Home / General / The Republican Establishment Was And Is All-In On Trump

The Republican Establishment Was And Is All-In On Trump

Comments
/
/
/
351 Views

Dave Weigel points us to yet another example of a Republican who would to anything to stand up to Donald Trump except exercise his powers as a United States Senator:

I mean, who could possibly take the Republican establishment’s posturing about Trump seriously at this point? Well…I can understand why Shakezula passed over this lightly, but I can’t get over the fact that Glenn Greenwald is still strongly committed to an insanely erroneous take on the 2016 election. Let’s start here and work backwards:

Top CIA officials openly declared war on Trump in the nation’s op-ed pages and one of their operatives (now an MSNBC favorite) was tasked with stopping him in Utah, while Time Magazine reported, just a week before the election, that “the banking industry has supported Clinton with buckets of cash . . . . what bankers most like about Clinton is that she is not Donald Trump.”

Hank Paulson, former Goldman Sachs CEO and George W. Bush’s Treasury Secretary, went to the pages of the Washington Post in mid-2016 to shower Clinton with praise and Trump with unbridled scorn, saying what he hated most about Trump was his refusal to consider cuts in entitlement spending (in contrast, presumably, to the Democrat he was endorsing). “It doesn’t surprise me when a socialist such as Bernie Sanders sees no need to fix our entitlement programs,” the former Goldman CEO wrote. “But I find it particularly appalling that Trump, a businessman, tells us he won’t touch Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.”

First of all, please click through and note that the Paulson op-ed does not “shower Clinton with praise,” and indeed does not mention her at all until the last graf, when he endorses her because she’s not Donald Trump and expresses hope that this will work out OK. STOP ALL THE ASS-KISSING BUDDY!

That aside, the Deep State’s puropted war on Trump during the campaign seems…pretty lame. (It’s truly a miracle that Trump survived OP-EDS from Hank Paulson, Michael Morell and Michael Hayden.) But what’s doubly hilarious is that omitted from this discussion of utter trivia that had no effect on the campaign whatsoever is…Mr. James Comey. Maybe it’s me, but if you’re discussing the alleged effects of the national security apparatus on the election, the director of the FBI making highly prejudicial comments about Clinton — including a letter implying that Clinton was a crook based on redundant emails that were quickly determined to be immetrial less than two weeks before the election — while sitting on an serious investigation into Russian attempts to influence the election seems kinda important. Particularly since unlike some random op-eds Comey’s actions almost certainly changed the outcome of the election. But, as we know, discussing any variable that might have affected the outcome of the election other than 1)Hillary Clinton’s highly neoliberal neoliberalism and 2)some highly uninfluential op-eds would be the purest McCarthyism.

Silly as all this is, the setup is even more jaw-dropping:

Whatever else there is to say about Trump, it is simply a fact that the 2016 election saw elite circles in the U.S., with very few exceptions, lining up with remarkable fervor behind his Democratic opponent.

He’s still saying this. This claim was astoundingly wrong at the time, and if anything it looks even worse after six months of Republicans doing virtually nothing about Trump because, after all, they’ve gotten a neoconfederate judge out of the deal. This claim is so utterly absurd that in the past when I’ve pointed out that Glenn believes it I’ve been accused of attacking a strawman. But, no — Glenn did and does believe that the American elite was lined up against Trump despite the fact that he had the support of the vast majority of powerful Republicans. It’s also worth nothing that while the marginal Trump voter might be a person without a college degree who harbors major resentments about America’s elites, the typical Trump voter — which is what’s relevant in this context — is an affluent or more-than-affluent white person. The idea that America’s elites were united against Trump is utterly absurd on any possible level.

How can an intelligent person imagine a political universe in which Ross Douthat and Robert Kagan are more powerful figures than Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell? It’s pretty clear that despite the ass-covering qualifications Glenn took the possibility that electing Trump would pose a major threat to the neoliberalneocon consensus that allegedly unites America’s two major political parties (which, of course, haven’t been further apart ideologically since FDR if not Reconstruction) quite seriously. If one acknowledges that not only most mainstream liberals but most powerful Republicans saw during the campaign that Trump posed no threat to the Republican establishment and indeed would advance orthodox Republican priorities in government…well, a man in Glenn’s position can’t afford to be made to look ridiculous. And acknowledging that it’s the Republican Party, not a conspiracy on the part of the Deep State, that is behind Trump “abandoning” his sporadic campaign unorthodoxies would mean acknowledging the large and growing gap between the country’s parties, a gap Glenn is very strongly committed to minimizing. So here we are, with a lenghty thinkpiece based on a premise that couldn’t possibly be more wrong.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Linkedin
  • Pinterest
  • McAllen

    Stop being so mean to the GOP, who got taken over by Trump through absolutely no fault of their own.
    August 5, 2017

    • Scott Lemieux

      James is deservedly getting roasted for this take, and yet it’s just a pithier version of Glenn’s essay.

      • petesh

        There'th lot-th of pith in GG, but leth take it in thmall doses.

      • Kevin

        The best part is his very next tweet, replying to someone, and let me remind you, this is about him saying you shouldn’t blame Republicans.

        https://twitter.com/billjamesonline/status/893959413509259266

        That’s right, he quickly pivots to blaming Democrats!

        • Shantanu Saha

          Because only Democrats, being thinking beings, have agency.

          • Kevin

            It really is amazing how true that is to so many people.

          • Owlbear1

            Ook!

          • Dwayne J. Stephenson

            This would be more convincing if Democrats weren’t eager to deny their own agency too.

            • Technocrat

              I blame Obama on McCain and Romney.

          • Technocrat

            By this point, that needs to be enshrined with Godwin’s Law, Poe’s Law, etc.

            • wjts

              Round here, it’s known as Murc’s Law.

              • Technocrat

                Thank you. Done.

          • Hypersphrericalcow

            This seems to be the coming from the same idea that says that men just can’t stop raping women, so it’s your fault because you were wearing that skirt.

