October 22, 2006

Can someone who puts up with Glenn Greenwald's prose explain something to me?

How can people bear to read Glenn Greenwald? He posts endless massive blocks of overlong, tedious, unedited sentences. Here are two typical Greenwaldian sentences. Two:
Yesteryday [sic], I wrote a post pointing out that the hordes of right-wing pundits condemning the Larry Craig outing have no standing to voice such complaints, since the very tactic that they were purporting to condemn (publicizing innuendo about private sexual behavior and exploiting sexual morality for political gain) is one which their political movement has used repeatedly, over and over, as one of its central weapons. I cited countless examples -- including some from this week, along with others throughout the last 15 years -- which demonstrate that the right-wing of the Republican Party centrally relies upon tactics indistinguishable from the Craig outing, and that unlike the Craig outing (engineered by a single, obscure individual), the entire right-wing political movement traffics continuously in those tactics.
That's atrocious writing. Edit, you idiot. Absurdly, his next line begins "As was painfully clear to anyone who can read..." Well, Glenn, it is painful to read your prose, and anyone who can read and has any taste at all will turn away in disgust at writing like that. (Really, why is his blog popular?) This post, which he titles "Introduction to Logical Reasoning 101," as if it's going to be to the point, is almost 2000 words long -- twice as long as a newspaper op-ed.

Let's skip ahead to the last sentence:
And since responding to these types of Bush followers is usually a waste of time and energy more than anything else, I thought it would at least be fruitful to try to illustrate some points about how Bush followers reason, just as a way to have this exercise be something other than a complete waste of time.
Speaking of "waste of time"... do you think you could waste some of your own time paying a little bit of attention to your ridiculous writing, like maybe by not writing the phrase "waste of time" twice in that laughably verbose sentence?

Someone throw a copy of Strunk and White at that man!

Anyway, why am I bothering with this mindnumbingly bad blogger? Well, I saw in my Site Meter records that I was linked somewhere on his page and went over to see what was up.

Oh, here it is:
Right-wing pundits this week spent several days expressing such intense outrage over the outing by Mike Rogers, claiming that the conduct of this single, obscure blogger somehow shows how depraved and evil The Democratic Party itself is.
This post of mine is linked at the word "pundits." I can't tell if he means to be saying anything about me or is just linking to me because I linked to two "right-wing pundits" in my post. Am I one of the "right-wing pundits" he's railing about? Quite aside from the question of whether I'm right-wing, I didn't spend several days, express intense outrage, or even mention the Democratic Party. All I did was write one post speculating about the strategic thinking of "aggressive characters like our 'lefty blogger'" and opine that the strategy would probably backfire.

Maybe someone who's actually taken the time to slog through Greenwald's execrable writing and understands his approach to "Logical Reasoning" can explain in a few crisp sentences what he means by linking to me like that. I get the impression that he is insinuating that I support right-wing efforts at gay-bashing. If so -- and I'm not going to put up with reading his crap to find out -- that is utterly despicable and false.

353 comments:

1 – 200 of 353   Newer›   Newest»
Icepick said...

Ann, his blog isn't that popular. His traffic is driven by an endless array of Greenwaldian sock puppets!

Eric said...

Greenwald is one example of a blogger that forces me to ask: "Why the hell is he so popular?"

His endless, disjointed rants are a wonderment to behold. In his case, quantity does not come close to quality.

Ann Althouse said...

He seems to get 30,000 visitors a day! Why???

Paul Zrimsek said...

This post, which he titles "Introduction to Logical Reasoning 101," as if it's going to be to the point...

If you look at it again, the title gives fair warning of the inept writing to follow. Is "Introduction to Logical Reasoning 101" a separate course designed to introduce students to "Logical Reasoning 101" proper? Or are we looking at a single course offered by the Introduction to Logical Reasoning Dept.?

Gahrie said...

Ann:

Glenn is a semi-famous member of the incestuous cabal of left wing blogs. If you have a bad case of BDS, and Blog, you receive lots of links from sites like Daily Kos and Firedog Lake.

His writing has often been debunked, as has his sock puppetry, by moderate and conservative bloggers. This merely enhances his prestige in the eyes of the moonbats.

Townleybomb said...

...one which their political movement has used repeatedly, over and over....

Hoo boy is that a turn of phrase that will live forever.

I'd imagine that his readers are the sort of people who drive around in cars with one big bumper sticker that says something like "IF YOU AREN'T OUTRAGED, YOU'RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION"-- folks whose primary political commitment is to their own quivering self-righteousness. They're the ones who show up here and try to convince us that we're raging right-wingers. And why wouldn't they want to? If they succeed, their enemies are that much more powerful, and it's that much more of a thrill to speak truth at them. Everybody wins!

Doug said...

He often smears people with guilt my association or other false accusations. He questioned one right leaning blogger on why he never complained about Ann Coulter, only to have the blogger point out numerous instances of his complaints against Coulter.

I read a recent post on another blog that described his tactics and the similarities between Greenwald and Coulter in their dishonesty.

Eric, if you want to know why he is so popular, you should ask him, or one of his many alter-egos, he will have no problem filling another rambling post with praise for all things Greenwald.

stephenb said...

I'd imagine that his readers are the sort of people who drive around in cars with one big bumper sticker that says something like "IF YOU AREN'T OUTRAGED, YOU'RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION"--

Funny you say that. A lefty friend sent me a Greenwald link the other day. And she does in fact have that bumper sticker on her Prius. I think her e-mail said something like "I can't believe you aren't up in arms about this. Can't you see that George Bush is trying to take over the world? Don't you realize he's out to get us?"

People wanna know why his blog's so popular? Because there are a lot of crazies out there.

Ann Althouse said...

Paul: LOL. He's finding new ways to be verbose.

Notice how I'm more pissed at him for writing badly than for slandering me... if he's slandering me. He's such a bad writer I can't even tell. I'm also pissed that he gets 30,000 readers a day. Who are those people? I'm pissed at them for their foolishness. They can't actually be reading the writing, can they? Maybe they just glance to see who he's attacking today, feel smug, and leave.

Zach said...

Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was coming down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo

Bad writer, or bilious James Joyce acolyte?

Personally, I think a flamethrowing James Joyce acolyte has a certain appeal:

-- Last and crowning torture of all the tortures of that awful place is the eternity of Bush. Eternity! O, dread and dire word. Eternity! What mind of man can understand it? And remember, it is an eternity of pain. Even though the pains of Bush were not so terrible as they are, yet they would become infinite, as they are destined to last for ever. But while they are everlasting they are at the same time, as you know, intolerably intense, unbearably extensive. To bear even the sting of an insect for all eternity would be a dreadful torment. What must it be, then, to bear the manifold tortures of Bush for ever? For ever! For all eternity! Not for a year or for an age but for ever. Try to imagine the awful meaning of this. You have often seen the sand on the seashore. How fine are its tiny grains! And how many of those tiny little grains go to make up the small handful which a child grasps in its play. Now imagine a mountain of that sand, a million miles high, reaching from the earth to the farthest heavens, and a million miles broad, extending to remotest space, and a million miles in thickness; and imagine such an enormous mass of countless particles of sand multiplied as often as there are leaves in the forest, drops of water in the mighty ocean, feathers on birds, scales on fish, hairs on animals, atoms in the vast expanse of the air: and imagine that at the end of every million years a little bird came to that mountain and carried away in its beak a tiny grain of that sand. How many millions upon millions of centuries would pass before that bird had carried away even a square foot of that mountain, how many eons upon eons of ages before it had carried away all? Yet at the end of that immense stretch of time not even one instant of eternity could be said to have ended.

Knemon said...

