February 17, 2008

Extraordinary Idiocy, Even by Gleen(s)'(s) Standards [Dan Collins]

His Arch-Puppetude holds forth on the purported psychological exhaustion caused by the continual attention paid to the Islamist menace by those who do pay attention to it, stating that in fact those who continually focus on the threat–a canard uptrumped in order to facilitate Executive power-grabbing and the shredding of the Constitution in general–actually enjoy this posture, because it lends an element of romance to their otherwise pointless lives to believe that they are engaged in a clash of civilizations.

Putting aside for the moment the issue of Gleen(s)'(s) own self-exaltation over his continual jeremiads contra the Bush Administration and what he likes to claim it has done to the US’s political culture (were you aware Russ Feingold entered one of his posts into the Senate record?), it seems particulary inaptly timed, given the reminder of what it is this conflict is about that was offered earlier this week upon the death of Imad Mugniyah and the recent dust-up over Archbishop Rowan Williams’s defeatist statements regarding sharia law.  It is very doubtful, as we’ve pointed out here on occasion, that Gleen(s) themself would care very much to live under that rule of law, and yet it is bandied about casually in a country that until recently seemed to have values quite similar to ours that it might be acceptable as a regimen parallel to English Common Law.  And given his own predilection for paranoia, it’s ironic that he should once again be accusing others of fear-mongering in the hoary Hofstadterian sense.  Here is the way that he represents those of us who take this business seriously, in that measured tone that’s so uniquely Greenwaldian in its dispassionate objectivity:

Over the past couple decades, prior to the Bush Era, the people who needed the sort of psychological fulfillment that comes from prancing around as Hofstadterian faux-warriors waging Civilization Wars obtained their fulfillment from playing board and video games or, at worst, dressing up on the weekend in camouflage costumes and — rather than playing golf or going fishing — marched around in militia formations, primed to defend the nation from Janet Reno and her squadrons of hovering U.N. black helicopters. It was equally pathetic, but at least the damage was minimal.

But the 9/11 attacks and ensuing events catapulted their paranoia and powerlessness syndromes from clownish sideshow to dominant political faction. And their fevered, self-serving fantasies have empowered the Federal Government beyond anyone’s wildest dreams, created a completely out-of-control domestic surveillance state, subordinated even the rule of law to the lawless dictates of Security State officials, and dismantled long-standing constitutional protections and political values so basic that they were previously beyond debate. In Civilization Wars, all is fair and justified — torture, lawbreaking, domestic spying, limitless government power, because the imperative of their crusade outweighs all.

Somehow, Code Pink and the various socialist front-groups that are Zombietimed don’t fall into the same category.  Somehow, the bizarre spectacle of the Waco Massacre doesn’t strike him as fascistic* in the same way that such a thing undoubtedly would under the Bush administration.  Just this week there was a bit of a kerfuffle over the photos of some Obamaton dope with a Che Guevara flag at the Austin headquarters.  Imagine Gleen(s)'(s) transcendental symbolic interpretation had it been someone at McCain headquarters with a portrait of Juan Peron.  And for each of those who unthinkingly represents America as the Greatest Country Evah, one has to take into account all of those who represent America as the greatest threat to global security, Gaia, peace, and the continued existence of Mankind on the Planet Evah.  One of those factions is closer to the truth according to actual liberal values than the other.  If he’s interested at all in discovering how the valuation of freedoms afforded by one’s society is important to its survival, he might learn a bit from reading John Julius Norwich’s History of Venice, since it is that small state that represents the nearest analogy to the way that the US has historically projected its power, despite the constant comparisons to empires that utilized their power more aggressively.

It’s laughable, really, that he claims his principle concern is with Federal concentration of power over the lives of individuals and their privacy rights, when he advocates in effect for centralized social control over permissible self-expression and the power that is granted the state when, for example, it becomes the sole purveyor of health care.  Was the strange Canadian Star-Chamber inquisition of Ezra Levant a wake-up call to Gleen(s)?  Not at all.  We ought to be more like them.

Where is this domestic surveillance state, Gleen(s)?  Where does the law really serve to enforce moral hygiene?  Whither your divination, Benchmark Boy?