        • tsam100

          It’s your fault I hit myself in the head because I was throwing a temper tantrum.

          • N__B

            Mini__B outgrew that one by the time he was four.

            • tsam100

              Well, there go his aspirations for the presidency.

              • N__B

                Eh, he’ll never make it in politics. He’s a nice kid.

                • (((advocatethis)))

                  Well, “kid” seems to be flexible concept, dependent on circumstances. Thirty-something Donnie Trump, Jr, raised with every social and educational advantage, is apparently still a “kid.” Thirteen year-old George Soros, raised in the midst of a literal holocaust in which people were killing people like him, “collaborated with Nazis” and should be forever held responsible for the implications of that three-word sentence, with or without (preferably without) context.

                • N__B

                  Mini__B is six. If he had dark skin he’d be a thug; as is, he’s a lil angel.

        • Veleda_k

          This isn’t just Murc’s law, this is Murc’s law to the extreme. The Republicans can play in their own shit all they want, and it’s Democrats’ fault for not stopping them.

        • I will flip Bill James’ analogy on its head, using his own reasoning:

          Poland helped further Hitler’s drive to conquer Europe by 1) Ignoring legitimate German grievances and 2) Failing to field an army that was strong enough to repel the German invasion. WEAK!

        • Hogan

          So he won the Republican nomination because the Democrats ran a bad candidate? That’s some major time travel shit right there.

    • sigaba

      Hitler’s commanding vote lead in the Galician Invader Primary was truly decisive.

    • sibusisodan

      Given that Hitler also invaded his party and took over, one could look there for examples. (From memory, most behaved exactly like Republicans did, but there were a few who realised just what had changed, and protested, or left).

      • so-in-so

        Or were killed…

        • That’s one, and perhaps the most effective, way of leaving.

          • BigHank53

            Certainly minimizes the sniveling I-didn’t-leave-my-party-my-party-left-me opinion pieces, doesn’t it?

            • wjts

              “I didn’t murder the party, the party murdered me!”

          • From the “no man no problem” school of thought

      • Dave Katz

        Jim Jeffords!

    • Technocrat

      I wasn’t aware Poles voted for Hitler in record numbers. TIL.

    • hellslittlestangel

      Trump: I had the greatest victory in any election in history!
      Weeping Never-Trumper Republican: Please stop talking about the election!
      Trump: Well, you started it.
      Weeping Never-Trumper Republican:No, I didn’t!
      Trump:Yes you did, you gave me New Hampshire!

    • Lurking Canadian

      If only America had some kind of legislative body where elected representatives could act as a restraint…a check even, on executive power.

      Only if such a utopian vision had been enacted the Republicans do anything to stop Trump.

      • ColBatGuano

        Please, let’s not devolve into starry eyed speculation. Stick to the real world.

    • tsam100

      Voting for someone else didn’t occur to those millions of primary voters? I thought these guys didn’t like being called stupid, but what else describes voting for a dumb person for president?

    • nmgal

      Christ, I thought this had to be parody. But y’all are assuring me it’s not. Buh? Wha?

    • I’m pretty sure Poland fought back.

      • sibusisodan

        At least they didn’t have to deal with Russian interfer…wait!

    • Stag Party Palin

      Blaming Rethuglicans for Trump is like blaming Austria for Adolph. He was invited in and took over. What were they supposed to do about it?
      ……
      Wait a minute, I’ll come in again…..

    • stepped pyramids

      Now that is a ratio.

  • jim, some guy in iowa

    weird how badly people want to believe trump is something other than your basic republican. must be because he’s so lousy at bible-babble

  • brewmn61

    “How can an intelligent person imagine a political universe in which Ross Douthat and Robert Kagan are more powerful figures than Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell? ”

    An intelligent person can’t.

  • KMGonzo

    Didn’t GG express some fairly anti-immigration sentiments ~10 years ago? I wonder how much that has to do with his current…takes?

    i.e. How much of this is so much window dressing to obscure a relatively nativist sentiment that he’s at least somewhat smart enough to know is problematic in the least?

    • Terok Nor

      When he was called out on it, he was all “The Obamabots are plotting against me!”

    • Hypersphrericalcow

      If that’s true, it is exceptionally ironic, since Greenwald is an immigrant to Brazil.

  • wjts

    Top CIA officials openly declared war on Trump in the nation’s op-ed pages and one of their operatives (now an MSNBC favorite) was tasked with stopping him in Utah…

    Is there anything to suggest McMullin ran because his former CIA superiors told him to other than the fact that he used to work for the CIA?

    • sibusisodan

      That’s how you know! What other evidence do you need?

    • FlipYrWhig

      I’m telling you, the distance between Glenn Greenwald and Dale Gribble is infinitesimal.

      • How high is he/the Intercept on Hack List 2017?

    • McAllen

      But remember, liberals are conspiracy theorists for thinking Trump’s campaign tried to collude with Russia!

      • Lurking Canadian

        But remember, liberals are conspiracy theorists for thinking concluding from evidence that Trump’s campaign tried to collude with Russia!

        Friendly ammendment.

    • hellslittlestangel

      I’ll spell it out for you: C-O-V-E-R-U-P.

    • Technocrat

      Odiousness aside, using the word “tasked” there really is a brilliant little nugget of propagandist writing. If he was tasked, who’s the Taskmaster?

      Checkmate, Libs!

      • wjts

        That particular bit was enhanced by artful use of the passive voice.

        • Technocrat

          Huh. I actually missed that on the first read.

          I can see why people followed him when he was attacking institutions we thought needed to be attacked. He’s really a very effective writer. Not necessarily coherent, or good, but effective.

          That’s also why I’m glad people push back against him now.

      • Hogan

        “Your mission, should you decide to accept it, and if you don’t we’ll kill you and dump your body in Fort Marcy Park, is to get on the ballot in Utah . . . “

    • ForkyMcSpoon

      The best part is that the Deep State is an uber-powerful cabal, but they can’t get anyone better than Egg McMuffin to run to sabotage Trump. He’s mentioning figures like John Kelly, H.R. McMaster, Hank Paulson and presumably considers other leaders of military and intelligence agencies to be part of the “conspiracy”. Most of these would have been more compelling anti-Trump independent candidates than McMuffin.

