Sorry, Greenwald, but Ron Paul’s no diamond in the rough

Barack Obama is running unopposed for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. 

Admittedly, that may be the single most obvious observation made thus far in the 2012 presidential election cycle.

Sadly, it’s one that deserves some attention—particularly for politically plugged-in progressives who’ve willingly subjected themselves to the broken record of purely ideological, unabashedly partisan, and intellectually vacuous sound bites that comprise the score of torturous GOP debates held over last eight agonizing months.

The blindly faithful Obamabots who initially cursed the bleeding hearts for even suggestingthat another Democrat should challenge Obama for the presidency are now regretting that someone didn’t step in. At least it would have elevated the national dialogue above the monotonous (and backward) calls for further deregulation, even lower tax rates, and the end of “Obamacare” that all of the GOP candidates have used as the foundation of their presidential platforms.

In the absence of a Democratic primary, the party of sanity has been drowned out by the angry slurs of anti-government Republicans who’ve held a monopoly on the past year’s mainstream political news coverage with more than 20 debates held so far—and eight more scheduled before a GOP nominee is chosen and a Democrat is finally allowed to jump into the ring.

In the mean time, we can’t allow the intellectual deprivation of 24/7 GOP primary news to turn us into conservatives.

I’m talking to you, Glenn Greenwald, and whoever stumbled upon your two-part, 8,500-word series on the superiorly progressive platform of Ron Paul.

Greenwald doesn’t explicitly or implicitly endorse Paul. The blogger makes that quite clear in a novella-length clarification column dedicated to those who drew that fallacious and ridiculous conclusion from his original Paul piece, which touted the “anti-war, pro-due-process, pro-transparency, anti-Fed, anti-Wall-Street-bailout, anti-Drug-War advocate” and therefore “progressive” credentials of the Texas congressman.

“(I)t is indisputably true,” Greenwald states, that Paul is “the only political figure with any sort of national platform…who advocates policy views on issues that liberals and progressives have long flamboyantly claimed are both compelling and crucial.” He is “the only major candidate from either party advocating crucial views on vital issues that need to be heard.”

By “vital issues” Greenwald almost assuredly isn’t referring to Paul’s promise to abolish the Education, Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Commerce and Interior departments during his first year in office.

By “vital issues” we could all assume he’s not talking about the Libertarian stance of completely deregulating the financial sector or upending decades-old equality laws forbidding schools and businesses from discriminating against students and customers based on race, gender, disability or sexuality.

He’s talking mostly about Paul’s staunch opposition to military intervention of any kind, in any case, for any reason, in any part of the world—an idea, given the costly and embarrassing debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan, that most Americans, particularly liberals, can support.

To that I say this: Hitler may have a non-alcoholic recipe for Manischewitz wine that’s to die for, but that doesn’t mean you should invite him to your bar mitzvah.

If Greenwald, or anyone else for that matter, is so desperate to find a candidate who is unequivocally, philosophically, morally, practically and theoretically opposed to war, he doesn’t need to scan the deserts of Texas with a metal detector looking for a bomb shelter full of Libertarians.

Ralph Nader still lives in D.C. Chris Hedges lives in Princeton. According to, Dennis Kucinich lives in a cardboard box somewhere in downtown Cleveland.

These guys may not be running for president, but each of them has as good a chance as Paul of being elected. Paul may get stage time, but what does that matter when only 3 percent of eligible voters tune in?

The American masses know the name “Ron Paul.” They may have seen a “Ron Paul Revolution” T-shirt or heard his fans call in to morning radio talk shows and yell “Ron Paul” before abruptly hanging up, but other than the radical policy positions hyped by the media—legalizing heroin and prostitution, calling economic sanctions against Iran an “act of war,” abolishing “the Fed” (as if most Americans know what that means)—he’s just a cantankerous old man ranting about a fantastical conspiracy theory to castrate the government.

