‘race war’ (December 22)

Former staffer: Ron Paul ‘wishes the Israeli state did not exist’ (December 26, bylined by Carpentier)

Stormfront founder: Ron Paul’s views ‘coincide with ours’ on most issues (December 28)

‘Occupy’ protesters interrupt Ron Paul: ‘Why do you hate gays?’ (December 29)

Paul senior adviser: ‘He’s not against war’ (December 29)

Rep. Steve King: Ron Paul would be ‘dangerous’ president (December 29)

Raw Story’s Mike Rogers: Ron Paul hiding an extremist agenda (December 30)

I’m am hardly plugged into DC insider gossip, but I was hearing of questions raised about the Ron Paul coverage at Raw Story, so it is not hard to imagine Carpentier was getting wind of it too.

Just like Huffington Post and other sites that primarily aggregators of other publication’s content, the editor controls the ideological slant via story selection. Carpentier clearly controlled what went on Raw Story. The fixation on Ron Paul and the mix of stories in a supposedly left wing venue speaks volumes.

So here we have it: Carpentier, a closet libertarian, falsely depicting “progressive” support of Ron Paul as a symbol of white male bigotry and distorting Greenwald’s nuanced discussion of Ron Paul as an endorsement to create a brouhaha, apparently to cover her own tracks.

With Quislings like this, the progressives don’t need enemies.

Print Friendly
Twitter70DiggReddit7StumbleUpon0Facebook43LinkedIn3Google+16bufferEmail

377 comments

  1. Marianne

    In casual conversation, friends have labeled me a “progressive”. I am white and female.

    I would vote for Ron Paul over any other Republican or Democrat currently in the field today. On some issues, I think RP is an absolute loon, but I look at his positions in totality, and I can say he’s a loon with principals. I suspect he is a homophobe. I find his opinions on abortion hypocritical when compared with his views on liberty and self determination.

    But in the days of mass incarceration, private run prisons, the stripping of US citizens of their citizenship (new measure just introduced by Lieberman), endless wars on drugs & other flavors of the day, the killing of US citizens abroad without due process, the possibility of indefinite detention of US citizens, creeping police brutality as battlefield urban warfare techniques come back home to be used in US cities, he is the /only/ candidate to speak to these issues. And he’s the only candidate I agree with.

    I will hold my nose, vote for him, and ignore his likely homophobia and my disagreement with his views on a woman’s liberty to choose her medical care.

    1. spooz

      Agreed, WF here too. I have been trying to open my sisters’ eyes up to propaganda and what matters when the house is on fire.

      1. Tony Wonder

        In 2000, the first year I was old enough to vote, I voted for Al Gore.

        In 2004, I held my nose and voted for John Kerry, because GWB was so odious, embarrassing, and so frightening in his warmongering and his appeals to fear and nationalism and his embrace of secret prisons and torture.

        In 2008, I excitedly voted for Barack Obama. When I listen to some of his older speeches, I remember why I did so, but in retrospect if I had done more homework it would have been more obvious that he was nothing but a banker stooge.

        In 2012, I will be voting for Ron Paul, whether he appears on the ballot or not. The false red/blue left/right liberal/conservative one-dimensional paradigm is so blindingly obviously full of feces, I just do not understand how anyone can think otherwise at this point. What is the definition of insanity again? I will be voting for Dr. Paul DESPITE his affiliation with the republican party, and certainly not because of it. I suspect he is the last major party candidate that I will ever vote for, so bereft of credibility are the two “acceptable” political parties.

        Our (federal) government has lost all credibility, and it no longer has my consent to govern. Ron Paul’s only contradiction is his religiosity, which makes him no different than most other deluded Americans. I do not believe that he is racist or homophobic.

        “In the long run, the only way racism can be overcome is through the philosophy of individualism, which I have promoted throughout my life. Our rights come to us not because we belong to some group, but our rights come to us as individuals.

        And it is as individuals that we should judge one another. Racism is a particularly odious form of collectivism whereby individuals are treated not on their merits but on the basis of group identity.

        Nothing in my political philosophy, which is the exact opposite of the racial totalitarianism of the twentieth century, gives aid or comfort to such thinking. To the contrary, my philosophy of individualism is the most radical intellectual challenge to racism ever posted.” – Ron Paul in ‘The Revolution: A Manifesto’ page 64

        If you look at the demographics of those who support Dr. Paul, it’s overwhelmingly young people. There are reasons for this, and it would behoove those in Yves’ age demographic to understand what they are. As a truth-seeker who played a large part in opening this millennial’s eyes, I hope Yves continues to explore the candidacy of and media reaction (propoganda) to Dr. Paul.

        Thanks Yves!

        1. Frank Speaking

          “…the demographics of those who support Dr. Paul, it’s overwhelmingly young people.”

          this—to the extent it has any truth—can be explained by his predisposition to legalizing marijuana but it is puzzling that as a presumed libertarian he would refuse women the right to choose.

          1. Lambert Strether

            After The Droner was elected, the White House did an online survey to develop a “Briefing Book” which was presented to Obama. Marijuana legalization came in top #1. I’m betting the online demographic (“check the website”) skews young. Here’s a link to that, with Obama mocking and insulting the legalization advocates.

            So the claim isn’t baseless, and wouldn’t be insulting even if it were: Marijunana legalization has a perfectly sound public policy rationale, even if it would cut funds for militarizing local police forces.

          2. Th3T1ck

            Paul’s policy on abortion was that he is personally pro-life, but would defer to the states on regulation. Based on the deferral of this to the states, induction says he would veto an abortion prohibition bill.

            He is actually in a very similar spot to Obama on this one, and I think they both have it right (Obama is pro-choice, but stated he would encourage and support mothers so they feel they can choose to carry their babies to term). Losing a child is a terrible thing. I lost my second child to a late miscarriage. Both of these men recognize though that people find themselves in desperate situations, and it is not anybody else’s business to interfere with their choices. The best answers are ones that support the mother.

          3. Jesse

            @Lambert

            His claim was that marijuana legalization alone was the reason the youth support him (i.e. “can be explained by his predisposition to legalizing marijuana”), which leaves no room for issues like war and peace, corruption, etc. In addition, the emphasis of his comment seemed to be more dismissive (they want to smoke weed) than analytical (they think the war on drugs is a destructive policy).

          4. Frank Speaking

            wow—that is it?

            not a word on the duplicity over a woman’s right to choose?

            I believe that is game over.

          5. Jesse

            @Frank

            I’m not sure what you mean. The comment I took issue with was your incorrect claim regarding Paul’s support among the youth. If you don’t support Paul’s anti-abortion views and that’s a high priority for you, then, by all means, don’t support the candidate. Just don’t lazily mischaractize his supporters and other people that support portions of his platform. There’s already plenty of that to go around.

        2. Elizabeth

          Love this youthful optimism. But why do we assume that changing marijuana laws is an agenda “skewed young”? I’ve never heard any of my young friends mention it, and all the people I know who have a “stash” are over 50. I’m sure they’re still smoking it on college campuses, but do the kids consider it a political issue? We don’t really know that.

      1. Lambert Strether

        I don’t mind the Jill Stein refernces, but my personal preference would to see topically related Stein quotes woven into the thread, rather than constant link dropping. Could be just me….

        1. Aquifer

          I realize you are tired of them, having seen a few by now, but i have realized that given a lack of media attention for whatever reason, this is going to be a long slog, one soul at a time, and I have also learned not to assume that dropping a link once on a thread is enough to introduce all the folks on it to it. I read just about all posts – many folks don’t.

          But the other point is – I think it is important to hear the candidate in their own words and in their own context. I waded through so much “what Obama said” crap in ’08 to know that a lot of what folks said he said he either didn’t say or said in a different context. Listen to the candidate – they will convince you or they won’t. I don’t pretend to be an “expert” on Jill Stein. Too many candidates, IMO, have been falsely raised or skewered by “supporters”. My point is not to “interpret” the fine points but to suggest (nay, plead perhaps) that others understand there are other and, IMO, better choices and the time for making them is long overdue ….

          1. EH

            just paste something relevant, at least. blind links to front pages are useless in a discussion, because they are only an exit.

      2. Jill

        Th3T1ck,

        Obama is not pro-choice. You must pay attention to details with Obama. He has denied the poorest, most sick women access to even buying abortion coverage. Congress did not force him to do this, he did it on his own.

        Now think about that. If you would deny even the ability to purchase abortion coverage to the most vulnerable women in society you are not pro-choice. You are pro hoping that your supporters won’t know you did this, or won’t care about it. A person who cares about women’s rights would never have done such a thing.

        This is like Obama’s FISA vote. The FISA vote showed Obama was a corporate lackey, pro the surveillance state, and a liar. You must pay attention to what Obama does, not what he says. By denying the most vulnerable women access to abortion coverage, he is telling you about who he really is.

        I see that many “progressive”, “liberal” women simply refuse to grapple with this reality.

    2. Westcoastliberal

      Couldn’t agree more, Marianne. I supported and voted for Obama but he has proven not to bring any of the Hope & Change he promised. He folded on health care reform and we gained no ground with what he purports as his “signature” legislation. He picked the wrong economic advisers and as a result millions are suffering. To cap it off, after promising to veto NDAA, he signed it into law. This is unacceptable.
      I too, disagree with Dr. Paul on many points, but his unwavering stand on liberty, ending the Fed, bringing home the troops, increased responsiblity to the states and smaller Federal government, will capture my vote should be become the GOP nominee. I have never voted for ANY Republican to date.
      It’s my opinion many of us who supported Obama will switch to Ron Paul in seeking the “Hope and Change” we hunger for.

      1. Aquifer

        Please, check out your other options before you commit to a libertarian Rep – this is not time to support a member, ANY member, of the duopoly, there hasn’t been a time for that for decades ..

        http://www.jillstein.org

        (sorry Lambert, what else can I do? i don’t have enough money to buy a TV ad, or a page in the Times or a billboard on Broadway, or an anchor on TV … and RP is getting all sorts of free publicity …)

    3. rotter

      The ONLY reason for anyone on the left to support paul are the anti-imperialist noises hes made. period.Other than that it is absurd to expect him to behave any differently than a democrat or republican would. Those on “the left” like Greenwald, and Jane Hamsher who have extended a hand to libertarians (and paul calls himself one) have done so because like A.(Greenwald)- The war and civil rights issues are more improtant to them than fundamental philisophical and economic principles, or B.(Hamsher)- They just hate democrats that much and hope to help deliver electoral embarrasments.
      Both positions are self defeating for Leftists. War, the new police state america and imperialism writ large and in the context of the modern global economy, exist because they uphold and support the global capitalist economic regime. Economic “regime change” and fighting for foundational leftist Priciples are the only real way to threaten wars of empire and police state right abuses. Attack the class that makes those abuses necessary rather than each individual atrocity. And the partisan hate thing is a compete waste of time. Electoral politcs are a sham and fraud so play electoral political games is useless.

      1. Maximilien

        “The ONLY reason for anyone on the left to support paul are the anti-imperialist noises hes made.”

        Hold on there, rotter. The ONLY reason? How about, say, the fact that Paul is a constitutionalist? That he believes the Constitution should be observed? That he thinks that the federal government has usurped states’ powers? That these powers should be returned to the states?
        I see no reason why someone on the left cannot support this position.

        http://www.examiner.com/independent-in-salt-lake-city/ron-paul-s-misunderstood-views-on-heroin-and-prostitution

        1. rotter

          Nonsense. everyone who believes in the rule of law is a “constituionalist”. However I dont believe we should read the constitution as if it were the revealed word of God, as some “strict constructionist” “constitutionlaist” apparently do. To keep my reply to your reply simple though, quote my whole sentence, all the way to the end where is said its absurd to expect Paul to behave any differently than a, well, than the entrenched, long time, well connected, big-money-captive, washington politician he is. Anyone who believes Paul would be substantively different than any of his collegaues in the Senate, is being delusional.Deliberately, obtuse in the name of some make believe fantasy. stop playing in the electoral political rottiserie leauge.

  2. propertius

    Excellent post, Yves!

    One does have to wonder if, between the 2012 gender-baiting right-wing opportunists and the 2008 race-baiting right-wing opportunists (e.g., Kos), there are any actual progressives in the public sphere at all anymore.

    As for pseudo-progressive Quislings, I still think the current President has to take the cake.

      1. ratso

        OK, ya got me. I watched it. I hope she fills in the blanks a bit. Snowbal’s chance, yadda yadda, but it’ll make voting worthwhile.

  3. NickJ

    I was wondering whether the idea was to out Greenwald? The gay living in brazil thing? I knew about neither, nor do I need to, but perhaps the hope was to diminish one of their most effective critics in some peoples eyes?

    1. Fraud Guy

      Glenn’s been open on that point for years, so unless someone is claiming that they’re just shocked that there’s gambling going on, I would hope no.

    2. tom allen

      LOL. Outing Greenwald as gay. Why, next you’ll be claiming he’s white! And a man!

      I keep forgetting that no matter how many times he, or I, publicly mention our sexual orientation, nobody really gives a damn. :-P

  4. psychohistorian

    Thanks for the posting even though it makes me feel fairly ignorant. I have been a long time user of Raw Story and until this latest upgrade of the web site I thought they were a good source for obscure news items. Since the latest web site upgrade they have narrowed their coverage and lost my interest more and more….and now this.

    Maybe it will be a Richardson/Paul 2012 3rd party ticket?

    Given the sort of money we are seeing being displayed in this early “election” kabuki, it wouldn’t surprise me to see a more fractured presidential election than possibly ever.

    This election is going to explore the power of TV propaganda at a totally new level of obfuscation. Will heads really start exploding from too much cognitive dissonance or will increases in madness ensue? I read somewhere today about Santorum equating the original US motto of E Pluribus Unum with Christianity………I encourage readers to go find his specific wording to get the latest example of twisted language logic of pre-teen 21 Century American politics. After you lose rule-of-law does functional use of language come next?

    1. gruff

      According to Orwell the disappearance of functional use of language and rule of law go hand in hand.

      1. Tim

        Hence
        “Boys and Girls” becomes “children”,
        “Men and Women” becomes “People”,
        Policeman and Policewoman becomes “Police officers”,
        “A good man” and “a good woman” becomes “a good person”…

        the list goes on and on, all enforced by the
        NYT Stylebook and the willing complicity of men and women working in journalism to co-opt and weaken our English language.

        1. wunsacon

          If I’m inferring your political point correctly, then it seems to me your examples undercut your argument.

        2. frank revelo

          So they already had political correctness back in 1789 when the United States Constitution was written: “We the people” rather than “We the Men and Women”?

  5. Jesse

    Well done, Yves. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around this; I was completely ignorant of Carpentier’s background. I guess my question would be, “Why?” Being a prominent right-wing blogger/personality seems to be much more lucrative than being a left-wing one. Why pose as a progressive? Just seems too convoluted.

    1. RalphR

      Why would someone quit being a lobbyist to be a writer/editor? There is already a lot that doesn’t square.

      1. Eureka Springs

        Perhaps you are missing the value to monied interests this form of identity kettling provides. Divide and conquer maintenance services… the last thing many on both sides want is a revolt or merging of libertarian to progressives types on issues which they agree.

        Lobbying, editing, what’s the difference here? Probably just the size of the paycheck. It’s not as if control of the media/message is not part of their ongoing criminal enterprises. My next question would be who funds Raw Story?

        1. Jill

          Eureka Springs,

          You ask the same question I have about Raw Story and other “progressive sites” such as alternet and Common Dreams. I notice that these sites spend most of their time attacking Republicans and very little time having an honest discussion about what is happening in our nation. I don’t believe in accidents. I am really grateful to Yves for finding out this information.

          To Obama supporters writing here:

          If you are against voting for a racist, you cannot vote for Obama. He is also a racist. He is not pro-choice and he “struggles” with equality for the LBGT community. If these are the basis of your arguments against Paul, then you need to apply these same arguments to your own candidate. You cannot logically vote for either person.

          May I suggest Rocky Anderson, Jill Stein or Buddy Roemer for your consideration?

        2. Elizabeth

          Identity politics. From Christopher Lasch, “The Culture of Narcissism,” 1979:

          “The delusion that street theater represented the newest form of guerrilla warfare helped to ward off an uneasy realization that it represented no more than a form of self-promotion, by means of which the media stars of the left brought themselves to national attention with its concomitant rewards. . . . to play up to the ‘relevant audience’ of black and third-world militants, to which the white left and become unduly sensitive and which it desperately wanted to impress with its revolutionary machismo. The rhetoric of black power corrupted the white left and the black left alike, substituting a politics of the media for the civil rights struggles earlier waged in deadly earnest in the South. As the black power rhetoreticians co-opted the cvil rights movement, they also captivated white liberals who sought to appease the guilt associated with ‘white skin privilege’ by adopting the gestures and language of black militancy. Both whites and blacks embraced radical style in place of radical substance. . . . Acting out fantasies does not end repressions . . . it merely dramatizes the permissible limits of antisocial behavior. . . . these radicals had so few practical results to show for their sacrifices that we are driven to conclude that they embraced radical politics in the first place not because it promised practical results but because it served as a new mode of self-dramatization.”

          I wonder if it’s fair to conclude that identity politics itself is an invention of the powerful to subvert any practical change in the world. Easy as pie: They just use our narcissism against us. So much easier to appear to be an anti-racist, anti-sexist “radical” than to actually be one.

          In fact, in a recent visit to a working group at OWS, someone read aloud a warning that the number 1 method of infiltrators is to relate everything to racism, no matter how tenuous the connection. Clever. No useful work ever gets done after that gets brought up.

          Ditto for sexism. Flashback, summer of 1985, being called on the carpet by all the lesbians in a discussion group for using the word “girl.” The world was not saved that day, but some riot girls got their rocks off.

    2. patricia

      Some people act from the “lucrative” stance, but corruption doesn’t occur solely via money-for-me.

      Some people are masters at knowing “which way the winds blow” and work to respond in concert with it. They are looking for approval and acceptance. Some people are commissioned to undermine the “enemy camp”— commissions which come in several ways. They are idealists of a peculiar sort, and also interested in power itself. Some people are just plain confused while at the same time having some skills of leadership, and they vacillate without understanding.

      It is best not attribute to “them”, whoever “they” are at any given moment, one-size-fits-all motives. It makes it more difficult to discern what’s going on, of course. But the extra effort helps our own cognition be more nimble and broad, so it’s actually useful.

      On the other hand, people usually do things for only a few reasons—the options are not endless.

    3. Valissa

      Political parties and special interest groups have “operatives” that can act in many different clandestine ways to push the interests if whichever group they represent. Not a fan of Alex Jones but he’s right that there’s a war on for people’s minds, and it’ an intense propraganda war. But many people still don’t recognize what this means and want to continue to trust and believe the people around them who claim to be members of the same tribe/political group/special interest group.

  6. Jessica

    One aspect of what is going on here is that the fruits of earlier critical thinking are turned into today’s dogma and used as sledgehammers against current critical thinking.
    It is similar to the way that many are educated in the results of science (technology) but fewer are capable of actual scientific thinking (=critical thought).
    In the both cases, what is missing is the capacity to change course, to re-align to new realities or newly noticed realities. Error correction in the sense that it is used in digital data.
    This is a problem that is widespread in society now.
    Of course, the problem is not just this mental hardening of the arteries. The insights that are turned into unchangeable dogmas work to the benefit of certain groups at the expense of everyone else. That is why they are given so much support. (If course, some ideas that are particularly useful to the most powerful were bullshit from the get go, not live insights turned into dead dogma.)

    1. lexicon

      Raw milk? Okaayy.

      Re drugs, someone said back in 2009 that illicit drug moneys were a vital source of liquidity for major banks during the TARP period. Last month the NYT does a page one story saying that the FBI was laundering cartel money as a means of infiltrating the drug gangs, but for some reason they hadn’t, after several years, quite gotten around to arresting anyone. What a coinkydink, eh?

      An end to the War on Drugs would, obviously, greatly inconvenience the police depts and prison industry, but isn’t it fairly obvious that drug money is a vital component of our national economy?

  7. Middle Seaman

    This post fails to wake me up from my political coma that was caused by the fast disappearance of progressives and the easy foreseeable disaster called Obama and the support he got from these progressives.

    Greenwald opposes the killing of Muslim kids (and rightly so), but he fully supports the killing of Israeli kids. Since when is that not reactionary? The writings of Pollit, Carpentier and Greenwald are nothing but noise. They have no effect of the fast disappearing left or the fast detroirating right.

    Paul is right to be against wars, for protection of civil liberties and may be some control of the Fed. Other than that, he offers the regular right wing menu of disgusting ideas.

    It’s amazing that we even spend time on Paul or Obama. We have the unemployed, the poor, the undocumented, the endless wars and many other issues to worry about.

    1. sleepy

      Do you have any specific reference for your statement that Greenwald has supported the killing of Israeli kids?

    2. patricia

      I have not seen one sign that Greenwald supports killing any kids, much less that he “fully supports the killing of Israeli kids.” However, when there are 10,000 Muslim children being murdered for every 1 Israeli child, it is understandable that he would focus on condemning the powers that are killing 10,000. Focusing on the worst doesn’t thereby mean that one believes the lesser to be ok.

      “It’s amazing that we even spend time on Paul or Obama.” It is unfortunate that the position of President of the United States carries too much power to make national and global decisions that affect the unemployed, poor, undocumented, endless war, etc. It’s particularly unfortunate that the position has been co-opted by the corrupt “elite” so that we actually have no voice anymore. That is the issue at hand.

      But I agree that those who spend all their time/effort on this abysmal state-of-affairs, are ignoring their own local responsibility to unemployed, poor, etc, etc.

      You might appreciate Arthur Silber’s harangues on these issues. http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/

    3. Jane Doe

      You are lying.

      The problem with the left is that they ask you for proof, and all that other kind of jazz. I get what they are doing that. They want to seem reasonable and fair.

      I am a different breed of the left. I follow the op ed work of Greenwald. I k now you are lying. I am not going to ask you for proof. I am just going to call you what you are: A liar.

      Which is ironic given the article written above is precisely about your sort of distortion and lying being the operative way right wingers, which is what you are, try to manipulate the rest of us.

  8. Lafayette

    PROGRESSIVE REFORM OF AMERICA

    YS: “progressive” is in the process of being co-opted in the same way “liberal” has been): that the Democratic party has been so deeply penetrated by the neoliberal/Robert Rubin/Hamilton Project types that it isn’t that different from the right on economic issues.

    All the progressives in Congress are part of the Democrat Progressive Congress. From WikiP:

    All members are members of the Democratic Party or caucus with the Democratic Party. There are currently 81 total declared Progressives including 77 voting Representatives, two non-voting Delegates, and one Senator.

    Lone-Ranger Bernie Sanders is the ONLY Senator in the caucus.

    I never tire of maintaining that no real reform can come to America until this caucus starts hefting more weight in Congress.

    And no better time to start that than next November. We, the sheeple, could begin with ridding the Democrat Party of its BlueDogs.

    MY POINT

    Reforming America will take at least a decade – or three terms of a presidency. (Obama once more and Hilary for two would do the job.) But only if the PotUS were bolstered by a Progressive Majority in both chambers of Congress.

    The odds of that happening are remote. Because, though progressive like bitching-in-a-blog, militating for change (meaning getting their hands real dirty) is not their cup o’ tea party …

    1. Ray Phenicie

      Please demonstrate to me-besides quoting WikiPedia- that The Obama (brand name X) and The Hillary (brand name kinda like X) whould move the country towards a progressive state of affairs. You stated another term of the Obama would wash out the stains of oppression (if poetical license may be applied to what you said); we should do this
      -so the USA Patriot act can be draped over the scales of justice and we may all be imprisoned if a short term resident of the Oval Office so decides?
      -so the printing presses of the U. S. Treasury may become the exclusive domain of the 15 largest Squid Vampire Banks-as opposed to merely part time domain as they are now?
      -so 300,000 vets who suffer from the deleterious medical conditions of closed head injuries may continue to vanquish as they have under Bush-Obama snidely care?
      -so millions of households may continue to be sold off down the river of Mortgage Fraud while the Giant Squids prepare to suck blood from another generation of homeowners.
      -so millions may continue to wander through the desert of unemployment or low employment while the Vampire Squids sit on the Fed and feed the might maw of the ever hungry financiers?
      -so , . . . . . . .

  9. michael kranish

    Been following right wing anti-interventionist sites Anti-War.Com and the American Conservative since the Kosovo War.The movement can brange for the truly admirable Andrew Bacevich to awful-Pat Buchanan.
    Ron Paul is a strong advocate of the both property rights and states rights. Most progressives find his support for state rights dangerous and property rights regressive.

    On the key issues of empire and civil liberties, many progressive think his positions are much better than anyone of the so called center. Of course, the center regards anyone opposed to foreign intervention to be members of the isolations fringe or romantic left fringe.

    Alex Cockburn and Justin Raimondo believe there can be some sort of alliance of the paleo right and left anti-interventionists. This alliance might be able to stop the drift towards to a new war in Iran and also halt the erosion of our civil liberties.

  10. Lafayette

    FS: Do I admire the fact that he’s (Paul) articulating an anti-war platform? Yes, but very cautiously and very sadly…

    Pray tell, what “preemptive war”, approved by the UN, did Obama start?

    How many, unapproved by the UN, did the Replicants start? (Four, to my count – Panama, Grenada, Iraq and Afghanistan.)

    What “rebellion”, approved by the UN, did Obama allow the DoD to participate in by means uniquely of logistical assistance, which was crucial to the effort. (Libya)

    And, historically, along those same lines, what revolution could not have been won were it not for a foreign power (the French) who assisted militarily in the conflict? (Ours.)

    1. Parvaneh Ferhadi

      Well, Libya comes to mind. Approved by the U.N. to “protect civilians”, it turned into a slaughter of some 50’000 to 100’000 Libyans – and it’s still not over, but who cares, the oil is flowing again.
      Then there would be the drone strikes in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen, which are completely unauthorised by the U.N. and which he intensified, but which are also a war, the war on terror, to be precise.
      So, in the end, Obama is just the same warmonger as Bush, only difference is that he is more eloquent and has a Noble Peace Price.

      1. Ray Phenicie

        I gather now that folks like Lafayeette are smitten with the wonderfulness of the Nobel Peace Prize winner who continues war mongering, destroys the wealth of the nation so it can be recast as a golden calf for the purveyance of the mighty vampire squid banks and turns his back on millions of unemployed. I have yet to see how the Obama presidencey is one bit different from that of George W Bush Jr except that Mr. Obama has more of his consituency from the inner urban neighborhoods.

      2. Shyster Sister

        Wars of aggression, including pre-emptive wars, are illegal under international law, unless approved by the UN. A nation can’t become a member of the UN if they refuse to sign onto that part of the treaty. This is why you see the ritual of seeking UN approval, or at least some resolution that can be twisted to serve as a figleaf for war.

