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Thursday, November 20, 2008


Indeed. The point which Greenwald is making, unfortunately, is that the essential freedom of a healthy society -- the right everyone should have to a fair trial -- can be used against it to justify the appointment of reactionary corporate lawyers to oversee that system.

But this is only possible provided, as you said in your earlier post, that people are prepared to accept the form and ignore the substance. The sad fact seems to be that most are.

The "Rude Pundit" recently rather pathetically declared that Democrats would not allow themselves to be pushed around by their leaders as Republicans had allowed themselves to be pushed around.

Poor, dear chap, he has already been chained to the vaulting-horse, the giant iron dildo has been greased, and yet he is insisting that he is doing this entirely consensually, and that if he wanted to he could just say the magic words and everything would be all right again.

After all, Barack promised that it would be so.

How distressingly vivid.

I'm more sanguine about Greenwald, based on his willingness over the past few years to tear into the Democrats on a regular basis in terms that would make most liberal bloggers wilt. He labors under the unfortunate belief that America has an inherent greatness that was tarnished by George Bush and to which it could be restored, but he does have an underlying integrity and honesty that I respect. So who knows—maybe four years of Obama executing essentially the same policies as Bush, though with a far more sophisticated and nuanced veneer, will push him over the edge.

I don't give it a very high probability, but compared to the Digbys of the world the guy is practically a bomb-throwing anarchist, so I'm willing to give him a chance. Maybe he'll get some Chomsky in his Christmas stocking and see the light.

(Or maybe Obama really will govern counter to his every word and action thus far, in which case I'll gladly eat my words.)

I was critical of Greenwald in an email around July 2007 over a piece he wrote that seemed to imply that Bush was far, far out of the mainstream. He was pretty snotty in reply and misunderstood my point.

But since then he's either changed for the better or else I didn't fully understand him either. He's already written plenty in the past year that shows he knows the Democrats are very bad on foreign policy and civil liberties and that the Washington establishment is basically corrupt. He interviewed Noam Chomsky recently and they seemed to be on the same page.

But yeah, his defense of Holder rubbed me the wrong way. A friend of mine once made the same point--in that case he was talking about the tobacco firms and he said corporations deserve a defense like anyone else. Fine--let them have a court-appointed attorney willing to work pro-bono, or better yet, let them charge exorbitant fees and then donate them all to charity. On a more serious level, you guys already made the points I would have made.

Holder is no more tainted by his defense of Chiquita than lawyers who defend accused terrorists at Guantanamo are tainted by that.

In reality, he is less tainted than lawyers who defend accused terrorists at Guantanamo. There is no way a lawyer who defends terrorists at Guantanamo is going to be Attorney General.

If you want to make the big bucks AND have a shot at being Attorney General, representing corporations is definitely the way to go but once you're Attorney General, then you're in a position to really do some good for society and I'm sure that's how Holder sees it. He's just being pragmatic.

I agree. And those who ranted at Bill Clinton for "defiling the WH" should have another look at Greg Craig...Obama's new WH Counsel.

I am no fan of Clintons but, the "impeachment" (didnt succeed--everyone acts like it did) of Clinton was over such personal "charges", was ridiculous. And that is how the uS looked.

All of Obama's promised sppointments look terrible to me. I had little faith in his having any liberal qualiteis, but this is worse than expected!

Greenwald seems to really piss off teh neo-liberals, though...

Greenwald is great, 95 percent of the time--I'm glad someone as far left as he is has a fairly prominent platform (by blogging standards, anyway).

So Verizon has been "spying on Obama"? Bummer---misery loves company..

Donald: I'm impressed that Greenwald interviewed Chomsky (though they lost the audio, which is a bummer...I'd like to listen to it or read it). And that he talked to Dennis Perrin as well. He's at least willing to engage respectfully and thoughtfully with people who are ostensibly on his left, whereas the standard liberal reaction is condescension, arrogance, derision, etc, etc. I give him a lot of credit for that.

KDelphi: Agreed, the appointments are awful so far, and especially so when you take a few minutes to consider all the extraordinarily smart, talented, qualified progressives he could be choosing instead. If he'd appoint Phyllis Bennis as Secretary of State, say, even I'd jump on his bandwagon. There's not a single positive surprise among the people he's nominated.

cemmcs: ...then you're in a position to really do some good for society and I'm sure that's how Holder sees it.

You're really sure, or was this intended ironically? I imagine the guy will do what he thinks is best for society, but it'll be coming from a background of someone who tacitly accepts that what's best for Chiquita (and GE, and Microsoft, and Merck, and Monsanto) is what's best for society. There might be some hand-that-feeds-him-biting in his new job, but I wouldn't expect anything that strongly contradicts his mainstream corporate resume.

John Caruso,

It was intended ironically.

Boy, is my face red.

Better red than dead.

But seriously, it can be hard to tell sometimes if someone is saying something seriously or not.

Oops! That should have read"

"...seriously or not."

Like your work, Mr. Caruso.

Slightly, but not entirely off topic, do people remember the "Planet in Peril" series on CNN awhile back? Well, an update is coming, in early December. The sponsor, oh, it's Dow, but don't let that put you off. And the "man behind the curtain" of Dow is, yes, let's all give a hand to Union Carbide!!! (And I think they don't call themselves Dow Chemical anymore, just Dow. Sort of like Nike and other one-name creations.)

I wonder if Eric Holder has defended either Dow or Union Carbide.

And KDelphi, I so agree. I had no expectations of Obama, but even within those parameters, his choices are appalling. He could do so much better and not even give the appearance of flirting with progressive policy. Judas!

Greenwald is great, 95 percent of the time--I'm glad someone as far left as he is has a fairly prominent platform (by blogging standards, anyway).

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