A Wise Man Takes On Progressives Flirting With Ron Paul!

I’m still in editing mode on a project, but just had to share this post that my friend and fellow blogger Angry Black Lady wrote about a piece by Tim Wise, one of the leading experts on racism in the country. It takes on those on the left flirting with Ron Paul and is a must read for liberals. Go check out ABL’s post and really, go read Tim Wise’s entire piece, it is long but well worth it. Here is ABL’s lead in to an excerpt that gets to the heart of the post.

But people are starting to get it. The Greenwald sweater of polemical deceit is unraveling, and I like it. I like it because I find his sort of polemical discourse and rhetorical bomb-throwing to be a reckless distraction from the serious problems that confront us.

I especially like this, from Tim Wise — “Of Broken Clocks, Presidential Candidates, and the Confusion of Certain White Liberals.”  It’s a thing of beauty. You should read the whole thing, but I’m going to excerpt what I see as the most salient bit:

I want those of you who are seriously singing Paul’s praises, while calling yourself progressive or left to ask what it signifies — not about Ron Paul, but about you — that you can look the rest of us in the eye, your political colleagues and allies, and say, in effect, “Well, he might be a little racist, but

How do you think that sounds to black people, without whom no remotely progressive candidate stands a chance of winning shit in this country at a national level? How does it sound to them — a group that has been more loyal to progressive and left politics than any group in this country — when you praise a man who opposes probably the single most important piece of legislation ever passed in this country, and whose position on the right of businesses to discriminate, places him on the side of the segregated lunchcounter owners? And how do you think they take it that you praise this man, or possibly even support him for president, all so as to teach the black guy currently in the office a lesson for failing to live up to your expectations?

How do you think it sounds to them, right now, this week, as we prepare to mark the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, that you claim to be progressive, and yet you are praising or even encouraging support for a man who voted against that holiday, who opposes almost every aspect of King’s public policy agenda, and the crowning achievements of the movement he helped lead?

My guess is that you don’t think about this at all. Because you don’t have to. One guess as to why not.

It’s the same reason you don’t have to think about how it sounds to most women — and damned near all progressive women — when you praise Paul openly despite his views on reproductive freedom, and even sexual harassment, which Paul has said should not even be an issue for the courts. He thinks women who are harassed on the job should just quit. In other words, “Yeah, he might be a little bit sexist, but…”

It’s the same reason you don’t have to really sweat the fact that he would love to cut important social programs for poor people. And you don’t have to worry about how it sounds to them that you would claim to be progressive, while encouraging support for a guy who would pull what minimal safety net still exists from under them, and leave it to private charities to fill the gap. And we all know why you don’t have to worry about it. Because you aren’t them. You aren’t the ones who would be affected. You’ll never be them. I doubt you even know anyone like that. People who are that poor don’t follow you on Twitter.


And please, Glenn Greenwald, spare me the tired shtick about how Paul “raises important issues” that no one on the left is raising, and so even though you’re not endorsing him, it is still helpful to a progressive narrative that his voice be heard. Bullshit. The stronger Paul gets the stronger Paul gets, period. And the stronger Paul gets, the stronger libertarianism gets, and thus, the Libertarian Party as a potential third party: not the Greens, mind you, but the Libertarians. And the stronger Paul gets, the stronger become those voices who worship the free market as though it were an invisible fairy godparent, capable of dispensing all good things to all comers — people like Paul Ryan, for instance, or Scott Walker. In a nation where the dominant narrative has long been anti-tax, anti-regulation, poor-people-bashing and God-bless-capitalism, it would be precisely those aspects of Paul’s ideological grab bag that would become more prominent. And if you don’t know that, you are a fool of such Herculean proportions as to suggest that Salon might wish to consider administering some kind of political-movement-related-cognitive skills test for its columnists, and the setting of a minimum cutoff score, below which you would, for this one stroke of asininity alone, most assuredly fall.

I mean, seriously, if “raising important issues” is all it takes to get some kind words from liberal authors, bloggers and activists, and maybe even votes from some progressives, just so as to “shake things up,” then why not support David Duke? With the exception of his views on the drug war, David shares every single view of Paul’s that can be considered progressive or left in orientation. Every single one. So where do you draw the line? Must one have actually donned a Klan hood and lit a cross before his handful of liberal stands prove to be insufficient? Must one actually, as Duke has been known to do, light candles on a birthday cake for Hitler on April 20, before it no longer proves adequate to want to limit the overzealous reach of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms? Exactly when does one become too much of an evil fuck even for you? Inquiring minds seriously want to know.