*Because it would be terrible to waterboard terrorists, you know.

Update: Nishi channels Gleen. Because with Barack, we can move on into the future of guided evolutionary biology revealing to us that our Only True God is our human potential to transcend ourselves.

Posted by Dan Collins @ 12:07pm
87 comments | Trackback

Comments (87)

  1. Pretty simple.

    The only threat is from conservatives. It’s about the troof, you see….

    Great post, Dan.

  2. That shirtlifter is not content to be the Queen of Overwraught Prose apparently.

  3. The most progressiving thing about progressivists is that they progressivelyesque entertain so many progressivological views with such progressival equanimity. Surely it’s not easy having sockpuppets.

    Surely it’s not easy being so wise. Fortunately, progressivism is progress.

    Or maybe it’s doing another bong load and never holding one intellectual phrase longer than 50 seconds. Play Stairway, man!

  4. And Dan, socioeconomic behavioral collectivism isn’t behavioral intellectual fascism, man. It just isn’t.

    Nuance and all that.

  5. You mean, those who bravely stand against Bushitler’s drive for absolute power and domination over all life are tilting at windmills?

    Good day, sir!

  6. Gleen took 1500 words to make the chickenhawk argument. That’s got to be a record, not to mention annoying.

    If you’ve got something stupid to say, you could at least have the common courtesy to be brief.

  7. Can you get welfare in Britain for each of your sockpuppets? Can you declare a sockpuppet as a dependent on your tax return?

  8. The saddest thing about Glenn’s writing is that for all the elegance of the prose, the subjects are little else but caricature with no nuance whatsoever. It speaks more of his own prejudices and inherent biases that he is incapable of discussing things beyond this stunted interpretation.

    If I were to use glenn’s method from the conservative viewpoint, it would be easy to go to Democratic Underground or HuffPo and quote the commenters there word for word, and represent them as the prime example of the larger liberal mindset. But it’s a lot more complicated than that, as anyone with an emotional maturity level beyond eigth grade knows. The fact that glenn writes in such a manner indicates that he has yet to reach this level of emotional growth.

  9. A proggressive is a socialist without the balls to tell anyone.

  10. Glenns do not know himselves very well.

    Sometimes it’s like Jane Austen wrote him.

  11. I blame Mona. And Salon. And sycophants. And Kyoto.

  12. OK, so the anti-government militia types have empowered the government to dismantle the Bill of Rights. Did I get that right? And does anyone else get the impression that Gleen(s) haven’t got a fucking clue as to what they’re talking about? Methinks he’s spent a bit too much time defending hanging out with Matt Hale.

  13. Gleen should leave his car parked in a suburb of Paris for a night and then check back with the rest of the world.

  14. I thought Gleen’s post was an unintentional self parody.

    “There is nothing more psychologically invigorating than the belief that you are staring down the Greatest and Most Evil Enemy Ever in History, courageously waging glorious war for all that is Good and Just in the world.”

    That would be George Bush and the neocons to Gleen. He has acknowledged it before on his blog.

    ” Look at how personally vital — how indispensable — the War of Civilizations is to McCarthy, to his identity and sense of purpose.”

    Politics is very, very personal to Gleen.

    “This is why our nation’s faux-warriors can never be reasoned with.”

    When is the last time you tried to have a conversation with Gleen or one of his commenters?

    “Just consider the grandiose, baroque rhetoric they employ.”

    Just consider the grandiose, baroque rhetoric I employ. Fixed that for you Gleen.

    ” Maybe I’m exaggerating the threat posed in order to inflate my own importance and give myself a sense of purpose and power as I convince myself that I’m waging all-important (though risk-free) war.”

    How many books have you written about Bush now Gleen and why do you constantly refer to being quoted on the Senate floor?

    “And their fevered, self-serving fantasies have empowered the Federal Government beyond anyone’s wildest dreams, created a completely out-of-control domestic surveillance state, subordinated even the rule of law to the lawless dictates of Security State officials, and dismantled long-standing constitutional protections and political values so basic that they were previously beyond debate. ”

    It’s all in your fevered imagination again Gleen because you haven’t presented any concrete evidence of what you fear. You must enjoy wetting your bed and biting your pillow.