      It’s true that McMullin had particular appeal in Utah because he’s a Mormon, and based on the polls had a non-trivial chance of winning Utah, but if the goal was inflicting maximum damage on Trump, potentially causing him to lose Utah was not nearly good enough. It would be better to depress his vote totals more evenly across states but get more than 0.5% nationally. Someone who could’ve siphoned an additional 2% from Trump in the Midwest would’ve inflicted more meaningful damage on Trump (indeed, flipping the election) than someone who could get >20% in Utah. The Deep State was actively looking for spoiler candidates to harm Trump, but McMullin was the best they could do? Really?

      • N__B

        The Deep State is deep. It is not necessarily wide, tall, or smart.

  • MariedeGournay

    I love Driftglass and Blue Gal’s point about Flake that he never actually talks about the content of his book in interviews, and in the audio book he only reads the prologue. It’s as if he doesn’t want his voice tied to the book’s contents (no attack ads) or perhaps didn’t write it.

    • N__B

      Perhaps he hasn’t read it yet.

      • MariedeGournay

        There’s a creepy New Yorker short story about a liberal ghostwriter staring forlornly across the Hudson in there somewhere.

        • N__B

          Whenever DJT gives an interview, it’s as if millions of ghostwriters suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

        • joel_hanes

          See
          “The Great Automatic Grammatisator” by Roald Dahl

    • sigaba

      Ryan pulled the same thing recently duting his border field trip. He tweeted “Build the Wall!” but then his 30-second video had a big soundbite about “Giving our border security the tools they need.” They’re really careful about the stuff low-information TV audiences are likely to see versus highly-engaged people who get their news from reading.

  • FlipYrWhig

    I still find it hard to believe that there were apparently a large number of people who took seriously the idea that Trump was some kind of war-skeptical noninterventionist. His supposed criticism of the Iraq War was that the people in charge fucked it up by not trying harder to win by taking the gloves off. That’s what he thinks about every war/defense/national security challenge. His nonintervention cred was obviously garbage at the time and even more undeniably garbage now. But chumps like Greenwald still profess to believe in it because that’s how much they hate the Warmonger Hillary Clinton they’ve conjured in their minds.

    • so-in-so

      Also too, he complains we didn’t take all their oil. That’s a non-interventionist stand if I ever heard one – we should’a looted them more.

      • FlipYrWhig

        “They were having terrorism problems, just like we do,” Trump said. “And he caught 50 terrorists who did tremendous damage and killed many people. And he took the 50 terrorists, and he took 50 men and he dipped 50 bullets in pigs’ blood — you heard that, right? He took 50 bullets, and he dipped them in pigs’ blood. And he had his men load his rifles, and he lined up the 50 people, and they shot 49 of those people. And the 50th person, he said: You go back to your people, and you tell them what happened. And for 25 years, there wasn’t a problem. Okay? Twenty-five years, there wasn’t a problem.” Source: WaPo, circa South Carolina primary, 2016.

        • N__B

          He loves these bloody, creepy stories, but he’s terrible at telling them. He couldn’t scare a bunch of cub scouts sitting around a campfire.

          • sibusisodan

            He doesn’t care about details except for the actions of the central hero character,, so he never paints a picture one can identify with.

            • N__B

              It never occurred to me, but yeah the central character always is his Mary Sue. Excuse me while I go vomit up lunch.

          • tsam100

            Well, he couldn’t intentionally scare them. That story wouldn’t scare them, but his giggly endorsement of a mass murder probably does.

            • N__B

              True.

            • Thirtyish

              And if not the kids, then at least whatever thinking adults are in attendance, if recent events are anything to judge by.

          • wjts

            So there was this girl. Just terrific tits. And she goes with this guy to the Lovers’ Lane. You’re Cub Scouts, so I’m not going to tell you what they did, but he had his fingers jammed right up in her pussy. Just great, really amazing. And she wants to put on the radio. And he says, “Oh, the radio – it’s no good. Fake news, and the gangster rap. Sad. The radio is failing, by the way.” And so he turns on the radio – and this is true, by the way, I heard it on the radio – that an immigrant has escaped. Just terrible. The way they do it. The immigrants come in, and they’re not good people, not local milk people, and they just escape. Right away. Sometimes they help them escape. And so she gets scared, the immigrant scares her, and she wants to go. Believe me, no one wants to be there when the immigrant gets there. It’s a bad situation for everybody. So he says no, but she turns on the radio anyway, and she hears – you know, she hears the immigrant. And she wants to go. So they go, they drive, they leave, and when he gets out of the car, there’s a hook. It’s there. [Unintelligible.]. Not a lot of people know this, but the immigrant had a hook.

            • Technocrat

              This is…wonderful.

            • sibusisodan

              Beautiful.

            • BigHank53

              I’m not sure if I should advise you to up your daily meds, or cut back.

            • jim, some guy in iowa

              wjts: you’re certainly on a roll these days. I don’t know which is scarier: that you could come up with something like this in the snap of a finger, or that you might have a whole stock of these comments stored away, waiting for the right moment

          • Veleda_k

            Well, he could if told his yacht orgy story.

          • Hypersphrericalcow

            He did the same thing with his speech about MS-13 a couple days ago. Creepy, weird, but awfully told.

        • cpinva

          this is based on a scene from Game of Thrones. in other words, it’s fantasy.

          • wjts

            Is it? I don’t remember that.

          • George Carty

            I thought it was from the campaign against Moro Muslim insurgents during the Philippine–American War.

            • wjts

              I know I heard a story somewhere that someone was spreading the rumor during one of the India/Pakistan wars (or possibly during a conflict between Hindus and Muslims before the partition) that the Hindus were smearing their bullets with pigs’ blood and the Muslims were smearing their bullets with cows’ blood.

