Monday, April 23, 2012

The honest Republican, the hypocritical Democrat

That's an odd headline, coming from a liberal like me. But candor compels. So come, stand with me atop this boulder, and survey the landscape...

The honest Republican: John Hunstsman compares the GOP to Communist China...
Huntsman jokingly blamed his failed candidacy in part on his wife, Mary Kaye, who told him she'd leave him if he abandoned his principles.

“She said if you pandered, if you sign any of those damn pledges, I’ll leave you,” Huntsman recounted.
I nominate Mary Kaye for the position of Best Political Wife of 2012. She is also known for her campaigns against juvenile diabetes and tobacco use. (If you want to know why I can't stand Ron Paul and his supporters, read what Mary Kaye has to say here.)
"So I had to say I believe in science — and people on stage look at you quizzically as though you're was an oddball," Huntsman said, explaining why he was "toast" in Iowa.

Asked by journalist Jeff Greenfield if he could win the nomination of the Republican Party in Utah today, Huntsman said he could not, saying later that Ronald Reagan would "likely not" be able to win the GOP nomination nationally in this political climate.
This is true. Although the image of St. Ronnie plays a huge role in the party mythos, the GOP has been taken over by the very same extremists who attacked Reagan from the right during his time in office. The key name here is Richard Viguerie, who led the anti-Reagan charge in the 1980s and who whipped up much of the Tea Party rebellion in more recent times.

And what strange times these are!

I still have vivid recollections of 1976, when Gerry Ford had to quell a Reagan rebellion. At the time, pundits agreed that Reagan (who was rather graceless in defeat) could never attain the presidency; he was too extreme. Today, he would be too moderate.

Alas, Huntsman is now trying to walk back his commentary. (Also see here.) Bad move, Mr. Hunstman: You can't criticize the GOP for it's lack of boldness while displaying evidence of your own gelatinous vertebrae. The teabaggers deserve many labels, but "timid" isn't one of them.

Why don't you concentrate on starting that third party you've been talking about? Work behind the scenes. Your wife can run for office. Any office.

The hypocritical Democrat: That, of course, would be Barack Obama. He has offered harsh criticisms of Syria and Iran because... know, this crap is so effing hypocritical I'm literally shaking with rage as I write...

...because those countries use high technology to quell the rights of citizens.
But authoritarian governments, particularly in Syria and Iran, have shown that their security services can also harness technology to help crack down on dissent — by conducting surveillance, blocking access to the Internet or tracking the movements of opposition figures.
Surveillance? Tracking opponents? That's Obama's whole act.

See Glenn Greenwald's column here, which quotes from a Democracy Now interview with William Binney, formerly of the NSA:
JUAN GONZALEZ: And the differences in the [Bush and Obama] administrations?

WILLIAM BINNEY: Actually, I think the surveillance has increased. In fact, I would suggest that they’ve assembled on the order of 20 trillion transactions about U.S. citizens with other U.S. citizens.

AMY GOODMAN: How many?

WILLIAM BINNEY: Twenty trillion.

AMY GOODMAN: And you’re saying that this surveillance has increased? Not only the—


AMY GOODMAN: —targeting of whistleblowers, like your colleagues, like people like Tom Drake, who are actually indicted under the Obama administration—


AMY GOODMAN: —more times—the number of people who have been indicted are more than all presidents combined in the past.

WILLIAM BINNEY: Right. And I think it’s to silence what’s going on. But the point is, the data that’s being assembled is about everybody. And from that data, then they can target anyone they want . . . That, by the way, estimate only was involving phone calls and emails.
Greenwald adds:
Note, too, how this weapon has been not just maintained, but — as Binney said — aggressively expanded under President Obama. Obama’s unprecedented war on whistleblowing has been, in large part, designed to shield from the American public any knowledge of just how invasive this Surveillance State has become. Two Obama-loyal Democratic Senators — Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado — have spent two full years warning that the Obama administration is “interpreting” its spying powers under the Patriot Act in ways so “twisted” and broad that it would shock the American public if it learned of what was being done, and have even been accusing the DOJ and Attorney General Holder of actively misleading the public in material ways about its spying powers...
Greenwald's run-on sentence goes on for another mile or two, but I think you get the point.

Syria may have a despicable government, but its version of "high tech" hardly poses a threat to us. American high tech does.