Andrew Sullivan, who, whatever else you think about him, is a wonderful writer, is one of Greenwald's biggest proponents.

I've never understood that.

downtownlad said...

Actually I thought that was a great post. A little long winded, yeah, but it was kind of like a stream of consciousness. But he had some good points.

Not sure how he's any different than Hugh Hewitt though, who also rambles on and on and on.

Anyway - his point was extremely valid. He said that right-wing bloggers had zero credibility on this issue, since they will use people's private sexual matters to attack Democrats all the time (i.e. Hillary Clinton is a lesbian, Bill and Hillary have a loveless marriage, Ann Richards is a lesbian, etc.). He didn't comment at all about outing - just about how Republicans are hypocrites on this subject.

So right-wing blogs came back and attacked him for supporting outing, when in reality - he never expressed his view on that subject at all. That was the point of his post.

I think he linked to you, because many of the other blogs linked to your post. I didn't get the sense that he was attacking you. I think he was attacking Republican lap dogs like Patterico.

Cousin Don said...

Strunk and White is a very thin book and unlikely to do much damage. May I suggest the complete Oxford English Dictionary?

Mark the Pundit said...

Ann, you poor thing.

If you thought the comments on that liberal blogger meeting with Clinton were bad, wait until Glenn is sent this post. He is going to send his most fervent commentors your way...

...OK, it will probably be just him posting under a dozen different names, but still!

Ann Althouse said...

DTL: From your explanation, Greenwald slurred me. If that's an incorrect inference, please explain why. He has a lot of nerve arguing that other people have no standing for saying thing if he implies things about me with no basis for knowledge. I consider him a sleaze. If he's not, say why. Because he didn't bother to find out anything about me before lumping me together with other people he had reason to say something about? That's not good enough at all.

downtownlad said...

I just read his most recent post where he called you a right-winger.

That's obviously false, but I don't think right-winger is a slur. Sloppy on his part though.

But his real beef was with the people who responded to his first post and said that Greenwald favors outing. That is what he was annoyed with and that was what his "illogical reasoning" post was about. Since you never wrote any post about how Greenwald favors outing, I don't think you were the subject of his post.

But I understand how you could be pissed about this. He did lump you with the other bloggers. But he did link - and people can then see exactly what you said on the subject.

Old Dad said...

Ann,

Present company excepted, good writing apparently has little correlation to blog popularity.

Take Kos, Greenwald, FDL,...please.

The better writers are workmanlike and clear. Others at least have the good sense to be brief. And then there's Greenwald.

Hissy fits apparently sell if you're shrieking the right message.

Fenrisulven said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Fenrisulven said...

I'm also pissed that he gets 30,000 readers a day. Who are those people? I'm pissed at them for their foolishness.

Ann, take one dtl and multiply by 30k. Don't be pissed, Greenwald is the joke of the net, and being slandered by him should be taken as a compliment - its an official seal that you don't drink the kool-aide.

The following is based on RL events: Greenwald got busted for employing multiple personalities to back his arguments - thats how weak he really is. Enjoy!:

Glenn Greenwald, Master of Sock Puppets

Pat Patterson said...

Ann, to be fair Greenwald didn't repeat himself. He said, "usually a waste of time" and "a complete waste of time". Now as a mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging conservative I can see the difference but will admit that his usage is simply too nuanced and subtle for me to understand.

Maxine Weiss said...

"He posts endless massive blocks of overlong, tedious, unedited sentences."---Althouse

It's not HIM, it's YOU.

YOU have the problem. You have such a short attention span, that you can't hold a single thought longer than a few syllables, or a few words.

The Digital Age, with it's endless tickers, clickers, multi-tasking text messages, cheap soundbites...

....has destroyed people's ability to focus on a complete thought, spread out over several parentheticals.

PRESCRIPTION: Read William Faulkner's 'Sound & Fury'. It was an Oprah pick in 2005.

We, in the Oprah Bookclub know how to follow a single thought, spread out over many clauses---and no punctuation necessary.

Greenwald is simply doing Faulkner, and savvy readers don't need punctuation!

Peace, Maxine

Fenrisulven said...

He's become a noun, like Deb Frisch. Check Wikipedia.

A gaggle of geese, a murder of crows, a glenn of sock puppets.

Kirby Olson said...

What ARE your politics? Michael Berube called you a conservative airhead, and so I started to read your blog. But you don't strike me as a conservative or as an airhead.

Could you give us your voting record, please?

Also -- where do you stand on --

War in Iraq
Abortion
Lieberman
Lutheran surrealism
Paradise Lost


You don't always make it clear.

I get 40 hits a day on my blog. I think quality does matter. So what if you get 30,000 national socialists hellbent with fury and looking for someone to stoke their anger? If you go for that as does Berube, you're still Hitler.

Fenrisulven said...

But his real beef was with the people who responded to his first post and said that Greenwald favors outing.

They didn't say that, they just found it odd he would write a 21 paragraph attack on Roger's critics without pausing to condemn the Lefty sponsored outings.

Kirsten Powers has more. Its another case of Dems [like her] being attacked because they don't drink the kool-aide.

Ann Althouse said...

Kirby: I've stated my voting record many times. I've voted for Democrats since 1972. The only exceptions -- in elections at all levels -- are Ford in 1976, Bush in 2004, and once for Tommy Thompson for governor. So that means, for example, that I voted for Russ Feingold every time he's run. I normally don't contribute money to anyone, but I have given about $1000 to Feingold over the years.

Russell said...

Maxine: The digital age, with it's misplaced apostrophes (apostrophe's?)...

Sanjay said...

Professor A, do you read Tom Maguire? I like to think I'm well on his left, but, _God_ I love reading him -- clever with a touch of that neurosis which makes Mickey Kaus such a blast -- and basically the reason I read Greenwald on occasion is so I can understand Maguire's delicious shredding of him when it occurs...

reader_iam said...

In this case, it appears that Greenwald was lumping together pundits but using your post (perhaps for the reason that DTL suggested) in illustration.

It strikes me as a relatively mild and indirect attack with regard to you specifically, in contrast to previous posts of his in which he's been quite overtly dismissive of, if not hostile toward, you. Based on how often he appears to read you, it's hard to understand how or why he could think you support gay-bashing of any stripe.

I have no ideas what Greenwald's blog stats were like historically. But isn't it likely that they were boosted by the publication of his book "How Would a Patriot Act? Defending American Values from a President Run Amok"?

In any case, I think the title of the book goes a good long way to the attraction of many to Greenwald.

reader_iam said...

... "toward explaining" the attraction ...

Maxine Weiss said...

Apostrophes are about ownership.

I toss in apostrophes anywhere and everywhere because I'm out to colonize and own....to take control of,
.... have dominion over.....
that's what an apostrophe represents.

ALSO, anyone can SAY they voted this or that way. There's no way to prove who voted for what.

Peace, Maxine

Ann Althouse said...

Sanjay: I should read him more. Haven't see the GG takedowns.

Reader: I chose to write about this one not because he's attacked me -- my normal policy is to refuse to link to or even read nasty attacks -- but because I wanted to make fun of his incredibly bad writing.

Edward said...

Ann Althouse: I will provide a “few crisp sentences” explaining Greenwald’s long post.

But first, I must say I totally agree that he badly distorts your one post on the Larry Craig outing. And I also agree that Greenwald accuses you of gay-bashing, which is, of course, unfair and unjustified.

Greenwald accuses you of gay-bashing by (wrongly) lumping you together with the most homophobic wing of the Republican Party.

Having said all that, however, I do believe that Greenwald’s central idea is good and very much on target.

He comments at length on the complete incoherence of the Republican Party’s stand on gay issues, and he leverages that to observe that the thought processes and debating tactics of many leading Republicans are riddled with glaring contradictions.