And here is another chunk from ABL’s post which is a preface to a book authored by Glenn Greenwald that I’ve been wanting to write about since I was turned onto it. It made me say out loud, “Whaaaaaaaaa?”…

During the lead-up to the invasion, I was concerned that the hell-bent focus on invading Iraq was being driven by agendas and strategic objectives that had nothing to do with terrorism or the 9/11 attacks. The overt rationale for the invasion was exceedingly weak, particularly given that it would lead to an open-ended, incalculably costly, and intensely risky preemptive war. Around the same time, it was revealed that an invasion of Iraq and the removal of Saddam Hussein had been high on the agenda of various senior administration officials long before September 11. Despite these doubts, concerns, and grounds for ambivalence, I had not abandoned my trust in the Bush administration. Between the president’s performance in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the swift removal of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and the fact that I wanted the president to succeed, because my loyalty is to my country and he was the leader of my country, I still gave the administration the benefit of the doubt. I believed then that the president was entitled to have his national security judgment deferred to, and to the extent that I was able to develop a definitive view, I accepted his judgment that American security really would be enhanced by the invasion of this sovereign country.

And this is the guy going around calling anyone who supports President Obama “baby-killers”. People call this guy smart?

29 thoughts on “A Wise Man Takes On Progressives Flirting With Ron Paul!

  1. Scare tactics! Really? That’s all you have? That and racism? You and your friend are going to have a long 2012, and it’s only starting for you. I can’t wait to see what lies you can tell next! Keep it up, your only drawing the line in the sand. Hows that going? Can’t be good if you had to write this piece. The future will never rembemer your name, or you opinions. Except your class war fare, racially charged political doctrine. Enjoy it while it last.

  2. The problem with Greenwald and others is that they are ideologues, but they are also sellouts to their ideology which means they are fakes. The one thing that I think Greenwald and friends miss is the crucial understanding that in politics things are hardly so black and white as these people want to project them to be. Obama hasn’t done everything I wanted him too. I was disappointed in the indefinite detention bill but the bill even if Obama vetoed it would almost certainly go through anyway as is. Instead Obama opted to do a signing statement.

    Greenwald looks at this as selling out, whats very revealing is that Greenwald is actually selling out to the libertarian’s (if he was ever actually a liberal that is).

  3. The HYPOCRITE Ron Paul is in favor of the INTRUSIVE “big government” sonogram law passed in Texas. Now politicians have forced themselves between a woman and her doctor:


    The conservative 5th Circuit Federal Court in New Orleans ruled in favor of the new Texas sonogram law pushed through this past year by the GOP Super-majority in the legislature, promoted/signed by Gov. Rick Perry. The law forces a woman and her doctor to have a sonogram before an abortion, dictates what the physician MUST say to the patient. It also prescribes that a woman then wait 24 hours after the sonogram meaning a hardship on those from rural areas who must travel to city centers and either sleep in their car or if they have the money rent a motel room.

  4. The problem is the non-racist non-homophobic issues in regard to the wars and the continued operation of Gitmo is NOT being brought up by the Democratic establishment. In fact the President said he didn’t want to send the Wall Street bankers who crashed the economy to jail – he wanted to “look forward not backward”. Paul wants to hold the bankers accountable.

    Look I HATE the Huffington Post because it is nothing but a gossip rag with misleading headlines and they tend to give space to pseudo-science BUT that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t read anything by Sam Stein ever again.

    I find the need for group think to be as bad as the Tea Party people. Disagree with Greenwald all you want but stop the hate. And there were a lot people, even on the left, that rallied around W. after 9/11 just because Greenwald did doesn’t mean he holds the same views today. Read his column.

    I voting for the President in November so don’t waste your time trying to smear me as a Paul lover….

  5. Well, I’ve been around long enough to remember when liberalism contained a pretty good dose of libertarian thinking…..leave me the hell alone/we’
    re all in this together…..if you remember during the 60s part of the movement was equal rights and part of the movement was stay out of my life, and e pluribus unum……equal rights won out to the detriment of the libertarian strand…..and liberals who valued that part of liberalism were left instead with the multicultural/diversity agenda, identity politics, and lots of different people telling us how we should live, what words we can use, what food and drink we can enjoy……almost a new puritanism…..

    In forgetting who we are as liberals, we don’t even recognize some of ourselves in Ron Paul.

  6. Ron Paul is a hypocrite wanting BIG BAD GOVERNMENT out of our personal lives but advocating for politicians to come between a woman and her doctor and is most ANTI-CHOICE. Paul is also one of the biggest recipients in Congress to bring home the “pork” to his district.


