Greenwald's Response To Olbermann

Read the whole thing, but here is the key excerpt, it seems to me:

Olbermman then denies that he was justifying Obama's support for the FISA bill but then goes on to do exactly that:

Seriously, there is little in the polls to suggest McCain has anything to run with other than terror . . . . So why hand them a brick to hit him with -- Obama Voted Against FISA -- if voting Aye enhances his chances of getting himself his own Attorney General to prosecute FISA.
[MORE . . . ]

How can Olbermann accuse me of distorting his commentary and deny that he's rationalizing Obama's support for the bill and then write the above -- which does nothing but justify Obama's support for the bill? That's exactly the mentality I was criticizing yesterday -- that Obama should be excused for supporting this assault on core Constitutional liberties and the rule of law because doing so is necessary to avoid appearing Weak on Terrorism. That's the behavior which Obama has repeatedly vowed to reject, and it's that precise mentality that has to be extinguished, not perpetrated.

Glenn asks how Olbermann can do this. Here is my simple answer to that simple question - Olbermann is Obama's O'Reilly. Time to say it Glenn.

One last point - it is delusional to believe that an Obama Administration is going to criminally prosecute anybody regarding warrantless wiretapping and Greenwald does himself a disservice by treating this as a real argument. John Dean's argument is absurd. Greenwald should have said so.

Speaking for me only

< Olbermann On Greenwald | Feet Of Clay >
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    Why and how. . . (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 09:30:42 AM EST
    could Obama "prosecute" anyone criminally if the actions for which they would presumably been liable have been largely retroactively immunized by a bill that Obama himself plans to vote for?

    He could not, would not (5.00 / 11) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 09:32:44 AM EST

    This is delusion and nonsense.


    It's more sinister. (5.00 / 4) (#47)
    by Salo on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:17:12 AM EST
    It plays on the hopes and dreams of left wingers for a bit of justice and payback.

    Good point. (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by Fabian on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:20:26 AM EST
    That's a foolish hope though.  There will always be More Important Issues to deal with.  Count on it.

    shhhh (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by kredwyn on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 09:33:00 AM EST
    logic has no place with Olbermann's rationalization.

    This seems to be the rationale (5.00 / 5) (#11)
    by Cream City on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 09:46:07 AM EST
    behind Olbermann's behaviors, plural -- on this as on so many issues, including his misogyny:

    That's how a small child thinks about his Daddy, not how a citizen should think about a political leader.

    Freud would have a field day with these guys.


    Ohh That had to sting (none / 0) (#90)
    by Lahdee on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:17:09 AM EST
    If KO were easily upset I'd think this would do it. Heh.

    The theory (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by Steve M on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 09:54:41 AM EST
    is that there is a magic loophole hidden in the FISA bill, one that only John Dean is smart enough to see, and that once Obama is elected it will be like SHAZAM, you're prosecuted after all!

    The theory might hold water if (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:14:25 AM EST
    this wasn't just one in a long string of poorly written bills churned out by the GOP over the past eight years.

    There are countless examples of sloppily crafted bills and laws that have come out of the Congress recently.

    I, for one, don't believe that there are many people left on the Hill who know how to write a good bill much less how to deliberately draft one that would be inoperable.  And it really is no wonder since no one has paid attention to the laws in our government for so many years now - why bother to write one that actually means anything?


    And really - (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by liminal on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:22:43 AM EST
    Bush is still The Deciderer.  Look for magnanimous pardons for all and sundry involved in his illegal domestic spying programs before he leaves office.  

    It's a Democratic congress (5.00 / 2) (#100)
    by JavaCityPal on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:55:40 AM EST
    so who's churning out the bad and poorly written bills?

    I'm one who blames GWB for everything right down to if my toast burned, but this Democratic congress deserves every bit of criticism they have earned.


    The bill was written by Kit Bond - or (5.00 / 3) (#105)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:20:58 PM EST
    to be more accurate - Kit Bond's Republican legislative aides.  That's another thing about this bill - it should have been written by the Dems if they wanted to really get their money's worth out of avoiding being called soft on terror - not that I think that is a reasonable justification for any of this - but it seems to be a key motivating factor and they should have just gone for it and taken all the credit so to speak - rather than allowing the GOP to again appear to be "forcing" them to do something.

    Btw, lawyers all -- can John Dean even vote? (none / 0) (#57)
    by Cream City on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:21:37 AM EST
    He's a convicted felon, isn't he?  

    I'm not a lwayer but ... (none / 0) (#94)
    by Inky on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:26:43 AM EST
    I believe that Dean lives in California, which doesn't ban ex-felons from voting. I think that only 9 states presently ban ex-felons who are not on parole or probabation from voting. Most of them, including the big states of Florida and Texas, are in the South. Hmm, I wonder why that would be?



    Ex-felons can now vote in Texas (none / 0) (#116)
    by stxabuela on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:18:50 PM EST
    provided they have completed all of their sentences, including probation or parole.  Bill signed into law in 1997 by then-Gov. George W. Bush.  

    Thanks! (none / 0) (#120)
    by Inky on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 03:06:01 PM EST
    That's good to know. And the PDF I linked to concurs -- so that's 9 states not counting Texas.

    And GWB signed the bill into law -- maybe I had him all wrong.


    Those quotes around "prosecute" are ... (5.00 / 2) (#124)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 03:27:47 PM EST

    Because, of course, the President cannot prosecute anyone.