              • George Carty

                I think you’re getting confused with the Sepoy Munity of 1857, which was sparked by a rumour that the paper cartridges for the new British rifles (which soldiers had to bite open) were coated in beef tallow and pork fat.

                • wjts

                  It’s certainly possible, but I do think I remember reading my story somewhere. Where exactly I don’t remember, but I think it was probably some “Big Book of Weird Facts and Strange Stories”, so I’m not going to make any claims for it being true.

                • Might it have been in Jim Farrell’s novel The Siege of Krishnapur? Since I read it not quite 40 years ago, borrowed from a library, I can’t easily check.

                • wjts

                  I never read it, but it’s certainly possible that it was the source for the story I remember reading.

        • ForkyMcSpoon

          I still can’t get over the fact that I know leftist purity unicorns that thought/think that Trump was/is going to be better for Palestine than Clinton because he said he was going to be “neutral”.

          I mean, for one, define your terms. What does Trump mean by neutral? Without any specific policy suggestions it’s a meaningless statement. But more importantly, the guy who is campaigning on this kind of anti-Muslim bigotry is going to side with the Muslims in a dispute? Really?

          (As an aside, the single-issue Palestine voters annoy me. I understand how awful things are for Palestinians, but you’d think for some of these people that all of foreign policy consisted of your position regarding a single small country. The US, South Korea and North Korea firing missiles could kill a lot more people.)

    • Harkov311

      To be entirely fair, I’m not sure the Glenn Greenwalds of the world constitute a “large number” of people. Otherwise there would be an Anarcho-bro party that actually won some elections here and there. But it’s enough to get really annoying.

      • FlipYrWhig

        True, but the idea that Trump was running to the left of Hawk Hillary was widespread beyond anarchists and libertarians — Chris Matthews for one was all in on it too.

        • wjts

          At least one person here made that argument.

      • efgoldman

        I’m not sure the Glenn Greenwalds of the world constitute a “large number” of people.

        If there were no intartoobz, Glennie would be an obscure crank distributing a couple of dozen mimeographed pamphlets to a “select” mailing list.
        The medium shouldn’t give him any extra influence. Nowadays any asshole can post something on the toobz.

    • tsam100

      The fact that anyone believed he was going to do anything he said besides break shit and fuck up peoples’ lives is pretty baffling to me. He is obviously dumb, impulsively lies, and makes it very clear he doesn’t know how stuff works. If a politician says he’s going to break shit, you take him at his word. If he makes impossible promises (everyone will be covered, premiums will go way down), you don’t believe it. He doesn’t believe it, why should you?

    • brad nailer

      Listen to the supposed “anti-war” quote from the Howard Stern show. It’s kind of a “yeah, kindasorta whatever” noncommittal answer that really doesn’t go one way or another to any extent. I doubt he’d given the subject much thought at all.

  • sanjait

    Good catch.

    How can a definition of “elite” or “establishment” possibly exclude 90+% of sitting Republican national representatives in Congress, including the leadership, and also the bulk of the conservative zillionaire donor network that owns the party?

    • Owlbear1

      Don’t you remember, Dilbert came out and said he’d kick Putinfluffer’s ass if he won and then started getting out of line.

      Dilbert is as elite as it gets and Dilbert was NOT lockstep!

    • dstatton

      To both Glen and Trumpsters, elites consist solely of highly educated people in Cambridge, Manhattan, Georgetown, and Hollywood. And they have all the power.

  • CrunchyFrog

    In explaining Greenwald, who I liked when his private blog first emerged and I bought his first book in support, I’ll repeat a point I made a few days ago: Libertarians are in fact very similar psychologically to authoritarians. (For this discussion, “authoritarians” are authoritarian followers – not the ones who seek to be the dictator.)

    This seems incredible, I know, if you study only the theoretical principles that libertarians think they believe in. But if you read what authoritarians say about “freedom” you’ll see a surprising amount of the same kind of “principles”. in both cases, what’s different is to which groups they apply which principles.

    I think a more useful distinction is between religion-based authoritarians, who have a strong enforcing-morals-that-I-think-I-should-follow-on-others bent, and non-religious authoritarians, like Greenwald, who are perfectly happy for people to smoke pot and have sex (but only the kind of sex they have), but otherwise are happy to have thugs in power beating up people they don’t agree with as long as its the right kind of thug.

    Greenwald, I think was always the non-religious authoritarian pretending to be libertarian, and yes he fooled me, but he had a bug up his ass about the immigration laws that prevented his partner from moving to the US with him so really took negatively to everything the Bush admin was doing post-9/11 regarding immigration. And as a recently practicing civil rights lawyer he used his knowledge of civil rights law as his vehicle for attacking the Bush administration.

    Apparently 15 years later he’s happy living in Brazil and isn’t personally impacted by all of the things the Trump admin is doing regarding immigrants, so this issue has no importance to him personally. Thus, who gives a fuck any more, right Glenn? But he’s still mad at a lot of people who opposed him and love that those same people hate Trump. On top of that he was always a log cabin Republican (said so himself in the early days – it was one of his credibility things, as in “I’m a long time Republican but I oppose Bush”.)

    So, yeah, I was fooled by the libertarian principled facade.

    • Libertarians often = Mencius Moldbug fans.

    • non-religious authoritarians, like Greenwald, who are perfectly happy for people to smoke pot and have sex (but only the kind of sex they have)

      Wait—Greenwald thinks people should only have (male) homosexual sex?

      • CrunchyFrog

        Only that sex that they consider acceptable is perhaps a better way to state it. And, yes I know his orientation.

    • FlipYrWhig

      He’s such an uninformed latecomer to politics that he doesn’t even get his own label correct. In some ways he’s a civil libertarian who thinks he’s left because the first government he paid any attention to was Bush’s. But deep down he’s a “classical republican.” He thinks the state, any state, is corrupt and corrupting. That’s not a left-right thing at all.