    Likewise Mitt Romney rails NOW against “intrusive” government but Bain Capital doesn’t mind getting government help. The L.A. Times reports that Bain may not have been able to acquire Steel Dynamics in Indiana without a $37 million grant from Indiana taxpayers while Bain only contributed $18 million (selling their investment a few years later for 104 million) .


  7. I understand some positions here but it seems all to often that these progressives that are praising Paul are choosing to over look his other extreme positions are in fact making light of them as if they don’t matter.

    Obama’s not perfect but his heads up better than any of the GOP and that includes Ron Paul.

  8. Off topic, but Steven Colbert’s SuperPAC has purchased $10K TV commericial time in Charleston, SC with another buy to come in Columbia. Of course Americans For A Better Tomorrow will be run by Jon Stewart who can have no communication about the content with Colbert. Since the South Carolin Republican Party controls who is running in their primary and write-in names are not allowed, this is a stunt to mock the presence of superPACS and the primary system.


  9. Ron Paul is attractive to traditional liberals…you know, the ones we used to have before the party was taken over by the multicultural/diversity/social justice crowd……and they are really tired of what they have been seeing.

  10. You mean like the old Dixiecrats like Strom Thurmond whom Richard Nixon and Pat Buchanan lovingly welcomed into the Party of Lincoln in order to turn the Old South over to the Republicans? So what is so bad about social JUSTICE?

  11. The most troublesome thing about the GOP candidates is not one of them is showing a win in the polls. It shows the weak field the Republicans are running not to be able to beat a president who’s only accomplishments are to destroy the middle class and increase the deficit greater than any president in history. You would think the polls would show a decisive lead instead of Romney/Christie and Obama/Clinton being tied.

  12. Who sends you the REICH-wing talking points to your email box, Skudrunner? Yes, President Obama is destroying the Middle Class with an ever recovering stock market, new jobs, increased housing starts and home sales, rising AMERICAN-made auto sales, increased retail sales, etc.

    And Obama has not increased the national debt greater than any president in history. Look at this chart reflecting debt as percent of GDP and note the SPIKE from 2000 to 2008 UNDER BUSH, THEN IT LEVELS OFF.


    A nation’s economy is a bit more complex than a TROLL balancing his checkbook.

  13. Houston home sales are the best since 2006 and the median home price is the highest ever. Damned Obama economy (but watch Rick Perry take credit). However, the economy is due to a big stake in oil and gas.


    Houston helped by having fastest growing economy in North America. Only Dallas is included in the Top 40.


  14. Didn’t Obama Take office in 2008 because the true chart shows you are incorrect. Note the spike in 2008 to 2012.


    Fact: The middle class is shrinking
    Fact: There are more people on food stamps that anytime in history
    Fact: The almost one trillion dollar “stimulus” bill did not lower unemployment
    Fact: Since the government takeover of GM and Chrysler more manufacturing of autos has shifted to other countries than anytime in history. Ford, who was not taken over is doing well.
    Fact: Houston is part of Texas and is doing well because of Perry as Governor
    Fact: Obama couldn’t care less about increasing employment as he proved yesterday by not passing the Trans pipeline. It is all about reelection and doing anything to insure he gets another term.
    Fact: Obama has 40% of the vote because the yellow dog Democrats will vote Democrat regardless of who is running. 40% will vote Republican because they believe in self determination and believe everyone cannot live off the government. It is the 20% independent voter that will determine the winner.

  15. The Middle class has been shrinking since 1970 and surged in the Bush/Cheney years. This is not a new phenomenon (unless one only watches Faux News).


    There are more poor people on food stamps thanks to growing gap in incomes. And contrary to what Newt Gingrich would want you to believe, white folks compose the largest number of recipients. Most food stamps go to families with children or households with senior citizens on Social Security and pensions.


    President Obama’s Stimulus Bill added 3.3 MILLION jobs and unemployment as been steadily dropping.


    Auto production is UP in growing nations, especially China and India where there is a pent up demand from a blossoming population. They can build then cheaper that U.S. automakers using near slave labor wages. No American automaker can compete with the Tata Nano, a mini-care costing around $2000 sold to the Indian consumer.


    Set up in our state constitution, Texas is a “weak governor” state. Rick Perry hasn’t had a damned thing to do with our energy-based economy in Texas. Oil has ruled here for nearly a century. Job creation in Texas has been the result of many variables and many people and mostly the job creating industry of energy, However, Perry couldn’t sell his BIG LIE to the rest of the nation. If anything he has cost us jobs in education, health services, public safety. AND has helped make Texas a laughing stock. His political future here is dead.