    Yeah, I know the executive branch has a huge influence over the DOJ, but it's still not a presidential power.

    However, as a Senator Obama does have a right to vote, speak, and work on legislation.

    No suprise he isn't that crazy about exercising his legislative powers.

    We all know Obama thinks the job of Senator just isn't big enough for a man of his immense ... cough ... "talents."


    I expect he will (none / 0) (#102)
    by mrjerbub on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:03:29 PM EST
    Again, come out for it in a speech an then vote against it on the floor or not vote at all. That seems to be his current MO. JMHO.

    Previously. . . (5.00 / 8) (#4)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 09:34:10 AM EST
    I think the idea was that Obama is the kind of guy who says what he means and does what he says and that's the reason Olbermann preferred him to someone like Clinton who presumably is not like that (notwithstanding the fact that I've found her in many ways to be more consistent than Obama).

    Now, it looks like Olbermann is trying to sell the exact opposite idea -- Obama is great because he says the precise opposite of what he means, and will do the opposite of what he says (notwithstanding the fact that Olbermann provides no information to support his hopeful suggestion that this is what Obama has in mind).

    I believe we have a word for this approach (5.00 / 5) (#8)
    by DandyTIger on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 09:39:01 AM EST
    it's called a cult. We're following him because he's the One. He'll fix poverty, he'll fix sexism, he'll fix our relations with the rest of the world, he'll get us out of Iraq, he'll save us all. Etc. And what's really sad here is none of that helps Obama.

    Here's a clue for KO and other followers, just stick to the facts. Just deal with what he really says. You'll most likely still win, you'll instead just come across as, oh I don't know, sane. And when you have a problem with what he says, it's OK, you're allowed to say you think he's wrong. There, I said it, and I wasn't struck by lightening. See, you can do that too.


    I think (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 09:46:07 AM EST
    people like Olberman will be big enablers of an Obama loss in Nov. Don't you think that the voters are looking for accountability after 8 years of Bush? If Olbermann and other Obama apologists continue to pursue the same mindset that the Bush supporters have had, how does that help? Frankly, this stuff really creeps me out. If the GOP had held Bush accountable then perhaps the country wouldn't be in the mess it is in. Having another unaccountable President certainly won't make things better and might even make them worse even if he does have a D after his name.

    Axelrod and Obama learned the lessons (5.00 / 6) (#40)
    by Salo on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:11:53 AM EST
    of the Bush admin. The wrong ones.

    Did you see John Stewart have to say (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by Cream City on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 09:48:53 AM EST
    to his audience, one night last week when he was mocking the presidential seal silliness, that it's okay to laugh at Obama?

    But the audience still didn't do so.  It can't do so.  Yep, give it that C, give it that U, give it  that L. . . .


    Cul De Sac? (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Salo on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:12:23 AM EST
    i saw that and my wife and i were laughing (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:46:44 PM EST
    and we both looked at each other when the crowd was silent.  Do dems think that a dem president will not be nightly fodder on TDS?  thank yahweh for mr stewart...

    I bet he's freaking out (none / 0) (#126)
    by Salo on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 04:56:24 PM EST
    with his Zombie audiences.

    in their defense (none / 0) (#131)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 04:27:47 PM EST
    the writing has not been so great lately.

    Last night, Stewart show'd clips (4.66 / 3) (#103)
    by mrjerbub on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:10:27 PM EST
    of BHO & GWB saying the same thing regarding oil (gas) prices. "If I could wave a magic wand..." Very funny.

    None of it helps Obama?? (5.00 / 0) (#49)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:17:50 AM EST
    Better tell that to Obama.

    You complicate the issue (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 09:40:02 AM EST
    Olbermann is Obama's O'Reilly. There is no better description of him.

    Well. . . (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 09:44:40 AM EST
    I'm not sure O'Reilly is beholden to any one politician the way Olbermann seems to be to Obama.  O'Reilly seems to be a pretty doctrinaire movement conservative and it's not too hard to guess where he'll come down on any given issue.  With Olbermann it's harder, because apparently you need to way until Obama's spoken (and possibly revised himself) to know what Olbermann "believes".

    O'Reilly a "movement conservative?" (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by andgarden on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 09:49:44 AM EST

    Or whatever. . . (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 09:52:12 AM EST
    My point is that he's not in thrall to an individual, but rather to an ideology.  If it's not pure movement conservatism (and I guess I think he's a lot closer to it than you do, notwithstanding his own insistence (like McCain) that he's so very independent) it's something with a fair amount of overlap.

    Honestly, I don't think ideology (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by andgarden on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 09:56:06 AM EST
    comes into it. It's about ratings and personal advancement.

    It is all of that and a mean spirited (5.00 / 6) (#32)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:06:55 AM EST
    temperment as well.  O'Reilly really is a loon.

    As for Olbermann I was struck by how openly he supported Barack Obama in that diary he posted.  And the idea that he basically said "Its okay if Obama does it" was quite stunning coming from a "journalist" who supposedly worships Murrow - please note I used quotation marks around the word journalist.  


    Wrote him an email... (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by kredwyn on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:28:40 AM EST
    and pointed out that he was an infotainer.

    No doubt that'll be ignored as well.

    But I'm betting that Greenwald will find himself on the Worst Persons list.