        If you wonder why the great powers ever agreed to curtail their sovereignty on such a major point, then please remember the UN was founded during WW2. The allies had had enough of lunatic warmongers running amok.

    2. Fiver

      Obama and H. Clinton are every bit as monstrous as Bush. To even attempt to argue otherwise could not be more disingenous.

    3. Eric377

      The Afghanistan Taliban started the latest Afghan war with the United States. The war with Al Queda expanded to their country directly as a result of the Taliban’s policy of knowingly harboring and protecting a group at war with our country. George Bush was the President at that moment, sure, but this country was – and largely remains – unified in going after Al Qaeda.

  11. F. Beard

    and “Ron Paul calls for spending cuts before hurricane relief” Yves Smith

    If this is true, then RP is an economic ignoramus.

    Still, I’ll probably vote for him. A President should have the correct ideas but a good character is essential (How can one possibly vote for a liar when the fate of all liars is the Lake of Fire?).

    I expect that a person with good character can learn (by definition?) so I’ll probably hold my nose too and vote for RP.

    As for racism and homophobia, I think RP’s libertarian views (for better or worse) trump those. Thus he would oppose public segregation but fully support the right to privately discriminate. In practice though, private discrimination is probably an obsolete concern since it is decidedly unpopular and would be a foolish business decision.

    Heaven help us.

    1. patricia

      Honestly, F Beard, you take the cake on the religious stuff. (Which is quite different than the faith itself, by the way.) You write: “How can one possibly vote for a liar when the fate of all liars is the Lake of Fire?” First of all, within your perspective, the Lake of Fire occurs after whatever the liar does, so it’s not relevant. Second, liars are not the only people who are corrupt—ignorant authoritarians carry corruption, people who are idealists in a belief- system that is uselessly narrow carry corruption, people who take no stand at all carry corruption, people who take leadership for the power that it gives them are corrupt. A person may be of “good character” and yet be completely lost.

      Your kind of religion carries little nuance, but truth is full of nuance. That you maintain a broad creative mind in spite of your religion, is likely the grace of God in spite of your beliefs. I am glad, because you are obviously much better than your religion.

      And yes, heaven help us. If it will. We are in desperate need.

      1. Frank Speaking

        the sin of Sodom—for which it was destroyed—had nothing to do with the sexual practices of its inhabitants but because its inhabitants were very wealthy, horded their wealth and scoffed at the notion of doing good works with that wealth.

        1. Mansoor H. Khan

          Frank Speaking,

          “doing good works with that wealth”.

          Well said. They way to serve God is to serve man. Money and Markets are being worshipped in our world. Both need to be balanced by judgement and mercy.

          Judgement is needed because markets are “approximate” (untility maximizing). Judgement corrects the injustices of the markets. Justice and Mercy raise the spirit of a community which increases cooperation and creatvity and thus lifts all boats.

          mansoor h. khan

        2. patricia

          In the story, the critical problem with the Sodomites, wealthy or poor, homo- or hetero-, was that they didn’t give a crap about anything but their own pleasure and power. Lot was terrified of them. From behind locked doors, he actually offered his daughters to placate their demands to “have” his visitors. But they didn’t want his daughters—they were looking for fresh meat. Disgusting behavior all around. Moral of the tale: Rampant sociopathy must be stopped.

      2. F. Beard

        That you maintain a broad creative mind in spite of your religion, is likely the grace of God in spite of your beliefs. patricia

        What religion? I read the Bible is all and try to practice some of what it teaches.

        But yes, it is the grace of God that sustains me. I don’t see what else could.

        1. patricia

          I quibble with the way you see/use the Bible, as if it contains all truth and as if it can be literally applied everywhere to everything. It is a collection of stories, poems, and essays written by humans long ago, about some of God’s nature and activities. Books are frail and imperfect instruments. To see them otherwise is to mistake the books themselves for God.

          If one would be so ridiculous and brave as to believe in a God, one would notice that God reveals Him/Her self everywhere, and sometimes in the most unexpected places. The great curious adventure is to discover where He/She may be found, not to press into a small ancient text the beginning/end of God.

          You needn’t do it at this site, to make points. Your creative thinking belies you and it is in your thinking that God shows.

          Sorry about the off-topic. That’s all. Best to you, F Beard.

          1. Mansoor H. Khan

            Patricia,

            “You needn’t do it at this site, to make points. Your creative thinking belies you and it is in your thinking that God shows.”

            Well, Islam disagrees with you. Word is important. God said BE and “universe was created” (the computer science word of instantiated is a better word because he did think about what is wanted and there are possibilities can happen but won’t because it did not will them).

            It is imporant to god concious at all times in word and in deed and in speech and yes we do need to notice his handiwork everywhere (nature, laws physics, human pshychology, etc.). Everything is consistent, inter-dependend, related, complementary and has a reason. Everything (from big bang to the banking collapse) says there is a right and wrong and it goes back to one source.

            It is so wonderful so see a creative, bright, extremely logical person and extremely knowledgeable to acknowledge the creator and his lordship in all things.

            mansoor h. khan

          2. patricia

            Mansoor: If you think everything that is Allah is contained inside the Koran, then you disagree with me, of course. Which would make your particular Allah a very small god indeed, one who fits well within the stifling strictures of legalistic religion. But you show that you don’t believe that. Therefore I do not understand your disagreement.

          3. Mansoor H. Khan

            patricia,

            Yes. Allah exists everywhere (so does bhagwan or buddha, etc). But clarity for the most important question in life is what the scripture deals with. When appropriate it is ok to refer to the scripture to clarify. And where direct support exists for the problem at hand (like usury) it even makes more sense to bring it up.

            faith is a fragile thing for most people. And needs to protected and promoted and re-enforced in prayers (inward private prayes and publicly dispalyed prayers), thoughts, speech, word and blogging. inshallah that is what i try to do.

            also, it is important to deliver the message (without being too obnoxious) in small subtle ways. That is how the direction of our current the world civilization will change.

            mental models (beliefs) shape thoughts and words > mental models are either re-inforced or un-reinforced by actions and obeservations > actions create a civilization > civilizations going in wroing direction WILL go over cliff

            mansoor h. khan

          4. patricia

            Mansoor: Yeah, I know. And sure, a faith’s scriptures provide structures for its believers. But scriptures and religious ceremonies are ever only a guide and not a substitution.

            Moreover, in this grand world, people discover truths in many different ways. People of faith believe that there is a God of truth who made it all. Fine. But dragging arcane religious passages into a context such as this site, to “prove” the point, is off-putting to all except the few who may have delved into those scriptures.

            If, in searching after truths, people become interested in the mystery behind the truths, various faiths and their respective scriptures are readily available.

            Best to you. I’m off to a meeting.

    2. cwaltz

      Economic ignoramus is putting it mildly.

      The fact that he isn’t all nuanc-y may make some of the progressive cabal swoon but he strikes me as someone with dementia.

      But but but he’s anti war. Yes, and he also believes the UN is a global conspiracy to create one world government.

      He’s a loon.

    1. Fiver

      Is it possible to disagree with you and not be a cultist, conspiracy nut, rubbish dispenser, useful idiot?

      1. Piano Racer

        I’m glad I’m not the only one to notice Phil’s venomous, ad-hominem style of writing, or the only one to find it deplorable and a black mark on Yves’ good judgement.

        I assume we are agreement on this, correct me if otherwise :)

  12. Mattski

    When blacks suffer twice the unemployment and nearly two times the foreclosure rate of whites, when black men make 55 cents for every white man’s dollar, putting that issue (continuing inequality) ahead of others makes more than a little sense. That “sorry black folks” is so condescending as to make the rest of Carnell’s comment–only excerpted here–pretty hard for this (white) man who grew up in a civil rights household to see.

    Much of the middle class half of black America is now so structurally and culturally distant from the poor half that the only thing uniting them is color–and either we agree that that means little or we agree on nothing at all.

    Yes, Greenwald has been misconstrued by alarmist liberals. But pointing out the manifold dangers in Paul’s white supremacist ideology hardly makes you a quisling. The dividing line, I would suggest, should fall between policy establishment liberals who accept the basic murderous assumptions of US militarism and dominance, the military industrial state, and those who oppose it. (The notion of “liberal” we inherit derives from the class demand of a rising bourgeois elite for economic freedom, so we really shouldn’t be surprised by this, and nor is the word–in a historical regard–being co-opted; but who has time for history? Liberals, in a word, always did it backward and in high heels.)

    The isolationism of certain factions of the Republican right did not make them our allies in the past and it does not now. And–in fact–to seek such people out as “allies” is to make the usual mistake of looking on high for salvation, to some perforce temporary alliance among ruling class leaders rather than to the working people who have been seduced to support reactionary pols against their own interests. But organizing them is harder work, and no wonk seems to want it. They’d rather make fun of their bad taste, or their funny Southern accents.

    1. jimmyj

      Nobody is perfect and Naked Capitalism is proving it with their tentative kiss-fest with Paul. We get it that he is bringing up stuff that nobody else will. Its been his shtick for a while now. Its what he doesnt say about his positions and views when the cameras are on him that make us define him as a crazy racist whore for unfettered and completely unregulated capitalism. And as a black person myself, I gotta say that VERY few of us are Ron Paul fans. Especially among those of us who like to think we know better. I know its not a good thing to speak for the peeps, but i gotta say I’ve met about maybe 3 fellow black people in my life who would give Paul the time of day. And that was before his old newsletters made the news again. And it comes down to the fact that, even with our lower education levels, due to the prison/industrial complex, War on Drugs, etc, etc (or if you are libertarian – cause we just dont try hard enough – and why should the government take YOUR hard earned money for our welfare benefits!) we can still spot an old Texas racist who is barely sophisticated enough not to mention what he REALLY thinks about the darker peoples of the world. Just curious, but how come you guys don’t talk up the Greens or the Socialists. Anybody except Ron Paul. That man will always be a non-starter with me, and every other black person I know. Even ones like myself who consider Obama and the Dems quite wretched.

      1. Mattski

        Hey, someone I could have a conversation with!

        The fact that the neo-Paulites do not discern the vile and nativist “Don’t Tread On Me” strain of Jacksonian ugly that animates most of his followers is scary in itself. And let’s not even start with where the selfish narcissism of the (Ayn) Randian knucklehead plugs into THAT.

        It’s not really SO hard to note that Paul is saying bring the troops home, if for all the wrong reasons, and leave it at that, especially when he has no problems with stringing up poor people at home. Tempest in a liberal teapot.

        Now you want to get into how Obama has become the black figurehead of a racist global enterprise, THEN we can have a fruitful conversation. But we don’t seem to be going there.

      2. Eureka Springs

        The main reason I don’t talk about Greens or Socialists even though I will most likely vote for one of the two in November is because this is primary season and to my knowledge there will be no battle for party nominations on the ballot except in the Republican party. In Arkansas we have an open primary…. it would, imo, be best for many dems, socialist greens, to ‘help’ the republicans out by voting for Paul.

        Since jobs are not on the D party agenda, and more neoliberal austerity is… I really have to wonder why more African Americans are not considering what a game changer Paul trying to end the war on drugs could be?

      3. BullPasture

        “And it comes down to the fact that, even with our lower education levels, due to the prison/industrial complex, War on Drugs, etc, etc”, the ironic thing is that Ron Paul agrees with you here. He is the only candidate that has pointed out that the War On Drugs is racist in origin and racist in effect, and persists solely because it is very profitable for portions of the ruling class. I’m white so you may choose to disregard the following. I don’t believe that Ron Paul is even slightly racist. Even if he is, if he is pledged to terminate the racist War On Drugs which destroys so many african american lives, isn’t he worth some consideration? Obama may not be a racist but he is vigorously prosecuting a racist internal war on f=drugs.

        1. jimmyj

          First of all, every lefty -not liberal, but lefty- worth a damn has been talking about these things forever. Its just that their voices never make it above the filter that the MSN has placed upon such issues. That they allow these things to be spoken publicly only by a true troglodyte such as Paul makes one wonder about a great many things. But another time for that. For now lets say that it is curious that there just happens to be an establishment-acceptable, in house (for the two-party system, that is) receptacle for one’s protest vote. Sure he talks big about ending the drug war and putting a stop to our imperialism abroad, two things that any committed leftist holds near and dear. But seriously. He doesnt have a chance in hell of getting the nomination, no matter how many Paultards and fair-weather hippies team up to throw their vote away. What it does do is keep all discontent with the two-party system effectively corralled and sucks the life away from the development of alternate parties and strategies. So me glomming on to some batshit racist congressman from Batshit,TX just cause, stopped clock-esque, he is dead on about a couple of things would be a bit short sighted on my part. And thats not just the black guy in me talking.

          1. Petey B.

            >>> What it [Ron Paul's semi-mainstream candidacy] does do is keep all discontent with the two-party system effectively corralled and sucks the life away from the development of alternate parties and strategies

            Bingo! That’s what it’s all about.

            And if that’s not convincing enough, everyone should go read Ron Paul’s plan to restore America. It’s on his website, it’s like 4 or 5 pages, easy to understand. He plans to get rid of any government programs that take from the rich and give to the poor or disadvantaged (taking us back to the non-stop pure capitalist prosperity of the late 1800′s) That’s his #1 mission. And, something he is capable of accomplishing, in part at least, by dismantling much of the executive branch of federal government. If he does get elected the current semi-right-wing Democrat/Republican policies will look completely sane in comparison.

            I honestly think this blog has beat the Ron Paul story to death. Time to move on, and find someone who is serious about making things better for the majority of Americans. the 99% if you will.

          2. Thomas_M

            “One by one, they fall for Ron Paul, as they fell for Barack Obama.”

            You are correct.

            Prediction: Ron Paul will be used as a “spoiler” by the political engineers to hand Matt Romney the Republican nomination; from there, Obama a second term in the November election.

            “One by one, they fall for Ron Paul, as they fell for Barack Obama.”

            The “New Left” was centered in anti-war opposition to Vietnam, but its larger focus was that of societal reform: of the economic system, the industrial state, and core materialistic values of Americans. To Ron Paul (or Mises), individuals are atomic particles detached from each other whose sole responsibility is to “self”. The expression of self is to be conducted through monetary exchanges, consumerism and the marketplace. If anyone represents NEOLIBERAL pure capitalism, and an unregulated, unfettered marketplace, it is Ron Paul.

            If that is what so-called “leftists” support, they are not leftists. But the “New Left” left in the mid-70′s to join the silent majority.

            Most assuredly, the motto of Libertarianism is not “Make Love, Not War”.

            It is “Live and Let Die”.

          3. F. Beard

            The expression of self is to be conducted through monetary exchanges, … jimmyj

            Actually, a government enforced gold standard is the (hypocritical) desire of most of them.

            They claim to worship liberty but the reality is that most of them worship gold and usury (the so-called “time preference for money”).

          4. Aquifer

            “What it does do is keep all discontent with the two-party system effectively corralled and sucks the life away from the development of alternate parties and strategies”

            Bingo! And this is so obvious to me that i can’t help wondering why the folks who are participating in this RP brouhaha don’t see it …

          5. ScottS

            @jimmyj,

            You’ve articulated my sense of Ron Paul exactly. If he’s a true third-party choice, why isn’t he running as one? Not even as a Tea Party party-within-a-party. If he’s Libertarian, why isn’t he running as one?

            On a general note, why can’t we have national referenda? We could break Ron Paul’s policies out into individual policies and take an up-or-down vote on them. I think there’s enough popular support to end the wars (literal as well as metaphorical wars on nouns) without the gold-buggery.

          6. M

            jimmyj – thank god somebody got around to saying the things you just said, I was getting worried.

            This is mostly a blog about finance and economics. Can we talk about Ron Paul’s horrendous positions on economics issues?

            I really do wonder why more people here are not talking about socialist or green candidates. Why is the choice being framed as one between Ron Paul and Barack Obama?

          7. Aquifer

            M,

            That is a question i have been asking for some time – if the concern is about critiquing Obama from the left, why are we using RP to do that? Why not Jill Stein, the Green? You will get a much more comprehensive attack from her than from him, and a much better series of solutions to boot …

          8. proximity1

            Precisely. Those who do not, will not, or cannot understand the simple points you’re clearly setting out are people so obtuse, so blind to the first principles of political affairs, that they cannot reconize it when they are made dupes and patsies by others, more politically-sophisticated, who make them their ready, willing prey.

            Exhibit A:

            (Yves writes) “Obama NEEDS heat from the left, and if perversely Ron Paul can elevate the importance of the left (which Obama has set out quite deliberately to neuter) so much the better.”

            But desperate Leftists’ flirting with Ron Paul is not “heat from the left” nor is there any reason to suppose that Neo-neo-conservative, Barrack Obama, would interpret it that way. Obama, for all his disgusting faults, is smart enough to understand and say to himself, that “anyone who would publicly flirt with Ron Paul just to try and pressure me will in the end vote for me, his or her ‘only choice’ “. And Obama has already demonstrated that he writes off those who fall to the Left of that bright line. Ron Paul, for his part, does nothing to “elevate the importance of the left”. Instead, he takes the perverse (and desperate) interest in him on the part of some who are would-be Leftists, but are orphaned by the U.S. political system’s fake “two-party-system” and uses it to his own advantage. That is all. People who cannot recognize this are on a par, when it comes to political sophistication, with those adults who are a danger to themselves.

          9. BullPasture

            Speaking of batshit crazy it is hard to figure out what point you are trying to make If you have to put labels on people I suppose right would fit me better than left. But the labels are stupid and work to divide people. I think you would agree with that but it is difficult to discern. You complain that the MSM is stifling your message but then excoriate someone that you agree with (at least on some things) who is doing more to advance the message than anyone else. Do you object because he manages to achieve some success at making his points?

            As for the Greens and Socialists I have far too many disagreements with them to bridge the gap. But would be willing to work with them on the things we agree on. The War on Drugs and Imperialism are two of them and they certainly don’t fit neatly into any left/right label.

      4. nowhereman

        Here we go again.
        Some people have a difficult time understanding that niether NC nor Glenn Greenwald endorse Ron Paul.
        What they are pointing out is the hypocrisy of progressives.
        When a Libertarian Republican Presidential Canadate can out left the left on issues supposedly sacred to liberals, there is truly something amiss.
        Yet, cognitive dissonance prevents otherwise intelligent people from examining their position on the very issues that are tantamount to the survival of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
        My heart aches for the ignorant.

        1. Mattski

          Did you mean to address your post to myself of the first respondent? Neither of us, from what I can tell, thinks Greenwald is endorsing Paul. I specifically noted he was being misconstrued but defended the right to criticize Paul anyway, on most every ground but his (strategic) isolationism.

          Your hand-wringing and pity for the rest of us benighted boobs reeks of silly.

        2. Aquifer

          Perhaps another thing that people have a difficult time understanding is that when you continually raise an individual’s name for discussion, in whatever capacity, that individual is getting press – “the only bad press is no press” when you are trying to get a message out.

          So, whether folks “intend to” or not, this continuous defense of RP’s views in whatever capacity, becomes support for RP as the, how is it being put,”the only champion of these views out there.” Let us be clear on that.

          Now if that were true one might argue for continuing in this vein in the name of “intellectual honesty”, but it is patently UNTRUE. Time and again i have put up the name of another candidate – Jill Stein – who could make progs happy re the wars and the banks as well as re social safety net programs.

          It amazes me when time and again I read critiques of both parties, yet these same folk critiquing will, time and again, discuss these parties, ad nauseum, because, sigh, sigh, alas and alack, they are the “only” choices we have, to the exclusion of others. But they haven’t been the only choices for some time now. So why don’t folks make other choices?

          If the folks on here really want what they say they want, why is there no discussion of any other? Why is RP picked as the “champion” of getting us out of war, by folks who claim they don’t support him? Sorry folks but this IS a bit schizoid.

          “When a Libertarian Republican Presidential Canadate can out left the left on issues supposedly sacred to liberals, there is truly something amiss.”

          And now we are discussing who is dissing whom and for what reason, and in the process continually pointing out how RP is to “the left”. The left of what, for Pete’s sake? Obama? Well golly gee, what an accomplishment! RP is now the model for the left? Good grief, folks – what the hell is going on here! Something amiss, indeed …

          Again – if the issues Paul raises are what is important to you, then talk about THEM, and talk about other truly progressive alternatives who are/would be champions of the position you take on those issues as well as many others …

          Can’t you see what is happening here? You are being asked to dump social issues down the toilet so you can get a guy who will “stop war” and in the process causing a schism in the left over “whose lives are more important, those at home or those abroad”. The idea that there is another candidate out there you can support without having to make that choice is not discussed nor even allowed to surface. And all the “progressive blogger” lights out there are promoting this division, intentionally or otherwise, by continually throwing RP in our faces. TPTB are wetting their pants with laughter (after a certain age, you can’t help it) – never would even they have dreamed this could work so well to cement their hold on the process. For the first time that discontent with the 2 parties is so high that a 3rd party might have a fighting chance – the progressive media is full of what – Ron Paul!

          I do have a question – RP has been around for ages saying the same things he is now – so how come, all of a sudden, are his positions so much better than Obama’s? Weren’t they better before? Obama’s positions haven’t changed either – newsflash for those who maybe weren’t paying enough attention before ….

          Personal and professional loyalties are wonderful – but folks shouldn’t let them get in the way of admitting that they are wrong or at least misguided. I suspect that a lot of the RP supporters now were Obama supporters then – they have been dissed by their “hero”, and want to get back. RP is a good way to do it, but be careful what you ask for, for you will surely get it – cutting off your nose to spite your face never seemed like a good strategy to me ….

          1. pws4

            I think a lot of this is based on the contrary notion of Paul getting the Republican nomination for President. I not only think that’s unlikely, I think that’s unpossible (to quote Ralph Wiggum).

            Once the Republicans have chosen their guy (spoiler alert: My time travels to the near future show me that’s going to be Mitt Romney), Ron Paul becomes much less interesting. In the mean time, however (an a very mean time it is, too) Ron Paul is just as serious a candidate as any of the occupants of the “Not Mitt Romney” Republican Clown Car, and he’s the only one who will say anything sensible in Nationally Televised Presidential Debates.

            Then he’ll lose, and the media will drop all coverage of him and breath a big sigh of relief as we get ready to vote for Kang or Kodoss, or throw our votes away on a Third Party Candidate. At which point I’ll probably vote for whoever the IWW decides to endorse.

          2. Aquifer

            pws4

            “he’s the only one who will say anything sensible in Nationally Televised Presidential Debates.”

            Well actually if that is true it will only be because, of those who may say something “sensible”, he would be the only one ALLOWED in the debates.

            Nader would have produced some rousing debates – but he, although a legitimate candidate, was kept out. Stein would give you some lickety good debates as well. So instead of expending energy on promoting a member of the duopoly based on being allowed in a debate – why not lobby to open up the debates? If, as you say, Paul, won’t be the Rep. nominee then where is your debate without that 3rd party?

            The debate commission is a private one, staffed by Dems and Reps. The debates used to be run by the League of Women Voters until, so I understand, the parties made such outrageous demands that they said “fuhgeddaboutit!”

            This relentless pushing of RP just for the sake of some potential fireworks in a few debates seems rather short sighted to me ..

          3. patricia

            Aquifer: It is exactly short-sighted, but that is the whole point. In this small frame of time, given the givens, Ron Paul is the only one “allowed” to bring a few fundamental issues into the mainstream. It is useful.

            Moreover, having it mentioned by the MSM is good for Occupy because it echoes a few of the broader issues that Occupy brings forward. This not only lessens the insistent claim that Occupiers are mere socialist hippies but also garnishes some sympathy. This is also useful.

            That it is impossible for so many people to understand these benefits, and that they instead draw huge black/white lines, shows a frightening difficulty in the ability to think. This scares me more than anything else.

            It is obvious that “thinking” is not taught these days. How then can we possibly move forward?

          4. Fiver

            “And all the “progressive blogger” lights out there are promoting this division, intentionally or otherwise, by continually throwing RP in our faces. TPTB are wetting their pants with laughter (after a certain age, you can’t help it) – never would even they have dreamed this could work so well to cement their hold on the process. For the first time that discontent with the 2 parties is so high that a 3rd party might have a fighting chance – the progressive media is full of what – Ron Paul!”

            So-called “progressives” have only themselves to blame for hitching their wagon so blindly to Obama, who by not even atTEMPting to undo the damage Bush had wreaked has inflicted far greater damage to the goals fought for by anyone left of true centre or in the half of the population tossed away economically than W himself. On the night Obama was elected I was in a room full of wet eyes and I was just shaking my head because it was clear to me the minute he hopped on board the bank bailouts without so much as a raised brow that he either had feet of clay or was in Wall Street’s pocket – turns out both.

            Wall Street putting Obama in to effectively neutralize minorities, the disadvantaged broadly and the “left” was a brilliant move – one which is almost certainly good for another 4 years for Bush III.

          5. Aquifer

            Patricia,

            “That it is impossible for so many people to understand these benefits, and that they instead draw huge black/white lines, shows a frightening difficulty in the ability to think. This scares me more than anything else.
            It is obvious that “thinking” is not taught these days. How then can we possibly move forward?”

            Hmmm, well it is possible, is it not, that even if, for the sake of argument (and I do not agree with your 2nd “useful”), your “usefuls” are real, “thinking people” might concede your usefuls but nevertheless object to the means of obtaining them as producing a bad outcome in the long run. I would prefer to sacrifice the minute pleasures of the short run for the long haul, but delayed gratification is not in vogue these days ..

            “It is exactly short-sighted, but that is the whole point.”

            Sigh, you are right (as in correct), and that is precisely the problem, that IS the whole point …

          6. pws (@pws4)

            Unless you are sending Ron Paul money or a Republican primary voter, you aren’t really having an effect on Ron Paul. News sites should cover Ron Paul, because he’s in the news. Talking about him, even suggesting that he’s sensible about the wars, is not the same thing as boosting him.

            I’ll be glad when the Republican Primaries are over and he’s just another irrelevant also ran, and we get ready for four more years of death and destruction at home and abroad.

        3. ScottS

          I get that the left is captured. As a writer here said, “consumer liberalism.”

          Unfortunately, we don’t get to vote on Ron Paul’s platform planks individually. We vote for all of them or none of them. So the debate gravitates toward “I’m for/against Ron Paul” which.

          If the title of this post was “Debate On Middle East Policy Flushes Out Gender-Baiting Right Wing Opportunists Masquerading as Progressives” it would be clearer. As it is, making the post about opposition to Ron Paul conflates (some of) his policies and his candidacy.

      5. ScottS

        @jimmyj

        I’m guessing Yves doesn’t think we’re at the point where we can start talking about green/socialist parties. I think she’s right — that many of the people receptive to progressive ideas are captured by the D’s, who are captured by big business.

        I assume that discussing Ron Paul is a back door into attacking mainstream D policies of claim they’re against war/corruption, then going full-throttle on both (e.g. Obama).

        I don’t think people are ready to deconstruct what Ron Paul is advocating. So far, he’s a package deal — take it or leave it all.