Rick Santorum believes children should grow up with two parents. I happen to agree, but sharing one idea about one issue isn’t enough for me to write a 8,500-word screed touting Santorum as “the only political figure with any sort of national platform….”

Besides that, the “vital issues” aren’t war policies, transparency or due process, and to claim that they are only perpetuates the decades-old notion that progressives are out-of-touchpuritopians—the reason why they’ve failed to live up to their namesake over the past 40 years. (“Terrorism” and “Afghanistan” rank just below “illegal immigration” on the American people’s list of top concerns—at 4 percent and 3 percent, respectively.)

Opposing war doesn’t require that you morph into a gun-toting, deregulation-touting free-market Libertarian. If you want to herald an anti-war viewpoint, progressive readers would be better off with a history lesson on Howard Zinn, Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., or John Lennon. Leo Tolstoy might work, too. Nor do you have to make a hero out of a radical just because his policy position differs ever-so-slightly from the other dunces with whom he shares a stage during a primary.

President Obama may consider using this mind-numbing Republican primary election as a torture technique for all the U.S. citizens he indefinitely detains thanks to the National Defense Authorization Act, but we shouldn’t let the fatigue we’ve suffered from this GOP freak show break us down to the point of praising a kooky Libertarian’s very unprogressive platform.

Ron Paul is appealing in theory because he has about the same record of advancing his Libertarian views as liberals have of advancing theirs.

So he opposes war.

Whoopty fuckin’ doo. So does Martin Sheen.


37 Responses to Sorry, Greenwald, but Ron Paul’s no diamond in the rough

  1. Actually, as for Rick Santorum, he’s stated he’d rather have a kid with Dad in jail then for them to have same sex parents. So he really does not believe that kids are best off being raised by two parents, just a mom and dad or just mom with dad and jail.

    The hierarchy goes:
    1)Mom and Dad
    2)Mom, Dad in jail.
    3)Two parents of the same sex.


    • Good point. Santorum is just another homophobic hypocrite. If he really believed in allowing more kids to grow up in two parent households, then he wouldn’t say crap like that about LGBTQ families.

  2. You seem to be imbibing too freely of the Manischewitz mentioned. There are several good points about Greenwald which are completed diluted by the asinine comments about a primary challenge and the NDAA re. indefinte detention of citizens.

    • That Guy With The Ponytail

      OK, I can in fact think of one good thing about Greenwald. He spends most of his time outside the US.

      The downside is that we are still subjected to him (and such tedious followers as you) through the intertubez, and it’s the only time I can recall envying Bejing their Great Firewall.

  3. joe from Lowell

    “(I)t is indisputably true,” Greenwald states

    Glenn Greenwald has a tell. When he’s going to write something he knows is complete bullshit, or at least extremely debatable, he prefaces it with something like this.

  4. If Ron Paul were truly “anti-war,” then why didn’t he stand with Cong. Barbara Lee (D-CA) in the House and OPPOSE the AUMF? (That is also where many of the issues with indefinite detention in the war on terror have their start.)

    So the one chance Ron Paul had to TRULY be “anti-war,” he chickened out.

  5. I hear Rick Santorum wants to revive American manufacturing. Somehow I don’t think I could count on a lot of sympathy around the blogosphere for saying that Rick Santorum’s views were vital to a necessary discussion about class and industry, much less if I said that anyone who disagreed with me was an apologist for child-murder.

  6. Cappadonna (aka LaCoincidental)

    I love how these Greenwald/Firebagger Acolytes want progressives to gloss over glaring positions that are to the right of John Birch Society and fall in love with Ron Paul because he’s nominally ‘anti-war’ and wants to end the War on Drugs (but not really).

    Forget all that Klansmen talk, dismantling food safety, eliminating banking regulation and wanting to micromanage a woman’s hoo-ha. That’s just a bunch of tomfoolery from MSNBC and other ‘sellouts’. Ron Paul would let us shoot horse and screw hookers, damn it!!