    The thing Olbermann posted over at (5.00 / 3) (#77)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:39:25 AM EST
    orange was very funny on so many levels.  At least for me because of my Dad's participation in investigating Watergate - my father hates John Dean - he has no respect for him at all - so to see Olbermann holding Dean up as some paragon of legal virtue was especially ironic for me.  I mean, we should all be clear here about who John Dean is and why he has any noteriety at all.  He is a convicted criminal who participated in the Watergate cover up.  His eventual decision to come clean, while good, does not absolve him from his sins - especially not to people like my Dad who were cast aside in the post Watergate era because so many pols wanted to basically get away from that crisis as fast as possible.  Meanwhile, John Dean enjoys a very successful career based primarily on the fact that he is a notable criminal.  Crime does pay.

    I totally understand (none / 0) (#86)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:03:04 AM EST
    your family's strong antipathy to Dean, but he has come around a very, very long way from his youthful days in the Nixon White House.  I think it's really not fair to say his career is based solely on his being a notable criminal.

    He is no where near as brilliant (none / 0) (#95)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:28:17 AM EST
    a legal scholar as would merit this following he has developed.  I don't personally hate him - that's my Dad's deal - but I am clear on who he is and where he came from.  In that light, to see Olbermann trash Greenwald in favor of Dean seems to smack of irony to me.  Honestly, I don't even understand the need to polarize the two to the degree that Olbermann did.  They have differing opinions about what it going on here.  I just felt the need to balance Olbermann's tirade against Greenwald a bit here.  I am not trying to be mean to Dean, but writing best selling books about law doesn't necessarily mean you are a cracker-jack legal scholar.

    Anyhow, I don't believe Dean's conspiracy theory about the bill being poorly written so that it leaves a loop hole.  I think if he thought about it he would have to agree that Congress and the GOP in particular have been turning out numerous bills and laws that are poorly written.  I think it is simply a symptom of a lack of "talent" in the law writing department - not some crafty grand plan.


    Has he not made the Worst Persons List yet? (none / 0) (#119)
    by Valhalla on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 03:04:27 PM EST
    I can't stand to follow the details of KO's insanity.

    But if he doesn't, how interesting the Katie Couric got one for timidly acknowledging sexism in the media but GG doesn't for a direct call-out.


    Yes (none / 0) (#38)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:08:57 AM EST
    He is a comedian/entertainer. A caricature of a pundit at best.

    O'Reilly's better than Olbermann (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by Pol C on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 09:52:15 AM EST
    Olbermann completely locks out any differing viewpoints. Just look at Craig Crawford or Joseph Wilson. O'Reilly may shout the opposition down or even cut their mike, but he allows them on the air. This is nitpicking a bit, but calling Olbermann Obama's Limbaugh would make more sense. Although I appreciate the irony given Olbermann's incessant pissing contest with his Fox timeslot rival.

    When Crawford stopped being a regular (none / 0) (#61)
    by Cream City on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:25:27 AM EST
    invited to opine on Countdown, that said something about KO's need to construct an echo chamber instead of analysis.  I already had stopped watching, but the spouse still did so and reported on the demise of Crawford there.  By then, I already had just switched to being a regular at Crawford's blog.  

    He's Our O'Reilly too. (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Salo on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:10:39 AM EST
    He might even be our hannity. But Hannity does better research and has a creepy S&M vibe.

    Give me a C, give me a U, give me an L. . . (none / 0) (#7)
    by andgarden on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 09:35:33 AM EST
    T (5.00 / 3) (#34)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:07:40 AM EST
    I couldn't resist.

    I think its called rationalization! (none / 0) (#114)
    by hairspray on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:01:41 PM EST
    The "secret plan" characterization (5.00 / 6) (#5)
    by andgarden on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 09:34:36 AM EST
    was perfect. Good way to invoke Nixon without actually mentioning him.  

    Apparently it's not all that secret (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by kredwyn on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:41:38 AM EST
    if Olbermann knows about it.

    I can't wait to see Obama's secret plan (5.00 / 6) (#19)
    by lilburro on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 09:52:29 AM EST
    to undo Bush's secret plans!  

    Of course, we may never get to see them, because of bills like these...

    What I dislike about this whole thing:  conferring an aura of acceptability on Presidential secrecy.  The secrecy of the Bush administration has been one of its worst aspects.  Taking it as normative, and extending it to Obama, is a HORRIBLE precedent.  And I assume Bush's secrecy is not something Olbermann really loves.

    Why do we have a legislative branch again...?

    Concur (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by aquarian on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:13:00 AM EST
    Secret Plans.  8 years of the Bush administration has taught us all about secret plans.  I want my next president to actually keep the public informed and not hold any secrets.  For the record, I don't believe Obama has any secret plans along the lines of Olbermann's fantastical theory because that's just silly.

    he is clearly (none / 0) (#46)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:16:12 AM EST
    a very secretive politician.

    Obama's WMD? (none / 0) (#68)
    by Cream City on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:31:14 AM EST
    There is something so deja vu about this belief in Obama's weapons of mass destruction of Bush's destruction of democracy.

    We finally have one of our own (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by jb64 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 09:52:49 AM EST
    to tell us that up is down, That our fearless leader is not to be questioned, that our leader is never wrong, that winning the prize obliterates all consideration of ideals, principles, beliefs and values. Winning means never having to say your sorry.

    Apparently saying or doing anything to win has become quite the virtue now that HRC is being led around by the nose.