And yes, he does claim that the Republican ideology and the dominant Republican political strategy are much more riven with internal contradictions than are the Democratic equivalents.

I fully believe this to be true, and there has been a whole host of books and articles published recently that advance that very argument. Andrew Sullivan’s “The Conservative Soul” advances a version of this argument by saying there are at least two, and may be more, utterly incompatible versions of conservatism at war with each other within today’s Republican Party.

And yes, the internal conflict among Republicans is much worse than it is among Democrats, who are more unified ideologically and in a practical political sense. A major loss in November’s election will bring the Republican infighting right out into the open.

It won’t be pretty, but it will be utterly necessary.

Greenwald does not really talk about this phenomenon in terms of “Republican infighting.” He accuses Republicans of hypocrisy and of horribly contradicting themselves on gay issues, specifically on the issue of outing.

Nevertheless, it is the huge ideological divide among Republicans that best explains all their hypocrisy and contradiction.

Maxine Weiss said...

I love the way he writes.

I don't agree with his opinions, but they are well-stated nonetheless.

Anyone who doesn't like his writing must have a problem with Ann Coulter as well. She uses a lot of non-sequiters (sp?). You never know what's humor and what's not, with her. And, she goes off on tangents without concluding the previous thought.

Very loopy and jarring---Ann Coulter's writing is.

Funny, the people I agree with the most, ideologically, are the ones whose writing I have a problem with.

The reason is ....that....60s liberal reaped the benefits of a far better education than today's yuppie conservatives. And, most of 'em majored in the Humanities.

Too many of the younger conservatives majored in accounting and econ, and didn't learn how to write in the subjunctive, passive case.

You don't learn how to structure and form, much less read and comprehend that kind of complex sentence and evocative writing....in Business and Econ classes.

Peace, Maxine

Anderson said...

I guess I would need the problem with GG's sentences explained to me in some detail.

But then, I'm a lawyer, and I'm used to reading multi-claused sentences and holding 3 thoughts in my head at once.

Not sure why Prof. Althouse has a problem with that.

Joan said...

Three strikes and you're out, Maxine: first, it's the misuse of apostrophes. Next, the abuse of ellipses. And now, the pronouncement that Greenwald's opinions are "well-stated."

How can you expect anyone to take you seriously?

And how can you accuse Ann of having too-short an attention span when she's a law professor? It's her job to read obtuse verbiage! I don't blame her one bit for being put off by Greenwald's overwrought ramblings. And as for Ann's voting record, what possible reason would she have to lie? Sheesh.

SouthieFL said...

How can someone bear to read Greenwald? The same way they can bear to read you, you Idiot.

What the hell are you so surprised about that Grenwald gets 30,000 hits a day? Sounds like sour grapes to me. I happen to love his blog. Besides being informative, interesting and entertaining, the fact that he pisses off right wingers so much is worth the price of admission.

So all you and your cronies have left is to criticize his sentence structuring and rarely debate him on his content. His style is to build his case as opposed to others who write 1 word posts and then link to others.

Ann, about why he gets the traffic he does, why don't you ask his readers and commenters instead of asking on your own blog where it's safe and you know the people here will largely agree with you? Apparently it meant enough to you to write an entire post about it.

Go over there so they can make fun of you as well. Looking forward to it.

Kirby Olson said...

Ann, so you voted twice for Republicans and that's enough to earn you the sobriquet of "conservative" from Berube.

He is not very precise with English although he is ostensibly an English major.

Thank you for this answer.

Berube is a powerful writer but the ideology is straight out of Revolutionary Kampuchea. Not sure what's worse: a person who can't write, or a person who writes well, but has an icky ideology.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Greenwald accuses you of gay-bashing by (wrongly) lumping you together with the most homophobic wing of the Republican Party....He comments at length on the complete incoherence of the Republican Party’s stand on gay issues

Ever stop to wonder whether Lambchop's ideas about the incoherence and contradictions of the GOP might derive from the fact that he can't tell who's in the party and who isn't?

Murdoch said...

Actually, the sentences (and the rest of his blog) are perfectly coherent and explicit. Sure, he could maybe have split them up into smaller sentences but the structure is well formed (mostly, anyway) and he's not writing for a populist audience after all. It all makes sense (irrespective of whether or not you agree with the sentiments) and I'm rather surprised you have difficulty with it.

As for the link, he's surely simply referring to the 270 or so comments, many of which do indeed seem to be from commentators - self-proclaimed pundits, if you like - expressing outrage. I don't know anything of the principals involved, and couldn't care less about them, but you're certainly not the target, simply the medium where this stuff he instances is to be found.

Derve said...

Three strikes and you're out, Maxine: first, it's the misuse of apostrophes.
Unnecessary sports metaphor: strike one...

And how can you accuse Ann of having too-short an attention span when she's a law professor?
Hyphenating an adverb: strike two...

*I wonder who would win in a Joan/Maxine nitpick competition*

Edward said...

Paul Zrimsek: If you’re calling me “Lambchop,” you’re only debasing yourself with such juvenile name-calling.

And if you’re accusing me of not knowing whether Ann Althouse is a Republican -- that’s true, I don’t know. But it doesn’t make a bit of difference in what I said about her and about the Republican Party in my last post.

And if you took offense at my saying that the Republican ideology is incoherent and riddled with inconsistencies on many issues – well, then you’d better get used to being offended, because there is soon going to be a flood of books and articles stating exactly what I just said.

The first stream of these books and articles has already started to flow.

SouthieFL said...

How about a Law Professor making this statement in THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Althouse's comment in an Op-ED in The New York Times, Aug, 23, 2006: We ought to wonder why a court gets to decide what the law is and not the president. Why should judicial view prevail over the president's? We ought to wonder how anyone who makes that statement gets hired as a law professor.

Brent said...

dtl,

than Hugh Hewitt though, who also rambles on and on and on.

Politics aside, Hugh is actually one of the more pithy and precise writers on the web and in columns. As with Ann, he is a Con Law prof, and they tend to write well. Additionally, they both are published in major newspapers such as the New York Times and Los Angeles Times.

I believe you may be frustrated by Dean Barnett, who is the other person writing on Hugh's blog. Dean Barnett also writes Soxblog. Though I agree with many of Dean's views, I confess to finding the majority of his writing to be tedious reading.

JimK said...

"If you have a bad case of BDS, and Blog, you receive lots of links from sites like Daily Kos and Firedog Lake."

DING DING DING. This is the whole of the answer to why Greenwald is popular.

He's a liar, a fraud and a bad writer, but he's infected with BDS. He supports every far left position one can imagine, so the kings and queens of the nut/// I mean netroots send him boatloads of idiots/// I mean traffic.

JimK said...

By the way, I'd like to take issue with those who say Glenn did not endorse outings. In his original post on the topic, Glenn wrote the following:

"As should be painfully obvious, the issue with Larry Craig—or with pointing out the wildly promiscuous recreational-drug-aided sexual behavior of Rush Limbaugh, or Newt Gingrich’s multiple, overlapping broken marriages—isn’t to apply our moral standards to their private lives, but is to apply their own publicly claimed moral standards, as well as the core tactics of the GOP, to document that they live in utter contradiction to the sexual morality they relentlessly embrace for political gain"

How is that not endorsing the tactic?

Edward said...

All homophobic thinking eventually collapses from internal contradictions.

Out-of-the closet gay people have realized this for a long time.

Now that gay issues have moved to the forefront of our national political debate, liberals and moderates who are heterosexual are beginning to realize the same thing when they are confronted with the unvarnished homophobia of much of today’s Republican Party.

Greenwald is thoroughly disgusted by the duplicity and hypocrisy of common Republican attitudes toward outing.