    I disagree with the President’s denial of the Keystone Pipeline as does the Houston Chronicle editorial board. Having a degree in biology and a friend of the environment, I once had to fight with the Sierra Club and Audubon Society in San Diego, CA to support my employer building a housing project that had been stopped by “green” injunctions. I truly found myself arguing with “little old ladies in tennis shoes” who were NOT scientists but from an arts and humanities background. My employer convinced the city fathers to allow us to go ahead with a construction project because we had used actual science…IOW FACTS. IMO, Robert Redford should stick to entertainment.


    I am a former Republican, member of YAF in college, was a floor worker for Barry Goldwater at the Republican National Convention. BUT, when RIchard Nixon thought it wise to invite the RACISTS to become Republicans in order to get the Southern electoral votes, I had to leave the “Party of Lincoln”.

    I voted for Sen. Eugene McCarthy in 1968 and John Anderson in 1980. I even voted for Ron Paul in 2006 as he always wins in a landslide in our district and the Democrat was hawkish on the surge in Iraq. I wanted my vote to “send a message” to the Democratic Party….NO “blue dogs”.

  16. BTW, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports today that unemployment continues to decline. The numbers just released today are the lowest they have been since April 2008, you know when Bush was president. Maybe as a result of the good news, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 35 points to 12,613 right after the report.


  17. As always you are correct. I mis-typed and according to the spending curve it didn’t start to really ramp up until 2009 so you are correct. It just seems like he has been in office for decades instead of just three years.
    Another fact is he will win again because of the blundering on the republican side. Romney is to liberal, Newt has to much baggage, Paul is out in left field and would have a hard time getting 20% of the general election and Santorum is too far right socially. The only hope is if Hilary turns Obama down as his VP running mate and Romney gets Christie as his.
    The country is not totally lost because maybe the Republicans can control congress and hold off a total left lean. I know you are against Republicans and conservatives but not everyone can live off the government, someone has to pay for all the government giveaways

  18. Uh, well, no Grant….the article you referenced says the new claims for unemployment decreased, not unemployment decreased.

  19. Obama is no leftist. There is no left lean. There will be no left lean if PBO is re elected.
    And, PBO will, more likely than not, be re elected.

  20. Are you going to support our president come November, or sit at home “to send a message”? I remember arguing with many Naderites who were commenting on “progressives” blogs in 2000. They were wanting to “send a message” to Al Gore (not left enough!) and the Democrats with their few thousand Nader votes in Florida. As a result, we got Bush wars, a loss of civil rights, even more right-wing judges packing our federal courts, and a crashing economy. But I am sure those Naderites are still smug (some now preaching their PURE leftist “religion”even touting Ron Paul over at newcafe.org) knowing they voted their precious “conscience”. I am sure they still feel RIGHT, and have no remorse helping to send our nation into a downward spiral in so many aspects.

  21. I have no problem with PBO. I have never had one; I think that he is doing a good job in a bad situation.
    He has never done or said anything stupid and he never will. he is better than most of the people in washington.

  22. Good. I was fearing your withdrawal of support. Turnout is most crucial, the reason for the Party of Lincoln bringing back “Jim Crow” voter suppression. I don’t support the president on all issues but always consider what could happen if a Republican gets into office.

    Read an article in my Houston paper this morning about Obama losing Muslim-American support over his signing into law, indefinite detention, which scares our Muslim citizens.


    Prior to 9/11, Muslim Americans were a majority Republican mostly due to their conservative social values. Then with the backlash, even hate, against their population over the past decade by right-wingers, they have been moving over to the Democratic Party. A study in Chicago showed that an 80% Muslim-dominant precinct had the highest voter turnout in 2010.



    Now, some Muslims are moving towards Ron Paul. There are at last four pro-Ron Paul Muslim websites and several of his donors have Muslim names. One Muslim spokesman says, “I am a firm believer in individual rights and do not understand how a government can even pretend to have the power to detain a citizen, spy on them without a warrant.” Some are most upset with President Obama for signing the bill they fear will profile Muslim Americans as all needing close surveillance.

  23. Fact: The fact that the middle class is shrinking doesn’t prove that Obama is responsible.
    Fact: More people on food stamps is expected during a huge economic downturn.
    Fact: The stimulus is widely credited with avoiding a depression. It takes an average of 10 years to recover from a crises of this magnitude.
    Not a Fact: Houston is “doing well.” By what measures?
    Fact: A lot of people are worried about the Keystone pipeline for a variety of valid reasons. The impact it would have on American jobs is debatable.

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