    Bravo! (5.00 / 4) (#26)
    by kempis on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 09:55:52 AM EST
    What a brilliant, reasonable, grown-up response to Olbermann's complaint at Kos that Greenwald done him and Obama wrong.

    But basic honesty and adherence to one's core political values compels criticism for what Obama is doing here, and it's just distasteful and destructive -- not to mention dangerous -- for people to invoke patently false rationalizations in order to excuse or support what he's doing.

    (Bolding mine.)

    Great piece, and I hope it makes Olbermann think, but I suspect he'll only grow more defensive. You're right BTD: Olbermann has stared into the abyss so long that he's become O'Reilly.

    The difference between the two arguments is that Olbermann is dealing with personalities--his and Obama's--while Greenwald is separating principles from personalities, as reasonable people are supposed to do.

    I just can't applaud Greenwald's response enough.

    Well, (5.00 / 6) (#36)
    by pie on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:08:29 AM EST
    first Olbermann has to read the darn thing.

    I scanned a couple hundred (5.00 / 0) (#50)
    by Fabian on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:17:57 AM EST
    comments.  More than one commenter (although only a few) pointed out that KO's admitted that he didn't read GG's entire post.

    I don't believe it, of course (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by Cream City on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:32:29 AM EST
    as Olbermann clearly is incapable of not reading anything about himself.

    You're so right. Just a dig at GG. (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by Joan in VA on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:44:00 AM EST
    Stared Into The Mirror, Too Long... (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by santarita on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:26:10 AM EST
    Perhaps is more apt.  I don't think Olbermann stares into many abysses.  But he's in the unfortunate position that arrogant people find themselves in occasionally - he's wrong, at some level he knows he's wrong but can't back down without looking foolish.  The wiser course of action would have been to ignore Greenwald's critique.  

    I enjoyed Olbermann when he first started speaking out against Bush and cronies but he became so strident and so full of himself that I got turned off.  


    I find this entire discussion (5.00 / 12) (#35)
    by frankly0 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:08:16 AM EST
    one of those "Laugh or Cry?" moments.

    It's really as if we are seeing on display the various stages of Dear Leader addiction.

    You've got Greenwald, who was an Obama supporter until the FISA bill forced his hand, requiring him to recognize that he couldn't maintain both his dedication to Obama and his more basic career commitment to being perceived as a pundit who stands up for the Constitution.

    You've got Kos, who realizes that for all his truly rabid support of Obama, he has to draw some bright line around progressive issues if he's to maintain any credibility for the future.

    Then you've got the Olbermann, Alter, and DKos crowd, who refuse utterly to see that their guy might be wrong in any way, given his messianic status in their minds. If there's a little cognitive dissonance there, there's nothing compelling them -- no career need, no basic integrity -- to pull them away from their very comfortable, perfectly conforming mob.

    But none of these people -- not Greenwald, not Kos, not Olberman nor Alter nor the DKos crowd -- none -- would be in their current little pickle if they had managed to exercise beforehand even a modicum of judgment about who Obama really is and what he really stands for. They are all paying now, in terms of their own credibility and self-respect, for the abject failure in judgment, the utter incapacity to be objective and realistic, which they could not muster up earlier.

    A plague on each and every one of their houses.

    False (5.00 / 2) (#121)
    by GlennGreenwald on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 03:16:40 PM EST
    You've got Greenwald, who was an Obama supporter until the FISA bill forced his hand

    This is completely false:



    My apologies for including (none / 0) (#125)
    by frankly0 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 04:46:58 PM EST

    I suppose I was relying on others' assertions that you had been an Obama supporter -- didn't seem to me that they would get such a thing wrong, but it seems they did.


    Thanks (5.00 / 2) (#127)
    by GlennGreenwald on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 05:51:42 PM EST
    I appreciate it.  I know how things can get started on the Internet and take on a life of their own.  That's why I've been diligent over the past few days about correcting it when I see it.

    Ironically (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 05:55:13 PM EST
    I have been an Obama supporter since last December.

    So true. (4.85 / 7) (#43)
    by pie on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:13:29 AM EST

    But none of these people -- not Greenwald, not Kos, not Olberman nor Alter nor the DKos crowd -- none -- would be in their current little pickle if they had managed to exercise beforehand even a modicum of judgment about who Obama really is and what he really stands for.

    And it was their insistence that Obama was a "new" kind of politician that always infuriated me.  They refused to listen to reason.

    It's no consolation for those of us who dissented to have been right.  We could have had a much betteer candidate right now.


    No consolation indeed. (5.00 / 6) (#48)
    by kmblue on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:17:19 AM EST
    Obama's message to Dems:

    "Vote for me, where else ya gonna go?"


    The longer (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by pie on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:20:41 AM EST
    that attitude prevails in the Obama camp, the bigger the answer in November.

    Just sayin'.


    Yep. There are so many, many other places (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by Cream City on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:35:49 AM EST
    I can go in November then to the polls.  So far, neither presumptuous nominee has asked me -- me, specifically, by speaking to my priority issues -- to be there.  And I already have a lot scheduled for that day, with Tuesdays being my busiest day this fall.  So I could spend the time, instead, on doing a better job of educating the next generation on American history.  That seems more worthwhile. :-)

    Same thing happened to the GOP (4.75 / 4) (#45)
    by Salo on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:15:14 AM EST
    as they merrily fell on theri swords for Bush at the altar of Imperial Cults.

