Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Today In "Not a Dime's Worth of Difference" News, Ctd.

Today, by two, narrow 5-4 decisions, the Supreme Court told gay and lesbian Americans that they have the same federal civil rights that I have.  Of course, if you live in any of the 37 states where same sex marriage is illegal, that same Supreme Court just told you that you're on your own by virtually guaranteeing that no federal cavalry will ever show up to take your side against the Randite Theocrat Philistines who run your state.

So a deeply flawed outcome, but a big improvement over the status quo.

And speaking of Randite Theocrat Philistines, Tony Scalia takes up his acid pen to share with us the state-of-the-art in Conservative thinking on the subject:
To be sure (as the majority points out), the legislation is called the Defense of Marriage Act. But to defend traditional marriage is not to condemn, demean, or humiliate those who would prefer other arrangements, any more than to defend the Constitution of the United States is to condemn, demean, or humiliate other constitutions. To hurl such accusations so casually demeans this institution. In the majority’s judgment, any resistance to its holding is beyond the pale of reasoned disagreement. To question its high-handed invalidation of a presumptively valid statute is to act (the majority is sure) with the purpose to “disparage,” ”injure,” “degrade,” ”demean,” and “humiliate” our fellow human beings, our fellow citizens, who are homosexual. All that, simply for supporting an Act that did no more than codify an aspect of marriage that had been unquestioned in our society for most of its existence—indeed, had been unquestioned in virtually all societies for virtually all of human history. It is one thing for a society to elect change; it is another for a court of law to impose change by adjudging those who oppose it hostes humani generis, enemies of the human race.
Fresh from this latest defeat in the Culture War, Republican members of Congress are expected to salve their wounds in the traditional fashion: cracking open a case of wildly ignorant, inappropriate rape comments, comparing school kids in LA to Hitler Youth (Glenn Beck, today), staging a dozen more symbolic votes telling women and people who need health care to go piss up a rope, after which Charles Darwin will be burned in effigy.

At the state-level, the Court has once again reaffirmed its commitment to let Republicans continue dispensing with any fig-leaf of subtlety and sanity whatsoever and just let their Handmaid's Tale freak flags fly.

I include myself in the group that sees today's Court ruling as an important if flawed and imperfect step forward in advancing the civil rights of a traditionally despised and discriminated against minority which, in turn, I hope will make the civil rights all Americans that much more secure.

I also found the reaction from the world's most famous Libertarian by turns fascinating, amazingly clueless, hopeful and deeply human.

Consider that, like a depressingly large number of relatively privileged Libertarians,  Mr. Greenwald is always willing to lecture others on the abstract merits of making the Perfect the enemy of the Less Awful -- to exhort "liberals and progressives" to sacrifice some nonspecific "short term political interests" and even get "a few more Republicans to be elected than otherwise might be elected" -- in the noble cause of crashing the system, and busting up the two parties so that some ideal, third or fourth of fifth party alternatives can rise to power:
And that’s the position that so many liberals and progressives have been in. Which is, you know, really finding Democratic policies to be repellent and yet at the same time, at the end of the day saying, well you’ve convinced me that they’re just a tiny, little bit worse. And the only way to break that is to say well, even though I know that by abstaining or supporting a third party, I’m going to be sacrificing some of my short term political interests; I’m going to be causing a few more Republicans to be elected than otherwise might be elected; on balance, I’m willing to sacrifice my short term interests in order to do something to subvert the stranglehold that these two parties have on the political process because electing more Democrats, even though it’s a little less scary, accomplishes nothing good.
To ever do anything less -- to compromise in the slightest by giving one side your support "because you’ve scared me that the other alternative is just a little bit worse" -- is an act of abject cowardice and capitulation which will only "guarant[ee] that you’ll always be ignored."

This is Mr. Greenwald's simple and clear Law of Political Purity which applies unbendingly to all times to all people and to all issues...

...except, of course, when the issue at hand actually affects Mr. Greenwald personally, in which case:
Ponder on that for a second.

Fascinating and hilariously clueless, certainly, but also hopeful and deeply human because it holds open the possibility that someday it may just dawn on Mr. Greenwald that other people are not abstract game pieces to be shoved around on his ideological Stratego board but are, in fact, every bit as real and complex and contradictory and rationalizing and humane and selfish and heroic and flawed and glorious as he is.

That someday the Compassion Fairy may leave enough empathy under Mr. Greenwald's  pillow to cause him to notice that, while there are real villains in the world, there are also lots of people who are not Mr. Greenwald -- people of color, poor people, sick people, old people, frail people, undocumented worker people, uninsured people, frightened middle class people, female people -- who make choices with which Mr. Greenwald does not agree in the abstract because the consequences of those choices affect them personally in the same way the same-sex marriage decision affects Mr. Greenwald personally.  

That someday something will pry open Mr. Greenwald's human awareness far enough to encompass the idea that there are real people in the real world who do not have the luxury of buying an adjoining condo in Mr. Greenwald's ivory tower and who sometimes make choices and compromises with which Mr. Greenwald does not agree not because they are Obots or cultists or authoritarian monsters but because they live and struggle and die in the real world under circumstances where the alternative to that imperfect choice really is much worse.  

I am very glad that the center/slightly-left wing of the Supreme Court was able to twice lure one vote away from the Batshit Wingnut wing of the Supreme Court in order to secure two, flawed rulings which will allow Mr. Greenwald the choice of living with his husband as a married couple in either the United States or Brazil.  