        I’m personally tempted to vote for Ron Paul just because I can’t imagine either establishment party staying around in their current respective forms through a Ron Paul presidency. They would both crumble in the face of needing to debate someone on issues for a change, instead of swiftboating each other.

        Then we could start talking about Greens and Socialists.

        1. Aquifer

          “I’m guessing Yves doesn’t think we’re at the point where we can start talking about green/socialist parties. I think she’s right —”

          Hmmm, are you speaking for her?

          “discussing Ron Paul is a back door into attacking mainstream D policies”

          So it is better to attack the Dems from the Right than from the Left?

          “I’m personally tempted to vote for Ron Paul just because I can’t imagine either establishment party staying around in their current respective forms through a Ron Paul presidency.”

          So you would put us through a RP administration, or 2, for the sake of moving the duopoly out of their current forms? And if that doesn’t work, what other scoundrels are you willing to countenance to get to this desired end? Sounds a bit sadistic, to me …

          “Then we could start talking about Greens and Socialists.”

          Hmmm, seems to me I’ve heard that one before, for decades, now – “Not now, dear, later …” But later never seems to come, now why do you suppose that is?

          Are you ready yet?

          1. ScottS

            As someone who has voted for Ralph Nader election after election with no serious hope of progress in sight, yes, I think throwing a wrench like Ron Paul in the political machinery would do more to move us forward than a sincere vote for a sincere candidate. Let’s destroy the one party with two faces. And electing an outsider like Jill Stein or Ralph Nader would do more to strengthen our one party system.

            Hah, “not now dear” … yeah right. I don’t even agree with those who say blacks and gays should put aside their identity causes and vote for the candidate who would do the most good for the most people. I think the current turmoil stems from middle class whites being treated like a minority class. And it’s about damn time for them to wake up. The kangaroo foreclosure courts has to be what minorities go through on a daily basis. Now I understand the two-tiered legal system.

          2. ScottS

            Also, Yves wrote:

            The world is not black and white. We are using Ron Paul as a foil for demonstrating Obama and Democratic party corruption and hypocrisy.

            And you replied to that exact post hours before you replied to mine. So am I speaking for Yves, or just stating the obvious?

    2. pws4

      If “By his works shall you know him” is the criteria used, Barack Obama is as much of a white supremacist as Ron Paul.

      So, if the choice were between Mitt, Barack and Ron, you’d have your pick of three white supremacists with horrible economic policies, but only one of whom wants to blow up fewer foreign children because of his own odd idiosyncrasies.

      Between Barack Obama and Ron Paul it is no contest, same as between Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. Now, if there were an actual Leftist running who was as prominent as Paul, he or she would be the better choice. But there isn’t.

      However, you aren’t going to be given this choice, Ron Paul won’t be the Republican nominee. Nothing suggests to me that he would seriously consider a third party run, and as a third party candidate he’d be a wash, I think.

      1. Aquifer

        “if there were an actual Leftist running who was as prominent as Paul, he or she would be the better choice. But there isn’t.”

        Why must we restrict ourselves to those “as prominent as Paul”? Doesn’t the MSM/PTB decide who is “prominent”?
        Why restrict you choices to those selected by the MSM/PTB?

        And there are leftist’s running, check out;

        http://www.jillstein.org

        1. pws (@pws4)

          You misunderstand. Ron Paul is never going to be President. We are talking about him because he is prominent, not because he’s electable.

          By all means vote for Jill Stein over Kang and Kodoss!

  13. Klassy!

    Thanks for the link to Carnell’s column. Her point is simple and it is right. She does not need to use a lot of words and her argument is easy to follow. Ms. Pollit’s piece, on the other hand, while not a particularly sohisticated argument, is difficult to follow. What does this tell me about the strength of her argument?
    Is she much different than certain neocons who call out anyone who dares to question Israel’s policies as self loathing Jews?

  14. dcblogger

    Who is Megan Carpentier? She’s currently the executive editor at Raw Story. And reading her salvo at Greenwald, most readers would assume she’s a progressive. She’s hectoring Greenwald from a presumed leftist position.

    In fact, Carpentier is no such thing. She is a conservative opportunist using her feminist fundamentalism as a cover. She was a lobbyist for seven years and wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post which is noteworthy for trying to improve the public image of lobbyists by stating that they weren’t obscenely well paid, that they really were interested in politics, and that they provide helpful research to Congressional staffers.

    Whoa, thanks for reporting this. The ease with which the right wing co-opts left wing institutions, even minor ones, to their purposes is breath taking. Now I know to cross off Raw Story as one of my sources for news. Sad, they did some good work in the past.

    1. Escariot

      I am so deeply uncomfortable with the political discussion in general. The whole thing has become surreal. Lost. That is how I truly sense it, for myself, cut off from others and unable to find anyone who truly resonates with what I only sense, through a glass darkly, what is really going on.

      This backlash against Glenn is certainly an indication that a chord has been struck within the power structures of the Incumbent. Good. More of that please.

      1. cwaltz

        Pu-leaze

        Many of the people who have critiqeued Greenwald actually support third party candidates.

        It’s Greenwald who is supporting the status quo by insisting that the only way the anti war debate takes place is through duopoly candidate Paul.

  15. Jennifer Hill

    Hey Yves,

    Yes a conformity of comfort has replaced thoughtful analysis and the acknowledgement that we may disagree with someone whom we also agree with on some issues. There is much delusion amongst the progressive community, and the DC crowd is definitely guilty of keeping their mouths shut when speaking out could cost them their “hill relationships,” and all actions are held under the lens of what is “politically viable.”

    I don’t blame them, but I would like to see some real leadership on the issues of income inequality and health care rights. These have been my causes for many years, and most working and poor folk are struggling more than ever. If we admit there is no moral compass but everything is colored by our strange version of material egalitarianism then we will all die in our piles of plastic believing we too can be rich.
    I can’t say it better than Joe Bageant did in his essay America:Y UR Peeps B So Dum? “Cultural ignorance of one sort or another is sustained and nurtured in all societies to some degree, because the majority gains material benefit from maintaining it. Americans, for example, reap huge on-the-ground benefits from cultural ignorance — especially the middle class Babbitry — from cultural ignorance generated by American hyper-capitalism in the form of junk affluence.”
    This is a sad, distorted dream that should be named for the stuff it is made of, crap.

    1. Aquifer

      “There is much delusion amongst the progressive community, and the DC crowd is definitely guilty of keeping their mouths shut when speaking out could cost them their “hill relationships,” and all actions are held under the lens of what is “politically viable.””

      Thank you – we have been beaten over the head for so long with the inviolability of “political viability” as defined by whom, precisely, the MSM, TPTB, – that we think it tantamount to a law of nature instead of an artfully crafted code word for “screw you, we ain’t gonna do it!”

      The corollary of that in the electorate is who is “electable” or not, as the case may be, – as defined, again, by the MSM/PTB. So if someone wants to dismiss a candidate, all they have to do is pin the “unelectable” medal on their chest. But the simple fact is any person who meets the statutory requirements for office and is on the ballot is “electable”. Whether they get elected depends on whether they get enough votes, often that depends on how well known they are, and that, in turn, depends on how much public discussion there is about them.

      So, if “progs” keep talking about RP and ignoring Jill Stein, they may just get what they asked for, just as they did with Obama …

      1. Jill

        You go Aquifer!

        We still have one person, one vote–oh alright, and whomever the voting machines are for this year!–but we can and should take advantage of that fact while we still can!

        In the meantime, and after any voting takes place, organizing with a citizen’s movement to restore the rule of law is my choice of how to go.

  16. Carl

    Paul is a useful idiot, in that he can be used to amplify the one or two issues that he is right about. But those issues can also be approached with much more insight through other media. Paul is more akin to a “host”, to use a not very apt metaphor. Use him for a few years to spread the idea and make it more mainstream, and then dump his racist homophobic husk by the wayside when it’s no longer of use.

    1. Parvaneh Ferhadi

      That’s kind of my conclusion as well. It doesn’t really matter who the candidate is in this system. The system is not going to change regardless of who wins the elections.
      The goal remains that either the state is made to serve the interest of big business, or it will be eliminated mostly as a force. The only question is, which solution is more accepted by the masses.

  17. friend

    Yves,

    You are very naive about practical politics.

    I love your iconoclasm, but being right about some things does not make you right about all things.

    Why bring up Ron Paul at all if you simply agree about policies? Just bring up the policies. Leave his name out of it. If you do not, then you are piggy-backing on his candidacy.

    And in the simplistic world of what the general public hears, that is the message that will be heard.

    That is not a message that leads in a good direction.

    Identity politics is not a cover for anything. It is politics.

    Build a coalition of people who identify with your candidate, or lose.

    How to get policy going in the right direction is a thorny question.

    Practical electoral politics is better known, and a more common focus.

    1. Escariot

      I see what you are saying here, but you are perhaps undervaluing the fact that by doing what they are doing (pointing to a message and not the messenger) they are challenging our knee jerk reactions of what you call “our simplistic world”. I think it highly unlikely that Glenn Greenwald wrote his piece thinking he had to convince the majority of American voters.

      I find it a presumption on your part that we cannot think for ourselves, that we are incapable of critical thinking. It is as essentially an elitist attitude.

      Someone has the nerve to speak to power and point out the obvious: NONE of these presidential candidates is any good. period. Now what?

      precisely.

      I accept that there is a place for the folks trying to articulate who is the least bad. That’s useful in a way. But there is also a very welcome change when I hear someone saying essentially “Hey! Wait a minute! wtf?”

    2. Michael Olenick

      Identity politics is to politics as deception is to business. Sure, people have bluffed in business forever. But at some point it crosses a line (ex: GS’s email “that Timberwolf was one shitty deal”) to place where it’s not sustainable.

      Too much bluffing, too much lying, or too much in the way of identity politics, poisons the underlying ecosystem until there’s nothing left to bluff about.

      Identity politics masks and misleads about the underlying issues in much the same way that focusing on a symptom ignores the underlying problem. Gretchen Morgenson makes the great point that Fannie Mae and Countrywide played up their “progressive” housing values while simultaneously preying on the same people they claimed to be helping. Identity politics is gutter fighting and while it may be fun to win in the short-run the other side is sure to return the favor leading us in a race to the bottom.

      How do we break this cycle? By breaking it; by standing up, pointing out the other side is doing that, and focusing on the underlying issue rather than whatever symptom somebody is haranguing for or against.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      Its important to bring up Ron Paul because it exposes the partisan hacks for what they are.

      Paul’s views are based on horrible ideas, but occasionally bad ideas do mirror good ideas when everything is a horrible idea. Its very important to point out that the best person on the issues, which caused Greenwald to be a hero on sites such as Daily Kos when Bush was President, is a horrible S.O.B. The orthodoxy of D.C. and our two parties is so bad, they make a racist prick look halfway decent to low information voters, which is most voters, on MAJOR issues such as Wall Street bailouts, foreign policy (over half the discretionary budget is spent on the war machine), civil liberties, spying on the citizenry, and so forth.

      It is important to note the racist, nut is better than Barack 0bama on these issues, and Paul’s appeal to low information voters (he attracts a certain amount of pricks too) is because he sounds like 0bama in 2008.

      Pollitt can’t argue for much of what 0bama has done without making the same arguments the Republicans made for Bush’s crimes, so they are reduced to implying Greenwald is a racist, sexist because they don’t want people to listen to his arguments about how 0bama makes a racist prick look halfway on important issues.

      Where were Pollitt and her ilk when 0bama was holding a little send off salute to George W. Bush at the inauguration when he should have been signing the orders for the DoJ to investigate Bush for knowledge of war crimes? Where is their outrage over that? Oh no, they hold their outrage for Greenwald noting that Paul doesn’t actively support slaughtering the innocent.

      1. friend

        bringing up Ron Paul is a mistake

        a bad mistake

        should our political world be different?

        I think about how to make that happen every day. Progress is possible. But not huge progress immediately.

        Strategy is important. But also tactics. Lose short term, and your long term plans are farther away. And bad things can happen.

        Ron Paul’s rightwing crazy could absorb a lot of political energy that might go the the leftwing populists. Big mistake. And weird ideological attachments can last a generation. People do not like to admit they were wrong.

        See Reaganism.

        Argue the issues. Argue hard. Find someone to speak loudly for Wall Street and tax reform. ORGANIZE support for that person. Get it into the mainstream public debate somehow.

        But do not, for goodness sake, form a circular firing squad on the Left over Ron Paul.

        Please.

        1. nowhereman

          “Progress is possible. But not huge progress immediately.”
          And why not?
          I pity you, and people like you, who stand by and watch their rights taken away under the threat of the boogy-man called terrorism.
          You may feel safe with the “status quo”, but I’m telling you, the status hasn’t been quo for quite some time now. and your perception has nothing to do with true reality.
          But, hey, the term “sheeple” exists for a reason.

          1. friend

            pity me all you like, but I am the one making reality-based arguments

            the bottom line is that most Americans do not agree with you

            and, more importantly, do not identify with you. “Radicals” are not “us” in the popular mind

            you may say it is unfair. based on propaganda. etc.

            Maybe so. But it is the truth

            To be effective, you must make common cause with ordinary people. When ideas are out of the mainstream (as most of mine are) then it is a laborious process to make common cause with the general public

            it does not happen by ranting self-righteous screeds

            calm. methodical. argument PLUS organizing (ie., with other people. lots of other people)

            just blogging is not enough

            no matter how safe and unanimous the echo chamber of a particular blog may feel

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          Paul is important because it exposes how broken our system. The bottom line is the crazy racist is closest on a host of major issues to what people voted for four years ago than the D.C. establishment supports.

          This is a problem, but the person who most closely mirrors the desire to end these sick wars and disgusting behaviors is a racist nut. It means he isn’t the only sick person. Yes, 0bama looks like a friendly guy but he has slaughtered several hundred children with his drone strikes and then makes jokes about using those same drones on other children.

          What do we see? People like Prolitt should be asking why does Ron Paul have an opportunity to win the anti-war crowd? The answer is Prolitt and her ilk worship the “D” next to names not actions. They will defend their tribe to the very end and throw out crazy accusations instead of asking why isn’t the President better than the racist, libertarian nut.

          Paul is important because he exposes the fraud which is this system. He probably isn’t doing it on purpose, but the question stands why isn’t the President better on issues of foreign policy and civil liberties? Where are the Democrats? We know where the Democrats are. They voted for war when Bush was President, and they are no different when 0bama is President.

          1. Fiver

            You’re no Tim Geithner, all right. The Geither would’ve immediately handed off a file this sensitive to Peeon Panetta, not take it on himself to directly intervene, as you have, raising questions as to just who you are, what is your connection to this Admin and do you love your country? Well, sir? Let’s have it, then.

          2. Doug Terpstra

            Not Timmy, you nailed the painfully obvious point of the post exactly — not that RP is a viable alternative but that the establishment liberals, cheerleaders for the angel of death, are the slimy, slithering dead. RP doesn’t have a snowball’s chance against the war criminals, the Criminal Reserve, or more succinctly, AIPAC, the power that rules them all and in the darkness binds them. He’s the GOP’s Dennis Kucinich, tolerated as useful distraction, for theatrical purposes only.

        3. Aquifer

          “Argue the issues. Argue hard. Find someone to speak loudly for Wall Street and tax reform. ORGANIZE support for that person. Get it into the mainstream public debate somehow.”

          There is that someone out there – and, man, I’m trying!

          We could get that someone into the mainstream discussion if only those prominent “prog” bloggers would give her some space and time.

          Hey! NC, how about it? RP has gotten enough space here, directly or indirectly, how about giving a real prog some notice?

          http://www.jillstein.org

  18. voislav

    The main reason I have a lot of respect for Ron Paul is that he is a principled politician with actual beliefs, rather than turning the way the focus groups and donors blow. I think that this fact is the most disturbing to many of the liberal commentators and bloggers.

    Democrats have shown themselves to be no better than common mercenaries. They are seeing the pillars of the progressive society steadily eroded. They are losing their base constituency as the middle class is being exterminated. They have realized that the “hope and change” of Obama is just smoke and mirrors, fully captured by the establishment. But the left has been denied even a mildly charismatic principled figure to rally around.

    In short, the left is suffering from candidate envy.

  19. Kathi Berke

    I understand your vehemence. I’m not sure I would sum up Katha Pollitt’s article as simply “identity politics”. What worries me is in her article are the assertions that,

    “In a Ron Paul America, there would be no environmental protection, no Social Security, no Medicaid or Medicare, no help for the poor, no public education, no civil rights laws, no anti-discrimination law, no Americans With Disabilities Act, no laws ensuring the safety of food or drugs or consumer products, no workers’ rights…

    He wants to abolish the FAA and its pesky air traffic controllers…In Ron Paul’s America, if you weren’t prudent enough or wealthy enough to buy private insurance–and the exact policy that covers what’s ailing you now, you find a charity or die.”

    As a “white Jewish female” who is definitely a shade under the median of the 99%, I depend on government programs to survive. The free market only cares about profit. Theoretically the government is focused on people’s well-being. After all, administrative costs of Medicare are less than the administrative costs of United Healthcare. Much less. Let’s not go back to Austrian or Ricardian theories of subsistence (even if, de facto, we are close to it).

    Concern for survival is not “identity politics”.

    1. Tim

      I understand your concern with a candidate that may threaten your welfare, but the core of the discussions on NC are trying to figure out why the bottom 50 percent requires government assistance to survive (paraphrasing what you said), because that and the sustained trend that got us here are leading us to an inevitable place no one wants to go.

      1. Aquifer

        “but the core of the discussions on NC are trying to figure out why the bottom 50 percent requires government assistance to survive”

        Hmmm, I thought maybe part of the reason was because too much of RP’s philosophy of “free market”, “laissez faire” capitalism has infiltrated both major parties over the last 30 years or so, sucking the wealth out of the bottom and giving it to the top.

        Libertarians, are leveraging traditional left anti-war stands to pry lefties away from their advocacy of social issues into supporting their Libertarian candidate. And, damn it, it seems to be working!

        Sorry, Mr. Greenwald, et.al., your intentions may be good, (though frankly at this point i am not exactly sure what they are, given the obviously foreseeable consequences) but opening the door to the legitimacy of RP in any guise, even though you open it just a crack and keep the chain on, is an invitation to just what we are seeing – time and energy given to RP when there are BETTER ways to support a lefty agenda.

        See, here’s the problem – when we spend time trying to figure out all the convoluted ways people could be Trojan horses, we open ourselves up to the type of analysis that says “Hmmm, methinks the gentlemen protest too much! In spending all this time on RP, giving him all this attention, even while disavowing support, doth it not appear they are raising his profile, if not his banner, and giving legitimacy among their acolytes to a fellow who is actually a sworn enemy to much of what they profess to support?” This is not being damned with faint praise, this is being praised with faint damns – “I come not to praise Caesar …” and all that.

        1. Fiver

          The emergence of Ron Paul is a perfectly legitimate topic on ANY blog, and it would be useful to recall WHY he has garnered attention:

          1) Obama was installed by Wall Street right in front of “progressives” eyes, and for nearly 2 years they were largely self-censoring in their public utterances – far, far longer than would’ve normally been the case from those same people had they not been so completely suckered – and the WHOLE population saw it. The damage done cannot be understated.

          2) Republicans assumed in January 2009 that they were gone for an 8-year cycle AT BEST. They conceded this election long ago. Thus the worst collection of candidates since…who knows when. Except for Paul, who nobody took seriously, but had long since established himself in the public mind as consistent and principled. And he just happened to hit a sweet spot on 2 issues, the Empire and the privately-owned, Federal Reserve/Wall Street banking system which had long been exceptionally difficult to oppose publicly period, let alone from within the Republican Party, and both of which were now gaping wounds.

          3) Don’t blame Paul for the damage Obama and “progressives” did to themselves. Instead, start thinking about how the “left” can prepare for 2016 – Obama is in for another 4 and will undoubtedly make some small moves, toss a couple bones, to “progressives”. But that is it. It will be superficial and oh-so temporary. Another major crisis at least as bad as 2008 is absolutely assured before 2016. The left has to be ready this time. For once.

          1. different clue

            Fiver, there are a few lonely bloggers (and few else) trying to organize what resistance and obstruction they can to the assumed presence of Obama for another term. They call themselves loosely-in-general to be “Democrats In Exile”. One such is Riverdaughter at The Confluence. Here is a very recent post of hers. Here is the link, for those who think it might be worth a look.
            http://riverdaughter.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/monday-colberts-brilliant-ad/

          2. Aquifer

            I’m not blaming Paul for the damage Progs have done to themselves, i am putting the blame squarely on them and pointing out how, by raising up Paul as a standard bearer for the left while ignoring real standard bearers, they are continuing this process of self destruction. They are continually ignoring or dissing or belittling real prog reps in favor of going off on wild goose chases, last time with Obama, this time with Paul, perpetually shooting themselves in the foot or some other part of their anatomy …

      2. F. Beard

        but the core of the discussions on NC are trying to figure out why the bottom 50 percent requires government assistance to survive Tim

        That’s simple. The so-called “credit-worthy” have used their access to loans from the government backed/enforced counterfeiting cartel, the banking system, to outsource and automate American jobs away.

        And now, to the bankers and corporations, the unemployed are just “useless eaters”.

    2. Starchild

      When it comes down to it, is “find a charity or you die” really so different from “find a government program or you die”?

      I understand that in theory, the government programs cover everyone, while the private charities leave people behind based on their religious biases, lack of funding, or whatever.

      In practice, however, there is a point at which even panhandling and waiting in line at soup kitchens becomes more attractive to self-respecting people than putting up with the soul-deadening petty authoritarianism of these programs.

  20. ralphb

    Interesting to note that those progressives (a useless term meaning nothing) who are now pushing Ron Paul were among the more virulent ObamaBots of 2008; Stoller, Greenwald etc.

    These useless idiots have found another man on a white horse to replace Obama, who was their previous messiah. This one just happens to be a neo-confederate of very questionable sanity.

    What these people should do, considering the huge mess they helped bring the country in 2008, is go crawl under a rock and never let their voices be heard again. Once a fool, always a fool apparently.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I’m really gobsmacked at the inability to reason on display here. And Stoller was never an Obamabot. He almost got thrown out of the 2004 Democratic convention for questioning his bona fides and gave a lukewarm endorsement after he was nominated.

      Neither Stoller, nor Greenwald, nor I are in any way endorsing Ron Paul. Have you ever heard of the word “Manichean”? Google it. That is the type of thinking you and some other commentors are displaying.

      Look again at the cartoon. What we are all saying is “Wow, a serious right-winger is to the left of Obama (and therefore the Democratic Party) on a lot of progressive issues. What does THAT say about mainstream “liberals” in the US?”

      The world is not black and white. We are using Ron Paul as a foil for demonstrating Obama and Democratic party corruption and hypocrisy.

      1. Aquifer

        Yves,

        Respectfully , I think with your series on libertarians, you established your bona fides in that regard. But in using Ron Paul as a “foil” I think you can perhaps see how easily one can be hoisted on one’s own petard.

        I suppose at this point you can think of folks who think that using RP to make a point, any point, is a bad idea as folks who are too thick to get, or too contrary to admit, that talking about someone’s ideas in praiseworthy tones is not tantamount to support of the person, and completely dismiss our critiques of the approach used as coming from idiots …

        Or you could, in retrospect, consider the possibility that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to approach the subject via RP and could easily have avoided all this by talking about the issues and leaving RP out of it, thus preserving credibility all around.

        I speak as on who is misunderstood often – and over the years have, hopefully, tried to anticipate how my arguments may be used before i make them ..

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          You are basically saying I should be afraid of what “people might think”

          If I were afraid of what “people might think” would I be taking on corruption among the elites? You are arguing for self censorship.

          And I don’t see that I was hoist on my own petard. We now have various people arguing not to talk about Ron Paul at all. What sort of craziness is that? He’s a candidate. Are we not supposed to talk about candidates because there are loyalty tests to which everyone on what passes for the left is subject to? That may work in keeping people in the professional political apparatus in line (as in not shooting at Obama) but I’m not one of them.

          Obama NEEDS heat from the left, and if perversely Ron Paul can elevate the importance of the left (which Obama has set out quite deliberately to neuter) so much the better.

          1. Aquifer

            “You are basically saying I should be afraid of what “people might think””

            Hell, no, the reason i am a fan of your blog is precisely because i DON’T think you are afraid of what people might think. My point is, I wonder if you foresaw how this would play out, as it has …

            “You are arguing for self censorship.”

            Again, no, see above

            “And I don’t see that I was hoist on my own petard.”

            You are now in the position of having to repeatedly deny that anything you or Greenwald or Stoller wrote were in “support” of Paul and that has become a bigger subject of debate than the point one started with. How did that happen?

            “We now have various people arguing not to talk about Ron Paul at all. What sort of craziness is that? He’s a candidate. Are we not supposed to talk about candidates because there are loyalty tests to which everyone on what passes for the left is subject to?”

            No, the argument that I, at least, am making is not that one refuse to discuss RP but that discussing him as, in essence, the “left’s” answer to Obama is, in fact, doing a disservice to the real left that IS offering critiques but is not being heard because they are not getting the prog press that RP is getting. Or, do you believe RP is a legitimate spokesman for “the left” that is being denied his rightful place in the pantheon? As you say:

            “Obama NEEDS heat from the left”,

            Amen, I agree, but, IMO, critiquing him with RP is NOT giving him heat from the LEFT …

            “if perversely Ron Paul can elevate the importance of the left (which Obama has set out quite deliberately to neuter) so much the better.”

            RP is NOT elevating the importance of the left – instead he is sucking off would be lefties from real lefty party resistance. He is elevating the importance of RP and libertarian thinking …

            He is NOT the only one critiquing the war and the banks but because he has a podium in Congress and an echo chamber all over, including, now, in prog blogs, he is the only one being heard.

            Look, the Dems won’t be moved by a challenge from RP – it is a challenge from the left they fear – and RP is splitting progs down the middle by turning this into a domestic v. foreign war issue – helping guarantee there WILL be NO unified lefty front.

            I have been following this issue on threads in other sites – believe me, that is how it is playing out. All I am suggesting here is that is what IS happening and that being able to quote Greenwald, Stoller, et.al. is very useful in this regard.

            A bunch of the posts on this thread and others on this subject I think demonstrate my point, e.g.;

            “Tony Wonder says:
            January 16, 2012 at 12:11 pm

            “In 2012, I will be voting for Ron Paul, whether he appears on the ballot or not. ……………………..

            As a truth-seeker who played a large part in opening this millennial’s eyes, I hope Yves continues to explore the candidacy of and media reaction (propoganda) to Dr. Paul.

            Thanks Yves!”

            So it would seem you have opened his eyes to Paul, and now he is voting for him? Did i get that right? I don’t think that is what you had in mind, but that is what is happening …

            See, I guess that is what i am really having a problem with – the opening of an eye, but just one eye, and looking in only one direction, the direction of RP, with that eye.