    The thing is (5.00 / 12) (#58)
    by Steve M on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:22:09 AM EST
    I am plenty pragmatic.  I think most of us are pragmatic to some extent.  We all get that you cannot come out in the middle of a Presidential race and say "you know, I think sentences for child molesters are too harsh," even if you totally believe it.  Sometimes you have to bite your tongue if you want to win elections.

    But what bothers me about the online Obama supporters is that they always believe the proper amount of political courage is exactly the amount Obama displays, no more, no less.

    If Obama makes a bold proclamation ("I'm not afraid to talk to Iran without preconditions!") this is hailed as a sign of his unique courage, proof positive that he's going to change the way politics is done, that he's going to take us to a place where we no longer need to fear Republican demagoguery.

    But if Obama chooses the more cautious route, the notion of changing politics is suddenly forgotten.  Now it's like "oh, of course he can't say that, he wants to win!"  The thought that maybe, just this once, he could afford to be a little more gutsy is not even worthy of consideration.

    I consider it the role of the activist base to lean on politicians and to push them towards politically courageous acts that they might not do on their own.  Needless to say, that will never happen with this kind of mindset.

    Exactly (none / 0) (#72)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:32:29 AM EST
    Perfect summary of the big-picture problem (none / 0) (#78)
    by Cream City on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:39:57 AM EST
    beyond any of these particular issues -- because the problem clearly can and probably will arise on even more crucial issues . . . hard as it is for me to come up with anything more crucial than the Constitution.

    But at the rate of triangulation we've seen in the last week from the so-called leader of the party, what could eventuate is an extent of capitulation that reminds me of another decade in another country that I will not note here, but I can't get it out of my head. . . .


    This is a pet peeve... (5.00 / 4) (#84)
    by Pol C on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:50:22 AM EST
    ...but can we do away with the word "triangulation" in describing this? That was always a nasty euphemism for consensus compromise that was identified with the Clintons, and always for stuff that wasn't anywhere near as objectionable as this FISA business. The worst thing the Clinton compromises did was affirm the status quo, and they often improved the underlying situation, although not as much as some would have liked; they weren't sell-outs and capitulations to the rape of Constitutional principles like we have here.

    I actually agree -- and that's the reason (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by Cream City on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:21:06 AM EST
    I rather enjoy using the term triangulation re Obama.

    And I certainly agree that triangulating on the Constitution is taking the political art of compromise beyond imagining.  But here we are -- or, well, there they are, those who can vote for Obama.


    nicely put (none / 0) (#113)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:48:42 PM EST
    Greenwald will have contributed to the (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by PssttCmere08 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:30:43 AM EST
    beginning of the great fall for KO.  He is not going away, not matter how hard KO wishes for it.

    We can only hope (5.00 / 3) (#79)
    by Pol C on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:39:59 AM EST
    Olbermann's detractors have always said the implosion is inevitable if you look at his history. I hope to God this is the beginning of the end. It'll be especially fitting if it's at the hands of Greenwald, whose work Olbermann rode to gain his current prominence.

    Olbermann Bias (5.00 / 6) (#73)
    by Lacy on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:33:07 AM EST
    Keith was the man of the hour when hardly anyone in the media would tell the truth about the war or GWB. But he's looking now like a one hit wonder.

    One night while Hillary was stil in the race, KO was ridiculing the idea of MSNBC bias against the Clintons, then immediately shifted to a topic on Hillary....And he pointedly asked his guest if he thought HRC had engaged in a cheap political stunt or if she just had an overwhelming sense of entitlement. Nice choice Keith, couldn't even wait a few minutes to further reveal yourself.

    Olbermann will concede nothing (5.00 / 8) (#75)
    by Anne on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:37:20 AM EST
    to Greenwald - he can't - because to do so means that his carefully constructed house of cards will come tumbling down.

    Obama is wrong on this FISA "compromise."  Period.  How in the name of all that is good and holy do people expect to put this country back on the right track, restore the Constitution and our standing in the world, if the candidate who claims to be the one who can do it is allowed carte blanche to make the kinds of decisions that will ensure that it won't happen?

    I am sick to death of the "we have to do it the wrong way first, so that when we have real power, we can do it the right way - trust us" theory of "leadership."  This is not leadership.  It is devoid of principles.  And I don't care whether the people saying this claim to be Democrats - I'm tired of giving them my vote and my trust, tired of the broken promises, and I will not vote for those who do not understand what fighting for what is right means.

    When I listen to Obama, when I see that he has no core beliefs, when I hear others rhetorically tying themselves in knots trying to justify his boneheaded decisions, I realize that some people have learned nothing - nothing - from 8 years of George W. Bush.  Nothing.  

    It makes me sick and it makes me sad, but it will not make me vote for someone who shows all signs of carrying on in the same vein, only from the other side of the aisle.  I will not be hooked into a lesser-of-two-evils argument, because choosing someone who is less wrong is still choosing someone who is wrong.

    Thank you (5.00 / 5) (#85)
    by Jjc2008 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:56:49 AM EST
    for keeping us connected to reality and GG.

    I feel sad, frustrated and wonder if I will ever see true liberal progressives wake up and come together.  I will vote for Senator Obama because I know I have no other choice.  But he will never be the better candidate and I will never understand how all the so called liberal voices were willing to sit silent while one of our most truly amazing democratic candidates was lied about, spun about, trashed, demeaned and demonized by the likes of a washed up sportscaster and his buddies, all whom have obvious women issues.