    Enough for now, the man is the most intellectually dishonest blogger I know.

  15. oh noes
    u are wrong
    i absolutely believe in god/allah/hashem
    im wali, that means a friend of god, in arabic.
    the thing is…there is no dichotomy between Real Science and godbelief.
    and no dichotomy among the wali.
    there is just nasty tribal bickering about god/allah/hashem’s nature and exactly wat that dictates us to do among the servents of Asherah.

  16. “Principles which were beyond debate”.

    Except they were never beyond debate at all. All the way back to the Alien and Sedation Acts, people and governments have been earnestly debating security, privacy, and rights issues. Only in Gleen’s fever dreams is this all prompted by BushCo in the last 7 years.

  17. there is just nasty tribal bickering about god/allah/hashem’s nature and exactly wat that dictates us to do among the servents of Asherah.

    Fixed it for you below nishi, you are not as unique as you imagine.

    there is just nasty tribal bickering about god/allah/hashem’s nature and exactly wat that dictates us to do among the servents of god/allah/hashem.

  18. nice job, daley. I think that nails it pretty squarely.

  19. oh. at #14 I mean.

  20. daleyrock – Self examination and introspection are not in their vocabulary, which is in and of itself ironic, given the criticism they level at Bush for exactly that.

  21. In the science fiction book Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson, Asherah is portrayed as a meta-virus brought to earth naturally or by alien broadcast. The Sumerian figure Enki is a proto-hacker or as Stephenson puts it “a neurolinguistic hacker” who uses his ability to manipulate people through language to introducing sentience to mankind and save them from the restrictive dogma of Asherah. Modern day glossolalia is attributed to a resurgence of the “cult of Asherah” and the meta-virus in humanity.

    Yeats and Eliot again. They framed postmodernism a lot but really, being simple, I think the analog for Asherah is just the media really. Badly constructed narratives are confusing and make people grumpy is about as far down that road as I go these days. Just cause for the rest of it I have a lot of faith in peoples generally. Core assumptions and all that. And also these ideas feel very potheady and don’t at all get me any closer to owning a volvo C30.

  22. uh, happyfeet, I’d reconsider the volvo after seein’ who highly recommends it today. ;D

  23. A pretty lame response, but probably not much else to be done.
    Greenwald nailed it perfectly.

  24. Nailed what, exactly?

  25. oh no. For real? I missed that. Found it. Hmm. I’m not sure what that means. My favorite part of the C30 is that it’s a good 10K over what I can afford so I’m thinking that getting it takes a lot of the question out of whether to look for a new job or not. Also a not just utilitarian but kind of nice car should maybe help motivate me to kick the cigarette thing… I priced in the leather seats.

  26. Techie – Sullivan

    BenPope – Devastating rejoinder. How long did you ponder that before typing it?

  27. well…Asherah is like my shorthand for restrictive dogma
    i like especially the comparison to herpes simplex, how it encysts and goes doemant in nervous tissue.

  28. dormant

  29. Oh. I like that idea kind of. But isn’t then jihad sort of analogous to an emergence of some kind of erupting pustule then? Identifying restrictive dogma though sounds like it’s primarily areligious in intent.

    I need to think.

  30. I’m glad you’re here though.

  31. …there is no dichotomy between Real Science and godbelief.

    Well, except for that whole faith thing.

  32. Excellent article,
    by Glenn. Right on the money.
    Dan missed the point or deliberately distorted the main Idea expressed in the magnificent Glenn’s post

  33. I’m with Nishi on this one. I believe in God, and I also believe in the scientific validity of evolution theory. It’s not that hard to do, really. They are far from mutually exclusive.

  34. sashal – Care to explain? Or are you just being a cabana boy for the gleens?

  35. JD, just read Glenn’s post. It is all there.
    And make your own judgement

  36. sashal’s gotta be joking — the “magnificent” gleen?

  37. sashal – read it and read the shirtlifter’s epistle of projection. daleyrocks did a good job of showing how painfully off-target Gren, and you, are.