            “the importance of the left (which Obama has set out quite deliberately to neuter)”

            Obama is neutering it indeed, and Paul is shelling the nuts that Obama is chopping off.

            Identity politics is indeed the bane of the left. I have been arguing this point for some time – it is our Achilles heel – black v white, male v female, blue collar v white collar, public v private unions, environment v jobs. And now libertarians have found a new wedge to stick in – peace v social justice. Good grief – at a time when we need to be healing divisions, we are creating new ones! If you want lefty solutions, look to the Left, not the Right …

            That is all I am saying – be careful what you ask for, for you will surely get it ….

            I am a great fan of yours – and so i would hope that you would receive my critique of your approach re this issue in the spirit in which it is intended. It is because it does, indeed, matter a great deal what you say here that I plead with you to simply consider that there might be a kernel of truth in what i am saying …

            In all matters financial, I would not begin to question you, but perhaps it is because i have always been on the outside of just about everything (except in the OR :)) that I do look at things from an observer’s point of view – and i have observed this …

            I have been fighting for recognition of and support for folks who have been critiquing the Dems from the left ever since my first vote for Nader in ’96. To see those folks now sidelined once again and the left co-opted by another “false prophet”, RP, is really, really depressing ….

          2. JTFaraday

            “That is all I am saying – be careful what you ask for, for you will surely get it ….”

            I’m sorry but this is gotten to the point it is just beyond tedious. Stop censoring the woman on her private property.

          3. Aquifer

            TJ,

            I fully accept that if Yves decides to evict, or censor me, she has every right to do so, but i did not, nor do I, think she would object to a debate on the subject – there is, IMO, too much at stake …

      2. Vincent Vecchione

        What a joke! Of course people are free to point out Obama’s hypocrisy, but it is ludicrous for pundits like Yves and Greenwald to claim they’re not taking a side and then go on to focus solely on the 2% of issues that Ron Paul shows any humanity toward while ignoring, playing down, or dismissing his BS and lies on everything else. This is just another iteration of what Jay Rosen refers to as “the voice from nowhere”, except it’s an even worse abuse of journalism when practiced by pundits, instead of reporters of news. If you’re going to use Ron Paul as a foil, you need to be honest about the fact that his policy proposals toward the economy are even more sadistic and Austeritarian (sic) than Obama’s.

        Of course, it’s disingenous to omit Ron Paul’s actual stance in order to depict him in a more favorable light, but it’s something much worse to actually lie about him. “Soi disant feminists like Carpentier are missing in action when it comes to defending their supposed sisters on economic issues, most importantly, labor rights.” Ron Paul is literally the most anti-union candidate in either party, right now. It’s a load of crap to wrap oneself in the banner of labor rights and then ignore the record of the person actually under discussion. It’s also a load of crap to ignore that gender and race issues don’t directly play into class issues, and that you can’t actually have a class analysis without a gender and race analysis. Remind me how the following common scenario isn’t a class issue. Thousands of women are forced to choose between sexual harassment in the workplace (which Ron Paul wants to leave to “the market”) and domestic abuse at home if she stays married to her husband because she can’t afford to live alone without a job. Please enlighten me about how one untangles gender from class in that situation. I would explain how race and class are similarly impossible to untangle, but it’s MLK Day, and I think maybe all the Paulbots should educate themselves for once, at least today. Anyway, I posted an incredibly long post below with links and evidence for how Ron Paul’s policies would be the greatest hand out in history to the 1% at the expense of the 99%, but I doubt it’ll make it out of the moderation queue.

        Anyway, I understand the anger toward Obamabots, but seriously, Ron Paul isn’t a foil. He’s just a broken clock, right twice per day. But instead of making ignorant attacks on identity politics in order to cater to Ron Paul fanatics, pick a foil who actually isn’t a shill for Christian Reconstructionist Theocracy, racism, homophobia, classism, misogyny, and gold charlatans.

        1. Lambert Strether

          I didn’t get the memo on Obama’s antiwar primary challenger. Can you direct me to their website, so I can see if there’s a candidate I can actually vote for? Thanks.

          1. Vincent Vecchione

            Lambert, Buddy Roehmer’s position on Afghanistan is identical to Ron Paul’s. Also, Buddy Roehmer isn’t a servant of the plutocracy, like Ron Paul. Of course, you could actually do something more worthwhile than voting, by working for reforms to the electoral system so that we can stop trying to decide whether Ron Paul or Obama is the lesser evil (because it’s clear Obama is the lesser evil in that case, and that disgusts me).

        2. Fiver

          You seem to believe no political damage attends major political debacles – like what happens to the “left” in the eyes of the rest of the population when it makes so colossal an error as to hop on Obama’s train and actually stays there even though he has ALREADY DEMONSTRATED he’s actually more damaging than Bush II. Even now, when a child would’ve already figured out that’s why Wall Street put Obama in to begin with – to neuter the left, which, had it been McCain, doing exactly the same things, would’ve seen a MASSIVE challenge from the left – demos in the hundreds of thousands for years and very likely a better shake in actual policy as a result.

          Prepare for 2014 and 2016. This one is a write-off. Obama is re-elected with the lowest turnout ever.

          And pay ATTENTION to what the public is, and what it is not, interested in.

  21. Frank Speaking

    identity politics is the single most destructive element within the Democratic Party, the labor movement, among “progressives” (what ever “progressives” are) and has been for a long time.

    identity politics has turned the labor movement in on itself in a vicious internal struggle for power to the point that its once vaunted status as the Democratic Party’s action arm has gone the way of moderate (thinking) Republicans.

  22. James

    As usual, Kunstler hits it on the head:

    http://kunstler.com/blog/2012/01/this-ripe-moment.html

    “Occupy Wall Street will seem like a mere harvest dance when we look back from the uproars later in 2012. Both organized parties have managed to banish the rule of law in America. Both parties need to be driven into the wilderness of history and the rule of law has to be rescued from the oblivion they sent it to. What group of clear-thinking adults can get behind that simple project? What voices will resolve out of the phenomenal noise of gadget America, with its deafening tweets, incessant advertising, instant messaging, idiotic robo-calling, and ever-present flat-screen assault on the senses?
    I discern the distant sound of rebellion, a spirit that won’t be appeased by bytes of Disney-babble from the pandering snouts of Romney, Santorum, Gingrich, Paul or Obama. They are interested only in keeping a set of suicidal rackets going. All the yammer about “freedom” and “liberty” is hollow when the rule of law is AWOL. This ripe time is the natural moment for a true opposition to rise. A few months from now neither major party will have a credible candidate or a plausible platform of ideas. This will be painfully obvious. What angels and demons will rush into that awful vacuum?”

    Here’s hoping for a 2012 election cycle where we the people simply refuse to show up. The ULTIMATE in passive resistance! Ignore ALL the bastards, refuse to participate, and then occupy the phony grandiloquent coronation and declare the new buffoon illegitimate. Voting is no longer a credible option.

    1. Frank Speaking

      what you describe would be more accuarately described as, “The ULTIMATE in passive agressive resistance!”

      yeah just ignore the bastards, that’ll learn em!

      would make a great bumper sticker though—”ignore the bastards”

      wait…wait…I have a better idea “Pat Paulsen for President”

    2. patricia

      I wasn’t aware that there is a minimum percentage of votes underneath which candidates would be disqualified from office. What is the minimum percentage by which no-confidence is declared and election collapse would occur? Short of that, withholding your vote does even less than nothing.

    3. Aquifer

      James,

      “Kuntsler … This ripe time is the natural moment for a true opposition to rise. A few months from now neither major party will have a credible candidate or a plausible platform of ideas. This will be painfully obvious. What angels and demons will rush into that awful vacuum?”

      THAT is the legitimate question that must be answered, and in that spirit i offer, again ..

      http://www.jillstein.org

  23. b.

    “Ron Paul’s anti-war, anti-Fed positions expose fault lines among those traveling under the “liberal” banner.”

    That is a formulation I can live with. I would add one caveat: For (European, “continued education” Enlightenment) liberals like me, these fault lines have been obvious for years. For example, I got increasingly unhappy with Digby’s work post-2006, and following Obama’s election became unable to read her (let alone her co-bloggers) postings. FWIW – who cares – I disagree with Greenwald on some issues, but if there is one thing we share, it is the loathing for closet partisan hypocrisy, and the faux progressive posturers that exploit them. One issue where I disagree with Greenwald right now is regarding the merits and implications of Stoller’s piece – while it is important to name and explain those fault lines (and illustrate that there really is no progressive movement and no liberal majority in the US), I believe that his dual sleight of hand is a toxic misrepresentation of liberal policies, and ‘stablishment mouthpieces like George Will have already shown how to twist “Great Society == Big Guv == Tyranny” into their narrative, and can now point to Stoller as an “even progressives admit”. Stoller claims that liberal ends have only been achieved using illiberal means, and that is asymptotically indistinguishable from the Will repuglibertarian claim that liberal ends will always *require* illiberal means, and are hence self-defeating and utopian. The historic record (outside the US) does not uphold this claim, which is in turn an apologist attempt at US “unexceptionalism”: No, we are not really an exceptionally corrupt, exceptionally hysteric, exceptionally aggressive nation.

    I suppose one could say this debate touches on the core pretenses of those who are not unapologetic elitists and imperialists at “heart”.

  24. John Waite

    “If I know your sect I anticipate your argument. I hear a preacher announce for his text and topic the expediency of one of the institutions of his church. Do I not know beforehand that not possibly can he say a new and spontaneous word? Do I no know that with all this ostentation of examining the grounds of the institution he will do no such thing? Do I not know that he is pledged to himself not to look but at one side, the permitted side, not as a man, but as a parish minister? He is a retained attorney, and these airs of the bench are the emptiest affectation. Well, most men have bound their eyes with one or another handkerchief, and attached themselves to some one of these communities of opinion. This conformity makes them not false in a particulars, authors of a few lies, but false in all particulars. Their every truth is not quite true.”

    Emerson, “Self-Reliance”

  25. Jeff Fecke

    I love that you’ve defined feminism as essentially unimportant. Congratulations! The right to abortion may be difficult to exercise when you’re poor; it will be fundamentally more difficult to exercise when it is no longer a right, something Ron Paul has worked assiduously for.

    1. Frank Speaking

      freedom comes from having economic power

      without economic power “freedom”, “liberty” and “justice” are just words.

    2. marcos

      So long as no American women are killed, it is feminist.

      When women in the global south are killed by the thousands, no feminist concern need apply.

      NIMBY liberals.

  26. Conscience of a Conservative

    Ron Pau make be unique in that he really does care about individual rights and liberties, and the rising corporatocracy in this country leading all the way up to the Federal Reserve.

    1. Aquifer

      And what rights might those be, if “the market” decides you are a “loser”?

      Yup, equal opportunity to succeed and to fail, except that equal opportunity won’t be provided from an equal baseline but from where we are now and some are so far down, the magic of “the market” won’t be enough to lift them up. And if you are a loser, “the market” has no place for you. Under market rules we are all disposable commodities. The market allocates according to demand – “demand” in the sense of ability to pay – it does not distribute according to need. Welcome to RP’s world – hope you are happy in it …

      I suspect John Rawl’s Theory of Justice is not on RP’s bookshelf …

      1. Fiver

        If you were to accept as “Done” the 2 key stands Paul holds that resonate with the left, i.e., an end to Empire (and all the implications that flow from that) and the Wall Street-owned Federal Reserve banking system and its pocketed representatives in Washington (ditto re implications) society would in fact have a couple trillion dollars PER YEAR it does not now have, AND it could look in the mirror and NOT see the bodies of any future millions of victims as have been stacked up abroad since WWII. That profound fact alone would change the equation so completely, both domestically and globally, that I rather expect the US could then find the wherewithal to properly address internal problems that ought to have been taken care of generations ago.

        If a coalition was built seeking a mandate to deal with only those 2 aims, it just might win. Nothing could be more revolutionary and positive for the US and world. Let the rest be thrashed out in typical style for 4 years while implementing these twin Godsends, then dissolve the coalition and go back to the polls to decide how to deal with a sudden abundance of options.

        1. Aquifer

          Sounds like the same argument the Reps made – “if you want the debt ceiling raised to keep us from going into default, or if you want unemployment insurance extended, you will have to ‘compromise’ and extend the Bush tax cuts, etc. etc,” and the Dems said “OK”. So now, if we want to end wars we have to support a Rand Libertarian?

          Why is it the left are always the ones who have to “compromise”? We are compromising ourselves to death and have been for some time, when we don’t have to ….

          You don’t have to go with Paul to get there …

  27. don

    The debate among liberals/progressives over R. Paul mirrors the confusion in the Republican ranks. Squabbles over who and what position is truly liberal/progressives is like that between Rep. who differ on whether fiscal or culture wars should take precedent. Identity politics find refuge in culture wars, whether left or right. The economic and financial ‘crisis’ and Tea Party and OWS have thrown this into utter confusion.

    Culture wars succeeded brilliantly in divorcing class and economic issues from the political realm. Developments over the last few years has politicized economic issues. Now it is clear that identity politics and culture wars divided the 99%. Today, fighting over the significance of R. Paul reveals the extent to which being Republican or Democrat serves exceedingly well in keeping the 99% divided, while the 1% sits back laughing hysterically.

    Time to get past this divide, and to realize that electioneering, the two party dictatorship, the obsession with formal democracy etc., serves well to conceal what are truly class issues regarding inequality economically and in terms of political power.

  28. ep3

    I was taken aback by this hit piece Yves:
    “Greenwald, who is gay,”

    WTF? I did not know he was. But did it matter in regards to me reading his articles? Not in the slightest. But it is just another way to start the old wheels of racism and bigotry turning in a person’s head, regardless of their party affiliation.

    1. Valissa

      Sometimes the FU vote is the best option, and often very satsifying (in a wonderfully irrational way). I plan on voting for Ron Paul in the MA primary, for several reasons even though I know he won’t get nominated or elected.

      I love it that Paul has managed to change the conversation a bit on both parties and show the hypocrisy of each in different ways.

      Ron Paul ties GOP in knots http://edition.cnn.com/2012/01/13/opinion/welch-paul-libertarianism/index.html

  29. Frank Speaking

    …and meanwhile back on planet earth, Andrew Sullivan concludes (no need to worry about Andrew being outed)…

    “If I sound biased, that’s because I am. Biased toward the actual record, not the spin; biased toward a president who has conducted himself with grace and calm under incredible pressure, who has had to manage crises not seen since the Second World War and the Depression, and who as yet has not had a single significant scandal to his name.

    “’To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle,’ George Orwell once wrote. What I see in front of my nose is a president whose character, record, and promise remain as grotesquely underappreciated now as they were absurdly hyped in 2008. And I feel confident that sooner rather than later, the American people will come to see his first term from the same calm, sane perspective. And decide to finish what they started.”

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/01/15/andrew-sullivan-how-obama-s-long-game-will-outsmart-his-critics.html

    1. patricia

      “…[Obama,] who as yet has not had a single significant scandal to his name.” Yah, well, I suppose one could narrow the definition of “scandal” down to sexual peccadillo. I found his first significantly scandalous act to be when he hired Geithner. When was that, the first week or two in office?

      “’To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.”

      Exactly.

    2. Fiver

      Ah, the infamous Obama “long game”. You know, the one where you start out with overwhelming public support and a majority with a clear mandate to end the idiot wars and bring the hammer down on illegal activities throughout the Wall Street/Washington elite, and then set about to systematically destroy any chance of real reform by handing the keys over the Power the day after the election. He’s a master, all right – MBS.

  30. moorefire

    lol, a libertaian posing as a progressive (Carpentier,) attacking another libertarian posting as a progressive (Greenwald,) in order to boost their leftist cred? Ahhh the irony is rich.

    I’ve read Raw Story daily since it’s creation and have always been skeptical about the motives behind the volume and tone (mostly positive) of Paul coverage. I wonder if the editorial direction was why Larisa Alexandrovna left? (I always liked her.)

    Anyway, I appreciate pieces like these but am disappointed when I see Paul being critiqued on social issues, and not economic ones. This being a financial blog and all…

    1. F. Beard

      but am disappointed when I see Paul being critiqued on social issues, and not economic ones. This being a financial blog and all… moorefire

      Bingo! RP’s $1 trillion dollar/yr spending cut and balanced (on the backs of the poor) budget proposals should be criticized.

  31. proximity1

    What strikes me about all this discussion is the truly amazing failure to grasp the seriously damaging move which this nonsensical attraction to even a tiny aspect of RP’s arguments on the part of those identifying themselves as progressive or liberal–neither of which in any degree apply to RP:

    Namely, the move to which I refer is from a) supporting a DLC-chosen (read utterly pseudo-liberal, pseudo-progressive) candidate–in the person of Barrack Obama, to, now, giving up on even that much and simply surrendering to pre-selected choices which are no longer even in the realm of what can sanely be described as ‘Left,’ ‘liberal’ or ‘progressive’.

    Once there, what next? Why not a neo-Reagan candidate–again, chosen for us? I mean, Reagan must’ve done or said something once that may arguably be other-than-simply-beyond-the-pale to liberals/progressives, right?

    The attraction to Paul signals that whatever once existed of a Left–and God in Heaven knows that, in the U.S., that is barely visible under an electron microscope–this once demoralized Left has simply surrendered utterly and now presents itself as a contemptible beggar in the vanishing marketplace of political thought which once paid at least lip-service to Leftist convictions. But there no longer seem to be anything of the sort.

    Attractions to Paul are the Left’s death-rattle, its symbolic act of moral and intellectual suicide. We no longer have the gumption to think for ourselves let alone speak for ourselves so now we must beg for the likes of Paul–a moral and intellectual nit-wit with zero to offer us other than euthanasia.

    It seems that euthanasia is what the remnants of the Left actually seeks.

    Liberal Values in the Modern World (1952) (published in Power, Politics and People, (1963) Ballantine Books and Oxford University Press

    By C. Wright Mills

    Most of us now live as spectators in a world without political interlude: fear of total permanent war stops our kind of morally oriented politics. Our spectatorship means that personal, active experience often seems politically useless and even unreal. This is a time when frustration seems to be in direct ratio to understanding, a time of cultural mediocrity when the levels of public sensibility have sunk below sight. It is a time of irresponsibility, organized and unorganized; when common sense, anchored in fast-out-moded experience has become myopic and irrelevant. Nobody feels secure in a simple place; nobody feels secure and there is no simple place.

    It is a time when no terms of acceptance are available, but also no terms of rejection: those on top seem stunned, distracted, and bewildered, and don’t know what to do. But what is much more damaging to us: those on the bottom are also without leaders, without counter- ideas, don’t know what to do, do not have real demands to make of those in key positions of power.

    Whatever the political promises of labor and leftward forces 15 years ago, they have not been fulfilled; whatever leadership they have developed has hidden itself for illusory safety, or been buried by events it neither understands nor wishes to control. Organized labor in the (nineteen) forties and (nineteen) fifties has been mainly another adaptive and adapting element. What goes on domestically may briefly be described in terms of the main drift toward a permanent war economy in a garrison state.

    Internationally, of course, the world of nations has been polarized into two dead-locked powers, with no prospects of a structured peace, with a penumbra of variously graded and variously dependent satellites, puppets, and vacuums. For the first time in its easy history, the United States finds itself a nation in a military neighborhood, having common frontiers with a big rival. The United States is a sea and air power from an external position; wherever it turns, it faces a vast land-power with an internal position. In the meantime, Europe has become a virtual colony, held by military force and economic dependence. And neither in the West nor in the East do U.S. spokesmen seem to have ideas and policies that have genuine appeal to the people residing there.

    Internationally and domestically, the death of political ideas in the U.S. coincides with the general intellectual vacuum to underpin our malaise. Insofar as ideas are involved in our political impasse, these ideas center in the nature and present day situation of liberalism. For liberalism is at once the main line of our intellectual heritage and our official political philosophy. I shall not here attempt a full analysis of liberalism’s connection with the modern malaise. I only want to lay out some key themes, which I believe must be taken into account in any examination of liberalism today.

    I

    Like any social philosophy, liberalism can conveniently be understood and discussed: (1) as an articulation of ideas which, no matter what its level of generality, operates as a sort of moral optic and set of guidelines for judgments of men, movements and events; (2) as a theory, explicit or implied, of how society works, of its important elements and how they are related, of its key conflicts and how they are resolved; (3) as a social phenomenon, that is, as an ideology or political rhetoric—justifying certain institutions and practices, demanding and expecting others. In these terms, what is the situation of liberalism today?

    As a set of articulated ideals, liberalism has been and is major part of the “secular religion of the west.” As a political rhetoric, liberalism has been the ideology of the rising middle-class. As a theory of society, liberalism is confined in relevance to the heroic epoch of the middle-class. These points are connected, for as a carrier of ideals, liberalism has been detached from any tenable theory of modern society, and however engaging in its received condition, it is no longer a useful guide-line to the future. For the eighteenth and part of the nineteenth centuries, liberal theory did clarify and offer insight; for the twentieth century, it just as often confuses.

    I I

    Liberalism, as a set of ideas, is still viable, and even compelling to Western men. That is one reason why it has become a common denominator of American political rhetoric; but there is another reason. The ideals of liberalism have been divorced from any realities of modern social structure that might serve as the means of their realization. Everybody can easily agree on general ends; it is more difficult to agree on means and the relevance of various means to the ends articulated. The detachment of liberalism from the facts of a going society make it an excellent mask for those who do not, cannot, or will not do what would have to be done to realize its ideals.

    As a kind of political rhetoric, liberalism has been banalized: now it is commonly used by everyone who talks in public for every divergent and contradictory purpose. Today, we hear liberals say that one liberal can be “for”, and another liberal “against”, a vast range of contradictory political propositions. What this means is that liberalism as common denominator of American political rhetoric is without coherent content; that, in the process of its banalization, its goals have been so formalized as to provide no clear moral optic. The crisis of liberalism (and of American political reflection) is due to liberalism’s success in becoming the official language for all public statement. To this fact was added its use in the New Deal Era when, in close contact with power, liberalism became administrative. Its crisis in lack of clarity is underpinned by its use by all interests, classes, and parties.

    It is in this situation that professional liberals sometimes make a fetish of indecision, which they would call open-mindedness, as against inflexibility; of the absence of criteria, which they would call tolerance, as against dogmatism; of the formality and hence political irrelevance of criteria, which they would call “speaking broadly,” as against “details”.

    We may not, of course, dismiss liberalism merely because it is a common denominator of political rhetoric. Its wide use as justification limits the choices and, to some, extent, guides the decisions of those in authority. For if it is the common denominator, all powerful decisions made in the open must be justified in its terms, and this may restrain the deciders even if they do not “believe in it.” For men are influenced in their use of authority by the rhetoric they feel they must employ. The leaders as well as the led, and even the mythmakers, are influenced by prevailing rhetorics of justification.

    Liberals have repeatedly articulated a secular humanism, stressing the priceless value of the individual personality, and the right of each individual to be dealt with in accordance with rational and understandable laws, to which all power is also subject. They have been humanist in the sense that they see man as the measure of all things: policies and events are good or bad in terms of their effect on men; institutions and societies are to be judged in terms of what they mean to and for the individual human being. Liberals have assumed that men should control their own life-fates. It is in terms of this value that the entire concern with consent to authority and the opposition to violence should be understood. All loyalties to specific movements and organizations tend, for the liberal, to be conditioned upon his own principles, rather than blindly to an organization. Liberals have assumed that three are rational ways to acquire knowledge, and that substantive reason, anchored in the individual, provides the way out.

    As a set of such ideals, liberalism has very heavily contributed to the big tradition of the West, but it is not the sole carrier of this tradition; it is not to be identified with it. And it is a real question whether today it is the most whole-hearted carrier of it, for it is greatly to be doubted that, as a theory of society, liberalism is in a position to lead or help men carry these ideals into realization.

    So, if as ideal, liberalism is the secular tradition of the West, as a theory of society, which enables these ideals, it is the ideology of one class inside one epoch. If the moral force of liberalism is still stimulating, its sociological content is weak; it has no theory of society adequate to its moral aims.

    I I I

    The assumptions of liberal theories about society have to do with how liberal values could be anchored, with how they could operate as guide to policy. The liberal ideals of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were anchored in several basic assumptions about the condition of modern society that are no longer simple or clear:

    (i) Liberalism has assumed that both freedom and security, its key values, flourish in a world of small entrepreneurs. But it is quite clear that one of the most decisive changes over the last hundred years is the enormous increase in the scale of property units. This has meant that the ideals of liberty and security have changed: absolute liberty to control property has become tyranny. The meaning of freedom, positively put, has to be restated now, not as independence, but as control over that upon which the individual is dependent. Security, once resting on the small holding, has become, in the world of large property, anxiety—anxiety produced by the concentration of process and by the manner of living without expectation of owning. Positively, security must be group-guaranteed; individual men can no longer provide for their own futures.

    If a particular ideal of freedom assumes for its realization the dominance of a scatter of small property, then, the social meaning of this ideal is quite different from a statement of freedom that assumes a situation of concentrated property. It is in its theory of society, tacit or explicit, that we find the political content of a social philosophy. If men assume the dominance of huge-scale property, and yet state eighteenth-century ideals, they are off base. In the kindergarten of political philosophy one learns that the idea of freedom in general is more serviceable as politically irrelevant rhetoric than ideal. Twentieth-century problems cannot be solved by eighteenth-century phrases. Liberty is not an a priori individual fact, and it has been a social achievement only when liberal ideals have fortunately coincided with social realities.

    Another fourteen or so paragraphs follow to the conclusion. But I haven’t the time to finish and add them here. I recommend, therefore, that readers here make an effort to obtain and read the remainder of this essay by Wright Mills. He goes on to say, toward the end of the essay, “In the twentieth century, serious thinkers have further developed this socialist view, whether or not they know it as socialist, and have come to see that the whole structure of modern society, in particular its bureaucratic and communications systems virtually expropriate from all but a small intellectual elite the capacity for individual freedom in any adequate psychological meaning of the term.”

    We very much need to see and understand that and why and how it is. Otherwise, we remain helplessly lost.

    1. Frank Speaking

      the classic reactionary response to modern challenges—prescribe the writings of a thinker published half a century ago.

      with the pace of change during the past half century it is comprable to presribing philosophic defenders of monarchy.

      1. different clue

        It’s only reactionary if the thinker of 5 decades ago is obsolete. Is C. Wright Mills obsolete? Or classic and timeless? I don’t know enough to know, but I do know enough
        to know that being 50 years old does not make a thinker or a thought obsolete. I know that from my experience in totally unrelated fields.

        For example, Roger Tory Peterson’s Guide To Birds of Eastern North America was published in 1948 and went through numerous printings. It is still in print with very minor add-ons under the name of Guide to Birds of Texas.
        And it remains one of the best bird guides there is.

        In agricultural and soil science, work done by William Albrecht remains unchallengably correct to this very day decades after it was done and published; and farmers who apply technology, inputs, and management based on Albrecht’s discoveries continue to stay in bussiness and ownership of their farms.