As a heterosexual man (I presume), Greenwald probably never before had to confront the full measure of dishonesty that lies at the core of homophobia. He now has, and I’m sure he’s not alone.

Fenrisulven said...

the fact that he pisses off right wingers so much is worth the price of admission.

Really? I've never seen a right wing blogger get pissed at Greenwald. When they talk about him, their comments are surrounded by laughter. He's a joke to everyone but his sock puppets.

Fenrisulven said...

Edward: All homophobic thinking eventually collapses from internal contradictions.

Edward, is it possible to be against homosexual "rights" without being "homophobic"? If so, please provide a few examples. Think of it as an OpFor exercise.

Paul Zrimsek said...

well, then you’d better get used to being offended, because there is soon going to be a flood of books and articles stating exactly what I just said.

Pinch me.

Leaving aside the question of whether it even makes sense to expect a political party-- a coalition-- to have a coherent ideology, can you really not see why someone who mistakes non-Republicans for Republicans would be doomed to talk nonsense on the subject of what Republicans believe?

"Lambchop", by the way, is Greenwald-- who deserves no better.

Maxine Weiss said...

"I'm not going to put up with...."---Althouse

In other words: I-Don't-Have-The-Attention-Span-For.......

--A lack of patience.

--The unwillingness to dig deep, even when you disagree with someone.

Entertain me. And if you fail to entertain me, I'm gonna take my marbles and go home.

Amuse me.

And if "I" fail to be amused "YOU" are the one who has a problem.

Because it couldn't possibly be me and my jaded short-attention span, which can't focus on anything but meaningless soundbites.

--Clipped non-sequitors.
--Generic one-notes.
--Disposable cliches.
--Sanitized Bile.

It's always someone else's fault. Never one's own. Never.

Peace, Maxine

SouthieFL said...

Not pissed off Fenrisuven? How do you explain the many, many posts written about him before the alleged sock puppet incident? I mean daily & numerous posts from several different bloggers on the right. You might even say they were obsessed with him as many other bloggers noted. Their own commenters told them to stop with greenwald already. Some of them even wrote posts stating "Enough of Greenwald already" and then proceeded to write more & more posts. You Sir, are laughable.

OddD said...

DTL--

I think it's disingenuous to say that "right-wing" isn't a slur. It is to Greenwald and to those who read him. That was the intention in its use.

Ann--

You've mentioned supporting Feingold before. The only thing I know about him is McCain-Feingold which is enough for me to want him (and McCain) routed from public office forever. Whence your support? (Wait..whither..wherefore...oh, hell, why is it you support him, exactly?)

Edward said...

Paul Zrimsek: I’m sorry, but it’s completely illogical to say that, just because Greenwald makes a mistake in one part of his post (or long “essay”), the entire rest of his essay is thereby invalidated.

That simply doesn’t make any sense, and you are clearly far too intelligent not to see that.

I think you just momentarily allowed your partisanship to take control of you, and you became unwilling to admit that Greenwald’s mistake in identifying Ann Althouse as a Republican in no way detracts from the rest of what he says.

Yes, his writing style could have been tighter, and greater brevity would have conveyed his points more convincingly, but it’s very hard to deny that Greenwald is accurately describing a longstanding practice of Republican duplicity on the issue of outing gay people.

OddD said...

Maxine--

Writing clearly and concisely is a sign of respect. Expecting someone to wade through obfuscated and labyrinthine prose with the idea that they'll ultimately understand the correctness of insults leveled at them is to wish to make them a slave to bad writing.

I probably should have said that more simply.

Juliet said...

Too many of the younger conservatives majored in accounting and econ, and didn't learn how to write in the subjunctive, passive case.

Subjunctive is a mood. Passive is a voice. Writing in the passive voice is poor form, or so I was taught...I mean, so my English teachers taught me. (See, if I use the passive voice, you don't know who taught me that. It permits the writer to be evasive.)

Doyle said...

Sure, Ann, it's about the lack of editing.

In that post, as in other posts before it, you joined the right wing chorus in imagining some massive campaign by liberals to out gay Republicans.

If you keep sounding like a right wing hack, people are going to mistake you for a right wing hack.

A Menken Moment said...

Good luck trying to clean out the Augean Stables there in Greenwaldia--and elsewhere (see immediately above), Ann.

Edward said...

Paul Zrimsek: Let me say one more thing about Greenwald’s mistake in identifying Ann Althouse as a Republican.

To a certain degree, his mistake is understandable, because Ann does come across as a conservative, for the most part. In fact, she occasionally seems very conservative.

In truth, however, her ideological affiliation is more subtle and much harder to pin down.

Even after reading her for months, I’m still not sure where I would place her on the ideological spectrum. Sometimes I wonder if she intentionally obscures her ideology for personal or professional reasons.

I’m really not sure, one way or the other.

Nevertheless, there certainly exist plenty of Republicans who fit the description that Greenwald paints in his essay. Ann Althouse simply isn’t one of them (and she may well not even be a Republican at all).

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Derve wrote: *I wonder who would win in a Joan/Maxine nitpick competition*


I suspect the nits.

Palladian said...

And if you keep sounding like a 21 year old writing a C-grade paper for a community college creative writing class, people are going to mistake you for a 21 year old writing a C-grade paper for a community college creative writing class. Strangely enough, Greenwald is a published author! They must have good editors up there at Crown! Greenwald, like Ann, claims to be "neither liberal or conservative", but according to Feindoyle, what you sound like is what you are, so Greenwald is a 21 year old writing a C-grade paper for a community college creative writing class. Or he's a pretentious mediocrity (his next book is called "Bush Agonistes") who, like Andrew Sullivan, has learned which buttons to push and when to push them in order to generate "buzz" and rake in the cash for their lazy thinking and writing.

Things are tough in Ashcrof...err Bush's Amerika. Perhaps Greenwald will move to Brazil permanently; his Wikipedia article states that he spends part of his time there because "Brazil recognizes his same-sex relationship with his Brazilian partner, while the United States does not". I'm sure that he'd be much happier living in the paradise that is Lula's Brazil than he is here in the gulag of Manhattan.

Or perhaps to beat the Bush Blues the "sock puppet" master should simply slip his hand up his Kermit the Frog muppet's backside, crouch down behind his kitchen island and sing "It's Not Easy Being Greenwald"...

Derve said...

Writing in the passive voice is poor form, or so I was taught...I mean, so my English teachers taught me.

Oh hell, go all the way and take responsibility, own your words = "or so I learned" (The teaching is implied in a subject like this, right?)

johnstodderinexile said...

Regarding GG's argument that "the other side outs, too." I see everybody nodding. But is that really true? Specifically, which Republican(s) on which date(s) made precisely what claim(s) about which Democrat(s)?

I understand that the Democratic party had nothing to do with outing Larry Craig, but that's not relevant to my question.

My theory is that rabid partisans like Greenwald are not really engaged in politics, but tribalism. The Republicans/conservatives are not his adversaries, they are "the other." From an anthropological standpoint, "the other" can be accused of virtually any crime, including cannibalism, and among members of the tribe, the accusation will be credited. These myths about "the other" are used to justify atrocities practiced by the tribe to individual members who might otherwise be horrified by them.

So, in the present case, most Democrats know deep down that what has been done to Larry Craig is evil, and that anyone who spread such rumors is complicit in that evil. So there must be a rationalization, and that comes from statements like Glenn's; that any critics of the outing are hypocrites because, of course, everyone knows the Republicans do this kind of thing all the time, doncha know. They called Hillary a Lesbian! And Ann Richards, too!