    I guess if you squint really hard and have a few drinks, Ron Paul would be a liberal in some bizarro universe, in the same way Kim Kardashian would be an actress.

    • Ron Paul IS the John Birch candidate. I’m just waiting to see when the PL emo-progs start praising the John Birch Society as a “great grassroots organization taking on the corrupt establishment!”

    • I guess I was wrong to think that the liberal idea of ending the drug war involved harm reduction and treating addiction/ abuse as a public health issue rather than a criminal one. We should all embrace the Ron Paul legalize everything (at the federal level anyway) and fuck ‘em policy position. Glenn Greenwald says so. Glad I stopped reading that clown.

  7. In the overall scheme of things, will either of these two idiots (Greenwald and Paul) have any real effect on the election in November?

    Ron Paul will not get the Republican nomination, and will not run as a third-party candidate. After the Republican convention, he will disappear completely.

    Glenn Greenwald is a marginal figure, really. I know he can affect a bunch of people in the blogosphere, but really, go ask 99% of the people “out there” about him, and you’ll get a “huh? Who’s he?”. Even most of the people who watch cable news have no idea who he is.

    • I think as long as he has a platform through Salon and his occasional appearances on cable, he deserves every bit of the blowback on his distortions and demagoguery he gets. Frankly, I think a guy who compared someone who runs a positive Obama site to Leni Riefenstahl and suggests that a woman who supports Obama would cheer him as he raped a nun is beneath contempt (as are those who defended him in the latter instance in particular) – and as soon as responsible media outlets (i.e., NOT Salon) stop giving him the time of day, then I suspect others will follow suit and he’ll sink back into ignominy. Or maybe he’ll decide to address the numerous human rights violations in the country where he makes his home. (Yeah, right — as if Greenwald would ever have the stones to endanger his own unearned privileges.)

  8. Huh. I’d vote for Martin Sheen before I’d vote for Ron Paul. As I remember it, Martin Sheen was one hell of a president. And I don’t remember either Ron Paul or Glenn Greenwald laying themselves across railroad tracks or getting arrested for their “principled” anti-war values.

  9. Greenwald’s piece of tripe has his usual rhetorical touches – myopia, windbaggery, hyperlinking, passive aggressive whining, pouty indignation, and doubling down. That explains the length of all his crap. Of course, having his fan boy base line up to give him written BJ’s is why continues its descent to the bottom.

  10. Cain S. Latrans

    Actually Ron Paul voted FOR the Authorization to Use Military Force. He is NOT Anti-War.

    So did Bernie Sanders.

    Go Figure

    • Sanders also voted against the funding to close Gitmo, and when he was in the House in 1993 he voted for the Clinton budget which raised the taxable portion of Social Security benefits — despite all his speeches about how we have to save the safety net and leave Social Security alone these days. I mean, there is a lot I like about Bernie Sanders. It’s good to have people who give good speeches. But if that were the key to successful legislating, then he’d have more points on the board (i.e., bills he originated/sponsored that became law) to show for all his long years in DC.

      • But when you mention that, people off a sudden go “but, but……” and “LALALALALALALALALALALA, cant hear you, dont kill my fantasy, LALALALALALALALALALALALA”

        Ron fucking Paul voted for the AUMF, and Bush used it to go to war in Iraq, but takes no damn responsibility for that vote. The dumb asses who come up there in uniform to support him, do they know he’s the reason they were sent there?

        So much for self responsibility

        And if this fool cant even manage a fucking newsletter with his damn name on it, what can he do for the country?

        We dont have enough gold for a tenth of the deficit, let alone back up the money with it, and what of the other nations with plenty of gold?