    Senator Clinton has walked the walk, talked the talk and done the work.  She knows and understand the pragmatism game and was demonized because her first priority was getting elected, getting other democrats elected and changing direction.  The audacity of this woman's understanding of reality was insulted: how dare this woman be confident...let's call it "inevitability" in the media and they will hate HER ambition.

    Hillary reaches out and she is a vile panderer, a nasty trianglulator. Barrack says we need to reach out, there is no red or blue America and "swoon" he is the American Idol.

    I have always known that Hillary has made mistakes, is human and sometimes has to change direction.  I get it.  Multitasking females have to change direction all the time...have to be practical 24/7 to get things accomplished.  But Hillary never needed her ego stroked, to be adored and followed blindly like the "next coming."  Accomplished women rarely need that....but sadly the media, even the blogs are filled with egos.

    The best candidate did not win.  And the spinning to make the reality of his pragmatism any different than any politician's pragmatism is quite obvious...and sad in a funny sort of way.

    It has to be that too many Dems are complicit (5.00 / 2) (#109)
    by SoCali on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:28:22 PM EST
     I read the piece from maplight.org showing an average of 8K or so to Dems that made the vote switch in the last 3 months. But it is hard to believe that representatives could be bought for that amount. Especially on this high visibility issue.
    The only answer for the overwhelming support by Dems for a Bush bill validating illegal spying, is that they are part of the illegality and don't want to be caught up in a legal verdict.

    Let's move on but also consider the fact (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by sallywally on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:35:05 PM EST
    that the presumptive nominee is not the official nominee yet. There was/is another candidate who won nearly or at least half of the Dem electorate.

    If this trend goes on with Obama, it is possible that delegates and superdelegates might get some buyer's remorse. If so, a vote at the convention out of courtesy for that other candidate could produce surprising results.

    Maybe improbable that it would be allowed, but.....conceivable?

    The difference being of course (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 01:41:56 PM EST
    obama wants high gas prices to help the environment.  People will drive less.

     bush wants high gas prices so his oil buddies will get rich.

    But because people, the obama movement itself, has refused to make similiar distinctions about other politicians, I rather enjoy watching obama fry in a vat of "obama=bush" greasy pap.

    Kick him harder, jon.

    Rights lost, won't be returned by dems (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by pluege on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 03:22:17 PM EST
    One last point - it is delusional to believe that an Obama Administration is going to criminally prosecute anybody regarding warrantless wiretapping

    this is exactly right. Not only that, but democrats will NOT roll back any of the bush abuses and will in fact use some of the same tactics. Our vichy dems (i.e., most of the democrats) are not pure or overflowing with integrity - they are nearly as bad as republicans, but not quite so aggressive in their perniciousness and corruption.

    Just to nitpick. Or rather.... (4.50 / 2) (#25)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 09:55:49 AM EST
    as its been pointed out o'reilly will at least bring people on his show to provide a different view.  Even if its just to yell shut up at them he will still do it.

    Oljberrmant will not.

    Therefore, I submit that he is not obamas oreilly.

    he is obamas leni Riefenstahl.

    He did have Hillary on. (5.00 / 3) (#56)
    by Joan in VA on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:20:48 AM EST
    Of course, he was too cowardly to criticize her to her face. He waited until she left so he could stab her in the back. That's the exception that proves your rule though.

    O'Reilly had Hillary on for four (none / 0) (#115)
    by hairspray on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:18:34 PM EST
    segments, each on an important issue.  I saw two of them, on on Iraq, and one on Health Care. He asked Hillary real questions and  while he is a little adversarial, he was respectful.  It was the best kind of debate I have seen. Olbermann should have been ashamed at the quality of his "gotcha" interview compared to O'Reilly's.

    Leni had more talent. (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Fabian on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:22:57 AM EST
    She was a "framer" in both a visual and figurative sense.  Her job was to reinforce memes and win new converts.  KO's job is to carry Obama's water.  Leni was no water boy.

    Leni (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Carolyn in Baltimore on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:26:02 AM EST
    That is an insult to Leni Riefenstahl. Who was a great filmmaker and her relationship with Hitler et al was mixed. Study her a bit. I believe that she put her art first.

    That "she put her art first" (none / 0) (#83)
    by Cream City on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:46:49 AM EST
    is exactly the point.  What came in second?

    Although (none / 0) (#97)
    by Carolyn in Baltimore on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:43:37 AM EST
    her version of events is not consistent (over decades), it is pretty clear that as a film maker in Germany in the mid-late'30's she did not have much choice, especially since Goering (I believe it was he)wanted an affair with her and paid her much attention.
    But if she had to make a film, it was going to be beautiful. The Parade Ground films are magnificent, unfortunately used for creating a cult of Hitler but as art they are incredible.
    The 1936 Olympics is a masterpiece.

    I got interested in her because I love mountaineering and the mountain films she made in the late 20's and early 30's are incredible, though she mostly acted in the early ones. And did her own climbing, dancing, and skiing stunts. She started out as a dancer. Her work for the Reich got her blackballed for 50 years.


    Keith meet Glenn (3.00 / 2) (#89)
    by SoCali on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:15:58 AM EST
    I guess Keith knows him better now. Talk about bringing a knife to a gun fight.

    too bad we don't have anyone really on the left (none / 0) (#6)
    by DandyTIger on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 09:34:48 AM EST
    on the air like Obama's O'Reilly so that they could have one of those special commentaries about KO and his hypocrisy and evil doings. We on the real left have to settle for BTD and Geenwald over the intertubes. Maybe you two could get together for one of those video discussions and do a double special commentary. Of course even at KO's best, those were total BS and all theater, so on second thought, keep it to the written page.