    Consistency is your friend.

  38. Exactly, JD — all sashal has to do is read comment #14.

  39. I’d try and avoid nishioftherandompuncationandspelling’s attempt to threadjack.

  40. Well, except for that whole faith thing.

    ???
    dont get it
    im pretty scient and i believe in god/allah/hashem.
    plz explain

  41. techie,
    im not threadjackin
    im explainin why spencer/thompson/hirsii ali are funtionally useless in the WoT.

  42. basically, Glenn’s argument is that there are psychological influences at work among pundits on the extreme right that cause them to significantly exaggerate the threat from jihadism and to be all to eager to support the undermining of basic constitutional protection and practices; that there are extensive historical precedents for their worldview; and that some of the threats America has faced in the past were much greater than exist today, without requiring the wholesale restructuring of our national life and our legal traditions.

  43. There is nothing more psychologically invigorating than the belief that you are staring down the Greatest and Most Evil Enemy Ever in History, courageously waging glorious war for all that is Good and Just in the world. Nothing produces more pulsating feelings of excitement and nobility like convincing yourself that you are a Warrior defending Western Civilization from the greatest threat it has ever faced, following in — even surpassing — the mighty footsteps of the Greatest Generation and the Warrior-Crusaders who came before them.

    For those who crave and glorify (though in their lives completely lack) acts of warrior courage, play-acting the role of the intrepid Warrior is uniquely satisfying. That’s why nothing can fill the bottomless spare time of bored, aimless adolescents like sitting in front of a computer commanding vast armies and destructive military weapons, deployed against cunning, scary and evil enemies.

    That’s it, isn’t it Sashal? Fucking TRUTH TO POWER!! Like Daniel in the lion’s den, Sashal gives the Evil Neo-Con Fascists what for! ON THEIR OWN BLOG!!!

  44. Science is based on fact. Religion is based on faith. If you can’t see a dichotomy there, I don’t think I can explain. They are exact opposites.

  45. sashal – Again, I would refer you to comment 14, but, since it does not comport with your worldview, I suspect that you will either not read it, not understand it, or just simply ignore it.

  46. The Gleens mistake power of government for scope of government. It’s true that, in the area of terrorism and surveillance for detection of same, the federal government has a lot of power. But that means very little in the scheme of things for all but the most extreme cases domestically. It just doesn’t affect the overwhelming majority of us, even fewer when you consider the application of prosecutorial power.

    OTOH, bed-wetters like Greenwald who demand an extra-constitutional federal takeover of the healthcare system would increase the power of the federal government exponentially over every resident in the nation. Doubtless there would be anti-fat, anti-tobacco, etc. crusades promoted and executed by our new health overlords afterward, all cheered on by the self-proclaimed guardians of our liberty.

  47. Re: comment #28

    I thought that was chicken pox, which comes back as shingles. Is chicken pox caused by the herpes virus?

    I had shingles last year, it sux.

    Also, I think one major disparity between religious faith and science is that faith cannot be falsified.

  48. absolute power and domination over all life? The Church of the Obamasiah in America should leave people’s bodies alone and, no he doesn’t get the White House for not being a female. The Socialist shit is his. The Church shit is his. He can’t deny what he is and was. He can’t fool everyone because we all put up with Clinton and his body people. No, threatening bodies won’t get him what he wants whether it’s some wierd African shit or some wierd Moslem shit or some wierd socialist shit. Females are what everyone traditionally blames for the body shit, so I’m saying his church probably got what it wanted by being females and that’s all those were(yes, I’m calling those guys females). Now, it’s the White House. We already got tortured for the other shit, so why give him more shit?

    The charisma shit is Hitler and he got what he wanted, even though he went insane over what type of human he got to kill. Body shit. So, trying to go back and figure where the hitler charisma shit started doesn’t change the fact that he, part of the Exclusionary Afrcian Chruch in America, won’t say what he needs to say about charisma. Obama isn’t going to the White house, we all were forced to learn all this shit because Bill chose bodies, like most charisma shit and the youth might be possessed to vote for Obama, but no one is forgetting Bill. Republicans can’t save the dems and it’s not going to happen. Bill destroyed America and Obama or Hilly aren’t the answer. Dems. Dems are body shit and that’s how they got what they wanted. So, are Obama and Hilly any different? Yes, they want to sell off again and that is a mistake. I won’t say health care shit.