        So there you have it. Being 50 years old does not automatically make something obsolete, and referring to it does not necessarily make one reactionary.

  32. Susan the other

    Thank you for the expose of Megan Carpentier. Astroturf is getting subtler. And more sinister. I find it hard to believe that the Kochs (assuming they are still supporting looney politicians) actually think their money is well spent supporting candidates like Ron Paul. Or encouraging a nostalgic, simplistic quasi-political organization like the Tea Party. I’m sure the Kochs et.al. have a deeper and more desperate agenda than merely destroying social benefits.

    Ron Paul doesn’t have a chance. He is being cynically used. Remember the last attempted US Coup – the one where the president assumed he could do his own thinking and tried to dethrone the MIC…

    Divide and confuse: politics is the new circus. It is the perfect medium for it. It is pure distraction. While we are busy trying to figure out who has a good policy platform, the puppeteers are busy running arms and derivatives and stockpiling commodities.

  33. Dan

    Yves, if it makes you feel better, Progressive anti war pro-populist White men like myself laugh at women like Pollit. They are the screeching harpies that one has to
    put up with in an open society. Let’s not even discuss the usual trust funds and privileges that they enjoy over women who work and raise families.

    Anytime someone tacks an
    -ism onto a noun as a substitute for real debate or argument, it is evident that they are a simpleton or a
    useful idiot for some political cause or another.

    Throughly respecting you and your issues and learning every day from your blog.

    1. Frank Speaking

      “…the screeching harpies that one has to put up with in an open society.”

      well it is clear which ideology you are being usefully idiotic on behalf of having added a new priority to the list maintained by all opposed to an open society

      “first they came for the communists…

      then they came for the screeching harpies”

      are laura ingram and ann coulter aware of your views?

  34. ohgodno

    At first I took such evocations as this one of Ron Paul by the left as an ironic cutesy way of prodding liberals’ consciences over a Democratic administration’s record regarding civil liberties, and hey, damn straight! And did you know Lyndon LaRouche mentions the poor more than Obama does by a factor of 420? — But now I am being asked unironically to affirm that in important ways Ron Paul is admirable and “to the left of Obama”. Well, hell no. Because the thing is (are we really having this conversation?) Ron Paul Really Doesn’t Care About Civil Liberties. Ron Paul, like all Lew Rockwellian “libertarians”, turns Locke’s musings on property into a metaphysics of human freedom, i.e., property is one and the same as freedom, etc. Now, according to these propertarians, yes of course they are for all of our classical liberties, yea NECESSARILY so, for behold, they shall all follow upon the establishment of a laissez-faire economy. And as we are fanatical about laissez-faire, we must, then be necessarily fanatical about all the liberty comprehended metaphysically therein, even if the only injustice that keeps us up at night is the way that America’s poor are presently enslaving its rich.

    1. ohgodno

      In short, they care about liberty like Lenin cared about democracy: there can be no TRUE liberty under the slavery of progressive taxes (sorry, I hit ‘send’ inadvertently above) so why make it a priority? It’s as futile as achieving socialism under bourgeois democracy was for Lenin. Propertarians style themselves Jeffersonians and explicitly speak ill of democracy and see no irony in this. Go spend an afternoon with Paul’s comrades at mises.org and tell me who they’re to the left of. As a civil libertarian not only would I prefer Obama, I would prefer a run of the mill corporatist/soft theocrat Republican to the radical right winger Ron Paul.

      1. jimmyj

        I’m not voting for Obama either, but if you asked me who scared less of the living shit out of me, I’d have to say Obama. I mean shit, at least the lights still work.

        1. Foppe

          The lights don’t work in large parts of Detroit any more, at least not at night. Nor in a bunch of other places. But anyway..

  35. marcos

    Another offensive aspect to Carpentier’s piece is that she presumes that same sex marriage is the sine qua non of LGBT rights like so many of our heterosexual allies do, and presumes that Greenwald spends time in Brazil with his partner because same sex marriage is legal there.

    Same sex marriage is important, but, like gays in the military, only topped our agenda because conservative and moneyed mostly white gay men used their economic and political power to place them there. Studies show that 1.5% of LGBT would serve in the military while 15% of us (me included) would get married.

    Contrast this to the north of 90% of LGBT who must compete in the job and housing markets and often face discrimination in the flyover states with no state civil rights proections.

    The identity politics advocates have been thoroughly domesticated by the duopoly. In many instances those who get paid to advocate for women, people of color and LGBT have seen the circumstances of their alleged constituencies deteriorate over time.

    Part of the reason for this is that there is no democratic legitimacy between these top-down, authoritarian nonprofit corporations and the communities they speak for.

    The American left has been dying for decades now. It is time to dispatch the corpse if we can’t use the remains as fertilizer for a new rising populist movement that is not tainted with the toxic residue of the failed efforts of the 20th century.

    1. Fiver

      Can’t disagree with Roberts’ portrayal of the current reality, i.e., the US body politic is being very rapidly wrapped in a multi-layered, high-tech-enabled police state web unlike anything ever conceived outside of science fiction.

      Good grief. Look at how wildly out of bounds the police were in their treatment of a few thousand peaceful kids – and when the public complained in disgust at the clear brutishness, they did a coordinated take-down/bust-up and ended the outbreak of democracy right then and there.

      There’s an element of hurry-up involved in reversing the Bush/Obama coup that seems to elude a good many on both sides – the forces that pulled it off are getting stronger every day.

  36. marcos

    Perhaps we would not find ourselves in such a quandary had liberals made different choices over the past three decades.

    The fact that liberals within the Democrat Party were domesticated into irrelevance now constrains our options.

    But liberals, as they would outsource oppression to the global south, likewise outsource responsibility for their political failures onto the American population at large.

    Liberal political collapse is why the center of gravity in US electoral politics has moved so far to the right that Ronald Reagan is relatively progressive in comparison.

    Unwilling to accept responsibility for their failure, the liberal establishment in the gravitational field of the Democrat Party now insists that we all stay on plantation instead of calling a dead end for what it is, backing out, and trying something new.

    Is that something new not as progressive or liberal as we’d like? Sure, but it is more progressive or liberal than what we’ve got now.

  37. MikeJake

    Yves crushed it.

    It’s rather dismaying to learn how many of the most visible members of the commentariat have been involved with libertarian think tanks and Koch-funded outfits. Is there ANYONE out there I can just listen to without skepticism?

    1. F. Beard

      with libertarian think tanks MikeJake

      The Koch’s are pro-Fed. They are as libertarian as bankers are.

  38. Lambert Strether

    Paul, principled? When RP supports prosecuting banksters for accounting control fraud, I’ll take a serious look at him. Right now, the question of 1% impunity defines the limits of the Overton Window, both on the right (Paul) and on the left (Warren).

    1. F. Beard

      Paul, principled? Lambert Strether

      Yes, Ron Paul’s principles are flawed and/or inadequate but he is principled.

    2. pws4

      He’s a principled crackpot. He genuinely believes in the principles he believes in, but the principles he believes in are insane. It means that he gets certain issues right (“Gargantuan cuts to the military budget, end the wars, close the Gulag.”) but for his own crackpot reasons.

      This gives him a slight edge over the other two unprincipled, evil men who are running for president purely to satisfy their own egos, since whichever one it is who wins is going to “stay the course” on War and Corruption.

      1. Bridget

        I love this comment! So few words, so much insight.

        Question. Which two evil men are you talking about.

        1. pws (@pws4)

          Heh, yes, I suppose I should clarify that. I meant Obama and Romney.

          There are so many unprincipled villains running this year… but those are the two he probably needs to defeat to be president.

  39. skinla

    1)
    “if there are leftish white women and people of color who admire Paul, they’re keeping pretty quiet.”

    This is NOT TRUE.
    In fact, so far, RON PAUL is the ONLY presidential CANDIDATE openly ENDORSED by BEAUTIFUAL WOMEN in Nevada:

    Pimpin’ For Paul: Ron Paul Endorsed By Nevada Brothel

    http://gothamist.com/2012/01/15/pimpin_for_paul_ron_paul_endorsed_b.php

    2)
    “Greenwald, who is gay, was in the relatively privileged position of being able to travel to Brazil to circumvent Doma”

    I don’t know whether Glen Greenwald is gay or not and I don’t care. However, in case he had kept it secret, Greenwald would not be happy to be outed like that by Megan Carpentier in the Guardian.

  40. Ray Phenicie

    I would like to make one point clear: oppression works along many lines of power or vectors-wealth and class, sex and gender, race and ethnicity, old and young, men and women, gay and heteronormalicy, . . .

    Drawing other sources here to help me out
    http://circuitous.org/scraps/combahee.html

    The Combahee River Collective Statement
    Combahee River Collective

    We are a collective of Black feminists who have been meeting together since 1974. [1] During that time we have been involved in the process of defining and clarifying our politics, while at the same time doing political work within our own group and in coalition with other progressive organizations and movements. The most general statement of our politics at the present time would be that we are actively committed to struggling against racial, sexual, heterosexual, and class oppression, and see as our particular task the development of integrated analysis and practice based upon the fact that the major systems of oppression are interlocking. The synthesis of these oppressions creates the conditions of our lives. As Black women we see Black feminism as the logical political movement to combat the manifold and simultaneous oppressions that all women of color face.

    Black feminists as well as other marginalized and progressive scholars and activists have long argued that any political response to the multilayered oppression that most of us experience must be rooted in a left understanding of our political, economic, social, and cultural institutions. Fundamentally, a left framework makes central the interdependency among multiple systems of domination. Such a perspective also ensures that while
    activists should rightly be concerned with forms of discursive and cultural coercion, we also recognize and confront the more direct and concrete forms of exploitation and violence rooted in state—regulated institutions and economic systems. The Statement of Purpose from the first Dialogue on the Lesbian and Gay Left comments specifically on the role of interlocking systems of oppression in the lives of gays and lesbians. “By leftist we mean people who understand the struggle for lesbian and gay liberation to be integrally tied to struggles against class oppression, racism and sexism. While we might use different political labels, we share a commitment to a fundamental transformation of the economic, political and social structures of society.”
    A left framework of politics, unlike civil rights or liberal frameworks, brings into focus the systematic relationship among forms of domination, where the creation and maintenance of exploited, subservient, marginalized
    classes is a necessary part of, at the very least, the economic configuration.

    Urvashi Vaid, in Virtual Equality, for example, writes of the limits of civil rights strategies in confronting systemic homophobia:
    –”civil rights do not change the social order in dramatic ways; they change only the privileges of the group asserting those rights. Civil rights strategies do not challenge the moral and antisexual underpinnings of homo phobia, because homophobia does not originate in our lack of full civil equality. Rather, homophobia arises from the nature and construction of the political, legal, economic, sexual, racial and family systems within which we live. (183)
    From Punks Bulldaggers and Welfare Queens by
    Cathy J. Cohen p 442

    1. Ray Phenicie

      doggone comment editor (or non editor)
      should be clear that the snippet from Cohen’s work starts with “Black feminists as well as other marginalized and progressive scholars”

  41. oy

    this site used to be about important economic issues. now it’s about intercene blogwars, fought by surrogates.

    1. Ray Phenicie

      read my comment above and the sources listed (you can find Cohen’s article by searching under the title) to see why this IS all about economics.
      And race
      And heteronormalacy
      And . . .

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      1. This is an election year

      2. Economics is political, even more so now in the wake of the quiet coup by banks

      3. This is a frigging holiday Monday. You should be happy to get content today.

      1. Aquifer

        “3. This is a frigging holiday Monday. You should be happy to get content today.”

        LOL, THIS is why I love your blog ….

  42. ron

    The fact that a major political party in this case Republican, has a contender running for President that openly opposes ever large grandiose military schemes is refreshing and welcomed. The underlying issue now is that Obama and the Democrats ran on a 2008 platform that called for widening the Afghan War which clearly puts the majority of Democrats as favoring military style Iraq/Afghan military adventures.

    The reality is that Americans Democrats and Republicans alike are a blood thirsty group and seek military style domination whenever possible to maintain there luxury driven consumption lifestyle.

  43. AT

    Sorry, Glenn Greenwald has his own set of PC issues he supports and ignores more fundamental flaws in the system. He goes on and in and on about Guatanamo, but barely mentions the ICE gulags. He spends huge amount of ink on Manning’s solitary confinement while barely mentioning the tens of thousands of everyday prisoners who are tortured in the regular, everyday US prison system. He reminds me of the many so called progressives who are up in arms about working conditions in China where iPhones are made but don,t seem to give a flying f— about the slaves used right here in the US to harvest the food on your table, nor the lack of rights the vast majority of US workers have.

    Wich brings me to Paul and the libetarians – sure their anti-authoritarian positions sound appealing. But the base of their Randian philosophy, which is anti any social solidarity will further push the US along into the dystopian nightmare it is half way into. I never thought Obama a liberal. At best, he is truly a compassionate conservative. But at least he has some compassion for working people, something the Randians totally lack. So stop feeling so good about yourselves because you don’t want to kill Muslims and start worrying about the even greater number of people in our own country who will die from hunger and lack of medical care if Paul became Prsident,

    1. marcos

      We have a moral responsibility to stop our crimes against others who have no say in our government before we attend to the domestic crimes of our government.

      Immigration is another of those Democrat issues where they carry water for corporations instead of standing up for the best interests of Americans. The only reason why immigration is even on the Democrat radar is because corporations want a steady supply of cheap labor, either in the fields or H1-B in the labs. Democrat and Republican alike like slave labor.

      People who are rotting away in the domestic gulag in general broke the law to get there. Many are there for drug crimes. Ron Paul is the only candidate who dares broach ending the drug war. That would do more to empty out the prisons than anything else.

      Obama and the Democrats have compassion for working people in the same way that domestic abusers have compassion for the spouse they beat bloody. Americans are not libertarian capitalists, not by a long shot. We do, however, oppose the wars, military and drug, as well as support the rule of law and due process.

      If Paul tries to implement libertarian capitalism, which would be difficult to ram through the Congress, then he risks a reverse Allende, plurality winner tries to ram through ideological agenda not supported by the population and faces significant backlash.

      At least Paul would call that question rapidly in contrast to the Democrats who would boil that frog slowly.

    2. Roger Bigod

      “Sorry, Glenn Greenwald has his own set of PC issues he supports and ignores more fundamental flaws in the system.”

      I don’t think he’s ever supported any of the bad conditions you mention. He may not have given them the attention you think is proper, but it’s a lie to say he supports them.

    3. patricia

      AT: Glenn, being only one person and all, can’t cover all the issues. He pounds away very hard already. So for the sake of the other truly important issues that he has no time to cover, why don’t you take up the slack? You know, share the responsibility.

      1. AT

        Patricia

        I do actually spend quite a bit of time fighting against all those things both in my job and in my writing. So it is not merely by commenting here that I do battle.

        And it seems to me the day to day torture going on in the ICE gulags which effects tens, if not hundreds of thousands of people who have no habeaus corpus rights is far more important than the handful in Gitmo who have been denied this right. The millions in US prisons (with the torture of solitary confinement being commonplace usage against tens of thousands of these.) are treated far worse than the handful in Gitmo. Hence if one merely looks at the number effected, Gitmo is a very minor issue. But looking at the overall moral weight, if Greenwald really cared about human rights,, he would spend most of his time writing about immigrant and prisoner rights, not Gitmo. What happens in Maricopa County makes Gitmo look like child’s play. Read Dayan’s book Cruel and Unusual to learn about the connection between the US prison system and Gitmo if you want to educate yourself a bit more on the issues at play.

        If one cares about human rights and opposes torture one needs to be fighting against the entire US so-called justice system. Greenwald, OTOH from my reading of him, thinks that the US justice system is great, and Gitmo is a distortion and a blight on that greatness. I also saw him once argue against the US Congressional law banning bringing the Gitmo prisoners to the US by saying we could put ‘em in SuperMax prisons. What? What? Even the Gitmo lawyers argued Gitmo conditions are far better than Supermax, a blight that makes Soviet Gulags look humane. I can only conclude, that like Paul and other Randian libertarians, he believes that the US Constitution is holy writ the greatest guarantor of human rights. In my own view the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights is such a document. the Us Constitution mainly protects propert rights for the elites.

        1. Roger Bigod

          “If one cares about human rights and opposes torture one needs to be fighting against the entire US so-called justice system.”

          In other words, you’re arguing that no one should criticize the abrogation of civil liberties in the War on Terrah unless they spend a proportionate effort on abuses in prisons and the ICE system. Said proportion to be determined by you. Why not child abuse? Double parking?

          “In my own view the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights is such a document. the Us Constitution mainly protects propert rights for the elites.”

          The Constitution had a pretty good run. And thanks for the pointer. Next time I have a legal problem I’ll tell my local state court to apply the Universal Declaration. What could go wrong?

          1. AT

            If you are fighting the case in the law courts, yes the constitution matters and you fight on those grounds. That’s exactly what the ACLU does and oh, btw, they spend tons more time fighting for immigrant rights and prisoner rights than on Gitmo. They also accomplish a lot, unlike Greenwald.

            Here we are discussing moral stands and what it means to be left. Paul, Greenwald, Randian libetarians of ant stripe are neither left nor do I share any of their moral outlook.There are some on the right who I can identify with on some level – Greenwald isn’t one in my view. feel free to disagree.

        2. patricia

          AT: You write: “Greenwald, OTOH from my reading of him, thinks that the US justice system is great, and Gitmo is a distortion and a blight on that greatness.”

          But Glenn has just written a book titled: “With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law is used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful” He thinks the US justice system is deeply flawed. You need to read more of him, it seems.

          Yes, Glenn is a staunch constitutionalist, believing that we are fundamentally a Republic, based on laws, rather than primarily a democracy, based on majority. (This is why he gave his dubious support to Citizen’s “Untied”.) So he has some associations with the Libertarians. But his association with the ACLIU is much closer, because unlike pure libertarians, he sees the constitution is not primarily about property rights but about human rights. Additionally he believes that society has responsibility to care for it’s poor, old, disabled. (And he has great respect for Yves’s views.)

          He’s just one guy, you know. He’s not going to be “pure”, whatever that means. But he’s honest and careful and his independent thought is vital to the immense difficulties facing our nation. We need him.

          With all the corruption everywhere, with all the bad thinking and selfishness and ignorance, Glenn stands out with integrity. Pick on someone else, AT. There are plenty of others who really need it.

        1. marcos

          When out house is on fire, I am more concerned with attending to the needs of those who are in the house rather than on handling new people coming into the burning house.

          That does not mean that I am against immigration, rather that the debate is so skewed as to be meaningless.

          The US pushes people out of their home countries by imposing violently brutal regimes on them that extract wealth and then pulls them here to seek the wealth that we stole.

          Nobody can say that the out-migration of the Mexican campo under NAFTA has been a good thing. Tearing up families so that some can go norte and make back some of what has been stolen is a coping strategy not a desirable outcome.

          Dismantling the empire will also decrease poverty pushed immigration because people will have choices other than to starve or immigrate seeking resources that were stolen from them.

    1. Roger Bigod

      “PS Glenn Greenwald is also part of the commentariat funded by Koch”

      And that commentariat is?

      If there’s any evidence that Koch money has had an influence on anything he’s written, why not produce it? Otherwise, it’s claiming guilt by association, a poisonous debating tactic.

      1. AT

        Patricia – my comment on the commentariat was a riff on an earlier comment:) Basically so many bloggers (not Yves who I greatly admire) take totally inconsistent stances because their main goal is to look good and holier than the next guy, when it is obvious they don’t care about anything or anyone but themselves. Greenwald is in that class.

        As for the guy above asking for evidence of the Greenwald – Koch connection:
        http://exiledonline.com/glenn-greenwald-of-the-libertarian-cato-institute-posts-his-defense-of-joshua-foust-the-exiled-responds-to-greenwald/

        At least the guys at the exiled often do real investigative journalism, not mere bloviating like Greenwald does.

        And again, what makes me a humbug for pointing out as many others did, that even if you are anti-imperialist and anti-Fed, you can’t in good conscience say I agree with Paul. The philosophy, motives and context for Paul taking those positions do matter.

        1. Roger Bigod

          Like I said, it’s guilt by association. He took money for two writing assignments from the Cato Institute. Both were on policy issues where he’s had a consistent position before and after, and there’s no evidence that the source of funding affected his work. And like I said, it’s a sleazy tactic.

          You might be interested in a site on the internet called the “wikipedia”. There you can look up the Cato Institute. You will find that they have many sources of funding besides Koch. How do we know that the money was exactly the same dollars they gave? And does anything the Koch bros touch become Pure Evil. I saw some positions by the Cato Institute that didn’t seem so satanic.

          1. AT

            Ok, forget The Kochs, they don’t matter as individuals. The Cato institute, OTOH, is one of many right wing think tanks who are funded by elites to destroy left ideology in the US. Read the Invisible Hand to learn more. By associating with Cato Greenwald shows he is is right libetarian ,not left. And if you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas. Plus, it’s kind of sad he denied the whole thing, when the evidence is clearly out there.

          2. AT

            One last point. Wikipedia is not the be all and end all of human knowledge. In my comments I suggested a couple of well researched books by respected scholars. There is a lot to learn in other places besides blogs and Wikipedia.

          3. Roger Bigod

            “By associating with Cato Greenwald shows he is is right libetarian ,not left. And if you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.”

            Like I said, guilt by association. And magical thinking. Does association with Cato transfer negative juju that poisons the humors? Is there something in the water at Cato that gives people brain fever?

        2. patricia

          This is one last comment to you, AT, because I’m on my way to a women’s shelter to help a mother and her two children (which I am telling you for a reason).

          You need to learn to think. I suggest you take a logics course at a community college (which is where that class is yet sometimes taught).

          Just because I appreciate Greenwald doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate Xiled. Xiled’s trenchant journalism doesn’t illegitimate Greenwald’s more verbose focus on law and media. Just because a person may think that Paul is raising some important questions, doesn’t mean that they think he’s a “real’ hopey-changey. Just because a person firmly stands up for his position doesn’t mean they think they’re holier-than-thou.

          Just because someone is paid for a research project by a crappy Institute doesn’t mean that the person is that crappy institute. In your way of thinking, if you’ve ever bought any soya (or derivative), you then completely support Monsanto’s aggression. If you’ve ever eaten fast food, you think it’s great that animals live ruined lives on massive factory farms.

          Thinking is a skill. It comes naturally for a few—the rest of us need to be taught. You are one of the latter. For the your own brain, for the sake of integrity–hell, for the sake of your nation, learn to think.

  44. NOTaREALmerican

    Authority worshiper, Old-Testament, Kick-Ass Daddy, crony-capitalist, Red Team = 35%

    Authority worshiper, New-Testament, Smothering mommy, socialist, Blue Team = 35%

    35% + 35% = 70%. Nobody else is going to win except Red or Blue.

  45. Vincent Vecchione

    Ron Paul couldn’t care less about anyone’s freedom except for the rich and powerful. Most people would say it’s impossible to live free if you have to constantly worry about affording medical bills when you get sick, or how to pay for your retirement without Social Security, let alone if you can’t afford to live with a roof over your head. Yet, Ron Paul is proposing that we cut the already tiny amount spent on ordinary Americans and give enormous tax cuts to the 1% Every single one of his policies will either directly help predators exploiting the working and middle classes, or they’re based on his desire to give more money and privileges to the already rich and powerful. Even his anti-war positions and his view on drug policy ultimately come back to his desire to strengthen the hand of rich white men at the expense of everyone else. Ron Paul is hypocrite, a liar, and a charlatan when he talks about “freedom” and “liberty”. I’ll focus just on his economic proposals, his foreign policy positions, the war on drugs, and immigration. I’m doing this not because most of his proposals deserve serious considerations, but because many people who might be inclined to support him deserve to know the facts.

    The anti-war and drug decriminalization movements deserve better than a shameless liar like Ron Paul. We obviously deserve better than Barack Obama as well. The fact is, if our mainstream politicians, media, justice system, and major economic players weren’t all so hopelessly corrupted, Ron Paul would never have any appeal, because the few times he speaks common sense would seem unremarkable and ordinary. Instead, the absolute cowardice and cynicism of our established institutions means that hate-mongers and bank propagandists will seem like prophets, so long as they tell the truth about one or two obvious things. I honestly can’t blame anyone for showing an interest in Ron Paul, but once you know the facts, I think you have a responsibility to take a moment and think about them. It’s not anyone’s fault when they find themselves the victim of a conniving liar, but I’m sure many people will still continue to ignore reality and support Ron Paul even after they learn the truth. Do not be one of those people.

    Ron Paul’s actual position on the drug war is NOT national legalization/decriminalization. He wants it to be a state matter, which means that if you live in Ron Paul’s home state of Texas (or really the vast majority of states), you’ll still be under threat of prison for smoking a joint. You’d think if Ron Paul was passionate about ending the drug war, he’d actually favor a policy that helps people in his own state of 25 million people. In reality, Ron Paul favors a philosophy of states’ “rights” that was resolved 150 years ago with a civil war, and if that philosophy means 8 or so states will decriminalize weed, he doesn’t mind. I’m obviously, not a libertarian, but it should be just as obvious that neither is Ron Paul.

    Ron Paul’s anti-war stance in a Republican primary is a useful antidote to the one-sided pro-war propaganda from both parties, but I have serious doubts about his sincerity. The point is, why is Ron Paul in 2012 any more trustworthy than Barack Obama in 2008? If you look at Ron Paul’s voting record, you’ll see just as much of a mixed bag with his votes for war as Obama’s presidential record. Of course, Obama doesn’t have heinously hateful views on virtually EVERY other issue, like Ron Paul does (I’ll be posting about his homophobia, misogyny, classism, racism, xenophobia, and anti-antisemitism tomorrow). Just as importantly, Ron Paul is not only selective in which wars he opposes, he’s 100% against the U.S. working together with other countries, even on issues that can only be dealt with on the international level. He wants to leave the U.N., he doesn’t even accept the scientific position on climate change or believe it’s any problem at all, and he wants to cut ALL foreign aid to ZERO. Perhaps most importantly, Ron Paul has repeatedly said that the reason he wants to remove troops from overseas (which most Americans also want to do, including me), is so that he can post them all along the border with Mexico.

    Ron Paul is openly and proudly anti-immigrant, even against documented immigrants. He wants to amend the constitution so that people born in this country can’t become citizens. Instead of the words printed on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty: “”Give me your tired, your poor,
    your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” Ron Paul wants to turn our country into a police state where we have checkpoints for papers, and families are destroyed by the force of government. In fact, hunting immigrants is the only major area where Ron Paul thinks the federal government has a role to play. That’s because Ron’s Paul entire definition of “freedom” means allowing people who already have power to preserve it and strengthen it against the less powerful and the poor.