Republicans ought to quietly demand evidence from Mr. Greenwald. No need to shout him down. Just ask him politely to prove his statement with specific citations. In the age of Google, this should not be hard.

Palladian said...

"Even after reading her for months, I’m still not sure where I would place her on the ideological spectrum."

That's the mark of an independent and intelligent person. The idea that you would proudly accept a packaged political ideology is an unpleasant one and I suspect it might be the same for Ann.

"And yes, he does claim that the Republican ideology and the dominant Republican political strategy are much more riven with internal contradictions than are the Democratic equivalents."

Lol. Funniest idea this whole thread. Perhaps the Democrats don't suffer from these "internal contradictions" because they don't actually have an ideology or a political strategy. I'm not saying that the Republicans aren't conflicted and confused and horrid, just that it's hilarious to assert that the Democrats have any sort of unity at all.

To paraphrase Will Rogers, "I don't belong to any organized political party: I'm a Democrat."

Doyle said...

Greenwald didn't sockpuppet. Not all IP addresses are unique (proxy servers). He comments under his own name.

He also makes no bones about his loathing of the Bush administration and the right wing. He advocates the election of Democratic candidates.

Meanwhile Ann purports to be totally off the field of play, removed from all this nasty partisanship. This doesn't prevent her from antagonizing Democrats and liberals at virtually every opportunity, though. It often gets her a pat on the head from Reynolds.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Your circumspection does you credit, Edward. But it only makes the contrast with Greenwald's silly snap judgment that much starker.

Ann Althouse said...

"...he's not writing for a populist audience after all. It all makes sense (irrespective of whether or not you agree with the sentiments) and I'm rather surprised you have difficulty with it."

Oh, for the love of...

Listen, I didn't say I couldn't read the sentences if I wanted to. I said they were crap sentences, disgustingly ugly, and I'm unwilling to read them. I read judicial opinions all the time, and they are usually badly written. I read them because it's my job. I reject bad writing when it's not my job to read it.

The notion that writing like that is at a higher level -- not for a "populist audience" -- is stupid beyond belief. First, he is writing for a populist audience. He's not a fancy intellectual! Second, if you have sophisticated, intellectual ideas to convey, you have all the more reason to express them well, which means writing clearly and elegantly.

This sort of verbosity, with overlong sentences, is at best an effort to seem smart, which is the mark of an inferior mind. It's what you do when you're afraid what you have to say isn't really enough. it's the way students who haven't done their work write term papers!

Ann Althouse said...

"SouthieFL said...
How about a Law Professor making this statement in THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Althouse's comment in an Op-ED in The New York Times, Aug, 23, 2006: We ought to wonder why a court gets to decide what the law is and not the president. Why should judicial view prevail over the president's? We ought to wonder how anyone who makes that statement gets hired as a law professor."

Southie: Did you take that out of context on purpose or did you really completely fail to understand that op-ed? If the first, you are dishonest and despicable. If the second, go back and reread it, try to understand it, and ask questions if you still are having trouble. I'll be happy to answer.

Hint: question marks have meaning. Heavy-handed hint: I am genuinely asking you to think about why courts have the power of judicial review.

This is a pretty basic civics lesson. Learn about Marbury v. Madison. You can do it. It actually is possible to raise your level of understanding about law.

You know, I originally declined to write that op-ed because I thought it was too obvious of a civics lesson. But the difficulty some people seem to have understanding it has proved me wrong and really shocked me. I am embarrassed for all the people who are attacking me the way you are, because you are revealing what I consider a sub-high-school level of understanding of American government. (That's assuming you aren't deliberately distorting what I said, in which case, you should be embarrassed to be so deceptive.)

Edward said...

Oh, so Greenwald is gay? I really didn’t know.

Even though I agree with Ann that his writing in that particular post could use a lot of improvement, I immediately perceived upon reading it that Greenwald’s insight into the twists and turns of outing (and its use for partisan political purposes) was particularly keen.

As I said before: mediocre writing style, unfair criticism of Althouse, but otherwise very correct in his basic idea.

The fact that Greenwald himself is gay makes a bit more sense, but I’m still convinced that more and more heterosexuals are finally seeing not just the dishonesty, but the brutal dishonesty at the core of homophobia.

Doyle said...

I bet this post didn't do much to endear you to Greenwald, either.

Simon said...

downtownlad said...
"Not sure how he's any different than Hugh Hewitt though, who also rambles on and on and on."

Well, certainly different, but not necessarily any better. Hugh Hewitt lost all credibility over the Miers fiasco,so far as I am concerned: it wasn't just that he supported the nomination, or even that he did so vocally, it was that he was so completely, blindly and unthinkingly supportive of the nomination and never offered any reason for it beyond fawningly repeating the President's remarks, that he argued in such utter bad faith, and that he attempted to take the lash to those of us who opposed it as if we were the enemy. There is no one in this world so useless as someone utterly, uncritically and blindly devoted to one man's every pronouncement, and it doesn't matter if that man is Karl Marx or George Bush.

SouthieFL said...

Ok Ann, here's the rest of your statement: After all, the president has a sworn duty to uphold the Constitution; he has advisors, and they've concluded that the program is legal.
That pertained to the NSA program.

Even suggesting that any of us consider that is despicable to our core principles of government.

Isn't it obvious that courts have the power of judicial review because that's what courts were set up for by our founding fathers, specifically to keep a watch on the other branches of government? Why would anyone want any President to have that much power?

OddD said...

Doyle--

Greenwald didn't sockpuppet? That strains credibility. In order for him to not have done so, there had to be someone who just happened to get his IP and who expressed completely identical ideas with completely identical phrasings.

Let the sock puppets explain:

http://patterico.com/2006/07/27/4900/annotated-wuzzadem-the-facts-behind-the-greenwald-sock-puppetry/

Anderson said...

I said they were crap sentences, disgustingly ugly, and I'm *unwilling* to read them.

Ann Althouse, literary aesthete. Who knew?

But the bad faith is overpowering. Anyone competent to read English prose can tell that GG's sentences just aren't "disgustingly ugly." That's silly, and it betrays a reader who is either silly, or making a bad-faith criticism of a political opponent. Or, hey, both.

OddD said...

Let's try that link again:

Sock puppet theatre

OddD said...

Ann Althouse, literary aesthete. Who knew?

Anyone who has read her blog semi-regularly, as opposed to just coming in for the occasional hit.

George said...

Brevity is the soul of wit.

Enough of this twit!

Old Dad said...

Greenwald and the President share at least one thing. They're both bad with the King's English.

But at least the President doesn't pretend to be Winston Churchill. He's a smart man trying to be Ronald Reagan.

Greenwald is a dim bulb trying to be Andrew Sullivan.

Hanging Chad said...

Simon - off topic

I lurk here often, and I do enjoy your posts, even though I disagree with the majority of your views.

You of course do not have to respond here and now, and it is off-topic - But I've struggled with the Federalist Society, and Scalia/Alito belief in enhanced Presidential Powers, when seemingly our current President might not be the best candidate for such powers. Or, a much worse candidate in the future.

Lastly, what is your position on Bush's signing statements, which basically allow him to ingnore duly enacted laws? Is this not unconstitutional? Honest questions from a liberal, who has never taken a law class in his life....

tiggeril said...

I'm still in shock at people who don't see the connection between sloppy writing and sloppy thinking.

Steven said...

Ah, the special academic writing style.

The method is to precisely follow the rules of grammar, while producing turgid, lifeless monstrosities. The reader is supposed to then respect the writer's intelligence, on the theory that if it required great intelligence to read, it must have required great intelligence to write. To support this ego-stroking celebration of mutual intelligence, those who actually point out that the writing it atrocious are to be dismissed as dimwitted.