    Atrios says: Olbermann Speaks Truth to Power (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Dan the Man on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 09:55:05 AM EST

    "Olbermann, like Dan Froomkin and Jon Stewart, recognize that it's basically their job to call [BS] on the people in power whoever they happen to be."


    Greenwald hits the nail (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by pie on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:07:05 AM EST
    on the head with this:

    That's exactly the mentality I was criticizing yesterday -- that Obama should be excused for supporting this assault on core Constitutional liberties and the rule of law because doing so is necessary to avoid appearing Weak on Terrorism. That's the behavior which Obama has repeatedly vowed to reject, and it's that precise mentality that has to be extinguished, not perpetuated.



    Heh (none / 0) (#27)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 09:56:00 AM EST
    I don't think so (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Pol C on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:06:13 AM EST
    What we need is to get rid of this ethos that allows for the excesses of Fox News and now MSNBC. Claiming we need someone like this, but for our side this time, just exacerbates the problem. Just look at MSNBC, or the unholy left-wing radio trinity of Air America, Ed Schultz, and Stephanie Miller, who were supposed to be our version of Limbaugh, Ingraham, and Hannity. Well, they certainly are, and I'm even more disgusted than when I was before they arrived. They're all disgraces.

    hannity is a wierd case. (none / 0) (#52)
    by Salo on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:19:33 AM EST
    He's actually a good researcher and he knows which issues will blow up into media firestorms.  O'Reilly just bellows in ture Irish fathead style and Ingraham is a snotty smartmouth.

    Those were rhetorical comparisons (none / 0) (#70)
    by Pol C on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:31:28 AM EST
    Thom Hartmann and Rachel Maddow have their good points. Hartmann's probably the smartest guy in broadcast media, and Maddow isn't far behind. That said, Hartmann can be really fatuous at times, like in his preference for idealistic happy talk over pragmatism and constructive action. And Maddow is a suck-up sell-out who's never cared about economic issues or her audience's opinions--her heart is in following gold futures and investing accordingly.

    And how do we do that? (none / 0) (#64)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:26:53 AM EST
    Nationalize the TV networks?

    The cat is out of the bag and can't be put back in.  It's called profit.  WHen news-- print and broadcast-- came from privately-owned businesses, individuals like Ted Turner were willing to lose money on it, or just break even, because they loved journalism and believed in news as a vital public service.

    Now everything is owned by giant corporations who don't give a rat's patootie and demand that "news" return a big profit, just like the dishwasher or lightbulb divisions at GE.

    I don't see how that can ever be rolled back.


    it changes from the ground up (none / 0) (#99)
    by DandyTIger on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:55:29 AM EST
    with TV over the internet. Notice that even now you can get most all of broadcast TV as well as many cable shows over the internet. And the same is happening with smaller production companies and international production. As this revolution continues, it changes what it means to be a TV show. So perhaps anything will be possible then. Of course as this is happening we see the big media companies as well as big telco's starting to want to strangle the utility that is the internet as a means to stop or control what's happening. It will be interesting to see how it unfolds.

    Only completely and utterly off topic though. :-)


    I am still waiting for "free air time" (none / 0) (#117)
    by hairspray on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 02:24:48 PM EST
    Is that over with as well?  Do we get control over our government through the internet?

    Sadly, though, (1.66 / 3) (#13)
    by dk on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 09:47:22 AM EST
    by accepting the corruptness behind Obama's nomination (Florida?  Michigan?  No more discussion about that because "it's time to move on"), BTD and GG are essentially also complicit in all of this.

    Of course, they are infinitely smarter than Olberman and actually have integrity, but to be brutally honest about it, there are no real heroes here.


    I am complicit in what? (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 09:53:36 AM EST
    Florida and Michigan? Yes, I stood silent on that issue. Never wrote a word about it.

    You pegged me.

    What a freaking joke some of you are.

    You are in your own delusional states. you are no better than Olbermann with your nonsense.


    Um, no, that's not what I'm saying. (none / 0) (#29)
    by dk on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:00:17 AM EST
    First off, I COMPLIMENTED you and GG by saying you are infinitely smarter than KO and that you have integrity.  The integrity comes from the fact that during the primaries you were one of the only ones calling out the corruptness.  But why stop now?

    Then, I specifically referred to the implicit "it's time to move on" message AFTER Clinton conceded, namely that unity behind Obama is the thing to focus on.

    Unity behind a candidate chosen through corruption is fundamentally an act of complicity.  I understand why many are making that choice, but heroic it's not.  Sorry.


    as you can see above (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:08:33 AM EST
    I agree with that.  You said it better actually.

    But fundamentally from the "let's move on and support obama" folks is an essential choice between two different battles.  One is defeating mccain.  The other battle is the battle to eliminate cronyism in the DNC.   The battle against a corrupted process is simply of lesser priority.


    Well, that's fair. (none / 0) (#51)
    by dk on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:18:23 AM EST
    You're right that it's about priorities, and that probably is the better way to frame it.  I do think, though, that the word "cronyism" is a bit understated.  What we saw here was outright disenfranchisement of millions of voters (and I won't even get into the misogyny).