Facebook, Google, Apple and the wireless carriers have partnered up with the CIA, the NSA and military intelligence. If you annoy Uncle in any way, the government's dataminers can rapidly find out everything about you. And I mean everything: Your phone number, address, purchases, passwords, credit history, friends, lovers, exact physical location (via GPS), that embarrassing usenet posting you wrote back in 1995, and even the nasty things your co-workers said about you in a phone call last October. Yes, that phone call was translated into text and is word-searchable and will remain stored forever on a hard drive in the new NSA facility in Utah.

Hell, they could probably tell you the PH value of your dog's urine when she piddled on the neighbor's mums two weeks ago.

We live in a state of perpetual cyber-nudity beneath the all-seeing eye of the NSA, because Americans have been too damned lazy to defend the right to privacy. Obama's disingenuous attack on Syria was intended to rationalize our own surveillance state.

I am a Dem at heart. I've reluctantly decided that a second Obama term would be preferable to a first Romney administration. (The Supreme Court is certainly something to consider.) Yet if Mary Kaye would run as the Third-Party-To-Be-Named-Later candidate, I would give her very serious consideration.

Yes, she probably favors policies I don't like. But she seems to have only one face. Can you say the same of Obama or Romney?


Anonymous said...

Post-Watergate, it's difficult to imagine any president significantly reining in the deep-state national security apparatus. It's an enduring and now likely eternal state within a state and has been for some time, not without significant self-defense abilities.

Cross it, and you WILL BE psy-opped and/or covert-opped out of office, if not eliminated, is the historical lesson, in my view.

ESPECIALLY a man like Obama, who took office sans any serious national security cred resume, lacks standing to try to do that. Carter wasn't wholly different, and his firing of some 600 covert operators blew right back in his face despite heavy patronage directly from the power structure heavyweights who had hired him on in the first place.



Lenny said...

Not to defend Paul & his crazed minions, but dollars to doughnuts that over the top Huntsman youtube was the work of Romney hatchet man Eric Fehrnstrom. It's classic Ferhnstrom (search CrazyKhazei), and the whole thing served Romneys stategic interest- tarring his two biggest rivals for independents/moderate repubs in NH.

RedDragon said...

Thanks for the heads up on Obama Joe. The man is truly a despicable hypocrite. can't wait to see if ( bet this is ignored by the press and hopium blogs ) and when or how and why, the Bots try to explain this one away.

I quoted you over at my place, hope you don't mind my linking to your story,

Bob Harrison said...

I was an early Huntsman booster and still favor his candidacy. I would vote for him over Teh Precious; I will not vote for Romney over Preccious, though.

Ken Hoop said...

Oh, Richard Vigurie. Not so much.

I much prefer the rejection of Reagan by Howard Phillips, whom you might research a bit.

Yeah, some of those Paul fans expended unwise energy. As if Huntsman was even worth a video.

But Joe, did Huntsman ever take a tough line on protecting the American worker from Chinese double-dealing? Something Buchananesque?


Fair video, evidently.

Anonymous said...

During 2008 primaries he had a speech to this day it surprises me to no limits how people gave him a pass on that. He said he will form some force parrallel to the army with the same kind of powers basically to keep people in line. I don't remember excatly what he said but I will search it and may be post a link to it. so spying and keeping data on people doesn't sound extreme

Anonymous said...

As I recall, when that anti-Huntsman ad came out Paul's campaign immediately claimed that it was a hatchet job done by Romney or someone else that wanted to make Paul look bad. I've yet to hear a compelling argument for why Paul is worse than any of the other stooges running. I know plenty of decent people that support the man, and while they may not be experts on every issue they sure don't seem as blind as the people that support Obama or Romney. So I really don't know why you hate the guy so much, Joe.

Anonymous said...

Why all the Paul hate? His supporters are nowhere near as delusional or misinformed as the Obomney voters, that's for sure. I can't vouch for everything the guy says being 100% true of course, but the establishment seems as motivated to tar and feather him largely baseless accusations as they might be towards any sort of grassroots pro-liberty movement.

Anonymous said...

Joe, this is a bit off topic I know, but you need to post something on the links people are making between Todd Palin, the David Chaney Secret Service guy and hookers. And of course the secessionist angle. Want to see your take on this brewing fiasco.

Joseph Cannon said...

Anon and Ken -- I may have to put this message up in red letters. And will do so if I ever get around to doing that long-delayed site redesign.