    Most Evil Enemy Ever in History? Body shit.

  49. Greenwald(s) needs to revisit his Woodrow W and his FDR.

    Oh, and spot on, Jeffersonian and daleyrocks.

  50. did u hear wat us repubs that votin Obama are called ? Obamacans…or mebbe Obamakins.
    lulz.

  51. Obamateurs

  52. well…wat do u say to my hypothesis the we will be able to prove the existance of god/allah/hashem?
    is that science or faith?

  53. wat do u say to my hypothesis the we will be able to prove the existance of god/allah/hashem?
    is that science or faith?

    I would say that isn’t a hypothesis.

  54. sashal:

    1. I’m not on the right, but the left. And I agree with them that there is a threat. (Nor am I the only leftist who agrees with them.) I saw nothing in Gleen’s article that counted as an argument against that notion. It was just a lot of assertions, most of which looked very wide of the mark.

    2. Why do you refer to the right as the extreme right? The extreme right are the jihadists. If anyone should be exaggerating their threat, it should be leftists like you. Leftism will be destroyed if they get power. Take a look at Iran to see what I mean.

    3. As for undermining basic constitutional protection and practices, there are lots of things that people need to feel safe, and the Constitution is just one of them. The great and wonderful tolerance of Dutch society did nothing to protect Theo van Gogh from being murdered. How would keeping the Constitution pure help any of us in a similar situation?

    4. Whether earlier threats were greater I can’t say, but I think one thing is clear, and that is that in earlier eras there wasn’t the crisis of confidence that permeates our media and schools. “The West is evil,” “it’s all our fault,” etc., etc., ad nauseum. When I have pointed out to such people that al-Qaida also targets India, they have nothing to say.

    I could get into the particulars about how far off the mark Gleen is in my case, but let’s see if you can deal with this first.

  55. Contadiction?

    Where?

  56. Or did I mean “contradiction”?

  57. But the 9/11 attacks and ensuing events catapulted their paranoia and powerlessness syndromes from clownish sideshow to dominant political faction.

    It probably never occurs to our friend that the 9/11 attacks (in addition to the ones preceding it and the ones that followed) showed that it wasn’t paranoia. I find it interesting that Glen seems to miss such a basic fact. Then again, it must be easy to ignore quite a lot when you are trying to prove that Bush and the neocons are the real enemy.

  58. It probably never occurs to our friend that the 9/11 attacks (in addition to the ones preceding it and the ones that followed) showed that it wasn’t paranoia.

    An intelligence officer I know says “of course we’re paranoid. The question is, are we paranoid enough?”

    Happyfeet, thank you for “Obamatures.”

  59. Funny, I read this before I got here, and all I can think of was the middle-aged, white, pasty warriors here at Protein Wisdom. Thank you, brave Teddy Bear maker, for demonstrating how a war between Israel and Hezbollah and the comments of an Archbishop 8000 miles away can be conflated into THE WAR TO DEFEND CIVILIZATION!!

    Maybe, your esteemed founder could enroll all of in his martial arts classes….after all the Muslim raiding transports or right off shore! TO THE RAMPARTS, HEROES!! Dan, is our the leader of our Manichean struggle and we will prevail.

  60. Funny

    “Funny, how?”

  61. Manichean is so tired. Besides, McCain’s your daddy now, and he’s nuancey.

  62. Reading for comprehension is not one of Doyle’s strengths.

  63. 43–when we get anywhere near the broadly accepted response to prior national threats that were either tacitly or explicitly endorsed by the likes of FDR, Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy–especially JFK–please do let us know. I have no shortage of interest in valid criticisms of WoT; that GG is wide of the mark is an affront to the notion of not hitting the broadside of a barn.

    what does GG say about the dozens of convictions for financial and material support given to hezbollah and hamas, to say nothing of AQ? never mind.

