I haven’t done this in a while, but I took a swing around some of the self-styled “progressive” sites – usually inhabited by the frustrati and the Professional Left, and lo, the stupid is still strong. Which means
Yes, despite there being plenty going on with the Republicans and their assault on progress, the Professional Left can’t be bothered. Here’s a good one. It turns out that George Bush’s daughter Barbara came out in favor of gay marriage. OK, good, fine. On the scale of things that really are going to make a big political difference? Not a lot. But, you wouldn’t know that from this particular editorial: Bush daughter adds to Obama’s problems.
The more the president remains silent or unchanged on the marriage equality issue, the more he runs the risk of alienating his base. However, if he speaks out the way Bush did in her PSA, he provides the GOP with the kind of sound bite Karl Rove can only dream about.
Right. Sure. You’re the “base.” In case the author, LZ Granderson, hasn’t noticed, the President has other things on his plate, and just delivered some major victories for LGBT’s. But, it’s not good enough. He has to whine because the President isn’t making a public service announcement in favor of it! No, it’s not a “problem for Obama.” Granderson might want to take a look around and realize that hey, the Republicans are busily trying to roll back all the initiatives and laws in states that allow gay marriage, let alone civil unions, and lock it into national law. So on the overall scale of things, he’s pompously thundering about something that he thinks is important, while ignoring the very real issues facing LGBTs right now – and it isn’t whether or not the President makes a statement about gay marriage. It’s about having to fight to keep the gains already made, and if they stayed home and didn’t vote, well, they’re getting an object lesson on the difference between Republicans and Democrats.
Then there’s the usual screaming inanity from Jane Hamsher. Her new “cause” to try to discredit the President is getting all over the case of PFC Bradley Manning. If you’ve never heard the name, he’s the one who took the government data and gave it to Wikileaks. He’s now in pretrial confinement. Which Jane, and her minions, are painting as “torture,” “harsh,” and “solitary confinement.” The problem? Not the truth.
Q: Well, why is he being held in solitary confinement?
MR. MORRELL: He’s not being held in solitary confinement. That’s a misnomer, among many in the reporting of this case. What I — let me describe how Private First Class Manning is being held. He is not in solitary confinement. He is not in isolation. He is in max — he is a maximum-custody detainee in a prevention-of-injury status. He is not on suicide watch. He is being held in the same quarter section with other pretrial detainees. He’s allowed to watch television. He’s allowed to read newspapers. He’s allowed one hour per day of exercise.
He is in a cell by himself, but that is like every single other pretrial detainee at the brig. It just so happens that the configuration of the brig is that every individual is confined to his or her own cell. He’s being provided well-balanced, nutritious meals three times a day. He receives visitors and mail, and can write letters. He routinely meets with doctors, as well as his attorney. He’s allowed to make telephone calls. And he is being treated just like every other detainee in the brig.
So assertions by liberal bloggers, or network reporters or others that he is being mistreated, or somehow treated differently than others, in isolation, are just not accurate. And I’m glad you asked the question, so I had the opportunity, hopefully, to clear that matter up once and for all.
Another blogger, Shoq Value, did an in-depth look at Jane’s assertions, along with what the reality is. Not to anyone who’s dealt with her surprise, it turned out that her assertions didn’t meet the reality test.
Above, I’ve tried to list just a few of the things that have been reported by Team Manning which are just never quite as urgent or outrageous as they first seemed, once some thoughtful questions are asked, or mitigating facts are considered. Those are things good journalists are supposed to do for us before we think we need them. If a crowd-sourced wiki were to be set-up on this subject, a few thousand people could probably pick apart most of what Team Manning has reported in the past 6 months.
Which didn’t go over well with Jane.
But I still got hit. In Greenwald’s place, came a series of Twitter air strikes from Jane Hamsher and her supporters, replete with fact-free, ad hominem attacks, spurious assertion, straw men, and fallacious attribution. It was the argument tactic often called “throwing everything at the wall to see what might stick,” and it was the only time I’d ever seen a notable liberal do this to another liberal (outside of a political campaign). This mugging was so detached from facts, reality, or ethical anchors, that it was clear to all but her staunchest supporters that Ms Hamsher’s moral ship may have finally broken free of its tenuous moorings, capsized in a vicious rip current, and was sliding on down toward Titanic town.
Sounds typical of her. Oh, and it looks like Jane may have a financial motive as well to this. Which doesn’t really surprise anyone who has bothered to look at Jane in the past, or her tactics when it comes to “political action.” She’s done this several times. She gets all over something, because after all, she’s still bitter about the election (she supported Hillary), and not only does she like to vindictively gin up outrage against the President, she likes to keep her personal bankroll building while she’s doing it. What’s it going to do for Private Manning? Nothing, really. They’re not helping him, really, they’re using him as a nice fundraising tool He’s been charged with stealing a huge amount of classified information and passing it to Wikilieaks. He is not being tortured, and yes, he will go to trial. If he’s found guilty, he’s going to spend a very long time in prison, and deservedly so. He’ll be forgotten, as Jane and Glenn move on to some other “cause.”
It must be nice to get paid so well to be wrong so often. One of the refrains you often hear from them is that the President “lost” them, when it’s obvious that they were never for him. They’re so locked into their own little version of “what should be” that they miss what is. The reality: For the next 22 months Democrats and progressives are going to fight just to keep much of the progress made in the last two years. A lot of the Professional Left doesn’t seem to get that point. They’ve spent the past two years bitching and crying about what they want. They even thought it would be “a good thing” if the Republicans were to take back Congress. Apparently they haven’t woken up yet, because faced with the reality of that, they’re still as reality-challenged as ever.