    I guess if I thought that the overall course of history would be any different whether Obama or McCain wins in November, I'd be willing to put the corruption of the DNC on the back burner as well.


    Excuse me (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:23:31 AM EST
    I suggest you look upo the meaning of the word complicit.

    I will not sit here and be insulted by the likes of some of you.

    One more insult and you will be suspended from commenting in my threads.


    some of us (none / 0) (#30)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:00:55 AM EST
    don't accept obama as a legitimate nominee.

    All this means is that one speaks out as loud as one possibly can on the issue of Florida and Michigan, but still accepts obama as a legitimate winner of a primary marred by that issue.


    Look up the word complicit (none / 0) (#55)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:20:46 AM EST
    I am sick and tired of your insults.

    You are thisclose to being suspended from my posts.


    be sure to suspend (none / 0) (#76)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:38:42 AM EST
    the others here as well for failing to understand what complicit means.

    Perhaps this tangent in entirety should be deleted.

    Listen.  I'm not trying to insult you.  If there is a way that I can make the following point:

    The dnc won't care and nor will they change,  if there's no consequences.

    Without insulting you, that would be great.

    I talk about priorities below and I can only assure you that making that point far far far exceeds any priority I have of insulting you.

    One final way to put it.

    I don't wake up in the morning thinking about ways to insult you.  I wake up thinking "the DNC sucks."


    It is impossible for you to write that (none / 0) (#87)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:03:24 AM EST
    without insulting me? Why for gawdsakes? You are being disingenuous. You have been attacking me for weeks now.

    And here is the problem, because of site rules, I can not hit you back.

    I will not uniliterally disarm leavng me with only one option - suspension from my threads. Which means you can post in Jeralyn and TChris's threads if you like.

    One last warning.


    hey (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:39:35 AM EST
    I'm the one who said below that it wasn't a question of complicitness, but a question of priorities.   It has always seemed to me that accusing people of complicitness is a divisive tactic.  That would go for russ feingold as well as dk above or anyone else for that matter.  If I have ever succumbed to such rhetoric I would think I should be hit hard on that.   And I probably have.  When people feel powerless its the easiest accusation to make.  

    I'll take a break from your threads, or at least in such a way that I know is confrontational to a fundamental set of disagreements.



    I agree. I can't and won't get over it (3.66 / 3) (#16)
    by Cream City on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 09:50:58 AM EST
    when it comes to corruption at the very core of the party.  The Democrats sold their soul, and now we just wait to see who was the devil to whom they sold it.  (Dean, Brazile, etc., are just the bad archangels. . . .)

    You agree? (none / 0) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 09:54:00 AM EST
    Then you are not an honest person.

    You can say that, but I can't see it (none / 0) (#82)
    by Cream City on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 10:44:58 AM EST
    as anything but dishonest of me to forget the reality of what I witnessed.  That does not mean I think you have forgotten it, either.  

    But I do not call you dishonest.  You just are capable of moving on despite it, and I'm not.  A difference of priorities is not dishonesty.


    to agree that I was complicit (none / 0) (#88)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:05:40 AM EST
    on Michigan and Florida is dishonesty.

    You agreed with it.

    I will not be insulted in my posts. why? Because I can not insult back.

    You too are warned, you too will be suspended from commenting in my threads if you choose to insult me.


    Ah, I see -- and sorry, no (none / 0) (#93)
    by Cream City on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:25:37 AM EST
    I certainly wouldn't mean to impute that you were complicit or anything but staunch in calling out the Michigan/Florida corruption.

    I didn't mean that; I was responding to something else I saw in the comment.  

    But I will consider myself warned, read more carefully, and/or just get back to other work awaiting.


    Big Red Flags... (none / 0) (#98)
    by jeffhas on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 11:51:10 AM EST
    Just go off in my head when I read this part:

    There are likely many reasons for confining immunity to civil liability -- including the heightened difficulty of proving criminal intent and, most importantly, the fact that Bush, on his way out, can pardon telecoms from criminal but not civil liability. So it's far from certain that Obama -- even if he did have a Secret Plan criminally to prosecute telecoms once in office -- would even be able to do so. If Bush pardons everyone connected to his illegal spying program, as many have speculated he might, then Obama's Secret Plan -- even if it existed -- would be instantaneously extinguished.

    I mean for all the talk of Keith's impending credibility implosion... What of the above possibility - neh - PROBABILITY?  

    Loophole.  What Loophole?... There's no viable Secret Plan if it can vanish with a stroke of Bush's pen.

    What say you Keith? (to borrow from O'Rielly)

    I mean if KO can't see the Big Red Flags, he really is blinded by his faith.

    Heh (none / 0) (#104)
    by Steve M on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:16:15 PM EST
    Well, if Bush is willing to pardon everyone even if the telecom immunity bill passes, he'd certainly be willing to pardon them if the bill doesn't pass.  So your scenario would make the whole thing moot.

    Did you not notice the part about (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by jeffhas on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:29:07 PM EST
    Civil Liability?... He doesn't have that ability.

    Is it not crystal clear why they want this bill to pass yet?


    I should have (none / 0) (#107)
    by mrjerbub on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 12:30:45 PM EST
    read all the posts first, I guess. See #103. I so feel like a parrot.

    Olbermann is a sensationalist... (none / 0) (#123)
    by pluege on Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 03:24:45 PM EST
     that will say anything to draw attention to himself. Forget any rational dialog with him.