|Josh Marshall reprints this email making the point.
Thanks for the thoughtful post on Ron Paul, one of the more lucid pieces I've read on his candidacy. I think, though, what you may be missing is that certain major voices in the blogosphere have spoken admiringly about him (Greenwald) or have actually endorsed him in the GOP primary (Sullivan). This man is clearly beyond the valley of crazies and has advanced extremely racist views in the not-too-distant past and yet many of our more libertarian pundits seem willing to give him a pass. This is frustrating to many of us.
Glenn Greenwald has been very clear that he does not endorse Paul's views, but sees him as advancing a dialogue on some key issues left out by mainstream candidates. Some of these problems include an American military presence in 144 countries, an excessively corporatized media, a war on drugs that imprisons some drug users while allowing others to become President, and a war economy that cannot be touched by the taxpayers who fund it.
And frankly, I don't see much of a difference, morally speaking, between Ron Paul's crazy leanings and the fairly widespread notion among Beltway elites that bombing and maiming millions of Iraqis is a reasonable and serious foreign policy.
It is tragic that it takes a right-wing populist to say what needs to be said.
White House hopeful Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) said Sunday that the U.S. is moving toward fascism, stating that corporations are increasingly "running the show" and citizens are being deprived of their liberties.
Paul clarified that he did not refer to the type of fascism that Adolf Hitler practiced in Germany. "We're not moving toward Hitler-type fascism, but we're moving toward a softer fascism," Paul said on NBC's Meet the Press. "Loss of civil liberties, corporations running the show, big government in bed with big business."
The lawmaker said the U.S. is moving toward "corporatism." He also lashed out at a system in which those are criticized as unpatriotic who do not support the war in Iraq or the Patriot Act.
That's a fairly useful topic to debate. It's not fringe, or at least it shouldn't be. Josh Marshall, in what I think is a joke, makes this point well when discussing the case of a conservative student fabricating an assault against his person by phantom sex fiends.
I take a pretty hard line against those crude online name-callers who say that conservatives are just a band of pathological liars constantly using this or that scam or felony to pump up their fantasies of victimization at the hands of the repressive liberal establishment. But the likes of Francisco Nava don't make my job any easier.
Marshall is kidding, sort of. This really is a weird moment where the Republican Party and the conservative movement is run by psychotics, enabled by their weird Beltway hangers-on in the Democratic Party and the media establishment. The decision-makers are sick, diseased, childish in their impulses and sadistic, and their opponents are impotent by their own design. And everyone is addicted to war.
If you want to be frustrated at Glenn Greenwald for pointing out that Ron Paul is the only candidate effectively making the case against American military occupation of large swaths of the globe and the war on drugs, go for it. But your energy is better directed towards Democratic Presidential candidates who think it's fringe to be outraged over our occupation of Iraq. That's the only reason Paul has any space at all. And that's the only reason Greenwald is elevating Paul's ideas, as he has repeatedly made clear, even if a variety of his critics can't seem to keep two thoughts in their head at the same time.