How clear do I have to be on that point? I talk about the dangers of libertarianism ALL THE DAMN TIME, and you fuckhead Paultards still seem surprised to learn that this is my position. Could you be BIGGER idiots...?

Libertarianism is the greatest threat mankind has ever faced. It is far worse than communism. Worse, even than fascism. Worse, because unrestrained libertarianism will lead to a totalitarianism worse than any Hitler or Stalin could conjure up.

THERE IS NO FUCKING INVISIBLE HAND. Not when it comes to corporations, and certainly not monopolies. Read the admission of same by none other than Adam Smith, as published on the latest Confluence post...

Ron Paul is the most evil of the Republicans precisely because he is the most libertarian, and the most likely to seduce young economic illiterates. "Here's the deal," he tells them. "Let corporations rule everything, and we'll let you smoke dope." Or: "Here's the deal -- let corporations run everything, and we'll shut down the Iraq war."

The New Deal WORKED. I'm old enough to recall the "New Deal normal" -- the period of prosperity that reigned between Truman and Reagan. I like Ike. I want to go back to those times.

Germany works. Strong unions, 35 hour work weeks, month long vacays. The only thing that all the Euro countries ever did wrong was listen to the siren call of the neo-libs, a.k.a. the libertarians.

I am aware that libertarianism (like all other isms) comes in many forms. But economically, all forms of the thing have proven toxic.

Besides, Ron Paul advocates secession. The least I expect from a presidential candidate is that he admit that the south was in the wrong during the civil war. If he can't say those words, then he should not only be barred from the presidency, he should be tried as a traitor.

It sickens me that people have been brainwashed into thinking that the only solution to the problems caused by libertarianism is an application of a purer form of libertarianism.

The 50s worked. Let's go back there.

And when I say "the 50s worked," I don't want to hear any crappy diversionary talk about non-economic issues. That's sidestepping, and you know it.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Huntsman was the best candidate the GOP had. But . . . he believed in science [evolution and climate change, oh noes] and was actually rational--fatal flaws in the Republican Universe these days. Plus, he ran an unspectacular campaign--getting better as he went along but simply not quick enough to counter the crazy train.

Instead, we had to listen to Sanctimonious, sporting sweater vests. And Uncle Newt [who at least is good for a laugh].

Now it's Obama and Romney. Talk about depressing. Neither has a vision beyond feathering their own nest at the expense of the American public. If Obama wins [ which I suspect he will unless a 3rd party candidate comes whirling out of nowhere or the economy takes another severe nosedive], his support will have more to do with rejection of the crazy land antics of the GOP primary and Romney's robotic personality [and vulture capitalist business practices].

Both men are bought and paid for. Everything else is theater.


Joseph Cannon said...

Peggysue, you just summed up my entire blog.

Except for the parts where I work in references to Bernadette for no damned good reason.

And the parts where I bitch at modern artists who don't know how to draw.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy those diversionary posts, Joe. One hundred percent concentration on our political mess is just too overwhelming. And too, too depressing. Mini-vacations of the mind and heart, falling down curious rabbit holes are absolutely necessary for my mental health. Don't change a thing!


Gus said...

Joe, thanks for that Riverdaughter post, that was very informative. I've mentioned before that I was interested in Libertarianism for some time, but the economic aspects just kept striking me as fairly land type stuff. IF people were not greedy, corruptible, self absorbed, and psychopaths didn't exist, Libertarian economics just might possibly work. Maybe. However, here in the real world, we've seen the ultimate result of unbridled Libertarianism (like you mention, Somalia is a good example, though the USA is quickly following) and it's not good.

Ken Hoop said...

I criticised Huntsman from a populist-protectionist basis.
Ron Paul is not a protectionist.

Criticism of Hunstman with a Manchurian hint from any quarter is okay since he was apparently a pro-Chinese outsourcer.

speaking of Manchurian, yeah the New Dealers worked if you concede them the price of hundreds of thousands of lives sacrificed by chicanery.

Anonymous said...

Can I also get a defense that the 60's also worked? Greater prosperity with a strong safety net, more people brought into the promise of democracy, freedom to be oneself, greater intellectual openness. America really peaked with LBJ despite the war.

As for libertarianism, how can a modern technical society even work without regulation? Long-distance trading requires trust and a common set of rules that only a national government-let alone international agreements-can enforce.