Jonathan Chait has penned a must read of a column on Glenn Greenwald. Go read the whole thing. Here are a few passages that stuck out to me. (emphasis mine)
The debate over domestic surveillance is not a debate about what we think about Glenn Greenwald. But Greenwald is a fascinating character. His resemblance to Ralph Nader is not one that, so far as I can tell, anybody has thought to make. […]
For Greenwald, like Nader, the lawyer is the key protagonist in his political drama. Political victory is a series of successful lawsuits. He is wildly litigious:
In 1997, Achatz and Greenwald filed another lawsuit for broken elevators in their building. (They lived on the 32nd floor.) They later moved into another building in Midtown Manhattan, and countersued after being sued by that landlord for having a dog that weighed more than 35 pounds. They sued American Airlines and its parent company for not placing the right number of miles flown in their frequent-flier account.
Greenwald, like Nader, marries an indefatigable mastery of detail with fierce moralism. Every issue he examines has a good side and an evil side. Greenwald, speaking not long ago to the New York Times, said something revealing about his intellectual style:
“I approach my journalism as a litigator,” he said. “People say things, you assume they are lying, and dig for documents to prove it.” […]
That is the echo of Greenwald’s suspicions of the Democratic agenda. President Obama scaled back some of the Bush administration’s anti-terror policies — torture, warrantless wiretapping — but kept in place others. One could make the case that he did not change enough, but that is not a Greenwald sort of argument. He insists that Obama is worse than Bush. Obama’s health-care reform was not just a step along the way to Greenwald’s ideal, it was a monstrous sellout that probably did no good at all (“there is a reasonable debate to be had among reform advocates over whether this bill is a net benefit or a net harm.”).
This way of looking at the world naturally places one in conflict with most liberals, who are willing to distinguish between gradations of success or failure. Nader and Greenwald believe their analysis not only completely correct, but so obviously correct that the only motivation one could have to disagree is corruption. Good-faith disagreement, or even rank stupidity, is not possible around Greenwald. His liberal critics are lackeys and partisan shills. He may be willing to concede ideological disagreement with self-identified conservatives, but a liberal who disagrees can only be a kept man.
Liberals have derided conservative voters who vote against their own self interests for decades. The perfect example of this self-defeatism is middle and low income people voting for Republicans — who want to shift the nations wealth from poor and working folks to the wealthy in this country. They have been convinced by the very effective brainwashing that began in the Reagan supply-side era, when we were all told that it would trickle down to us, or rather on us.
Many of these very same liberals who deride that group on the right, are doing it themselves. In 2011, the best example of this can be seen in the efforts by Cornel West, Tavis Smiley and Ralph Nader. Eric L. Wattree helps us understand the stupidity of the self-defeatist left, who in my opinion, don’t give a shit about the people they claim to represent. (emphasis mine)
Obama has caused me tremendous frustration on several issues, but simple common sense dictates that my being frustrated is far preferable to allowing the GOP to come into power and turn the United States into a nation of corporate feudalism. That’s a level of common sense that Ralph Nader, Tavis Smiley and Cornel West seems to be lacking. Tavis seems to be keeping a low profile in this effort, by the way, but somehow I still visualize West sitting on his knee with Tavis’ hand in his back.
Isn’t it curious how all of their criticism is directed at Obama while, this point, it has become abundantly clear that the GOP has turned into a group of radical lunatics with absolutely no sense of limits, or any respect for the United States Constitution?
Anyone – and I do mean ANYONE – who would do that is either stupid, insane, think they’ll benefit from a GOP victory in some way, or are so blinded by an oversized ego that they’ve lost all connection with reality. It is clear to most thinking people that President Obama, flaws and all, is our best defense against turning the nation over to a GOP who want’s to drag us back into the Middle Ages. If that wasn’t the case, Nader and West wouldn’t have to mount a talent search. Thus, it’s one thing to have individual principles, but placing the entire nation in jeopardy to indulge those principles suggests an egomania that, at the very least, borders on psychosis.
Again, this is not the first time that Nader and West have engaged in this failed strategy. West supported Nader in his self-serving and childishly petulant campaign during the 2000 election that led to the appointment of George W. Bush. So while West is running around claiming to be so outraged over the economy and lack of jobs for the poor and middle class in this country, he’s partially responsible for it.
Elections have consequences and this country can’t afford the consequences of another Republican presidency.
I hadn’t seen this clip in a long time and just stumbled upon it. It is a great reminder of what Ralph Nader has become and how his thinking has warped over time. He reminds me in some ways of Julian Assange, for some reason. I heard Bill Keller on NPR the other day talking about the Wikileaks leak to the New York Times and how Julian Assange acted throughout the process. Something made me think of Nader, I think it is the narcissism.
Kudos to Shephard Smith for telling it like it is on Fox News, of all places.
First we had the Jane Hamsher/Grover Norquist alliance and now we have the Nader/Paul alliance. It does seem that crazies are attracted to each other, doesn’t it. From The Raw Story…
However, on Wednesday’s broadcast of Freedom Watch on the Fox Business channel, Judge Napolitano sat down for an amiable interview with Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) and Ralph Nader to discuss a progressive-libertarian alliance in the 112th session of respective chambers in Congress.
Nader, who has recently called this coalition “the most exciting new political dynamic” in the US today, explained that it works well because both groups stand against corporatists who believe government should be run in the interests of corporations.
“I believe in coalitions,” Rep. Paul echoed. “They talk about we need more bipartisanship, and I say we have too much bipartisanship because the bipartisanship we have here in Washington endorses corporatism.”
Here is the video of the two on Fox News, so much crazy in one segment…