        And Austrian economics has never been fucking tried, and sounds more dangerous and reckless then supply side/trickle down

        Keynesian is what works, and has always fucking worked

  11. Looks like Greenwald isn’t the only Professional Left loser at pumping this Bull about Ron Paul being a champion of liberty. To see more proof that the Professional Left have officially lost their minds and that the Young Turks are bunch of Libertarian hacks pretending to be liberals, look here

    I posted this in response on my facebook page:
    “You know, its funny that biggest movements on the Fringe Left are inspired by Rorschach (Ron Paul) and V (Anonymous), cartoon characters created in the 80′s by Alan Moore. Let that marinate for a minute.

    That BS segment has shown that the Young Turks, the Hardcore Left and Current TV have jumped the shark for taking a crackpot like Ron Paul seriously. He’s not introducing substantive ideas – he’s harping on the same kind of stone age Right Wing lunacy that Pat Buchannan has been spouting for years.

    He’s against corporate bailouts? So what? He’s also against the government regulating banking so they wouldn’t need to be bailed out in the first place.

    He’s against the wars? A) He’s not really, he voted for Afghanistan in 2001 (Barbara Lee of Texas was the only Congresswoman with the guts to say slow down). B) Isolationism isn’t the same thing as anti-war. Yeah, Ron Paul is against the draft, but he also opposes the Peace Corp.

    So, to the Young Turks and other lurkers in the hinterlands of the Far Left, its cool to support this right wing, conspiratorial bigot who wants to take us back the gold standard because he doesn’t believe in the draft and would let us smoke pot?

    To quote Ed Lover, C’mon Son!! Get the F** out here with that Bulls**!! “

    Quote over. Basically, there is some weird move in the PL to promote Ron Paul as a champion for Freedom. So you’re idea is to resurrect this Crypt Keeper because he’s pro-prostitution? Seriously, has the PL’s bar been set so low in the quest for the Anti-Obama? What, Ralph Nader has another book to publish or something?

    Another example why the Hard Left is a joke and the only effective populism in modern American politics is on the Right. God Help Us All.

    • Sirota’s column from the other day actually posits that Ron Paul is equally as progressive — if not more so — than Obama. It’s so preposterous as to be hilarious.

      • I wonder how Greenwald and Sirota are going to perform intellectual hatha yoga to twist around the idea that Ron Paul supporting DADT and DOMA is more progressive than Obama abolishing DADT and moving to abolish DOMA. Or no banking regulation is more progressive than the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. Or how a raving anti-choice guy like Paul is somehow more liberal than Obama in women’s healthcare.

        Oh that’s right, hookers and pot!! No illegal war!! Down with the Patriot ACT!! Did I mention hookers and pot?

        Wake me up when they’ve got new material.

        • And with that, how does Joan Walsh sleep at night?

          And how does any leftie support that site anymore with that bullshit?

          And this is why progressives have not been effective in maintaining government for long, listening to these suckers. And its not the same as with the right, the right has infrastructure, the left has whiny ass bloggers. Again, god help us all

          Hell, Tebow Christ help us all

    • Great note, but one quick correction — Barbara Lee represents Oakland, CA.

    • Sir, I bow down to your verbal jujitsu


  12. Boy you sycophants sure can miss the point. Ron Paul is valuable for what he says about the Fed and MIC, and mostly because he says these things at national debates for the world see and hear, which of course Martin Sheen cannot do, so there goes that stupid line of reasoning, Wilbur. In fact, once Paul is gone from the scene those issues will completely disappear and the only things to be discussed is when and how to expand our empire and who loves the troops more. More bullshit from everyone, including Whorbama. And just so you Whorbama scrotum huggers don’t get your panties in a ruffle, let me set something straight–I wouldn’t vote for Paul with ABL’s dick. Now back to your irrational 2 minutes of Greenwald hate. Troll on bitches. Troll on.

    • Aaaww….Did we hurt lil’ Green-Bots feelings? Or did we present you with a logical paradox — you can’t support Paleo-Right wing bigoted isolationist and call yourself a true progressive. Hell, Pat Buchannan opposed the wars, too. Greenwald and Sirota and aren’t asking liberals to jump his bones, metaphorically speaking.