I also hope that, in addition to giving him some imperfect but improved alternatives from which to choose, it also blesses Mr. Greenwald with a slightly different perspective on the motives of people who are not Mr. Greenwald and who also believe that choosing between flawed alternatives is sometimes a better choice than going on strike until perfection arrives.


Anonymous said...

Greenwald is nothing but a libertarian that makes a living pretending to be a liberal so he can concern troll them.

Takes a pretty low level of morals to do that imho.

Anonymous said...

Jesus H Christ on a drone...don't we need some true believers to be dicks so that we can push the envelope a little bit? You're turning into Bob "I'd suck that O knob/I've got a Greenwald obsession" Cesca. This crusade is either paying off in the extra clicks you're getting or you've completely lost it. Sheesh, man get back to preventing the future. This is pure sadness.

Overclock speedy said...

We don't need all true believers. We don't need people who are true believers except on issues that affect them personally. Because those people are hypocrites and bullshit artists of the highest proportions. They are not to be trusted, taken seriously, or even cared about. They are to be ignored by anyone who's not out to concern troll for the sake of concern trolling.

Today Greenwald has shown how full of shit and pathetic he actually is.

Rick Massimo said...

In short, if we'd followed Greenwald's advice a few elections ago we'd have a Supreme Court that continued not to allow him to live in this country with his husband.

I'd like to think he realizes that.

As for Scalia, did his opinion ever get around to mentioning anything about, y'know, law? Or was it just a 13-year-old slamming his bedroom door, but with slightly bigger words?

Anonymous said...

As usual, Greenwald is shattering credibility and assuming his fevered rants must be bowed to.

" If you were barred from living with your spouse in your own country because of this inequality, you'd probably see it differently". Was he barred from living with his spouse in the U.S.? Was he willing to work for, support legislative or judicial change? In the same breath he calls PBO a tyrant and at the same time wants him to unilaterally change law to support his personal agenda, and if PBO doesn't succumb instantly, he's scum. He's a ridiculous sleazeball who would ruin lives, assuming utopia would inevitably follow. I would laugh except for the misery he can cause.

Anonymous said...

Reliable sources say that caricature is compliment.

Lawrence said...

Apparently Glen, whose book I bought and enjoyed, has never heard of Ross Perot. I'm sure Jill Stein is super awesome, but I really am glad we don't have President Romney because people got confused about how this election thing actually works. Glen can afford to be a purist because the issues at hand are mostly academic for him. I did not know he was gay, but apart from that he's a white man with money. And whatever Republican orgy gets unleashed by his purity experiment won't touch him much. Honestly, If I had to save up enough disposable income to fly to Brazil to get gay married it would never happen in my lifetime.

steeve said...

"an act of abject cowardice and capitulation which will only guarantee that you’ll always be ignored."

If the country wakes up and starts voting 80% democratic and we end up with 100 republicans in the house and 13 in the senate, we won't be ignored. The only possible outcome to such an event is the rise of a party to the left of democrats.

Step one towards whatever issue you care about is to destroy the republicans.

bluicebank said...

Another swipe at Greenwald? Really? I thought this was the Kick David Fucking Brooks to the Ground blog.

Speaking of Snowden, anyone know where Driftglass went to? He used to go after pompous conservatives and see with his special cutlass through bullshit.

Anonymous said...


Drifty has a bone to pick with libertarians in general and Glenn Greenwald in particular. This has always been visible in his writing, but of late his rage-omeder has been a bit mis-aligned.

I give him a pass mostly because Greenwald is easy to loath.

- Nonny Mouse

Anonymous said...

I think his very recent exploitation of someone with obvious mental problems renders the possibility of him having an epiphany..or any sort of redemption...rather academic.
....and his chickens are coming home in droves.

P.S. has anyone mentioned that your verification characters are turning in to some kind of unreadable cuneiform??

Anonymous said...

You know, it suddenly occurs to me, that I have been reading you started blogging, and I cant recall disagreeing with your views to any significant extent in all that time. (Including now...this is not another stupid pretend concern trolling)
At times, you are a tad less viscous than I wish you would be, but you know...trolls will be trolls, and it probably just represents more emotional maturity, self restraint and impulse control on your part... than I la di da..grand piano!...good for you!...

In any case, I was wondering.....does that make me..a..shudder....



For a life long atheist, it is sure disconcerting to suddenly discover (or just be repeatedly told by random strangers) that I actually worship...just various people. Presidents, bloggers, television characters, cats...ect...

Maybe I should just join the Hare Krishna and get it over with...

P.S. Remember when people..(rude people like me) used to just call them the "Hairy Christians"!
Hah..good times...

Hamfast Ruddyneck said...

The Good Cop is not your friend.

His goal is to park your butt in the Crossbar Hilton, same as the goal of the Bad Cop.

The Dinocrats may be the Good Cop Party, but they're still Cops.

Though, of course, to a Tea Partier, the Reptilians are the Good Cop Party and the Dinocrats are the Bad Cop Party.

The Dinos will take back all those crumbs which they have let fall from the table--for which Drifty and other hold-your-nose-and-vote-Dino voters are so pathetically grateful--as soon as they find it expedient to do so.


Barry Schwartz said...

The real hope is that the desire to think well of people overcomes paranoia, but it is easy to get through life thinking little of others.