    In the 2000 presidential election, there was another Republican candidate speaking simple and common-sense truths about avoiding foreign wars and proposing a “humble” American attitude toward the world. His name was George W. Bush. Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9SOVzMV2bc

    I think it’s important to recognize how much of an opportunistic liar and typical politician Ron Paul is. It’s a tragedy that such a sleaze is one of the I’m going to post more about Ron Paul’s racist newsletters tomorrow, but for now, I think it’s important to recognize how much of an opportunistic liar and typical politician Ron Paul is. It’s a tragedy that such a sleaze is one of the few people willing to speak the truth about war, right now, but that doesn’t make him any more deserving of support outside of that topic. http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/12/ron-pauls-shaggy-defense/250256

    Because I’m sure many people will refuse to believe just how hateful Ron Paul is toward immigrants, here are the facts, directly from his own website: “* Enforce Border Security – America should be guarding her own borders and enforcing her own laws instead of policing the world and implementing UN mandates.

    * No Amnesty – The Obama Administration’s endorsement of so-called “Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants, will only encourage more law-breaking.

    * Abolish the Welfare State – Taxpayers cannot continue to pay the high costs to sustain this powerful incentive for illegal immigration. As Milton Friedman famously said, you can’t have open borders and a welfare state.

    * End Birthright Citizenship – As long as illegal immigrants know their children born here will be granted U.S. citizenship, we’ll never be able to control our immigration problem.” So basically, Ron Paul wants to repeal the 14th amendment and prevent people being born in this country from becoming citizens. The only reason he wants to return the troops from war is so that he can intensify the war on the border. http://www.ronpaul2012.com/the-issues/immigration/

    The fact is Ron Paul isn’t so much against foreign wars as he is against foreign ANYTHING. He doesn’t even accept the fact that we have a responsibility to not destroy the planet, let alone the science demonstrating climate change. http://www.skepticalscience.com/skepticquotes.php?s=107

    Vincent Vecchione Ron Paul is just as much of an anti-regulatory zealot as the rest of the GOP, except he’s more open about it. In Ron Paul’s ideal world, there wouldn’t even be an EPA, let alone the new and needed EPA regulations that would protect children from mercury poisoning, as well as our water supplies. http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/focus-on-brain-damage-religious-right.html

    Yet even though Ron Paul is in favor of ending all regulations on toxins, at both the federal AND state level. He couldn’t care less about drug and prison policy at the state level. He doesn’t want to do anything about the 1.5 million people in state prisons (compared to 200,000 people in federal prisons). How is this anything other than blatant hypocrisy? http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/devolution-for-some-of-people.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    The fact is, Ron Paul’s appeal is entirely superficial. It’s not anyone’s fault for falling for it, but if someone continues to deny the reality of Ron Paul’s lies and hate-mongering after they should know better, it will only be more embarrassing for them once the truth becomes impossible to ignore. http://pandagon.net/index.php/site/comments/ron_paul_the_manic_pixie_dream_candidate

    As I said earlier, it’s good that Ron Paul is at the GOP debates and holding both parties accountable for their stances on war and drugs, but his positions on those issues are compromised, too, and on every other issue, people are overlooking how he’s basically just a more blatantly ruthless Republican. http://www.inthesetimes.com/duly-noted/entry/12502/greenwald_vs._pollitt_on_ron_paul/

    If you actually look at Ron Paul’s budget proposals, you’ll see that his entire economic policy boils down to cutting corporate taxes and taxes on the 1% while also cutting the few pennies that we spend on the 99%. He plans to cut just 1 trillion in spending in just the first year, but he also plans to cut over half a trillion in taxes on the 1%! Even if he reduced the entire defense budget to zero, that still means he wants to cut at least another 1 trillion dollars for the 99%, in just one year! That’s basically the entire federal budget. Seriously, it would obliterate over 90% of it. That means social security, medicare, medicaid, heating assistance, food stamps, EVERYTHING!
    http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2012/01/third-partys-charm-ron-pauls-nod-to.html

    The fact is, Ron Paul’s cruel and sadistic hatred of the 99% is disturbingly common among establishment political and media propagandists. The focus on “austerity” is literally nothing except class warfare, and it’s time we stop pretending that it’s somehow bold, brave, or based on reality. http://pandagon.net/index.php/site/comments/please-republicans-explain-how-much-pain-you-want-americans-to-endure

    Ron Paul likes to pretend that he knows something or anything about the economy, but he’s actually an ignorant liar with an agenda. Him and every other right-wing and “centrist” a-hole who talks about the “debt crisis” have been disproven completely. They’ve been saying that the federal debt is unsustainable and that national interest payments on the debt will increase as a result, but just today, the 10 year interest rate on the national debt hit an all-time historical low. This is literally the except opposite of what the austerity fanatics are warning about. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/treasurys-edge-up-before-auction-beige-book-2012-01-11-921130

    While the disgusting truth is that both Republicans and way too many Democrats (including Obama) have been peddling the austerity lie, Republicans like Paul have been especially cruel in demanding that all spending on the 99% come to end. While the disgusting truth is that both Republicans and way too many Democrats (including Obama) have been peddling this lie, Republicans like Paul have been especially cruel in demanding that all spending on the 99% come to end. The Pennsylvania Republican governor is putting Ron Paul’s economic policy into practice by ending food stamps for anyone with any savings, so that when they get fired, they can have the “freedom” to choose between either affording rent, or affording food. http://pandagon.net/index.php/site/comments/keeping-people-in-poverty-one-mean-spirited-program-at-a-time1

    As Amanda Marcotte points out in this podcast, once you stop to think about it, Ron Paul’s gold standard lunacy just doesn’t make any sense. Gold does not have a stable/intrinsic value. If you look at any easily google-able chart comparing them, it’s clear that fluctuations in the value of gold are much more volatile and unpredictable than the fiat dollar. More importantly, we can actually have democratic control over the value of the dollar, unlike the price of gold, which would leave all of us at the mercy of gold traders. Of course, Ron Paul himself owns millions of dollars in both gold and gold mining corporate stocks, so I think it’s important to recognize who will benefit from his proposals. If the world’s largest economy changes its currency to a gold basis, obviously that will increase demand for it, and the value for Ron Paul’s investments. As with so much of Ron Paul’s philosophy, his idea of freedom is the freedom for the already rich and powerful to make even more money at the expense of everyone else. Plus, as the podcast points out, it means the freedom to exclude people of color from restaurants and hotels. Also, as Samhita Mukhopadhyay points out, if we devolve all governmental power to the states, that means transferring (and probably increasing) all the abuses and injustices at the U.S. border to every border between each of the 48 mainland states. As much as I’d sometimes like to build a wall keeping tourists out of New Jersey (especially ones from the other side of the Delaware), Ron Paul’s proposal is seriously absurd, inhuman, and oppressive. Anyway, I just have to nitpick on one point, which is that Ron Paul doesn’t want to return the U.S. to 1920. At that point, the federal reserve already existed and the 14th amendment had been passed. The society Ron Paul wants to return us to to is the one before the Civil War. http://opinionated.wearecitizenradio.com/page/3/

    I apologize for quoting from the movie Aladdin, but I think it nicely summarizes who benefits from a gold-based currency. Instead of a society structured around any version of the Golden Rule, we’d replace it with, “Whoever has the gold, makes the rules”. It’s not that complicated. There is a limited amount of gold in the world. Whoever has it will have all the wealth and power, under a gold system. Instead of having a society where money is just a tool that we can democratically control, and make as much as we need, we put all the power into the hands of people who have the gold. Of course, right now, the Federal Reserve isn’t really accountable to democratic control, so I applaud Ron Paul and the liberals Democrats for forcing through an audit, but “end the fed” doesn’t actually give us more control over money, it gives us even less. Ron Paul wanted an audit so that he could destroy any hope for monetary democracy. For more information on why the gold standard is ridiculous, check out the “Public Money for Public Purpose”, right here on Naked Capitalism. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AEkLXkDgWI

    So I think it’s a great idea for liberals/progressives to work with Ron Paul on auditing the fed, and ending wars both criminal and overseas. But the alliance with Ron Paul ends there. Being president means that he’s president over the entire executive branch, not just the parts that we don’t like. http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/antebellum-libertarianism.html

    Ron Paul’s idea of “freedom” doesn’t extend to workers acting together for better wages and working conditions. He’s one of the most anti-union members of Congress, even moreso than most Republicans. http://www.inthesetimes.com/working/entry/12481/ron_paul_would_allow_open_season_on_union_organizers/

    Anyway, as 2012 gears up, I think it’s important to remember that supporting a presidential candidate is literally the exact LEAST a person can do to make the world a better place. It’s important, but it’s not even close to enough. We have so many problems in this country, and all Ron Paul does is direct the time, energy, and scarce resources of good-intentioned and passionate people away from more direct activism. In the end, Ron Paul is just another two-bit lying and ignorant politician who’s trying to sell a cheap imitation of freedom while protecting his ulterior interests. This post describes 7 ways that people can actually fight for real freedom, so please check them out if you’re nearby. Nobody is blaming you for thinking Ron Paul might be the real deal, but if you continue to excuse and justify his hypocrisy and a-holery while ignoring the biggest social movement of our lifetime, you will have only yourself to blame. I trust that only a few people are that foolish, and their numbers will shrink rapidly. http://www.alternet.org/story/153596/7_places_the_99_will_fight_back_hard_in_2012/

    1. Fiver

      I’m not aware of 1 single person on the “left” who supports Paul as a package. The entire ATTRACTION is based on the anti-Empire and anti-Federal Reserve banking system (which means Wall Street as we know it). And that’s all ANY of these bloggers has said.

      You state: “So I think it’s a great idea for liberals/progressives to work with Ron Paul on auditing the fed, and ending wars both criminal and overseas. But the alliance with Ron Paul ends there.”

      That, precisely, is what is salient to this entire discussion, i.e., that if people could get past their long-since maladaptive ideological “security alert” mindsets, they’d see the strategic opening that exists for a coalition built around ending Empire, and ending the fusion of Wall Street and Washington. THAT coalition, limited in scope, but transformative in impact if elected, is far, far more likely to bear fruit than any existing choice. But it is IMPOSSIBLE so long as you brand your prospective partners as evil or insane, which they are clearly neither, just different.

      The US is a police state and Imperial thug NOW. Wall Street and the Pentagon run Washington NOW. That costs the US at least $2 trillion/year NOW. A vote for Obama or ANY Republican ensures that abomination just gets worse. You want to ensure an ever-more-intrusive and malevolent police state, well, just keep on doing what the current Elite wants you to do – squawk and squabble and rant about all those things that divide and by doing so just cede the core issues that completely determine how POWER is exercised NOW and on whose behalf. If Rahm Emmanuel’s citing of the “left” as a “bunch of fucking retards” doesn’t make it clear, what does?

      Democracy in the US is in critical condition. You can thank the so-called “liberals” and the quagmire of identity crusaders of the last 2 generations for that. It’s been absolutely evident for decades where this was headed, and the “left” very broadly speaking has completely blown it. It had better recognize it is dreaming if it thinks it can pull this off by itself. These are desperate times – time to start acting the part.

      1. Vincent Vecchione

        I categorically reject the assertion that control of government by the big banks can be separated from the racism and sexism that’s used to pacify and appease huge swathes of this country. Forced pregnancy is a problem NOW. The imprisonment of millions of black men by state (NOT including federal) prisons is a problem NOW. Denying voting rights to the most consistently progressive/radical populations is a problem NOW. Residential segregation right NOW has barely changed since the assassination of MLK: http://www.lawyerscommittee.org/about/letter?id=0018 In case you’re too ignorant to understand why that’s a problem, I’d advise you to consider the effects of residential segregation on school funding.

        Anyway, more than being problems right NOW, they’ve been problems for decades because BOTH parties have ignored them. The idea that Democrats somehow cater to “identity politics” to the detriment of “real” issues is both false on the facts, and based on a ridiculous premise. The fact that some people vote against progressives because they get tangible benefits from the refusal to rock the boat on sex and gender issues does NOT justify ignoring those issues. Women are the majority of this country, and ONE THIRD of those women will have an abortion at some point in their life times. Pretending that this isn’t a “real” issue is not only openly sexist, but it’s also classist/racist in that the women most affected by restrictions on abortion at the state level and the Hyde Amendment at the federal level are women of color and impoverished women.

        As for Ron Paul, it should be pretty clear that I loathe him, and not because of some nonsense about progressivism being impossible to separate from big finance and war funding. I’m not carelessly smearing Ron Paul, because he IS a liar, a charlatan, a hate-monger, and a political opportunist. That Matt Stoller post was a train wreck of illogic and ignorance, and I told him as much via Twitter. But just to reiterate here, there is ZERO reason why social spending can only occur in tandem with war spending. The cold War ended over 20 years ago. At best, his argument was the equivalent of saying that during the post-war era Democrats catered to racists and sexists in order to get votes (which is coincidentally EXACTLY what you’re arguing for right now). But his argument is worthless as a description of the Democratic Party right NOW. I’d like to point out that the argument I’m making now is even further to the left of the one made by Noam Chomsky in this video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNpNzDoH1II&feature=player_embedded According to Chomsky, the GOP is the party of military and oil spending, and the Democrats are the party of big finance. That sounds like a pretty direct contradiction of Thomas Ferguon’s “Investment Theory of Politics” to me.

        So yeah, just because white people can now be detained indefinitely without due process, suddenly due process is THE MOST IMPORTANT issue in politics today. Bullshit! People of color have been systematically denied due process rights for decades, and the abuses being extended to all Americans are a direct outgrowth of the racist precedents. Until we demolish that foundation of abuse, we’re just papering over the problem, and Ron Paul’s supposed “coalition” would only make the problem continue indefinitely.

  46. Jackrabbit

    On MLK Day

    From Wikipedia:
    The first official slogan of the Libertarian Party was “There Ain’t No Such Thing as a Free Lunch” (often seen as “TANSTAAFL” for short), a phrase popularized by Robert A Heinlein in his 1966 novel The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, sometimes dubbed “a manifesto for a libertarian revolution”. The current slogan of the party is “The Party of Principle”.

    The cover of the April 8, 1966 edition of Time and the accompanying article concerned a movement in American theology that arose in the 1960s known as the “death of God”.

    In 1961, Vahanian’s book “The Death of God” was published. Vahanian argued that modern secular culture had lost all sense of the sacred, lacking any sacramental meaning, no transcendental purpose or sense of providence. He concluded that for the modern mind “God is dead”. In Vahanian’s vision a transformed post-Christian and post-modern culture was needed to create a renewed experience of deity.

    —————
    I’m not arguing for a return to strict religous beliefs but it seems to me that the elites in charge have already bought in to many of the Libertarian ideals and there is no moral counterpoint. For example, what would MLK have to say about the “Properity Gospel.”

    1. Jackrabbit

      Sorry this comment was written quickly.

      I meant to say, there is no moral counterpoint within Libertarian thought (AFAIK).

      Paul essentially claims that individuals are a check on each others behavior and that on a macro level those same forces will cause society to remain in balance.

      While that thinking may hold for individuals on the micro level, it seems like wishful thinking on the macro level absent some strong incentive – like a strong moral grounding – to work for the greater good.

  47. Mattski

    In the end, this post is pretty messy. Do we really want to paint Pollitt the “gender bending right wing” etcetera brush?
    Her attack is off-base, but I don’t think it puts her in that camp.

    Personally, I’m keeping it uppermost that Paul is a scary creep who I have one thing in common with; I think that’s Greenwald’s position, too. YES, Paul points up a contradiction in many liberals’ support of war–that’s a contradiction we’ve faced since the 1950s, for Christ’s sakes. But as many posts here show, our critique is skin-deep; those same liberals–people who are viscerally anti-war and have ZERO awareness that their relative privilege derives from the American project–are now ready to turn to Paul out of sheer dogged ignorance of how that project is predicated on racism and exploitation of poor people around the world.

    1. Mattski

      Even Paul doesn’t understand it, which is why his ruling class colleagues all think he’s an ignoramus.

    2. Fiver

      Why not view it as “liberals” may finally be coming to the realization that Empire and democracy are lethal enemies? That aside from the $trillion per year for Empire in all its manifestations, constant pounding of innocent peoples to dust for no credible reason(s) is as de-moral-izing to a society as anything one can imagine?

      Why not realize that if Paul’s position on 2 or 3 issues is what is resonating beyond his long-time core following, that this is precisely what to focus on for building a limited coalition for 2016? Purpose: address Empire, Wall Street (Federal Reserve System), domestic police state. All other issues secondary (though those things that must be done are done via interplay between Congress and White House) for 1 term while this is implemented. Take care of what is worst about the US government, remove that enormously onerous burden, and I rather expect the public’s view of what to do with the immense gains will take a far more generous turn.

  48. Lambert Strether

    Shorter: “He Who Cannot Be Named is running for President against the war.”

    Because, really, that’s the post that the inordinately prolix Obama supporters, Democrats, and liberals would have Yves write.

    How else is Yves to remark on the remarkable fact that there’s no other (legacy party) candidate breathing a word against the wars, except by naming that candidate?

    Or perhaps the apologists would rather that the awkward topic were not brought up at all?

    1. jimmyj

      Dude, no fair! I had to look up the word ‘prolix’! Seriously though, if you are still looking to the legacy parties for a solution, perhaps you understand less than I thought.

    2. Aquifer

      “Shorter: “He Who Cannot Be Named is running for President against the war.” Because, really, that’s the post that the inordinately prolix Obama supporters, Democrats, and liberals would have Yves write.”

      Well that may be true for some, don’t know, but that is not what i would like to see. How about “Jill Stein, a true Prog., is running for Pres against the War, the Banksters, and a Lot of Other Crappy Stuff, and for Jobs, Education and a Planet we Can Live On!”

      “How else is Yves to remark on the remarkable fact that there’s no other (legacy party) candidate breathing a word against the wars, except by naming that candidate?”

      But why focus on a “legacy party” at all, (as jimmyj says), when we all know that the legacy parties are hopelessly corrupt? There’s nothing remarkable about that fact ..

      “Or perhaps the apologists would rather that the awkward topic were not brought up at all?”

      Apologists? Apologists for whom? The assumption that all those who decry a focus on RP are Dem apologists, if that is where you are going, is sorely mistaken, but that seems to be the assumption stubbornly insisted on – in spite of all arguments to the contrary.

      Why are those of us who are not arguing from that perspective being pretty much ignored? I guess our arguments are a bit “awkward” in terms of that assumption, but “awkward” seems to be the preferred flavor when applied with relish to the “fact” of RPs positions ….

      What should be considered “awkward”, IMO, is why there is so much silence on lefty blogs about real lefty candidates, other than by some of us lowly commenters ….

  49. donna

    I came to the progressive viewpoint from the libertarian side, so I get Ron Paul. What drew me away from the libertarian viewpoint though was the 350K of my mom’s medical bills, thankfully picked up by medicare and private insurance. And caring for my disabled sister and nephew since then, who could not survive without social security. Not everyone can take care of themselves, no matter how much we might wish that to be true.

    And hey, I once voted for Reagan when I worked in the defense industry. Nobody has clean hands in one viewpoint completely. That’s why it gets interesting to listen to different viewpoints and debate them.

    Name calling is not necessary for anyone. Listening is. We should certainly encourage a rational viewpoint from anyone on a subject we agree with them on. Who knows, it might lead them to listen to our viewpoint on other things. Or not. But calling people crazy for the viewpoint they hold solves nothing. Talking about why you hold the views you do does, and helps you get what other people think too, instead of just thinking they are nuts.

    1. marcos

      The most promising part of a progressive/libertarian alliance would be for us to put aside the wedge issues, get off of our hobby horses for a moment to focus on the critical tasks at hand. Even if we don’t win the immediate battle, the demystification of “The Other” that comes out of putting differences aside for common cause can lead to standing down on the worst of the polemics.

      My read is that the libertarians think they can win this outright without any progressive help. They misunderestimate the determination with which the power elite (hi, c. wright mills) clings to the apparatus of state.

      1. Pitchfork

        “My read is that the libertarians think they can win this outright without any progressive help.”

        You’re projecting. You’re also wrong. Anti-war libertarians have been advocating a left-right alliance for years. So have anti-war progressives (see David Swanson and Tom Engelhardt for example). This tentative alliance on the war is now carrying over into the OWS movement — though certainly not in enough numbers as of yet.

        1. Pitchfork

          I should add, per your comment above, that Paul supporters are well aware of the need to get progressive and other indy votes in a head-to-head vs. Obama.

        2. marcos

          Let me refine my statement. My read is that the Pauls, Ron and Rand, think they can win without a strategic alliance progressives.

          1. Pitchfork

            OK, gotchya. However, both Ron and Rand make a habit of talking about alliances with progressives on scaling back the empire and on reigning in the Fed and protecting civil liberties. Speaking from my own experience with the libertarian crowd (diverse as it is) the call for cooperation with progressives is genuine.

          2. marcos

            One way that we can start building common ground is to refrain from psychoanalyzing others to assert motive, okay? I am not projecting anything.

            Libertarians remind me a lot of Stalinists, those who believe that very complicated problems can be solved very simply just so long as we do not deviate one iota from the script.

            Just as Stalin proved that Leninism was not a viable means of moving towards the emancipatory society that Marx sketched, Greenspan proved that even with the power of the Oracle, that libertarian capitalism is unworkable.

            Just as there are socialists and communists who say that Stalin just wasn’t Leninist enough and that we need to do it right the next time, there are libertarian capitalist making the same claim on Greenspan, he deviated from the script too often and was not libertarian enough.

            Based on the nature of the ideologies involved, one might expect for lefties to make the leap that it might be better to take steps that strategically benefit the broadest chunk of “the working class.” One might also expect, due to the inherent selfishness glorified by libertarian theorists, that libertarians would have more trouble putting aside their ideological crusade in favor of strategically compromising for the moment to build a grand populist coalition to oust the criminals.

            The left has the history of Marxism/Leninism at one extreme, and the Nader presidential campaign at the other to serve as guides, where libertarians don’t have that kind of history, revolutionary or electoral, and that is a difference in approach that is important. Progressives know how we were tripped up, libertarians might be laboring under misapprehensions.

            If we can learn from each other, perhaps we can jump over those traps?

          3. JTFaraday

            “The left has the history of Marxism/Leninism at one extreme, and the Nader presidential campaign at the other to serve as guides, where libertarians don’t have that kind of history, revolutionary or electoral”

            Not so. Not only do “libertarians” own virtually all of American history but Greenspan and 1929, in particular, have their name written all over it.

            Of contemporary libertarians, some will learn something from that and some will double down–just like people of any other ideological leaning.

            Some will simply position themselves to their own individual benefit. This, in fact, isn’t stupid. Sometimes, the only thing you can get a reasonable degree of control over is your own individual situation.

            Of course some people, like the President of the US or the Secretary of the Treasury, do have bigger responsibilities than merely the careerist pursuit of personal advantage, but I assume you’re not referring to those libertarians.

      2. Fiver

        But surely, not just here at NC but in pretty much every other discussion of this on “progressive” sites, the lesson to take away is that it is the “left” (even defined very loosely at best accounting for 20% of the electorate) who for some bizarre reason believe they can win this on their own despite total failure since the ’60′s. Just listen to the level of vitriol aimed at anyone who even hints at making some sort of limited common cause to go at those elements of the US government that do the greatest damage, i.e., Empire in all its forms, a Washington captured by the existing Wall Street/Federal Reserve-based banking cartel, and the domestic police state.

        The Dems and Reps just lick their chops when they see this sort of ideological myopia from their would-be opposition in the face of clear and present existential threats.

  50. Bridget

    Ahem. Any of you Paul leaning progressives who happen to live in Texas? If any of you are out there? Texas primaries are open. You’ve already got Obama guaranteed, so skip the Democratic primary and line up in the Republican primary to cast your vote for Paul. Won’t hurt anything, and might help. At the very least, you can make Republicans apoplectic.

  51. Pitchfork

    Can anyone on the Greenwald-Smith-Sirota side of the Ron Paul fence please explain why they are NOT endorsing Ron Paul? Are empire and corporatism not the chief political problems of our time? And don’t the erosion of our civil liberties and the erosion of economic opportunity stem directly from the wars, the bailouts and the corporate control of our government?

    Although I generally support Paul’s liberatarian views on government’s role, if Kucinich were running against Obama I’d endorse him, support him, donate to his campaign, etc. And if I thought he had a chance to win, I’d walk through hell trying to get him elected. The issues on which Kucinich (or Greenwald) agrees with Ron Paul are THAT IMPORTANT.

    I know progressives find Paul “icky” and wrong-headed on many things, but if the issues that Yves, GG, Sirota et al. are citing are really so important — and they are — why aren’t progressives openly and actively cheerleading for Ron Paul? I’m not saying the moral choices here are Manichean, but the practical political choices are.

      1. marcos

        Jill Stein has a better platform than Ron Paul but she has raised what, $30K so far, and the Green Party has not yet recovered from injuries it received in 2000 and that were worked on it by divisions in the middle of the last decade.

        Ron Paul has a nationwide campaign organization and a credible base with which to launch a competitive national campaign.

        1. Aquifer

          “Jill Stein has a better platform than Ron Paul”

          Finally! Thank you! Some recognition that there is a better candidate than Paul – shucks, why is that so hard to say for so many?

          “but she has raised what, $30K so far, and the Green Party has not yet recovered from injuries it received in 2000 and that were worked on it by divisions in the middle of the last decade.”

          So pull out your wallet and your band aids, time’s a’wastin’!

          “Ron Paul has a nationwide campaign organization and a credible base with which to launch a competitive national campaign.”

          So, let me get this straight – support the one with the worse platform because he has more money and a bigger “organization”. So, do you want bigger, or better? Quantity or quality?

          Hmmm, isn’t that why we are in the pickle we are in, because what we have been doing for decades now is choosing the former over the latter?

          1. marcos

            Jill Stein is not a better candidate than Ron Paul because Stein is not putting together the package to run competitively because she has no organization or money. I’m not talking super PAC levels of money, just money to keep the lights on in enough states to win a majority of electoral votes.

            Platform + Organization + Money is what makes a campaign “better,” as in more competitive and viable.

            We’ve all gone through the motions of showing up with (what we think are) good ideas and coming away with 3% of the vote.

      2. Pitchfork

        Just did. There’s no “platform” or “issues” section on the site, but she says “peace,” “justice” and “green” a lot, so I can surmise where she’s coming from.

        I don’t want to derail the thread, but Stein seems OK. If she were remotely in contention, I’d be willing to consider her — but only if empire, civil liberties and bank bailouts are really tops on her agenda.

        1. Jackrabbit

          no plaform
          I think their working on that (someone has complained about that on the site). What I know of her, I gleaned from her speeches (on the site), blog entries, and looking on Wikipedia and the Green Party site.

          I don’t want to derail the thread, but Stein seems OK. If she were remotely in contention, I’d be willing to consider her …
          She’s as much “in contention” as RP: the Intrade Prediction Market shows a less than 3% chance that RP becomes President.