      Funny, I remember the President talking about financial reform and cutting the defense budget. And there’s these things called organizing, education and voting. You may have heard of them. ;-)

      But, no, continue to fetish about how “Whorbama” has “sold out the Left” that hasn’t had its act straight in 30 years and how only loony fringe guys like Ron Paul and Dennis Kuicinich can save this country. Forget the fact both these guys have ideas so outlandish and outmoded they’re jokes amongst even the most partisan purists.

      Now, back to your FDL thumbsucking.

  13. This is what Tim Wise has to say to Glenn Greenwald confusion-of-certain-white-liberals/

    • Tim Wise has officially bitch slapped Glenn Greenwald. Like my mom’s generation used to say – you won’t believe it until a white man tells you. ;-)

      As Tim Wise has pointed out that he doesn’t agree with Obama’s policies, but promoting a racist jackass like Ron Paul in any way and call yourself liberal is complete nonsense and only shows you as either a political neophyte, a fool and/or an elitist white guy who can wax about ideals. As Wise pointed out, you mind as well vote for David Duke.

      • Exactly. It’s not about disagreeing with the policies, and there is a legitimate debate on the use of drone attacks and civil liberty abuses, but to suggest we should trade all that with other civil liberties abuses of racism, sexism, homophobia in addition to ending programs like SS, Medicare, the EPA, Public education, and other things progressives hold dear is ridiculous.

  14. Here’s what I don’t get about the left. There is no way he will be elected. Why do you have to be afraid? It’s ok to agree with someone every once in a while, even if you don’t like everything they say. It doesn’t taint your whole belief system to listen. It happens on committees, in neighborhoods, in government, when it functions. The problem is not whether he is evil, and who isn’t in this whole thing? The fact is he’s not a true threat. But ignoring the fact that his perspectives have shifted the conversation to economics just show that liberals haven’t figured a way to capitalize on the discussions. You don’t have to associate with him, just ignore him like the media if you wish. But maybe just maybe he’s forcing everyone to deal with the issues of the dollar, inflation, and the middle class.

    • Here’s what you don’t get about the left: I’m not afraid, I’m contemptuous.

      It’s similar to the way I wasn’t ‘afraid’ of Sarah Palin when I was pointing out she was unqualified and buffoonish.

    • To be fair, E, the issue isn’t Ron Paul. Like I said, he’s Rorschach from the Watchmen, the superhero in the trench coat and funky mask that was such a weirdo that he subsisted on panhandling and beans because getting a job meant selling out.

      Ron Paul, to a lesser extent his son Rand, are such a right wing loonies, even the his own fellow travelers in the GOP don’t take him seriously. No older person in Florida is going to vote for a guy who would abolish social security (a not so well kept secret about libertarians), for example.

      Ron Paul is just the latest rubber chicken prop that Professional Lefty Whiners like Glenn Greenwald and David Sirota pull out of their asses to try and slap Obama with. I mean, you had the Black Agenda Report bloggers and Ralph Nader claiming a goofball like Dennis Kuicinich is ‘blacker’ than Obama.

      By promoting the idea that Ron Paul is a viable candidate and should be taken seriously be liberals is another attempt to wound Obama and get President Romney. Going after a stiff, emotionless, dishonest, former corporate raider white guy President is a lot better for those Nation/Pacifica coffers than going after a center-left Black guy who as inched the country towards your supposed goals.

      Its really cynical puritanical politics, IMHO.

  15. The reason political elections are becoming less and less important for either side is because the country is controlled by international corporate interests. Obama or any other president cannot change this alone. I think people get too caught up in what someone says and not concerned enough with what someone actually does. Obama’s not a terrible president because he is limited with what he can do. He will likely win a second term but there are no gains to be had from this for the left or the right. All that happens is that we stay the course for more civil liberties violations, an impending war with Iran, and a greater degree of corporatism (i.e. fascism).

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