      • sibusisodan

        I’ve actually read conflicting accounts of his political awakening. He himself has said he wasn’t politically aware until after 9/11. But a Guardian (I think) piece with a long-time business partner of his spoke candidly about his fervent involvement in Reupblican politics, esp via chatrooms, in the late 90s.

        • petesh

          Under a pseudonym?

        • Kevin

          I love that if you mention his pro-Bush/Iraq war stuff, he’ll deny it, despite it being in his book, and then he’ll prove you wrong by quoting the piece in his book…it’s a great trick that never works, but it’s all he has.

        • FlipYrWhig

          Hmm, interesting, hadn’t heard that… IIRC a Balloon Juice regular went to law school with him and remembers him in class constantly glowering in the corner.

    • Nym w/o Qualities

      This is a good point. I believe it is because libertarianism is, at its core, feudalism — an ideal of authority based on “voluntary” personal relationships. The strong get what they can grab. Caudillismo.

      • eclare

        Yes. Libertarianism is basically freedom for the strong to control the weak.

    • weirdnoise

      Whether it is a single all-powerful economic principle or a single all-powerful leader, the emotional attraction is the same.

  • dmbeaster

    Greenwald has ceased being relevant. Does it really matter that we deconstruct the logic underlying his current rants?

    • SATSQ: Yes, it does matter.

    • Kevin

      People can say that, but he is relevant. He has a large website, stuff he breaks gets disseminated in the news (See: Snowden, Reality Winner). He’s won a pulitzer, and has been featured in a major documentary, as well as been portrayed in a Hollywood movie. To say he is not relevant is wishful thinking.

      Until he is no longer relevant, his hack thinking should be torn apart.

      • efgoldman

        He’s won a pulitzer

        That used to mean something. Then The Magic Dolphin Lady got one.

        • N__B

          Fa love pa.

        • weirdnoise

          The Dowdy One just knew which cocktail parties to attend.

    • McAllen

      If that logic was unique to Greenwald, maybe not. But there are too many people on the left and right who agree with him.

      • kindasorta

        Yes. Greenwald is to nut-jobs of the right and (putative) left what the NYT front page is to CNN and AP.

    • Well, his articles still end up on my FB feed, and he is still invited onto “Democracy Now”, so…yes.

    • Lost Left Coaster

      What he has ceased to do is come over to LGM and battle it out in the comments. Really too bad — that was always entertaining.

  • Kevin

    As I said to you on Twitter, an elite that doesn’t include:

    – Fox News
    – Talk Radio
    – Local News (mostly owned by right wing groups like Sinclair, who push right wing Op-Eds to huge segments of the population in local news, as brilliantly shown by John Oliver)
    – The Republican Party, including the Speaker of the fucking house and Senate Majority Leader.

    Is not the fucking elite. Glenn is such a hack.

    • FlipYrWhig

      I know a lot of people for whom “elite” and “Pumpkin Spice Latte Girl” seem to be functionally synonymous.

      • Hypersphrericalcow

        For them, “elite” is a signifier of culture, not actual power with the levers of society.

        • Moonman von Superdog

          “cosmopolitan?”

          • wjts

            Sure. And Teen Vogue, Oprah Magazine… lot of elite publications out there.

            • Kevin

              Speaking of Teen Vogue, anyone following the bizarre stuff with Lauren Duca, one of their reporters? She wrote a piece in Teen Vogue last December torching Trump for gaslighting America. Since then, Tucker Carlson has become obsessed with her, as has Martin Shkreli.

              Tucker had her on in December after that piece, and he’s got this creepy crush on her, and brings her up all the time. Same with Shkreli, who “asked” her to go with him to the Inauguration. He was eventually suspended from Twitter for continual sexual harassment of Ms Duca. The day before his verdict was handed down, he said on a Facebook live stream “Trials over tomorrow bitches, and if I’m acquitted, I get to fuck Lauren Duca”.

              It’s all so gross and awful for her. Guys are creepy.

    • farin

      You can add the NYT to your list for all practical purposes.

      • Kevin

        Remember when the elite NYT paid early to run fake shit from “Clinton Cash”?

        Or how about when the “Deep State” was leaking stuff about Clinton, which made Comey write his letter to Congress, which then was leaked by elite chairman of the House Oversight committee?

        Or how about, when that leaked, and some “deep state” people in the FBI or CIA leaked to the Elite NYT that “nothing to see” between Trump and Russia, and the elite NYT ran that on the front page (even though it was a lie even at that time!)

        How about the elite CNN spending 24/7 (literally) the last 7 or 8 days talking about Huma’s laptop and how it was the worst scandal of the campaign?

        Gosh, I could go on and on and on…

        • ColBatGuano

          Remember when the elite NYT paid early to run fake shit from “Clinton Cash”?

          Every time I hear Trump tell the “uranium story”, I want to hit the editor of the Times in the head.

          • Kevin

            The Uranium story so thoroughly covered in alt left sources, even to this day. A story bought hook line and sinker by people like Matt Taibbi:

            https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/matt-taibbi-on-the-summer-of-the-media-shill-w434484

            Last year, the New York Times dipped a toe into the “Clinton Cash” material and did its potentially damaging “Uranium One” story about a series of suspicious donations to the Clinton Foundation. The story was soundly reported and forced the Clinton campaign to admit to “mistakes” in its disclosures.

            But the response of other non-conservative outlets was mostly silence and/or damage control. That left it to mostly circulate in the Washington Times and Breitbart and the Daily Caller, rendering it automatically illegitimate with most blue-state audiences.

            Or Matt…maybe, these other people had read on this ages ago and knew it was 100% bullshit, something you haven’t acknowledged to this day!

  • dstatton

    So Glen and Paulson believed that Clinton was more likely to gut Social Security and Medicare than Trump? Did they not notice that Trump has made scores of promises that he either never intend to keep, or were impossible to keep?

  • LosGatosCA

    Trump continues to show how ridiculous people can be when they talk about, write about, engage in anyway with him.