It doesn't matter that it produces heaping piles of shit, because the intent never was to communicate clearly. As long as the intelligence-signaling function is performed, the writing is a success.

Doyle said...

I don't know, Oddd. That case didn't seem quite bulletproof. As long as IP addresses are not unique to users, and there's no smoking gun, I'll be skeptical. Also, he's not accused of using pseudonyms on his own blog, which is what a self-obsessed sockpuppeteer would do.

His writing does get away from him occasionally, but he's really good, and gets twice Ann's traffic for good reason.

Maxine Weiss said...

All the greats write in the passive voice, and the subjunctive case.

It's very soothing and meditative.

Elegiac and lyrical.

Go look at Winston Churchill's "Our Finest Hour" speech, or even President Reagan's "A Time For Choosing" speech.

Can you imagine those speeches in a staccato subject-verb, subject-verb, subject-verb.... style of writing???

Sad that good writing must be nothing more than clipped soundbites to be good.

Peace, Maxine

John said...

Greenwald is an idiot. Just glancing through the comments here I didn't see it mentioned, but he also called Kirsten Powers a rightwing pundit.

Edward said...

Tiggeril: The connection that you mention is almost a cliché. Sloppy writing=sloppy thinking.

But you know what? It’s only true in certain circumstances.

There are times when a person has a crystal-clear and totally accurate idea in his or her mind, but for one reason or other is unable to express that idea in crystal-clear language.

Think of a young child with limited language skills or someone trying to express themselves in a foreign language that they haven’t mastered.

In terms of Greenwald’s essay, he was making a perfectly valid, perfectly logical point about hypocritical attitudes toward outing in the Republican Party.

In election after election stretching back more than a decade, (some) Republican operatives and even some candidates have attempted to portray their Democratic opponents as gay. Almost without exception, the Democrats that Republicans have tried to out were actually heterosexual, but that didn’t stop these Republicans, who intentionally exploit homophobia for political gain.

What’s even worse, in my estimation, is the near-universal Republican opposition to a whole host of laws that would clearly reduce any remaining social stigma that attaches to being gay. Enactment of these laws would greatly diminish the shock that accompanies each outing, because homosexuality itself would be far less shocking and much more accepted.

For Republicans now to wail and beat their chests over the “unfairness” of outing Senator Craig is really ridiculous.

Why did Greenwald use sloppy writing in expressing this idea? I don’t know. Maybe he was tired when he wrote that particular essay.

Old Dad said...

Maxine:

So when "our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal," that's passive?

The great ones use language that serves.

Somewhere there is a tongue most firmly ensconced in a jowl.

And we wouldn't want Mr. Gorbachev to tear down that wall...rather we'd want the wall, separating east and west, to be dismantled, nay decimated, nay Greenwaldized, by the honarable premiere of the state sometimes compared to that most noble of creatures..the bear.

Maxine Weiss said...

I wouldn't go that far. I just like the writing, not the ideas.

The writing isn't esoteric at all. The ideas are.

Peace, Maxine

Maxine Weiss said...

OOooops.

I meant Edward's post.

I agree with Old Dad, I think?

Peace, Maxine

Old Dad said...

Edward,

Let's compress Greenwald's argument.

"Sure some on the left are behaving like amoral opportunistic assholes, attempting to ruin lives willy nilly, but so what?

You're one too!"

I could go on, but less is more. Right?

Peter said...

If you watched South Park you would know the answer:

"why don't you just tell the truth?"

Pres Bush: "We do that too, but 1/4 of the people are retarded..."


Plus even it that was not the case, people like to have their belief's reaffirmed, and if that person has some kind of status to them, then they like it even more.

Fenrisulven said...

In fact, she occasionally seems very conservative.

To you Edward, I'm sure. In fact, she occasionally seems very liberal [to me].

And now that I think about it, I'm sure those 30,000 are faked. Think about it, a man as dishonest as Greenwald who is so lame as to employ a horde of sock puppets - he prob has a network of computers programmed to cycle through his blog and generate hits. Fits the pattern - his bragging and boasting about how important he is, his fake intellectualism reflected through his "sophisticated" writing style.

It's why I don't bother to read him. He's a hack. If your neighbor cheated friends at the weekly pokernight, would you buy a used car from him? Would you even bother to hear his sales pitch?

I'd rather read Kirsten Powers.

Dave S. said...

I think it's funny that anyone thinks Greenwald is even intelligent. Just reading him occasionally, I am quite confident that I am superior to him in almost every measurable way, especially with respect to intellectual matters. All he does is sets up clumsily constructed strawmen (which, being rather unintelligent, he doesn't recognize as such), only to knock them down in long rants expressed though mediocre use of the English language.

Basically, Greenwald is your typical faux-intellectual leftist, who hopes that exorbitantly verbose prose will confuse you into thinking he knows a thing or two.

Dave S. said...

Edward said, "What’s even worse, in my estimation, is the near-universal Republican opposition to a whole host of laws that would clearly reduce any remaining social stigma that attaches to being gay."

This is what I'm talking about when I say faux intellectual. Where on Earth did you get the idea that state recognition of marriage was ever devised so as to "reduce any remaining social stigma of being gay"? Where did you get the idea that laws forbidding murder or relevant sentencing guidelines were ever intended to "reduce any remaining social stigma of being gay"?

You either have horrible logical reasoning skills to have come to that conclusion, or you have a gross disrespect for our laws, choosing to view them as tools for the advancement of your own social agenda.

In either case, you don't come off well.

Old Dad said...

Dave S.,

OMG! A perfect parody. Pure genius.

Almost too good.

Are you a Greenwald sock puppet?

If not you could be. Might be some dough in it.

Badger said...

Shorter Fenrisulven

I think Greenwald is so lame and dishonest that his site stats must be faked, and in my 6 posts I can't explain why he is dishonest and lame, which means he dishonest and lame.

Anderson said...

Yesteryday [sic], I wrote a post pointing out that the hordes of right-wing pundits condemning the Larry Craig outing have no standing to voice such complaints,

Main clause. Nothing out of the ordinary here.

Now, GG goes on to explain *why* the pundits have no standing:

since the very tactic that they were purporting to condemn

--which he illustrates in a parenthetical--

(publicizing innuendo about private sexual behavior and exploiting sexual morality for political gain)

And now he concludes the sentence: since the tactic

is one which their political movement has used repeatedly, over and over, as one of its central weapons.

Perhaps Prof. Althouse will explain to us what sins that sentence commits, and why it is too "disgusting" to read. "Repeatedly, over and over" could be pared, but has the rhetorical effect of stressing the repetitive nature of the conduct alleged.

Second example:

I cited countless examples

Upon which, another parenthetical, as befits a reference to "examples"

-- including some from this week, along with others throughout the last 15 years --

What kind of examples?

which demonstrate that the right-wing of the Republican Party centrally relies upon tactics indistinguishable from the Craig outing,

I don't get "centrally" here (he used it in the last sentence); may be a typo, may be GG's way of covering himself against the not-all-Repubs-do-it defense, or it may just be a poor idea. But especially for *blog* writing, that's not anywhere near as loathesome as Prof. Althouse would have it.

Now, the other thing that the examples demonstrate:

and that unlike the Craig outing (engineered by a single, obscure individual), the entire right-wing political movement traffics continuously in those tactics.

Clear, direct, not at all hard to read. It's a complete mystery to me why anyone would hold up these sentences as examples of particularly poor writing. I'm sure they could be improved, but then, so could most sentences.

But instead of analysis from Prof. Althouse, we get "atrocious writing," "endless massive blocks of overlong, tedious sentences," "disgust," "laughably verbose sentence," and "mindnumbingly bad." Oh, and "execrable writing."

