Saturday, September 19, 2009


Murphy Corresponds with Glenn Greenwald

In this state of mind, I sent a polite email to Glenn Greenwald with the subject line "a fan who disagrees strongly with you on tea parties etc." To his extreme credit, Greenwald not only answered me, but went back and forth twice. (That is far more than you'll get out of me, unless you pay a consulting fee.)

Let me reproduce our last exchange, since it was the best. In response to my original point, GG asked me why all these protesters suddenly got so mad right after Obama was inaugurated. I replied:
It's a good point, but my answer is: They've finally woken up. The tipping point of a single $700 billion injection into Wall St. was so ludicrous that people finally woke up out of their stupor.

Last point and I'll leave you alone: We both agree that right now, millions of Americans are for the first time really MAD about what the federal government is doing. But they're not political junkies, they don't have well-thought out views the way you and I do. So they're looking around for someone to help channel their frustration and above all, give them something concrete to do about it.

So in that void, you've got Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh coming in, saying, "I'm so proud of you folks. You are real patriots. Thomas Paine would have been proud. What you need to do, is march on DC on 9/12, and call your representatives and tell them to close the border and defund ACORN."

At the same time, you've got Keith Olbermann, Jimmy Carter, Janeane Garofalo, and Glenn Greenwald saying, "You guys are a bunch of racist hypocrites. Stop whining about 'oh I oppose socialist medicine.' No you don't. You know darn well you took your weekend off to to go to DC because you hate black people."

Is that really the right way for you to play this? Is this the way to help the guys who are still locked up in Gitmo, and the people getting blown up by Obama's cruise missile attacks?

[/melodramatic rant]

Bob Murphy

In response--and I'm assuming he won't mind if I quote him here--GG said:
I've never said the protesters are motivated by race. I've never said their anger is unjustified.

What I said is that their anger is WARRANTED, but is being misdirected and exploited by their leaders for purely partisan ends that have little to do with -- and are often directly at odds with -- the things they claim they're angry about.

You're generalizing about these protesters. Some are politically unsophisticated people who are angry -- though I need a better explanation for why they weren't angry during Bush -- but many, many, many are nothing more than Rush-Limbaugh-listening Republicans angry because they are no longer in power.
I think we both did a good job venting. I judge our exchange a stalemate.


Another addition to the theory: the first round of bailouts came late in Bush's term. It's possible people thought it wasn't worth protesting until he left office as he was a "lame-duck." What would be the point of putting on a show for the old guy, then he leaves office and the new guy comes in and all is quiet on the Eastern Front?

That being said, it's obvious these things are being orchestrated and organized by 'higher powers' to a degree, they're not totally spontaneous. And Greenwald is right, most people aren't sophisticated and they're just being lemmings, as usual.

But I don't think that means that the stuff the protestors CLAIM they're angry about, should be ignored as a result. Even if Rushbaugh or D'armey is behind the whole thing, so what? Does that mean socialized medicine is a good idea automatically?
My answer to Glenn about why the public did not march on Washington in the fall during the Wall Street bailout: When the public is heavily focused on a Presidential race as election day nears, and then a "financial storm" ensues, it may have been difficult to multitask supportive Presidential candidate interests, especially when both candidates were in favor of the TARP funding, and an animosity towards Wall Street banksters, and the Feds, for such an awful bailout. And it must be noted that the public was being told to advocate the TARP policy by Obama, McCain, Bush, Bernanke, and practically everyone affiliated with Wall Street and the Federal Government. That being known, then is it stretch to concede that perhaps the public relations campaign being waged on the citizenry by Wall Street and the Feds wouldn't help suppress public outcry over such a rediculous policy maneuver? There was large public dissent on the right during the P.R. campaign for TARP, but that dissent was compounded many times over when as soon as the President was inaugurated he basically doubled down on Bush with the anti-stimulus stimulus package.
None of these people at the tea parties give a darned about satisfying Mr. Greenwald's made-up pre-requisites (should've protested "x/y/z" before to prove your worthiness now). We are humans with limited time and energy. When we figure something out, it is on our individual time table, not his. Elitist minds have a hard time taking things at their face value.

I must respectfully disagree with Taylor. I have actually been very impressed with the tea partiers' levels of sophistication. Having faith in individuals' abilities to make their own decisions is a cornerstone of libertarianism, and these events have convinced me more than ever that the more we promote liberty, the better off we will all be.

Plus we cannot help it if Beck and Limbaugh have jumped on our bandwagon. They are free to do so, but Mr. Greenwald has to concede that they have their own business agendas, too, and are just doing what capitalists do.
You have to pay if you correspond with Greenwald playing a sock puppet ..
Greenwald lives in a far left bubble.

My parents no doubt know far more history and politics and economics and real life Federal government than Greenwald will know before the poor confused man dies.

And they have joined the protesters.

These air head leftists really are maddening in their bubble world "sophistication".
"Some are politically unsophisticated people who are angry"

I just love the dripping contempt ...

Greenwald couldn't argue his way out of a paper bag with you on economics, Bob, and that is what is so pathetic about this dripping contempt of the bubble world, largely air head, hard left blog boys.
Why didn't the protests happened under Bush?

Because the bailouts were really late during Bush's term, and all the attention was directed to the election.

I'd say the bailouts was the straw that broke the camel's back.
Why weren't there protests over Bush's spending?

1. The bailouts happened too late in the term, and protests would have helped Obama, who the conservative protesters don't like.

2. In general, the high spending under Bush upset a lot of people, but they didn't protest because they considered the Republicans the lesser of two evils - just like democrats aren't protesting the Obama Wars now, because they judge Obama to be the lessor of two evils - and they don't want Obama's popularity to fall, else it will benefit the political party they don't like.

These reasons are obvious, and Greenwald is a moron if he hasn't come up with them.

Plus, even if the reasons were wrong, why aren't people allowed to change?

Overall, Greenwald's analysis just reeks of elitist collectivism. He is scum - plus he is a big-government guy so he is giving the government the means of coercion - so he isn't innocent when that government wields that means of coercion in unpleasant ways.
Bob, good on you for reaching out to GG.

I think he is right that the protesters are being manipulated, for the benefit of an elite, and you are right to ask him the tactical question of whether pointing to possible racism is good way to appeal the the protesters.

GG`s a good ciliv libertarian, but needs for help on Autsrian economics.
I'm waiting for Greenwald's sock puppet to speak up ...
Greg, what difference does it make to the validity of GG`s arguments if he responds but pretends to be someone else? IOW, what`s the point of your ad hom?

You can`t be seriously suggesting that Bob has made a withering attack that GG can`t handle, so he`ll pretend to be someone else just to have an ally.
Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]