    He’s like intellectual anti-matter.

    • Its like that old saying about a sober person conversing with a drunk, or a sane person arguing with a crazy person, or-

    • weirdnoise

      Trump is the original word-salad-shooter. 90% of his words don’t matter. Just mixing “immigrants want to steal your job,” “elites want to take your freedoms,” etc, into verbal coleslaw.

      It simply isn’t possible to engage with his rhetoric in any rational way, and people who try look like impotent fools.

  • David Allan Poe

    On the subject of Republicans falling in line, I’ve been mulling over Lisa Murkowski, who is an absolutely bog-standard Republican on everything but health care and abortion. As everyone knows, she lost her first primary to living five-o’clock-shadow Joe Miller and then beat him in the general as a write-in. A whole lot of left-leaning independents and Democrats voted for her because they believed that Joe Miller was beyond the pale and the no-name Democratic patsy wouldn’t win.

    I voted for the no-name Democrat on the grounds that in the Senate, Murkowski probably wouldn’t vote much differently than Miller, while Miller was such a chump that, even with the incumbency advantage, he would be vulnerable as hell in the next election in a state that is red but not completely insane (that this is basically a heighten-the-contradictions argument in a thousand-dollar suit is noted).

    Many of my friends went the other way (and many of them, it should be noted, were women, and they were gambling that her pro-choice noises were legit – she hadn’t served a full term yet, so it was definitely a gamble).

    That particular action is academic now, but given that many of us in red states find ourselves in similar situations, especially in state and local elections, under what circumstances is it okay, or even necessary, to vote Republican? With seven years of mostly party-line votes behind her I can’t really say that Murkowski has, on the whole, been much better than Miller would have been, but she’s also part of the reason the ACA is still here. Thoughts?

    • I think there’s a good case for voting strategically for her, if you think the Democrat really has no chance at all.

      • David Allan Poe

        He was total cannon fodder, basically the only guy who signed up for duty. Well known, generally respected Democrats have a hard enough time getting elected to statewide office.

    • BigHank53

      Long, long ago I cast a vote for a Republican Senator, Warren Rudman, because I’d met his Democratic challenger, and discovered he was dumber than a bag of hair.

      You do the best you can with the candidates that are on the ballot in front of you. Sometimes it’s not a great choice, and moral purity…well, I don’t know if you’ve ever eaten a plateful of it, but it’s not very filling.

      • N__B

        And now we have a bag of hair as president! ‘Murka, what a country!

      • David Allan Poe

        Yeah, this Democrat seemed fine, just not ready for prime time. At the time I couldn’t see that there was enough difference between Murkowski and Miller to justify putting her into a Senate seat she’d have a hard time ever losing again. There probably literally was a dime’s worth of difference between them, although right now it’s a pretty valuable dime.

    • sigaba

      Never vote out of fear, that’s pretty much the only hard and fast rule. Know that whoever you vote for will be on a team and that the team mostly determines the headline outcomes.

    • Brien Jackson

      I think the thing about Murkowski, in addition to seemingly being genuinely pro-choice, is that she’s at least somewhat an earnest representative who’s at least in theory looking to take care of her constituents. A lot was made pretty early about how badly Alaskans were going to get hammered by Trumpcare, especially the versions with deep Medicaid cuts.

  • The important question now is: Can and will the Kochs/repugs&Co work with Putin, or will there be a war for dominance after T-rump has wrecked the USA?

  • jamespowell

    Trump is an ordinary Republican policy-wise. His only difference is his style. He disdained and discarded the traditional Republican pretenses to respectability – the patrician and Christian patinas that Republicans have been using to mask their essential bigotry, ignorance, and resentment. It worked because their voters saw & felt it as more honest, less likely to compromise with any Democrats.

  • drdick52

    The GOP will put up with anything as long as he backs their agenda, which he has and will continue to do.

  • pseudo-gorgias

    “I can’t get over the fact that Glenn Greenwald is still strongly committed to an insanely erroneous take on the 2016 election. ”

    This is the guy who wrote multiple posts about how Hillary was good at politics right? And that we should all go in for the big win?

    You might want to consider you dont know that much about the contemporary political scene yourself.

    • Hogan

      So you agree with Greenwald?

      • pseudo-gorgias

        That hillary was a terrible candidate for reasons completely apparent even at the time? Yes.

        That the gop put up a united front against trump? No. Though it’s not the case that he garnered elite support until fairly late into the primary process, as compared to Romney during his run, for example.

        • Hogan

          So you’re just here to derail. Good to know.

          • sigaba

            I don't know about Hillary or Trump but I can use them as props in my "Why Scott sucks" puppet show.

          • econoclast

            The upside is that I finally got to try out this fancy “Block user” feature.

            • By the way, how (if my steely resolve should ever begin to rust) can I unblock someone I’ve blocked?

        • “That hillary was a terrible candidate for reasons completely apparent even at the time? Yes.”

          Since that is not a relevant response to the OP, I think we can leave this aside: Lord knows the issue has been extensively debated elsewhere on this blog.

          • petesh

            Lorde's into Melodrama now; she knows all.

          • Clinton wasn’t a terrible candidate. She outperformed both the fundamentals and intervention by the FBI and Russia. She won the popular vote by a wide margin.

            Even factoring in Trump’s badness, this makes her a pretty good candidate. Not a super duper candidate, by any means, but definitely above replacement level.

    • Is this supposed to be a defense of Greenwald? “Tu quoque” is a logical fallacy.

      • pseudo-gorgias

        I’m just saying Scott seems to have a real knack for noticing the specs in others eyes while being oblivious to the beam in his own. Has he ever authored a post about what he got in 2016, what assumptions of his were mistaken, where his analysis went off the tracks?

        • Well, in fact, he has done some of that, here and there. But again, that’s OT. If for you personally it’s a burning question that’s become too much of an itch to not scratch, how about you do a bit of research? There’s about nine months of posts you can look at. Arguably this would be a more productive use of your time.