          If RP runs as a Third Party Candidate (unlikely) AND seems to be close to winning (unlikely), THEN you’d still have to consider whether you thought he would actually be able to change anything for the better (Congress is still mostly Dem and Rep).

          With Jill Stein, you get a candidate that will raise issues that would not otherwise get raised. And even if she doesn’t win, Stein and the Green Party – a real _progressive_ alternative – will gain a stronger voice.

          — but only if empire, civil liberties and bank bailouts are really tops on her agenda.
          AFAIK, She’s against the wars, very much for civil liberties (hates NDAA and police brutality against the protesters), and rightfully blames the banksters for the economic mess.

          But she also has sensible position on other issues. She’s against fracking, for extending Medicade/Medicare to all, and more

  52. JTFaraday

    If I remember correctly, when this internecine blogwar got started, Stoller and Greenwald fully acknowledged the Official List of Liberal Objections to Ron Paul, and contended that the real reason liberals couldn’t deal with him was that his attention to our Imperial and police state policies were something liberals couldn’t deal with due to contradictions internal to liberalism itself.

    I notice that as of the current round of responses from the liberal punditocracy– is this the third round now?– it has yet to address either Paul’s opposition to our Imperial and police state policies or the internal contradictions imposed on liberals due to their very nearly automatic support for authoritarian and paternalistic state interventionism.

    No, the pundits are still stuck tirelessly rehearsing the same Official List of Liberal Objections to Ron Paul that both Stoller and Greenwald acknowledged in the first place.

    No one has an actual response to Stoller and Greenwald, or Ron Paul, on the subject of one-way authoritarian state intervention even in the face of an actual activist state– the US federal government– that is increasingly a menace to human decency both at home and abroad.

    If there can even be an issue bigger than this one in the life of a nation, it’s going to have to be pretty freaking substantial.

    1. Aquifer

      “No one has an actual response to Stoller and Greenwald, or Ron Paul, on the subject of one-way authoritarian state intervention even in the face of an actual activist state– the US federal government– that is increasingly a menace to human decency both at home and abroad.”

      So maybe the answer is to turn that “activist state” into a benefactor of, instead of a menace to, decency at home and abroad. How about them apples?

      1. JTFaraday

        Ware you talking about? We already have that. We have “liberal humanitarian interventionism” by drone attack. We’re freeing people all over the middle east right now.

        1. JTFaraday

          All of which is to say, that the liberal elites that have terminally infected the D-Party and the intellectual “left”– need to be put completely out of power very bit as much as the neo-conservatives that have taken over the Republican Party.

          Ron Paul, like it or not, really is the only high profile political figure categorically making the judgment that this is a tainted strain of abusive power that has no place in a democratic republic.

          It is not only every bit as bad as the sexism and racism that liberals keep throwing back in his face, but it is also being used as an excuse to undermine long fought-for civil rights within the US.

          As for whether or not namby pamby John Rawls is on Ron Paul’s bookshelf or not, I really don’t care. What I am interested in right now is Arendt’s Origins of Totalitarianism.

          I have the right book for the moment and you don’t. I am prepared to make that judgment.

        2. Aquifer

          “Take care of what is worst about the US government, remove that enormously onerous burden, and I rather expect the public’s view of what to do with the immense gains will take a far more generous turn.”

          One small problem – if we take care of this “onerous burden” by electing RP, those “immense gains” will not be available to the public to be generous with. “The public” for RP does not exist ….

      1. JTFaraday

        Well, interestingly, as of this third round, the liberal punditocracy has not even so much as addressed Ron Paul’s anti-regulatory stance, but has done more than its fair share of promoting yet again the same forty year old culture wars that systematically divides the American people from itself, over and over again.

        If anything had changed in 40 years, for better or worse, you would never know it from listening to these rancid pills.

        Or wasn’t that obvious?

        1. Vincent Vecchione

          Next time you make claims that nobody addressed Ron Paul’s anti-regulatory bullshit, maybe you should actually bother checking first.

      2. Fiver

        I’m a life-long democratic socialist and environmentalist. It is to me quite obvious that the environment trumps everything else. However, action on the environment – or any other public “good” – cannot and will not occur so long as the current Wall Street/Pentagon/Washington elite is in place. In that sense I am entirely in agreement with Mr. Faraday. To simply write off the possibility of a limited coalition around VITAL goals, goals that if not attained mean no forward movement on ANYTHING, is to welcome oblivion with open arms.

  53. thelonegunman

    Wow yves… You really kicked the hornets nest with this topic (yet again…)

    But then we all know NC is home to Birchers and other fringe loons (snark)… I’ve put this n my instapaper to read while on the elliptical in the AM… The comments section is voluminous… I wonder how many sockmonkeys came out to play on this one…

    The very sad thing about Barry, as Glenn G has pointed out at length and in great depth, is he is to the right of Shrub on so many issues.. As a progressive, they’rerety much asking us to hold our nose and vote for him AGAIN because ‘after all, who are you gonna vote for instead???’

    If BHO has revealed anything (any delusion remaining after that great two term moderate republican Bill Clinton) it’s that we are living under a single party oligarchy with place state powers running rampant and unchecked…

  54. Aquifer

    OK, how about this:

    Stein Embraces Dr. King’s Call to make Health Care a Right, Promote Economic Justice and End War
    Posted by Jill Stein for President -3pc on January 16, 2012 ·
    “I will bring our troops home not only from Afghanistan and Iraq and Africa and South America, but from the more than one hundred countries where we have bases. The best way to protect the security of Americans is to rebuild our economy and stop using our military and economic might to exploit other countries and enrich corporate war profiteers,” noted Stein.

  55. Skippy

    The president is just monkey attached to a hurdy gurdy, he does not crank the handle.

    So much energy directed at a side show… Barf.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqhxK_g9mrA

    Skippy… all we (royal) get… is… to vote on the monkey… we aesthetically bond too. A trained fooking monkey, hell is the hill just a pet enclosure?

  56. Yves Smith Post author

    Honestly, did you read the post? No one is endorsing Ron Paul, but it seems we have a lot of readers suffering from the cognitive bias known as the halo effect. Or are you just channeling the Obamabots’ line? It’s a disgrace that Obama and the Democratic hackocracy are to the right of Ron Paul on important issues. How hard is it to grasp that point?

    JTFaraday got it:

    If I remember correctly, when this internecine blogwar got started, Stoller and Greenwald fully acknowledged the Official List of Liberal Objections to Ron Paul, and contended that the real reason liberals couldn’t deal with him was that his attention to our Imperial and police state policies were something liberals couldn’t deal with due to contradictions internal to liberalism itself.

    I notice that as of the current round of responses from the liberal punditocracy– is this the third round now?– it has yet to address either Paul’s opposition to our Imperial and police state policies or the internal contradictions imposed on liberals due to their very nearly automatic support for authoritarian and paternalistic state interventionism

    1. skippy

      Personally I blame high school football and professional two team sports.

      Skippy… I kid not, people are introduced at a young age via all the usual suspects. Barf!

    2. proximity1

      Yves,

      RE:

      Honestly, did you read the post? No one is endorsing Ron Paul, but it seems we have a lot of readers suffering from the cognitive bias known as the halo effect. Or are you just channeling the Obamabots’ line? It’s a disgrace that Obama and the Democratic hackocracy are to the right of Ron Paul on important issues. How hard is it to grasp that point?

      ‘ Error 404 : “Sound Reason” not found. ‘

      Voici, pour vous, dans un mouchoir de poche:

      Dan Kervick says:

      January 17, 2012 at 8:10 am

      There are no progressives running in either party. Obama didn’t even face a primary challenge. It’s not surprising that some desperate progressives are flailing intellectually and emotionally, and trying to find slivers of hope wherever they appear.

      But I would have thought if there is any single thing uniting “progressives” in the area of social and economic policy, it is opposition to laissez faire. And Paul is the patron saint of laissez faire in contemporary American politics. Progressive interest in him doesn’t add up.

      But, I’ll add this :

      Ron Paul is NOT “debating” with anyone and least of all with liberals/progressives. His object is garnering votes, not listening to others’ points; so, our discussion of _him_ in any respect, as caandidate or not, is thoroughly pointless and a waste of time.

      Paul doesn’t want to advance Left-wing objectives which center on real social economic justice . He wants to further secure the untrammeled prerogatives of property-owners and their control of everything, private, public, political or other.

      To pander to his program and talking-points, mentioning them as being to his credit is perverse. He neither wants, needs nor cares about what liberal/progressives think about him or want from him. Non-money-backing supporters are not in the realm of those he’d deign to lend an ear.

      Not only that, he’s the OPPOSITION. When liberals are reduced to pandering to their opponents, that means— unless they come to their senses and stop—

      GAME OVER: YOU LOSE.

    3. marcos

      Yves, next step is to wean us off of the false dichotomy of left/right. Who wants to pigeon hole their politics based on the seating arrangements in the French assembly post-revolution?

  57. reason

    I don’t have a vote, but I don’t think Ron Paul has a chance (and he won’t be on the ballot) so in the US system people wanting to vote for him are wasting their vote. If they are normally progressive they are defacto voting for Bain Capital.

    They only guy I would waste my vote on, was one who wanted to reform the voting system and campaign finance.

  58. Dan Kervick

    There are no progressives running in either party. Obama didn’t even face a primary challenge. It’s not surprising that some desperate progressives are flailing intellectually and emotionally, and trying to find slivers of hope wherever they appear.

    But I would have thought if there is any single thing uniting “progressives” in the area of social and economic policy, it is opposition to laissez faire. And Paul is the patron saint of laissez faire in contemporary American politics. Progressive interest in him doesn’t add up.

    1. proximity1

      RE:

      “Dan Kervick says:

      January 17, 2012 at 8:10 am

      “There are no progressives running in either party. Obama didn’t even face a primary challenge. It’s not surprising that some desperate progressives are flailing intellectually and emotionally, and trying to find slivers of hope wherever they appear.

      But I would have thought if there is any single thing uniting “progressives” in the area of social and economic policy, it is opposition to laissez faire. And Paul is the patron saint of laissez faire in contemporary American politics. Progressive interest in him doesn’t add up.”

      I say,

      Bingo! Go to the head of the class!

      1. JTFaraday

        That’s one provincial classroom you’re running. Where is this “laissez faire” policy from an international perspective?

        Does the US federal government intervene in foreign governments on behalf of so-called US “interests” (albeit usually factional, or private and increasingly multinational interests) or not?

        Either you honestly don’t know the answer to that or you’re a liar.

        1. proximity1

          I don’t know what you mean by this or, that is, what you think this means,

          “Where is this “laissez faire” policy from an international perspective?

          “Does the US federal government intervene in foreign governments on behalf of so-called US “interests” (albeit usually factional, or private and increasingly multinational interests) or not?

          “Either you honestly don’t know the answer to that or you’re a liar.”

          Really, would you care to explain what you mean to ask here? : “Where is this “laissez faire” policy from an international perspective?” To _which_ laissez-faire “policy” do you refer or about which do you mean to ask?

          And, RE: “”Does the US federal government intervene in foreign governments on behalf of so-called US “interests” (albeit usually factional, or private and increasingly multinational interests) or not?”

          Yes, it (i.e. the U.S. govt.) does do such things. Whether you are aware of that, whether you find the interventions proper or not, I can’t tell from your comment. But also, in the context of Ron Paul, his campaign and the silly discussion of these here in this site, I don’t understand what relevant point about all those just-mentioned you’re trying to make.

        2. Dan Kervick

          I’ve tried to puzzle this out but your comment doesn’t seem to make any connection with my comment. What about my comment makes you think that I believe the US government practices a laissez faire foreign policy?

          1. JTFaraday

            What makes you think the US federal government practices a “laissez faire” domestic policy? I’m rather under the impression the US federal government actively intervenes in domestic and international markets, including financial “markets,” in order to ensure the results that politicians and their sponsors want– on a daily basis.

            If the US federal government didn’t constantly intervene, Ron Paul could just hang up his “free market” ideological spurs and become the laissez faire former Rep from Texas.

            There’s nothing “laissez faire” about the federal order to purchase health care financing products or pay a fine, for example. (And who was it that was out there begging for that f*cking bill, by the way?)

            Just because the federal government isn’t meddling the domestic life of the nation in the way you want, doesn’t mean it’s somehow not doing it!

            Take off the ideological blinders and use your head. This is the problem with the War on Libertarians–it’s pure bullshit from one end to the other. Even I know that, and I’m not any kind of economist.

            Next you’ll be telling me the housing bubble was also a product of a “laissez faire” federal government that would never dream of intervening in the domestic economy…

    2. marcos

      Missing from this analysis is that the Democrats are doing what liberals like to do, enforcing free market libertarian discipline on the working classes while continuing to subsidize and insulate the corporate classes from the consequences of their economic activity.

      Paul would treat labor and capital equally, bringing capital down to the level of labor, making it subject to market discipline. This is not my idea of good politics, but perhaps if capital were to face the music, they’d play a different tune?

      The Democrats are slow frog boiling us towards the worst aspects of libertarian capitalism anyway. Perhaps if it were sped up there would be more resistance, otherwise we just get where we’re going under the benevolent patronage of liberal elites, only faster.

      1. molten_tofu

        Labor is not capital, which is why both are required for production. Labor and capital are in the markets as inputs. Labor is people, capital is not. People (ostensibly) own themselves, but capital cannot – who owns the capital? Right now, “the corporate classes” own the capital. Thus, capital is insulation in that it is in the market but not its owners.

        Social control (either through regulation or labor ownership) of capital is the only sure way of maintaining a balance of power in the market for inputs. That is, we ultimately have to vote at the ballot, with our wallets, or with our feet.

        …btw I am NOT endorsing a Marxist revolution. In any way. I swear.

        Also, my instinct is “the worst aspects of libertarian capitalism” are the opposite of “benevolent patronage”. Help me out here?

        1. marcos

          Benevolent patronage of the liberal elites was meant as sarcasm. It is not benevolent, it is just patronizing.

          Libertarians trumpet their support for free markets. Liberals trumpet their opposition to free markets but are in the position of eliminating the safety net and imposing free market discipline on working folks while expanding the safety net for the wealthy and their capital.

          The rest of your statement is orthogonal to the discussion at hand.

          1. marcos

            I do not dislike or like libertarians any more than like or dislike liberals.

            I like libertarians when they want to end the drug war and empire, I dislike liberals when they support those issues.

            I could go on, but suffice it to say that my participation in local electoral politics has taught me that cooties are best left attached to the deed, not the person unless the person is so odious as an individual to make it difficult to work together.

          2. Jackrabbit

            Because Congress will still be run by the Dems and Repubs, RP will not be able to deliver on things that Liberals/Progressives care about. But conservative legislation (that serves TPTB), especially if worded in a way that appeals to RPs Libertarianism, will be passed and signed.

  59. equusas

    . . . wedgie warriors –divide et regere– here to be seen swingin wildly at every shadow known to throw-a-fight by default or dq if not, deliberately, through the sheer force of their own sown chaos

    {r,l/r,d/m,f/b,w/lgbt/lib,con/cap,comm/dem,comm/naz,comm__ jj __etc/inter alia/& et al their other odd in fun items}

    thrown as far off realpolitik as only such cheaptrix and dipshitz can really Split/hares wit

    false dialectic

    which, merely schizophrenic, leaves most of you so open and totally exposed to said shadows as are here as everywhere imposed upon such weaksisters and indeed sob-sisters by those who you are in the oh-so-thorough control of

    ghosts

    BANKERS

    mere money, honeybunches, wit alla yer panties-in-a-bunch nowheres near as tight a fix as y’all be in when said PowerBrokers showz ya their next springtime fashion line– 4WAR –wherein dressed-to-kill or be killed, forsaken, they’ll reset as well as resex all you petty m/f’s into what Split haves/&havenots as has existed all along as you summon whatever jillstein to steinem as will then explain jessicalynch or lynndiengland in a whole new light

    fight fight fight, 4Equality

    then and there, sista, like in needing a flashlight to get out of yer never-caught-sleeping bag to so much as go to the bathroom

    u-femism

    trench. latrine. yeh, the-hole-opens, and out comes da troof, WonderWoman: troops like u is used, like chum-in-the-water, whose blood is found thinner than all the erstwhile arguments heard before dworkin or ugly abzug ever uttered a word ’bout palace revolutions and fighting

    Dialectic

    for all whose false splits/left schizophrenic/mentally ill talkin over dese r/l’s or dose b/w’s or whatever duh m/f’s is they no mention– unmentionable –of such scuttlebutt as then sez all that matters is being a mensch

    moolah, honeybunny. 4 mere moneymen. 2 rob,cheat&steal. 1thing in mind, all together and all along, Being Power

    Monolithic

    sista. soldier. survivor? The Tribe Has Spoken

    opensecret: get-down-on-your-knees

    ie. mm: “That’s the last [___] cock i suck.”

    eg. dimon’s a girl’s best friend . . .

    1. Jackrabbit

      Jill Stein of the Greens is also anti-war.

      She’s got a lot of other sensible positions, too.

      This thread started on MLK Day so it is fitting that that a mention is made of the only true progressive in the race.

  60. steelhead23

    Allow me to laugh just a little at this progressive cat fight over Ron Paul. Mr. Paul’s candidacy reminds me of one Eugene McCarthy. Let us recall that McCarthy’s anti-war rhetoric scored so highly with an American populace fed up with Viet Nam that LBJ decided not to run and Humphrey lost to Nixon. I hope it is not lost on the progressives within the Democratic Party that the party and this president are vulnerable from the left. How democracy works in a post-Citizen’s United world is in serious doubt, for if there were democracy in America, real democracy, progressives would not be changing their party affiliations to vote for Ron Paul in the primaries, hoping to change the debate, we would have our own champion, clearly articulating the positions, including ending the tyranny of the Fed and the endless immoral war machine. My fear is that we will need to restore democracy (end corporate personhood) before we will have a chance to restore the Democratic Party to progressivism. That is, Grayson, Kucinich, Waters and others should be working hard, right now, to fix corporate personhood so their voices could be heard above the money-powered din of the status quo.

    1. Fiver

      If Obama had had any genuine interest in the public good, he would’ve on receipt of that SC decision said:

      “OK. Drop everything. Health care is on hold. Our priority is rolling these bastards back, because if we don’t do it now, there may not be another chance”. But of course he didn’t, just like he didn’t on anything else.

        1. Fiver

          Obama is not a status quo caretaker. He is, following precisely in Bush’s footsteps, the current Enabler in Chief of $2trillion/year of loathsome Wall Street/Pentagon mayhem. I was not suckered by Obama for 1 minute. I was simply pointing out 1 of many, many points at which someone who WAS “progressive” or “liberal” or “left” of conscious could’ve concluded Obama was a Stooge.

  61. kayjay

    I read Katha Pollitt last night and don’t see much if anything wrong in her reasoning and logic and the so called “identity” politics attacked by YS. I did not vote for Obama in 2008 and will not vote for him, whether I live in Ohio, Virginia/North Caolina, or California. This man’s cheap, centrist and false rhetoric is deeply offensive.

    The argument about McCarthy’s destruction of the halcyon 1960′s and Nixon winning over Humphrey and the onset of race-baiting, reactionary politics since then,is most likely, again, the centrist version of “Re-elect Obama.” Having lived through that period as an adult, and participated in those debates at that time, I see that period as an aberration and not to be confused what we have today, the total sell out.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Oh, you don’t have a problem with her misrepresnting what Glenn Greenwald said, or falsely said NO leftist women had anything even begrudgingly positive to say about Ron Paul even when there was a counter example right in Greenwald’s post.

      In other words, you are saying it is fine for a writer to engage in multiple fabrications if she makes a point you find appealing.

      Go to the back of the class. Seriously. If you want fantasy, go see a Disney movie.

      1. molten_tofu

        Strictly speaking, isn’t the whole point that people are saying it is fine for Ron Paul to engage in multiple fabrications if he makes a point progressives find appealing?

        But I also literally have no idea who wants who for President, and I’m pretty sure that’s not even the point anymore in this conversation. So, I’m out.

  62. GWilliard

    Identity movements – feminist to gay to “victims’ rights,” and not exempting even racial-identity movements – have proven to be a disaster for social and economic justice.

    Each has produced problems worse and (from this juncture more intractable) than those they were called upon to solve. Identity movements are key to the Murdoch-hyped ‘monsters’ that politicians rip up the Constitution to be seen as slaying; they are key to the US-led Western neoliberal / neo-totalitarian order.

    Drug-warring and mass incarceration was the ‘answer’ Nixon cooked up in the teeth of the success of the race-based civil-rights movement. Perpetual incarceration of for people who are not guilty of any crime and not mentally ill, but declared by the state to have the ‘wrong sexual orientation’ was set in place under Clinton and a precedent for Guantanamo. (Obama’s solicitor general and presumptive lesbian Elena Kagan grotesquely fought before the the Supreme Court for a massive extension of this practice.) Feminist-fueled victimology drove hysterias such as ‘Satanic abuse’ and ‘recovered memories’ that have left enduring legal legacies even after technically discredited. LGBTers push for ‘hate crimes laws’, which is just a sign that ‘managing hate’ against despised groups has become a state function. The neo-apartheid of sex-offender registration laws has created a class of some 750,000 untermenschen who cannot work or find homes, who are turned away even from homeless shelters to die in the cold, and face years in prison for the “crime” of crashing on a friend’s couch when there is no place else to stay. http://bit.ly/xXBTHe

    Identity movements can be seen as ‘little nationalisms’, made possible by further development in technologies of information flow beyond the mass-market newspapers that helped create national feeling. And these little nationalisms are proving as much a toxic dead-end as their forebears.

    The eonomic crisis as seen through the morass of ID politics –
    http://www.baltimoreoutloud.com/lgbt-news/local-news/item/830-sex-and-the-economic-crisis

    1. molten_tofu

      Prove it. Prove that “identity movements … have proven to be a disaster for social and economic justice”. Prove they have failed systemically, that they net negative at a national or global level, that they have been hopelessly co-opted and that they should be abandoned (your presumed conclusion). Prove it for all the identity movements you included in your opening sentence. Provide (a lot of) citations and several examples per individual discussion of the cultural, psychological, legal, economic, and policy aspects of each of these movements. Then do all of this for every stage of each of these movements (for example, canonically, feminism has 4 to 5 waves).

      Do this, and I will read it and maybe agree with you.

  63. molten_tofu

    I’ve got to say that I struggle to find this back and forth compelling. I’ve got to vote for one person next November for president. Conceding that Ron Paul has the better foreign policy agenda while at the same time his economic policies would gut this country and his social freedom policies are meh (in comparison to Obama’s) gets me exactly nowhere.

    Even after reading all these pro / con Paul posts, I still have to study the issues at hand to determine who is the better mix of good and evil.

    Frankly, everything that is happening here smells like single issue politics with a horse trading twist. Everybody pick your favorite / least favorite topic and trade them with your friends / enemies!

    Gotta catch ‘em all.

    1. Jackrabbit

      C’mon, its not that hard.

      1. Are you wealthy or have business interests that would benefit from a Republican win?
      VOTE YOU MAY BE REPUBLICAN VOTER.

      2. Are you poor or otherwise dependent on Govt aid that might be cut if the Rep. win? Are you a Federal Govt employee that might lose their job if the Rep. win?
      YOU MAY BE DEMOCRATIC VOTER.

      3. Are you Fed up with the two crony parties that use their “base” as a bargining chip?
      YOU MAY BE A THIRD-PARTY VOTER.

      4. Do you believe that less Govt is the answer and that society will magically keep itself in balance because everyone is a check on the bad behavior of other individuals and groups?
      YOU MAY BE A LIBERTARIAN.

      5. Do you believe that hard-fought struggles for workers rights, women’s rights, civil rights, etc should be respected? that a healthcare system in which American’s pay more than 2 times what other developed countries pay (per capita) should be reformed so that it works for the people of America instead of the Healthcare Industry? Do you think that bailing out bankers and tax cuts for the rich are NOT the right way to move the economy forward? Do you want to reduce the U.S. costly presence overseas?
      YOU MAY BE A GREEN. See JillStein.org for more info (She’s a Green Party Presidential Candidate.)

      1. molten_tofu

        I see your list and I see:

        1) Pragmatist
        2) Pragmatist
        3) Defeatist
        4) Mercenary
        5) Idealist

        Does that make me a pessimist? Or just naive?

        1. Jackrabbit

          Wt I see is:

          1) Abusers and Co-dependents

          2) Abusers and Co-dependents

          3) The Disillusioned, Fed-up, Far-sighted, who are willing to risk their vote for a better outcome

          4) 3-Card Monte: You just KNOW that a better world is under THAT cup, but (surpise!) it isn’t

          5) Poker: the odds are still against you, but over time, with some diligence and effort, you have a chance at winning more than you lose.

      2. Jackrabbit

        There’s another important issue that doesn’t get much mention: The Environment.

        Republicans and Ron Paul will almost certainly continue fracking and will go ahead with plans for Canadian Shale Oil. They also seem, generally, to be unhappy with the EPA and other regulatory agencies.

  64. JohnN

    I do not understand the liberal fascination with RP.

    He is a serious libertarian – we all agree on that, right? – someone who does not think there is much if any need for collective action or for government regulation of the marketplace. So he is totally opposed to universal health insurance. Our society runs on a whole set of rules that restrict private action in order to allow us all to work together, rules the right has been after for years. Safety regulations, protections for the poor, environmental regulations, and so on. He’d attack most of these.

    I don’t know if he thinks traffic lights and codes for plumbing and electrical work are acceptable or if he opposes universal fire and police coverage, but it wouldn’t surprise me. He is one serious libertarian.

    And he is no champion of civil liberties if he is opposed to the right to an abortion. Claiming it should be a state decision is a dodge – why are state rules ok but national rules bad? Maybe we should favor county rights or township control of these decisions?

    To be libertarian – a serious one – is putting yourself in the Ayn Rand camp. How on earth does this hyper-individualism promote anything liberals and progressives are said to favor?

    As for the anti-war views. Well, he’s an isolationist – do you want that? Isn’t the liberal idea to engage the world? In this case being an isolationist lines up with what liberals want – shut down the foreign wars – but that’s not an agreement that comes from a common view of what is important.

    And then, on top of this, is the loony factor. The gold standard? The UN coming to take our guns? What else is flying around in his head?

    1. molten_tofu

      Here here. Who is to say the war in Iraq wouldn’t be shut down so that we could deploy the national guard across the Mexican border to engage in “police actions” against “illegal immigrants” in our own country as well as “tactical engagements” in Mexico against “cartel supporters.”

      I mean the guy wants no amnesty for the estimated 10-20 million illegal immigrants already in the country. Guess he’s right that “A poor, dependent and divided population is much easier to rule.”

      “A nation without borders is no nation at all.” I’ll be goose stepping all the way to the ballot box! With my papers in order and in hand, of course.

      1. JohnN

        All quotes from Ron Paul’s own website.

        On energy: “In fact, much of the “pain at the pump” Americans are now feeling is due to federal policies designed by environmental alarmists to punish traditional energy production – like oil, coal, and natural gas – in hopes of making energy sources they favor more “economical.”