That's nonsense, pure and simple. I've plodded through Hegel and late Henry James; I know verbosity and tedious syntax when I see 'em; and unless Prof. Althouse can condescend to explain *why* these sentences are supposedly so awful as to merit the above invective, then she needs to confine herself to topics she knows something about. Whatever those are.

Maxine Weiss said...

Well, I never even knew who Greenwald was until Althouse brought him to our attention.

Kudos to Althouse for tossing even more attention and traffic his way!

Peace, Maxine

Anderson said...

(I should add that my dig at "late Henry James" doesn't mean those are bad novels; The Golden Bowl is sublime (and nothing like the godawful movie), and The Wings of the Dove excellent. You just have to turn off the ringer, settle down, and get into the late-James state of mind. What James can get away with as a novelist, however, would be unforgivable as an expository writer, or even as a blogger.

Hegel, OTOH, -- no excuse.)

jpe said...

Shorter Althouse:

"Reading is hard!"

Simon said...

Hanging chad,
I'm glad to be providing food for thought. :)

As far as signing statements are concerned, I have just the post for you, here. In general, I think signing statements - as an expression of how the President will interpret the law and how he expects his subordinates in the executive branch to interpret it - are fine, but in practise, I think you kind of have to break it down into two classes. Where there is some ambiguity in the interpretation of the law, I think that's fine too, and I don't think anyone's really worried about that. The second class, though, are signing statements which say that "the President will construe this act in a way he deems consistent with his Constitutional authority and obligations." That second class is the kind that sets off alarm bells, and on that front, I'm right there with you. Because that kind of language, to me, rings loud and clear as politician bullshit code for "I think part of this act infringes on my authority under the Constitution, so I'm going to construe the act as if this part wasn't in it" - and I think that's a reprehensible position to take, because if you're the President of the United States, when you're presented with a bill from Congress to sign, if you think as much as one sentence of it violates the Constitution, you need to take out your veto pen and send it back to Congress. That is precisely why the President has a veto. So I'm not opposed to signing statements as an idea, but I share, to some extent, liberal concerns that they're being used as a backdoor line-item veto.

(That's a thirty second summary - the problem is actually considerably more rich and complex than I'm implying, and I'm not pretending that the foregoing is an exhaustive survey - if you want an example of a gray area consider a Presidential signing statement that part of a statute legitimately could be equally construed one of two ways, one of which violates the Constitution and one of which doesn't: should the President veto the law, or sign it saying that he does so because he understands that the ambiguity in §618 actually means A not B? Another point to consider, offered by Steven Calabresi in a recent article, is that anyone who believes that legislative history has probative value as to the meaning of a statute -- which excludes Calabresi, Scalia and I, but per a case from last term called Zedner v. United States, apparently includes Alito, Thomas and Roberts -- must give at least as much weight to signing statements as to committee reports).

I think you're also asking about the unitary executive doctrine, so I'll address that point too. As I see it, the Unitary Executive doctrine isn't quite the same thing as the question of how much inherent power the Constitution gives the Presidency vis-a-vis the other branches of government, it's a theory of how the executive branch has to be structured. It's essentially an attempt to give content to the use of the definite article in Article II - "the executive power shall be vested in a President...," rather than, as Scalia's Morrison v. Olson dissent put it, "some of the executive power. And the practical import of that is the creation of a procedural doctrine: that, at the very least, for any federal activity that is purely executive, the Constitution's vesting of THE executive power in the President means that the President cannot be divested of control over that activity. So the most obvious example is the investigation of the Clinton Administration by an "Independent Counsel" who wasn't answerable to Clinton: absolutely forbidden by the Unitary Executive doctrine.

Think of it like this: we all know Truman's famous sign that used to sit on the Resolute desk: "the buck stops here." Well, why is that the case? The reason is that in an executive branch that is shaped like a pyramid, all authority flows down from the top, but all responsibility equally flows backup to that pinnacle. If you agree with Truman's view - that the President is ultimately responsible for anything the Federal government does, you have to wonder why that would be the case if the executive branch isn't a pyramid capped by the Presidency.

Now, a lot of the people who support the unitary executive doctrine are also believers in giving Article II what I would regard as an exceedingly broad reading, to give the President avast repository of unenumerated "inherent powers," which the President can use as a stick against Congress. (Although it's important to note that there is no one "fedsoc position" on the unitary executive, the powers of the President, or for that matter, on more-or-less any other issue). I'm not on board with that project, and to me, that's a different question to the unitary executive. For what it's worth, let me say a brief word on that point: I’m an originalist, and a textualist, but I’m not a strict constructionist, and so I categorically don’t demand the narrowest possible construction of Article II, any more than I demand the narrowest possible construction of Article I, or the bill of rights (this position sometimes puts me on your side, and sometimes it doesn’t). But in my Scalia groupie way, what I do want - almost always, almost without exception - is a criterion. It seems to me that if one wanted to argue for a broad construction of Art. I §8, the text and structure of the Constitution and Article I itself seem to impose inherent criteria for how broad a construction, say, the commerce power will support. But what scares the hell out of the textualist in me about construing Article II is that there doesn't seem to be any inherent criterion in Article II for construing the inherent powers of the President, and the advocates of this very broad construction (who in the main, by the way, would recoil in horror if anyone proposed to construe the Fourteenth Amendment so broadly) haven’t offered one. And frankly, that bothers me a great deal. I find that very troubling, not because I find it particularly unthinkable that the President has implied powers (liberals, of all people, who have spent decades reading substantive content into the due process clause in spheres such as abortion and criminal procedure, should not be afraid of implied provisions), but because I want to have some confidence that we can find its boundaries. Or, for that matter, that there ARE boundaries. What worries me is that the construction urged by folks like John Yoo would invest the President’s Article II authority with “a breadth never yet exceeded,” as Chief Justice Marshall once said about Congress’ commerce power.

Moreover, even setting aside Constitutional concerns, although I subscribe to the unitary executive doctrine, I think you’d find that - for a Republican - I have an unusually narrow normative preference where the power of the executive branch is concerned. Unlike most Republicans, I grew up in England, a country where the executive dominates the legislative power as Jupiter dominates the Jovian system: inherently, irresistably and completely. As a consequence, I have a much dimmer view of the executive’s virtues, and a much greater suspicion of its potential for abuse. So I actually agree with a lot of liberals that the Bush administration’s work towards expanding executive power (which is really Cheney's project, actually) is troubling (although I add the caveat that I sense that what most liberals are really concerned about isn’t the aggrandizement of the Presidency, as an institution, but rather, that of the present incumbents.

Well,that didn't turn out to be a short answer, but hopefully it answers your questions. If not, post back or shoot me an email. :)

Cedarford said...

Edward - Now that gay issues have moved to the forefront of our national political debate,

Only in your dreams, Lambchop.
On average, Americans care no more about homosexual issues than they do about Hawaiian issues, Jewish issues, Mormon issues, welfare issues, etc., etc. Perhaps a respectful hearing - but not "leading" any political debate outside gay ghettos and college campuses. After it gets to be incessant whining a la Greenwald or Sullivan, I suspect the general reaction is "boy, it sure must suck to be you.."

Edwards sentence runs on: liberals and moderates who are heterosexual are beginning to realize the same thing when they are confronted with the unvarnished homophobia of much of today’s Republican Party.

Some Republicans could care less. Others, like blacks and hispanics, tend to look askence at homosexual culture because it is offensive to their own culture's value system.

Edward - but I’m still convinced that more and more heterosexuals are finally seeing not just the dishonesty, but the brutal dishonesty at the core of homophobia.

No, the public runs a spectrum. From uncritical acceptance to people with theological, public health, and pederasty reservations to people that will flat out say it is disgusting and wrong. No dishonesty. Just their opinions.