      • Brien Jackson

        Also too, I’m 99% sure Scott voted for Bernie.

    • Would you say you know any more about the contemporary political scene than you do about the politics of the Reformation?

      • wjts

        To be Scrupulously Fair, he doesn’t seem to know any less about contemporary politics than he does about the Reformation.

    • Scott Lemieux

      [cites omitted]

      • pseudo-gorgias

        It’s almost like there’s an Internet company that makes things like this easy to find.

        For example http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2016/10/clinton-is-good-at-this

        • For example, Scott made the banal observation that Clinton was a good debater..

        • Scott Lemieux

          “Clinton is no Obama as a political talent, but debating is one thing she does really well, much better than Obama.” Yes, truly the strongest possible endorsement for Clinton as a candidate. You’ve got me there.

  • petesh

    O/T in re: GG but on point for the administration:
    Trump’s USDA pick referred to progressives as ‘race traders’ and ‘race traitors’
    http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/345010-trumps-pick-to-lead-usda-referred-to-progressives-as-race-traders-and

    … “Dr. Clovis is a proud conservative and a proud American. All of his reporting either on the air or in writing over the course of his career has been based on solid research and data. He is after all an academic,” a USDA spokesperson told CNN.

    Trump nominated Clovis, who was one of the president’s earliest campaign advisers, to the USDA’s top science position in July.

    Clovis, who has challenged the notion that climate change is man-made, was tapped to serve as Agriculture’s undersecretary for research, education and economics.

    • wjts

      Trump’s USDA pick referred to progressives as ‘race traders’…

      I’ve got a couple of M/NM Alpines to swap if any of you have some spare Dinarics you want to get rid of.

      • dmsilev

        I’ll swap you a Belmont Stakes for a Boston marathon and three hundred-meter sprints.

        • wjts

          If it’s still in the original box, deal. Otherwise, best I can do is a 2009 Pittsburgh Great Race and Race Bannon.

      • PohranicniStraze

        I sprang for a couple of the race booster packs, looking for some Nordics to complete a set, but I got a half dozen Congoloids and a Dravidian instead. I did get a nice ultra-rare Australoid though.

    • “He is after all an academic,” must rank along with “Look, I AM a doctor” as one of the less reassuring pronouncements one can hear.

      • sanjait

        “See libs. Our one guy has a PhD too, just like all those scientists in your precious ‘consensus.’ So hah!”

  • I’ve not managed to struggle through the whole article but every bit I’ve read is shockingly bad. I noted in the other thread that the claim that US politician don’t try to keep their promises (esp as expressed in the party platform) is contradicted by the literature…and by recent events. Repeal and replace didn’t fail for lack of trying! Indeed, they went through extraordinary lengths to try to pass it in spite of the wild unpopularity of every such bill.

    Etc etc.

    But aside from the content, what’s the point of an article like this? This clearly wasn’t forced on him and given all the extraordinary things going on in our government these days, why peddle this bildge (and so poorly). It sure looks like water carrying.

    But…for whom? I can’t believe that Greenwald is a secret Trumpist. But he does seem to have a Stein way about him…so out of tune with reality because he so hates anything he can tag as establishment.

    It has become a profound moral failure.

    • sigaba

      For Greenwald the original sin is drones and the MIC. That’s the profound moral failure, he doesn’t care what happens to the United States or the American people as long as neoliberal internationalist American hegemony is crushed.

      Trump is just a symptom, he’s karma, and everything people do to oppose Trump is illegitimate, because we all deserve Trump, supposedly.

      • Trump is pretty obviously bad for the world, too.

        • farin

          In the short term, but after the immiseration and destruction of the US the rest of the world will be better off.

          • This seems unlikely. The US can do a lot of damage going down and a lot of the forces that might shape the new order aren’t particularly benign.

            • farin

              That never seems to occur to the Greenwaldian burnitdown!! caucus, unfortunately.

    • Lost Left Coaster

      He’s not pro-Trump. But he hates the Democratic party more, and at times there is an enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend quality that comes in.

      • His Trump semi apologia is reminiscent of his Paul curiosity.

        In both cases, his political analysis is amazing dumb.

    • sanjait

      He does it for clicks and grins.

      (IOW, for money and fame)

      • I’m skeptical.

        That doesn’t really fit in with his expressed self conception and I don’t think he’d be worse off with a more grounded and accurate analytical frame.

        Going all in against Trump almost certainly would be more lucrative.

        • sanjait

          Would it?

          Seems like being anti-Trump would make him an unoriginal voice in a crowded field and clash with his recent previous persona as an anti-Dem, thus alienating him from that persona’s established audience.

          But I am not a scholar of GG or his audience, and in this case the nuance is quite relevant, so certainly I could be wrong.

          • I think it would. It certainly worked for him in the Bush era. His manner generally seems more distinctive than his content. “Glennzilla” on Trump would have plenty of appeal.

            He won’t do that because he’s staked out pivoting as being bad. So he has to keep pounding Dems to be consistent.

    • nemdam

      As I outline in my comment below, there’s something else about Stein that I think provides the simplest explanation for Glenn. Something about the Motherland.

    • ForkyMcSpoon

      Trump seems notable for his lack of adherence to campaign promises. On the other hand, he made so many contradictory statements that it’s unclear whether you can count all of them as promises. Still, he has gone against many of the policies people believed he was advocating (such as opposing Medicaid cuts, raising capital gains taxes, opposing tax cuts for the wealthy, going after lobbyists and even more trivial things like claiming he wouldn’t be taking as many vacations as Obama and so forth).

      • Well we need to figure it what counts as a campaign promise. Generally, iirc, the literature looks at the party platform, though there may be other notable statements. I’d bet that a good chunk of the platform is precisely what they’ve been trying to do.

        Also, a lot rests on “try”. I’m pretty sure Trump made as much of an effort as he does to get the wall built. And he’s still trying.

        • randykhan

          In Trump’s case, he said so many contradictory things on the campaign trail that it may be hard to figure out what *doesn’t* contradict a campaign promise.