        Sadly, even with $4.00 a gallon gasoline, many are attempting to make our energy crisis even worse by working to impose job-destroying carbon taxes, or a “Cap and Tax” system.

        As long as we allow federal regulations and bureaucratic red tape to get in the way of energy exploration, our country will never solve its energy crisis, and Americans will continue to pay the price in high costs.”

        On the economy: “Refusing to further raise the debt ceiling so politicians can no longer spend recklessly.”

        “Eliminating the income, capital gains, and death taxes to ensure you keep more of your hard-earned money and are able to pass on your legacy to your family without government interference.”

        Other points:
        FDA budget reduced 40%
        Ag depart research and education programs eliminated
        EPA budget reduced 30%
        CDC budget reduced 20% from 2006
        FAA, TSA privatized
        $2 billion savings from “ban union programs.”
        $2.5 billion savings from “Sell federal lands.”

        No taxpayer funds to be used for abortions, Planned Parenthood, or any other so-called “family planning” program.

        Row v. Wade “repealed.”

        … so how is this progressive?

        1. Mike C.

          RP is an equivocating, despicable c*nt.

          His “freedom” is the freedom to die, corporations’ freedom to exploit, and the rich to get richer without giving anything back. Who benefits from the elimination of the capital gains and inheritance taxes, but the wealthy with enough capital for it to matter? What middle class person is really being “taxed to death” each year?

          He talks about people like they’re corporations, and should be competing for life or death, like dogs in a pit.

          1. JTFaraday

            “What middle class person is really being “taxed to death” each year?”

            All of them! US taxes are regressive. That’s why RON PAUL is going to get all those white collar libertarian votes this year.

            The real question is–what rich people (or corporations) are really being “taxed to death” each year?

            NO taxes should be raised off the middle class, because the middle class doesn’t have a government. Ron Paul should feel free to return all my money, any time he wants.

            :<)

  65. Phoenix Woman

    From Yves’ piece, on the Koch lobbyist now working for Raw Story:

    “In fact, her attack on Greenwald appears to be a badly needed effort to bolster her leftie Democratic Party supporter bona fides, given the rather shameless way she’s put pro Ron Paul stories on Raw Story in her current role as executive editor.”

    Fixed that for you. You’re welcome. :-)

    Actual lefties who aren’t captives of the Veal Pen have no problem with Glenn Greenwald. It’s only the people who put party above all that dislike him. (Well, and a few drunken-slob contrarian types who get off on mindlessly bashing anyone certain folks like.)

  66. Jill

    Here’s what I think has happened. Up until RP got in the newz the only people who were allowed to be heard criticizing Obama were right wing people who actually agree with almost every position Obama has taken but who, at the same time would make really stupid statements like calling Obama a socialist.

    That is literally how controlled the discourse has been. Criticism equals right wing nut case. Left wing criticism has been scrubbed from the discourse. You can see this at work on so called progressive sites like Raw Story, where there is only sporadic left wing criticism of the state in our nation. Most actual left wing criticism has been suppressed. What did get through was met with propaganda-criticism = right wing.

    Then along comes RP. That guy is a serious right wing conservative. Yet here he is to the left of Obama on civil liberties and war. This set up cognitive dissonance for those Democrats who have a conscience. It broke down a wall, sort of. RP is far right wing but more left wing than dear leader?

    This has been helpful to those of us on the left because now our voices are getting put into the mix in ways that just weren’t happening before. I think it’s the numbers. Once we were only a few critics but there are many people who have some of these same objections speaking up in RP’s campaign. This has definitely created an opening for us to speak and has expanded the allowed discourse. How long this will be allowed is an open question.

    1. Jackrabbit

      Libertarianism is “to the left of Obama on civil liberties and war”? I don’t see it.

      By taking Govt out of the equalition, it essentially allows for a free market for “liberties”. The “liberty” to discrimate, the “liberty” to exploit (workers, environment, etc.) come at a cost to society as a whole. More liberal minded people recognize these costs, while those with a conservative viewpoint generally do not.

      As for war, Libertarians disagree with war not on moral grounds but because it increases Govt power (which, in turn, might become an instrument to suppress the “liberties” -turned privleges – of societies winners). Private conflict of any kind is a feature (not a bug) because Libertarians allow Society to organize itself and resove disputes without a Govt “nanny”.

      If you consider outcomes, Libertarianism seems (to me) to end in a feudal, sectarian world where how free you are depends on where you stand in the pecking order. And if you refuse to ally yourself with a strong faction (probably along religous and/or racial lines), you become an easy target for factions that dislike your kind.

      It is a receipe for less liberty (for most) and max control (of most) via fear.

      Wealthy Bankers are almost a libertarian ideal, as it matters not (to a libertarian) how they got their money or how they use their power. AFAIK, Libertarians believe that any excesses or wrongs will be (magically) corrected by others – if the offender happens to have angered someone or group who cares enough and has enough power to seek retribution.

      While I have serious reservations about the Libertarian philosophy, Libertarians have – as you point out – made it acceptable to criticize Govt in pursuit of a better future. Thank you RP!

      1. Jill

        Jackrabbit,

        RP has said we should get out of our wars of empire. Obama has gotten us into 6 admitted hot wars and many others which are covert but civilians are ended just as dead and wounded as the ones he admits to being in. RP has voted against the NDAA which dear leader just signed. That makes him to the left of dear leader when it comes to: 1. wars of empire and 2. civil liberties.

        So you do not further misconstrue what I am saying I will write it again. It is these two positions which set up cognitive dissonance for Democrats who have a conscience. Paid hacks must resolve that cognitive dissonance for them before these people wake up and refuse to follow someone who engages in wars of empire and imprisons the innocent.

        1. Jackrabbit

          Thanks for clarifying that Jill.

          Note: My reservations of where Libertarianism takes us if it were fully enacted still stand.

          1. Jill

            Jackrabbit,

            I hope you see this as I owe you an apology. I was snotty and I shouldn’t have been that way. I’m sorry.

            We actually agree about where Libertarianism will take this nation. It think it is the ideology that runs things now whether politicians call themselves Rs or Ds.

          2. Jackrabbit

            There are a lot of “good eggs” on NC. That is a tribute Yves.

            With respect to civil discource, the OWS slogan, “This is what democracy looks like,” comes to mind.

  67. Cynthia

    One thing I agree with Ron Paul about, we need to get out of the affairs of other countries and stop foreign aid. $3 BILLION DOLLARS in aid to Israel only buys us lies and insults from Netanyahu. Terrorism is deception. Israel was founded on terrorism. The motto of the Mossad is “By way of deception thou shall wage war.”

    Israel has dragged AMERICA down the same spider hole they live in.

  68. Elizabeth

    I’m one of those white, “progressive,” “liberal” women, and actually a former “Nation” intern. (Hi Katrina! Hope you check in here once in a while. Beth, ’91) And I feel just MUGGED by all this identity-politics Obama boosterism. Maybe that’s the evil plan: to make anyone who cares about these issues so irrelevant to any intelligent discussion about the big picture that right-wing fantasy will look sane by comparison.

  69. Phil S.

    I admire all of the open discussion I’ve been reading here!
    Let’s just be pragmatic and understand that it is going to be Obama versus Romney and that any vote for any other candidate will be a waste.
    I voted for Obama and have been sorely disappointed by his cowing to the right. His refusal to push a single payer health care system. His refusal to force the banks to help all the poor fools who signed crap mortgages. His refusal to push for doing away with the cap on the social security deduction. He is indeed fairly to the right of center on too many issues. But it is going to be either him or Romney…I for one will plug my nose and vote for him again.
    As per Paul, he’s a flake. Libertarian-ism is as much of a dead end philosophy as are any of the other isms. They are after all only theories which when put to the test in the real world usually fall apart. Even our “free market Democratic Republic” could not function with a healthy dash of socialist style help for the underprivileged. There is and will never be a perfect government system. Our founding fathers understood this which is why they made the constitution amendable.
    Our country is enmeshed in a very complicated world economic system. All I have to look forward to in my upcoming retirement is a battered 401k which I’m sure is invested all over the world and of course my Social Security which if Mitt could,he’d take away.
    I’m sorry that the world is not as we would like it to be, but blind idealism isn’t going to make it better.
    Let’s all do what we can to get folks elected from the town level all the way up the ladder who care about the average working stiff like me who has punched a time clock for 40 years rather than the super wealthy . Write letters to your “representatives” and your news papers.Push for public financing of all campaigns. (one issue that I believe would go a long way toward getting the stink out of politics.)
    George Washington did not like the idea of political parties. He thought that citizens should vote on issues not ideology. Read his farewell address. Watch Bill Moyers and company on PBS! Educate yourselves and your friends and co-workers on the issues. Send in and sign petitions for what you believe in. Be as active as you can be. Try real hard to help make our country a better place. Keep talking!

    1. Jill

      Phil S.,

      How about this instead. If any politician, including Obama voted or signed off on NDAA, if they support the imprisonment of the innocent, mass surveillance of the population, fail to bring war and financial criminals to trial, promote war and financial crimes, commit torture and other war crimes then here’s what to do:

      Do NOT give them your vote, your time, your words of support on blogs or in any other forum, or your money. Tell them these actions are unacceptable to you as an American citizen and you will not tolerate them. Instead give your time, money and words of support to a citizen movement for justice such as OWS.

      Jonathan Turley wrote an excellent column published in the Washington Post called: “10 reasons the US is no longer the land of free”. This column was read by Carl Levin who became worried that his constituents wouldn’t like what he’d done with the NDAA. Levin tried to lie his way out of what the legislation would do. Turley wrote a rebuttal to Levin. Levin had a large donor refuse to give him any more money. You can find the info at jonathanturley.org

      I’m telling you that withdrawing consent and money still works on our politicians. Telling them you’ll keep supporting them no matter what is the one thing that will absolutely not make anything better.

  70. Mike C.

    Oh god, so many Paulbots drawn out of the woodwork.

    It makes sense he has so much “popular support,” considering he’s endorsed by right wing think tanks, known for their astroturf campaigns.

    Shame on sincere progresses for falling for it. Paul says a few OBVIOUS things about drugs, war, etc., and suddenly he’s the light at the end of the tunnel. If Obama had never been elected, people would probably still be raving about his rhetoric, too.

    And how anyone could turn a blind eye to the rest of his bullshit platform is beyond my comprehension. Whether there’s a smear campaign or not, it does remain that he wants to empower the states to practice and sanction their provincial bigotries–a confederacy. He’s vague and evasive on so many subjects, constantly abdicating to the states, as though he doesn’t know what would happen, while denouncing the civil rights movement.

    He furthers the canard that “choice” is what’s at stake for the poor and middle classes. As though the EPA were to blame for mom and pops’ bankruptcy, and not competition from larger companies that use slave labor to undercut competitors. CHOICE is, for many, CHOOSING between food, rent, and healthcare. It’s not that the middle and underclasses are being regulated to death, it’s that wages have lagged, unemployment is high, etc. The problem is MEANS, not choice. The only ones facing regulations are big corporations, and they refuse to tolerate even a little, at the expense of the rest of us.

    And Paul doesn’t object to that. Nor does he object to lobbying. Or letting the poor die in the street like stray dogs.

    Just accept the reality that the US presidential elections are presently a sick joke. Stop trying to cling to the desperate hope there’s a “good guy” somewhere in all of this–because there just HAS to be, right?

    This is ridiculous.

  71. Phil S.

    I happily gave some bucks to the wonderful folks at the occupy site in new york city when I was there. I write letters to any and all of my constituents in hope that they’ll listen, including the prez.He isn’t getting my money, but will get my vote. The alternative is just too awful.I am going to check out jonathanturly.org. Don’t forget that the next prez will possibly appoint another supreme court justice. Would you rather it was Mitt? Check out Truthout.org also a wonderful site. I’ve studied politics for years and watched as our country has been pulled further and further to the right. As I said before, it is wonderful to see people discuss the issues as we are doing here. I am sorry, but it is going to be a lesser of two evils election and if it is going to be as close as I think, then the outcome could hinge on a very small margin. So I cannot just throw my vote away. I will as I always have done write to the prez and all of my “representatives” and tell them to amend the NDAA to change the wording re:suspected terrorists etc. I too was galled when I read about that. But the choice we will have will be either Obama or Romney. Not the libertarians or the greens. Vote for whomever you like. I’m proud that at least you will hopefully be voting.

  72. Fiver

    I am simply stunned at the degree of vitriol on the part of self-labeled “progressives” or the loosely “left” aimed at other “progressives” for daring to see some possibility of an alliance around 2 or 3 core issues. Let’s get a few things straight:

    1) The “left” in the US has been rolled back to where it was many decades ago. Why? Because every single time out it propped up the decadent remnants of the “liberal” Democratic Party instead of parting ways for good. Every single time it opted for the “lesser of” even as that “lesser” became more and more disgusting in its actions. So much so, that

    2) “Liberals” became “progressives” who absolutely refuse to EVER take on the Big Ones. The pathetic incrementalist “reforms”, such as they have been over the past coupld decades, have left half the country in truly dire shape even as everyone gets to say “I’m Me and That’s The Most Important Thing” while the Pentagon and Wall Street roll over the entire planet and destroy the disadvantaged everywhere. “Liberals” and “progressives” and much of the “left” all take it as given that you can have both 30% wealthy people by any sane standard AND a truly decent set of social programs but NOBODY has to pay for it (either domestically OR globally), instead of saying: “Here is what is right and just, and here is what it’s going to cost. Now let’s get to work making this a truly better world.” So when the bill comes due, they have no answer except “We cannot stop, so more of the same.” Ditto with what’s become of the environmental movement – so often we get this fantasy version of what it’s going to take to get off fossil fuels etc., when the reality is it’s going to mean we are ALL going to have a lower standard of living AND that that drop will be “progressive” in the sense that the more you have, the more you will have to give up or we are all completely fucked. There are no magic technical fixes, there are only enormous systems created over a century on the basis of unlimited, cheap everything and infinite capacity for the bioshpere to absorb damage. Sorry, but those days are OVER – the mad scramble is already well underway – what on earth do you suppose Iraq was about if NOT locking up that incredibly valuable oil supply?

    3) The trillion/year Empire exists NOW. The trillion/year fascist Wall Street/Washington police state exists NOW. Holding your nose and voting for Obama is a vote for increasing the strength of the most detestable elements in American society. There’s not a hair’s difference between Obama and Romney. A vote for either is a vote for further regression towards 21st century despostism.

    As stated many times on NC, I’m a life-long democratic socialist and environmentalist. I’ve yammered away at anyone who would listen for 40-odd years, and been correct in my assessments as to where it’s all been headed far more often than wrong. And I have 1 message:

    Instead of going apeshit over RP’s sudden prominence, recognize that it’s a total fluke, for starters (the Republicans have done everything imaginable to throw this election) but more importantly, that it is the fact that RP is getting some traction IN MANY QUARTERS for those very positions the “left” once held exclusively and OUGHT to hold more dearly now, given they potentially holds the key to breaking up the 2-party oligarchy.

    Nothing would so shake up the current deplorable elite leadership than to have a coalition form around several core issues that a true MAJORITY of the country agrees on, i.e., an end to “full-spectrum dominance” and everything else to do with Empire; an end to Wall Street operating hand-in-glove with Government to systematically rape the peoples of America and the world; an end to this burgeoning police state’s assault on core rights and freedoms.

    Writing off everyone who is not “left” is a recipe for perpetual loss in a democracy. That doesn’t mean you have to agree with RP. It just means finding common ground when doing so makes strategic sense. Ditto re perpetual holding of noses and voting status quo when that status quo is corrupted beyond repair – a dead loss. Shake the bastards up this time by NOT doing what they expect, and prepare for 2014-2016 and a 3rd party candidacy based on a true short list of VITAL change – because it you do not get change on these 3 overarching realities, you will get nothing but temporizing while every last pocket is picked dry.

    RP is done after this election in any case, but from what I’ve seen from all the people who support him on a dozen different blogs, the coalition I advocate not only would draw people from all sides, but it would have a very real chance of winning given a quality candidate. Think outside the box, or lose another decade – and likely any chance whatever of undoing the last 40 years of first-order stupidity.

    The “left” must get creative soon, or suffer the fate of all prescriptive movements that become irrelevant because the CORE issues remain completely unchallenged, or even meeky so.

    1. Vincent Vecchione

      Explain to me how climate change is less important than big finance (which Ron Paul’s policies will only strengthen) and then explain to me how Ron Paul’s science-denialism on the issue means we should form a coalition with him and his racist/sexist/theocratic coalition.

      1. JTFaraday

        Well that didn’t take long. You’re being paid to do this right?

        Go raise your hind leg at people on some other site.

        1. Vincent Vecchione

          I wish I were getting paid to point out the hypocrisy and hate of Ron Paul and his followers, but sadly I’m not. Also, just in case anyone wasn’t clear, the climate change deniers are the ones getting the bulk of lobbyist money, the people arguing in favor of science aren’t getting paid shit. Ron Paul denies that climate change is human-made and opposes ALL efforts to prevent it. So please stop pissing on yourself in public.

          1. JTFaraday

            The poster CLEARLY stated that–BEYOND Ron Paul– they were interested in a third party in FUTURE presidential elections. To be effective, such a Third Party bid is going to have to coalesce around a set of critical issues on which the broad public can agree. This is something in which many regular posters on this site are interested.

            Your response to this common sense contention was not make a case for environmental concerns as a critical issue but to return to the Ron Paul issue–which the poster explicitly stated was not their interest or concern.

            It is completely transparent to me that you–whom I have never observed here before– are only here now to disrupt the conversation on this site as an anti-Ron Paul warrior.

            You have NO interest or concern with the broader issue with which the poster addressed. Rather, you seek to obliterate that effort.

            Now, put that hind leg DOWN, and don’t raise it to me again.

          2. F. Beard

            the people arguing in favor of science aren’t getting paid shit. Vincent Vecchione

            I doubt that. The anti-CO2 crowd probably rakes in plenty in the form of research grants.

            I have to wonder too at every diversion from the root of our problems – the banking cartel.

          3. Vincent Vecchione

            JTFaraday, obviously my only interest in this discussion is to obliterate the arguments for a Ron Paul-based coalition. My point is that the only source of his electoral success is his racism, charlatanism, misogyny, science-denialism, and other reactionary BS. There is no common ground with the majority of his base. As for third party runs, you are hopeless naive if you think they’ll ever attain any success under the U.S.’s current electoral system. Besides, if you’re so desperate to vote for a right-winger who’d actually hold the the big banks accountable, there’s Jon Hunstsman. If you want to get big money out of politics, there’s Buddy Roehmer. Ron Paul literally brings nothing to the table except for his theocratic Christian Reconstructionism. The level of Paulbot denialism is absurd, and all attempts to reconcile him and his more fanatical followers belie a deep-seated hypocrisy. You can choose to read my arguments how you’d like to imagine them, or you can actually read the points I made about how Paul and his coalition would STRENGTHEN the super-rich and powerful at the expense of the 99%. Anyway, while this is the first time I’ve commented, I’ve been lurked for over 6 months.

            Feel free to keep your leg up, because I find your aim utterly hilarious.

      2. Fiver

        I just stated very clearly that, as an environmentalist of decades standing, it’s my considered opinion that NOTHING WHATEVER can be achieved so long as Washington is owned by Wall Street. NOTHING. Unless, of course, you want a Cap and Trade scheme designed by a bunch of Harvard “market-based solutions” Wall Street bagmen under Clinton and sponsored by Goldman Sachs in order to create a multi-trillion dollar derivatives market that achieves worse than nothing.

        You completely discount what it would mean for Americans, and their priorities, once out from under an Empire consisting of Wall Street and the Pentagon fused with a police state. But if you want to wait for the “left” to get elected on an ideologically pure platform, well then, be prepared to wait another century.

        1. Jackrabbit

          You completely discount what it would mean for Americans, and their priorities, once out from under an Empire consisting of Wall Street and the Pentagon fused with a police state.

          Do you think RP can deliver on these promises if he were President? I think that what very well may happen is that Congress blocks most legislation that liberal-minded people would like to see (blocked by powerful interests that still hold sway with Congress), while more conservative legislation (with wording that that is somewhat more Libertarian than usual) is passed without much difficulty.

    2. Jackrabbit

      OK. That leads to the following question: what concrete steps could the RP campaign take that would encourage progressives to believe in an alliance?

      And a related question: what steps do progressives think is the minimum that would be acceptable?

      A progressive as a running mate? Promised Cabinet positions?

      Changes to the platform?

      (Im not sure that it could work, but it’s a worthwhile exercise.)

      1. Jackrabbit

        After asking the question, it occurred to me that what is being suggested is not some arrangement for government but voting for the lesser of two evils.

        Consider this: while it may SEEM supremely practical to vote for RP vs. TPTB, you should also be practical in what to expect from a RP Presidency.

        Congress will still be Dem and Rep. Paul will sign any legislation that meets with his Libertarian philosophy, but virtually all of what Congress manages to pass and Paul would sign would probably be conservative, not progressive.

        1. Fiver

          2012 is a done deal. It’s virtually certain Obama will be re-elected. I believe the next couple years will actually prove “better than expected” because the US is in relative terms so much stronger than its much-weakened competitors. But that there will undoubtedly be another crisis at least as bad as 2008 prior to the 2016 election. Therein lies the opportunity. Stay with the established parties and be very careful what you say – the State’s capability for control of the populace grows every single day. The clock is ticking, for example, as to the first lethal drone use inside the US.

          1. Jackrabbit

            I hope that you didn’t meant your comment in this way. Once we silence ourselves, we have surely lost – not just a political argument but a part of our human dignity.

            I agree that a third-party win in Nov is very unlikely (see my comments above). That doesn’t mean that a vote for a third party is wasted or unwise.

            Drones are currently being considered by local police departments for intelligence gathering. Arming drones within the US would spark outrage. I don’t see that happening in the foreseeable future.

      2. lambert strether

        “what steps do progressives think is the minimum that would be acceptable?”

        Support Medicare for All. Best policy, government doing what it should do, pay for it with the money saved on the war, and the Tea Partiers love it, so why not share?

        Never happen, but it’s an obvious signal to send (and way better than some warmed over D as a veep).

  73. Phil S.

    Thank you for the jonathanturly web site. I have read the article and couldn’t agree more. It is a frightening development which everyone should join in on reversing. Professor Turley’s web site is is now bookmarked.
    Since it is going to be an exceptionally close election. I cannot in good conscience throw my vote away so I will as I said plug my nose and vote for Obama.(I wonder who the professor will vote for) Don’t forget that the winner will possibly appoint another supreme court judge and I don’t want Mitt to do it. I will also write to the Prez. and all of my representatives and demand that they amend the NDAA to remove all language allowing the military to detain people on “suspicion of terrorist activities” I too was galled when I read about that. I’ll write my local paper as well regarding that. I gave some cash to the folks in Zucotti park when I was in NYC this past Fall. I am proud of them. I hope that the movement grows. Here is another good web site Truthout.org.
    As for our involvement in Afghanistan, Pakistan etc. What a bloody mess. Bring the poor(kids)troops home. I just know that it is a very complicated world and that there no absolutes and no simple answers. Wish there were.

  74. Claudia

    I’m one over-60 white female progressive who’s damn glad someone is speaking up for the Constitution including the Bill of Rights, pushing for sane monetary policy and against imperialistic predation. Other issues at the moment are pretty moot.

  75. Erik Larson

    This info about Megan Carpentier explains a lot.

    I used to visit RawStory daily to get news, but a year or so ago I noticed a shift from reporting on hard news about corruption (the kind the MSM ignores, or relegates to the back pages w/ spin) to fluff news that partisan Dems would find titillating, and I visited the site less and less.

    The last straw was RawStory’s complete failure to report on the August 2011 release of a video featuring former Clinton-Bush CT Czar Richard Clarke stating that the CIA had withheld info from him that could have been used to prevent 9/11: http://www.secrecykills.com. Many of the facts Clarke based his allegation on had already been documented by the DOJ IG, CIA IG and 9/11 Commission reports (mostly in the endnotes), but Clarke contributed his perspective and some new info.

    The WaPo and some other MSM felt compelled to publish hit pieces in an attempt to discredit Clarke; RawStory simply ignored this news – while at the same time they featured – for 3 days as a headline on their front page – a story about Christine O’Donnell’s Amazon page being ‘dildo bombed’ w/ tags by users.

    1. lambert strether

      Same thing happened at TPM, exactly. I helped propagate WKJM (Whoever Kidnapped Josh Marshall, orginated I believe by the great Bob Somerby, as a sobriquet for the once-interesting and useful Josh Marshall, and then stopped reading him…

  76. Don Delgado

    Whatever. Ron Paul is a Jew-hating barbarian who wants to see social Darwinism made law.

    If you can’t muster a critique without mentioning him ever, for any reason, other than to note that he’s a Jew-hating barbarian, you have utterly failed in critique.

  77. Don Delgado

    How on God’s green Earth do people think that they need to say nice things about Ron Paul to point out the absolutely terrifying hypocrisy of Barack Obama?

    Why? Fuck them.

  78. Don Delgado

    Fuck the President, fuck Ron Paul, fuck both of their respective cults, and fuck this fake shit vanity press coverage of an imaginary race between them.

  79. Don Delgado

    If I met Ron Paul I would tell him to his face that he is a shit. If he wants to be President I will talk to him like one.

  80. guitar

    Hey very nice blog!! Man .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I’ll bookmark your web site and take the feeds also�I’m happy to find numerous useful info here in the post, we need develop more strategies in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  81. Tamra M Burgess

    how come when Ron Paul is discussed, progressives Ron Paul bandwagon riders NEVER discuss how Paul wants to keep the Bush tax cuts permanent, IS for more outsourcing of U.S. jobs and on top of that is ANTI-CHOICE? maybe they’re stoned while having their Ron Paul fantasies.

    and on top of that, Ron Paul could be shown in a photo lighting a cross at a KKK rally, Paul bandwagon jumpers for pot will still follow him right back to Jim Crow!

  82. Henrica Eversberg

    Hilfe ebenso wie Beistand unter Demenzieller Erkrankung – Alzheimer-Erkrankung, wird von der Pflegekasse mit bis zu 2400 Euro alljährlich gefördert. Ab 2013 soll selbige Summe erhöht werden. Nunmehr allein einige wenige wissen, das es diese Hilfe gibt. Niedrigschwellige Betreuungsangebote nennt man diese Förderung, die bei der Pflegekasse beantragt werden sollte und alleinig von ausgebildeten Fachkräften ausgeübt werden darf. Diese monetäre Unterstützung ist unabhängig von der Pflegestufe. Niedrigschwellige Betreuungsangebote dienen den pflegenden Verwandten, damit diese entlastet werden. Diese Steigerung der geldlichen Hilfe ist ein Segen zum Besten von pflegenden Angehörigen.

Comments are closed.