  64. “Funny, I read this before I got here, and all I can think of was the middle-aged, white, pasty warriors here at Protein Wisdom.”

    Your personal fantasies are none of our business.

  65. Greenwald nailed it perfectly.

    Yes, “it” was expressed well, but the remaining 1499 words or so were quite muddled.

  66. 60–accept hezbollah, the remarkably bad guys, uses the US as a key financial source. even with $3.50 a gal., they still have to scratch for $20’s in Detroit and Charlotte. Eh, the wages of sin, always being adjusted downwards.

  67. Funny, I read this before I got here, and all I can think of was the middle-aged, white, pasty warriors here at Protein Wisdom.

    Well, you’re not very fucking bright then, are you Johnny?

    Doyle. That sounds vaguely African, right?

  68. Ah, and it’s brave Mr. anon@comcast.net, aka John D. Doyle, here to tell us how pasty we are.

    As we know, it’s real warriors like Mr. Greenwald, speaking truth to power who keep us safe at night. I’ve seen your photo, Mr. Doyle, so I know what pasty looks like.

    Meanwhile, in your fever dreams, you are defending us all from FISA, killer of thousands. That guy whom the Israelis got? He’s killed a lot of Americans. Not that you really give a rat’s ass, for all your blather. It’s more important to you that you be proper, like all the other puritanical fuckfaces on the left. Oh, and douchenozzle.

  69. What sounds good right now is frito pie. I wish there was a Sonic nearby.

  70. Sonic sells Frito pie? We might need another war of conquest on the South.

  71. They do. Sonics are here in LA I know but if I’ve ever seen one I don’t remember where.

  72. What does this Doyle fella have against martial arts? I mean, one of the things I practice is Brazilian jiu jitsu. Which is very close, in a way, to what his heroes, the League of Extraordinary Greenwalds, practice — the difference being that I wear clothes, and I’m not comfortable with the guy on top of me in the mount position.

    And of course, no penetration.

  73. OTHERPHOBE!

  74. I’m sending you an email Mr. Goldstein.

  75. Sorry. Gotta go there; several folks have referenced the statement that Gleen(s) “nailed it.”

    Just what exactly he nailed, and how, is way too much information for me.

    I’m just sayin’…

  76. ….after all the Muslim raiding transports or right off shore!

    Are we supposed to choose?

  77. Has anyone else noticed this paradox? The people who are sooooo worried about our constitutional protections being eroded by the Bush administration are also the ones who are least bothered by Rowan Williams’ remarks. The possibility of the entire Constitution being replaced by shari’a doesn’t seem to upset them at all.

  78. They don’t think it paradoxical, because every culture is equally desirable . . . except, of course, our own.

  79. Either English is Mr. Doyle’s second or third language, or he’s having problems mastering the proper use of the comma.

  80. Yes, I also agree that The Magnificent Greenwald nailed it. His palavras are not to be questioned. He makes his case and there is nada you pasty American Constitution-Eaters can say in response. Everything you can muster em reposta is not worth reading. Because you are not as openminded as we are in Braz– I mean, middle America.

    End transmissão.

  81. Pingback: *Burp* [Dan Collins]

  82. I find it delightful that the works of Greenwald and the statements of his followers his followers cannot be distinguished from parody — except that no parodist could go on for as long as Greenwald does.

  83. HBO wants to do a series.

  84. John D. Doyle’s brain burp sums the whole issue up nicely. Here’s a fellow who seems to think that stating the “inevitability” of a law code so reactionary it makes the penners of the Magna Carta look like bomb-throwing anarchists is absolutely nothing to be concerned about, even if the statement should come from a place where one has every right to expect stern warnings about Sharia Law. Worrying about things like that doesn’t make us concerned citizens with an understanding of cultural decay, it makes us scaredy little wimps. Not worrying about it doesn’t make you a lazy, sand-breathing ostrich, it makes you brave and beautiful.

    I’ll cop to being pasty and not much of a warrior. But Doyle is six kinds of a fool for thinking, with the lethality of Al Qaeda in Iraq as well known as it is, that caving to radical Islam is no big deal.

  85. i really hate chicken pox coz it can mess your skin,*`

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