          • Sorta? One thing that requires some effort is a non cherry picking way to separate campaign chatter from campaign promises. And primary claims from general campaign claims. Winning the candidacy doesn’t mean you get total control. Cf Bernie’s effect on the platform. Platforms are the result of consensus making and thus represent promises made within the coalition. These are taken very seriously.

    • Pseudonym

      Theory: Glenn’s entire self-identity is based on his considering himself smarter and more morally pure than the corrupt “elite” establishment.

      • sanjait

        I take that as a given. Either that or it’s all a cynical act, but the charitable interpretation is the one you posit.

    • Brien Jackson

      Putting aside the possibility that Greenwald is just straight up working for Russia….I think it’s fair to say he IS, in fact, a Trump supporter. In the sense that most of Greenwald’s positions stem from a disdain for the American state, and security state in particular, and what pretty clearly seems to be and have been a belief that a Trump Presidency would be devastating for both the military/security apparatus and the American government more generally. So Greenwald might not explicitly endorse Trump’s politics or even agree with him all else being equal, but the important thing to Glenn was always the potential for Trump to decimate the institutions of the government.

      • Scott Lemieux

        It is very hard to read the latest piece and not think that he flat-out preferred Trump to Clinton.

  • nemdam

    It’s why I don’t believe the simplest explanation for Glenn’s views is that he’s just a hack or stupid. This is beyond that. It’s so breathtakingly wrong and perfectly in line with Russian propaganda that there’s something fishy going on.

    But let’s say Glenn isn’t a stooge and is instead just a hack. If he didn’t exist, Russia would try to cultivate someone exactly like him. Given that he fits the profile of someone who can be turned, IMO the simplest explanation for his Trump views is that he is their asset. It has happened to a bunch of others, so I see no reason why it can’t happen to Glenn. And don’t forget Russia cultivates the left as well as the right to achieve their goals.

    • sanjait

      While that is consistent with the evidence … I can think of one other explanation:

      GG reads Russian propaganda and borrows its memes out of convenience. Those messages have already been brainstormed and market tested, so using them is easier than having original thought.

      Though in the end the output Is the same either way.

      • nemdam

        I considered it, but I think Glenn is too smart for that. He is a lot of things, but I don’t think lazy is one of them. If he was just a hack, I think he would know lazily copying Russian propaganda would look awful. He would come up with some better stuff. There’s plenty of anti-Democratic party takes that do not align with Russian propaganda.

        And let’s not forget that Glenn’s path to stardom runs through a man who has asylum in Russia.

        • sanjait

          I wouldn’t think he’d mindless parrot Russian propaganda … but maybe he skims the cream from the top of it.

          It’s what I would do if I were a soulless person who wanted to get famous being an anti-anti-trump troll.

          GG is already famous of course, and not lazy, but low hanging fruit still tastes sweet.

    • Scott Lemieux

      I continue to think this conspiracy theorizing is silly and unhelpful. Nothing about Glenn’s worldview has changed. He has despised mainstream Democrats and been curious about any Republican who makes even the most meaningless gesture in the vaguest direction of the left since about 3 minutes after Obama was inaugurated. His take about Trump is ludicrously wrong, but it doesn’t represent any discernible change.

      • What’s interesting is that he flipped from anti bush to disappointed in to anti Obama and then…stuck. Of course, he doesnt conceptualise his Bush to Obama hating as a flip but as a non flip: he hates policies consistently, not as they are advocated by a party. This was always bullshit but his soft on Trump makes it extra bullshit.

        It seems pretty clear that the biggest threat to US democracy at the moment is Trump, not the “deep state”. Yet here we are.

        • Brien Jackson

          1. It’s pretty obvious Glenn doesn’t really care that much about American democracy.

          2. At best, Glenn has fallen deep into a rabbit hole of his own delusion where he’s the heroic crusader in the story and the national security state it his arch-nemesis.

      • Lost Left Coaster

        Yup. That’s why he has been boosting Rand Paul for years, in that typically weaselly way that he does, “oh, I’m not endorsing everything he says, but here are the reasons that Rand Paul is a bold truth teller who is standing up for freedom in ways that no one else is doing.”

  • Robbert

    “So here we are, with a lenghty thinkpiece based on a premise that couldn’t possibly be more wrong.”

    Mr. Greenwald will have you know he accepts your challenge, and feels confident he’s capable of writing something more wrong in the near future.

    • Hogan

      I believe what the kids say now is “Hold my beer and watch this.”

    • The Lorax

      And longer, with more links that don’t show what they purport to show.

  • Downpup E

    Greenwald is on an oddly parallel path with Dershowitz. I don’t understand either one of them. None of the obvious similarities would explain it, but maybe there’s something hidden about both.

  • Brien Jackson

    Glenn gives away that he knows he’s full of shit when, instead of calling them the Secretary of Defense, National Security Adviser, and White House Chief of Staff, he rolls Mattis, McMaster, and Kelly into a group he dubs “the generals.” The whole point of that rhetorical move is to obfuscate their present posts and imply that there’s some sort of nebarious, shadowy, quasi-coup underfoot and that internal opposition to Bannon’s(!) viewpoint is anti-democratic skullduggery. It’s the same sort of lawyerly technique he’s always deployed and the biggest reason I always recognized him as a hack even when he was attacking the Bush administration. It’s almost fitting that he’s ended up deloying it in the service of neo-Nazis.

  • burnspbesq

    Lemieux says:

    “How can an intelligent person imagine a political universe in which Ross Douthat and Robert Kagan are more powerful figures than Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell?”

    There’s an implicit assumption embedded in that sentence that might not withstand scrutiny.

  • ToddTheVP

    I hadn’t seen those Paulson quotes before. Dude walked out of the treasury carrying sacks of money like a Beagle Boy and then handed them to his friends/coworkers/accomplices. If even he’s saying you might not be a good thing for the economy…

It is main inner container footer text