I Am An Imbecile, Per Glenn Greenwald
On Monday morning I engaged the world's leader in bad-faith politics and was promptly labeled an imbecile. Which made me laugh, along with everyone watching right-wing provocateur Glenn Greenwald melt down in an exchange with a fantasy football writer.
Before we get into the nitty gritty of Fantasy Dumb Shit vs. Insurrectionist Apologist, I thought it'd make sense to direct the attention of Bad Faith Times subscribers – the BFT OGs, many are saying – to a membership level that may or may not interest you. For a mere five bucks a month (less than a gallon of gas!) you can participate in upcoming Q&As and other #fun interactive stuff on this nascent site. I'll keep posting no matter how much financial support I get for this little side project, but the more support, the more viable multiple-post weeks will be.
I realize it's a Big Ask. If you want to sign up at the $5 level, go to "account" at the top of this page, then click "view plans." Or just click here. The rest is easy. You can then tweet Joe Biden and ask him for another sweet, sweet stimmie.
There's Actually Zero Difference Between Good And Bad Things
I used this famed Dril tweet and the credo of any committed dealer in bad faith in the replies of a Glenn Greenwald post in which the former journalist – through tears, no doubt – said he'd be fine with protesting in front of Supreme Court justice Samuel Alito's house as long as libs didn't complain if right wingers protested Sonia Sotomayor. You know, that thing where online broken brains strip events of context so they can pretend to be above it all: Above the politics, the culture war, the riffraff battling it out.
(Forget that Greenwald was blasting a lie to his 1.9 million Twitter followers. Alito was not forced from his home, unfortunately.)
Folks are politely protesting outside the mansions of far-right SCOTUS justices this week after a leaked opinion showed Alito and his fellow constitutional originalists (originalism being the Holy Grail of bad faith) were ready to overturn Roe v. Wade and criminalize abortion services in most of the country. No one is throwing molotov cocktails through the window of Brett Kavanaugh's living room while he slams a 12-pack of Busch Light during the Nationals game. No one is banging on Clarence Thomas' door and disturbing his fourth consecutive hour of Oculus porn consumption. Protesters are simply holding signs and asking these justices not to make a ruling that will result in cops arresting and imprisoning pregnant folks and doctors for ending pregnancies – a Republican utopia.
Greenwald, as is his wont, pretended the Court's liberal justices would or could make a ruling that would strip citizens of their long-held constitutional rights. In this bad-faith argument, liberals concerned about the consequences of overturning Roe are the same as Qanon animals who would be upset about a SCOTUS ruling forcing the government to treat immigrants like human beings, or whatever makes them upset. I don't know.
As I said to Greenwald, "nothing is good and nothing is bad." This made him mad online. "No, you imbecile: you get nothing," Greenwald said, slowly transforming into a corn cob. "You're not entitled to live under a different set of rules and principles than everyone else based on your belief that you and your allies are morally and intellectually superior."
This is where I lose the thread. Yes, I do think I'm morally and intellectually superior to those who disagree with me. So what? Those whose warped worldview says all political stances are equally moral and just chide people like me for saying yes, I'm right and you're wrong. Isn't that why we take political positions? If you have certain politics, it's because you believe in something. Why even pay attention to the world if you're not going to make a judgment? What am I missing? I suppose this is naive good faith bullshit. When good faith clashes with bad faith, nothing makes sense.
If you want to know Greenwald's real politics, read his critically important reporting exposing Brazil's fascist regime and its attacks on the nation's poor folks and environment. Read his early Edward Snowden reporting. Read his digging into blatant constitutional abuses against black and brown Americans during the preposterous War on Terror. In Brazil, Greenwald is courageously anti-fascist. He has risked life and limb to combat the lies of the monstrous Jair Bolsonaro while supporting Bolsonaro's far-left rival, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Though I despise Greenwald and believe he's a disgusting and poisonous online figure who has done irreparable harm to our politics, he's done good work that has revealed his politics, his morals, his compassion for those trampled by the powerful. That he's now a villain shouldn't obscure that.
His passion for justice and truth doesn't apply to his dealings in the US. Battered and bruised by centrist liberals during the 2016 presidential campaign, Greenwald took the ultimate heel turn and has committed to providing political cover for American fascists as revenge for his hurt feelings during the Clinton-Sanders primary battles and the Clinton-Trump general election war. That's what I figure, anyway. I'm too online.
The most generous interpretation of Greenwald's intentions is that he sees the Democratic Party as so weak, innately corrupt, and utterly unable to defend democracy against the rabid and and revanchist and all-powerful Republican Party that he'll use any means necessary – including brain-melting bad faith – to destroy the Democrats and hope they will one day be replaced by a true opposition party. Again, this is a charitable view of his intent. It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it works. Things of that nature.
Greenwald's bad-faith ravings about protests include his months of apologizing and defending Trump backers who – let me check my notes – ah yes, broke down the doors of the U.S. Capitol and tried to murder – checking my notes again – ah, everyone in Congress, hang the vice president, and overthrow the government. He has curiously ignored laws passed by state-level Republicans that have literally outlawed protests and/or encouraged conservatives to run over protesters with their vehicles. This, to Greenwald, is the same as someone using sidewalk chalk outside Senator Susan Collins' Maine home to gently ask she back legislation that would protect reproductive rights. It's not. But he pretends it is because it provides invaluable cover for bad actors primed to destroy liberals who have been mean to Greenwald on Twitter. Those mean words prompted Greenwald to pen passionate screeds in defense of insurrectionists arrested by the feds for their crimes. He called it persecution. He called it authoritarianism. And he didn't mean a word of it.
Suffice it to say Monday was a dopamine-rich day for the proprietor of the Bad Faith Times. My Twitter mentions were filled with right wingers feigning objectivity and dudes mocking the idea of anyone being right or wrong about anything. It was an extremely bleak peak inside the minds of those being poisoned by Greenwald's bad faith.
The King of Bad Faith called me an imbecile and I lived to tell about it. Good times. The best times (the worst times).
Follow Denny Carter on Twitter @CDCarter13 for maximum alienation.