Anderson said...

Uh, Simon, you just posted a comment including *entire paragraphs* and *complex sentences* on a thread lambasting GG for not writing in op-ed style.

I salute your sense of irony, sir.

Palladian said...

Edward, reading your comments is like pawing through a soggy box of tissues looking for a dry one. You try to pull two ideas apart but they're all so wet that they just disintegrate into a pink pulp. I know you think that you have righteousness on your side, and that if everyone just felt more, then sunshine and fluffy clouds would once more tickle the dark Heartland of America. But it doesn't work that way. You said "What’s even worse, in my estimation, is the near-universal Republican opposition to a whole host of laws that would clearly reduce any remaining social stigma that attaches to being gay. Enactment of these laws would greatly diminish the shock that accompanies each outing, because homosexuality itself would be far less shocking and much more accepted."

Huh? Laws reduce social stigma? What laws? I know that liberals tend to think of laws as if they are some sort of soothing ointment that, liberally applied, reduces swelling and cures nasty red rashes. However, the purpose of law is not to "reduce social stigma" or make people feel better. The purpose of law is to uphold and protect our innate rights as humans and Americans, not to change society. If I knew what you were talking about, I'd talk about it some more, but post-Lawrence v. Texas, it doesn't make much sense.

Anyway, back to Greenwald and high-falutin language:

"Because it's full of things that are only correct because they're grammatical but they're tough on the ear. This is a very wearying one, it's unpleasant to read. Unrewarding."

Anderson said...

The purpose of law is to uphold and protect our innate rights as humans and Americans, not to change society.

And of course, "society" is never antithetical to anyone's "innate rights as humans."

A much shorter sentence than GG's; easy to read; and complete nonsense, to where one has to infer that the writer didn't think about what he or she was writing.

Thanks, Palladian, for providing the helpful contrast to the GG sentences quoted by Prof. A.!

GPE said...

You all should be ashamed. It's just that you don't appreciate the subtle stylistic underpinnings to his writing and for which he has deep roots.

Ann: "it's the way students who haven't done their work write term papers!"

Are you saying...[gulp]...professors know about this?!?

David Manus said...

Ann wrote:
"Why is this (greenwald's) blog so popular?"

1. Greenwald shamelessly and diligently markets himself as some kind of intellectual giant and moral and legal guru on the left, even using sockpuppets to advance and/or defend himself.

This gives cover to the shrill-o-sphere when he makes their same insane points, but in a psuedo-intellectual/legal manner. "See, even a brainiac like greenwald thinks so!"

He also attacks prominent righty bloggers in nearly hysterical terms to get backlinks (righty blogs actually linkback, unlike kos and atrios, who only link to lefties who bash righties), upping his hitcounts. More self-promotion.

B. He is a knee-jerk Bush-basher and far-left "progressive".

He also uses the flexible device of retro-actively deciding his stand (like recently on gay-outing) after someone calls him on an idiotic or contradictory pose.

III. He very early started cultivating the 'big boys' of the left, echoing and expanding on their views. This is valuable and important because some of them (kos and atrios for example) don't really write much, but they love to link.

So its handy to have glenn-the-sockpuppet-farmer expounding on your one-liners for 2000 or more words. linky linky.


That's why. But its mostly he's a reliable bush basher in all things and on every subject, and he does so under the cover of his supposed 'rationality' and deep thinking, giving cover to the moonbat fringe, but when you strip away the crap he is just like them.

michilines said...

Hi Ann,

I only copied and pasted these two words from you: you idiot.

That is your criticism of Glenn Greenwald in a *nutshell* -- you must have used those while getting your degree, no?

I've visited your blog from time to time -- nice pictures. Your political analysis is quite lame. Someone before me must have pointed that out.

You are located in Madison. I once loved their drum and bugle corp. I even had a t-shirt. They were great.

I haven't read all the comments yet, but the last one -- Maxine -- grab a clue and count up how many best sellers Anny :) has and how many Glenn has. Perhaps that rock you've been under suits you Maxie :)

FYI Ms. Althouse, I used my WORK blog id to get this published. Lots of people don't use blogger. I use wordpress for my personal blog. If you insist upon only blogspot commenters -- well you get an oh-so-limited-crowd.

Remember who called whom idiot :)

Mr. Snitch said...

You know what sends up a red flag for me? Someone who goes on and on with provocative, pointless comments, then signs out 'peace'.

As if.

Maxine Weiss said...

Would you rather I signed out "War"?

How about this:

Love, Maxine

PhD9 said...

Glenn is so unimportant that only 107 have posted comments on just how unimportant he is.

And sentences exist to be aesthetically pleasing as opposed to doing anything so mundane as actually convey information.

Thanks folks, I've learned so much today.

GPE said...

Well, the runner up to the 2006 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest simply must be cited here:

"I know what you're thinking, punk," hissed Wordy Harry to his new editor, "you're thinking, 'Did he use six superfluous adjectives or only five?' - and to tell the truth, I forgot myself in all this excitement; but being as this is English, the most powerful language in the world, whose subtle nuances will blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel loquacious?' - well do you, punk?"

Stuart Vasepuru
Edinburgh, Scotland

Mark said...

I am totally with Anderson on this. I used to comment more frequently on this blog; now I usually just read it. This post is a perfect illustration of why I stopped commenting here. Instead of engaging Glenn's central argument, Ann denigrates Glenn's sentences; using condescending and offensive language to Glenn and his readers ("execrable writing," "you idiot", "[why] he seems to get 30,000 visitors a day", "pissed at them [Glenn's readers] for their foolishness", etc etc. As Glenn's reader, I really don't appreciate these undeserved characterizations. Granted, Glenn's prose is not perfect but nor is it atrocious or horrible. His points are clear to anyone who is reading objectively. I don't know whether it is Ann's obsession with style over the substance or her taking offense at Glenn's characterization of her as right-wing, but her crticism of Glenn is unfair.

Freeman Hunt said...

Palladian: Loved that link.

Michilines: grab a clue and count up how many best sellers Anny :) has and how many Glenn has. Perhaps that rock you've been under suits you Maxie :)

Why would you post something that almost no one except Greenwald would post when he has a history of sockpuppetry? Almost as though you'd like to implicate him here...

michilines said...

Mark, thanks for your comment. Back in the day -- the first days of Glenn's blog, "All Things Beautiful" called Glenn an 'idiot' and I tried to make her -- Ms. Van Whatever -- take it back. Now we have Ann Althouse calling Glenn an idiot. Is Ann slow or are we still required to stomp the same ground.

Ann, you are a law professor. BFD. You have a blog. BFD. You write. BFD.

Lots of people do what you do. You are not the best at what you do by a long shot.

I suggest you stick to pretty pictures.

michilines said...

freeman hoot

I have read Glenn Greenwald from very nearly when he started. You clearly have not. The sockpuppet *thang* was homophobia writ large.

Care to explain your fear, freeman?

Doug said...

The only people who think that Greenwald isn't guilty of sock puppetry must be the same people who are gullible enough to think that letters to the Penthouse Forum are real. Just like both the letters to Penthouse and the comments from the same IP address defending Greewald, the tone and the content is very similar.

I never thought this would happen to me, but after I got home from my job as a pool cleaner, where I banged these two hot asian sisters, I read this conservative blog that dared to criticize Glenn Greenwald. How could this right wing hack say anything about Glenn, who is a New York Times best seller. He has been quoted by Senators on the Senate floor. Glenn's brilliant blogging has led to front page newspaper stories.

Sincerely,

Rick Ellensburg AKA Wilson,Thomas Ellers, Ellison, et al

reader_iam said...

Ann: May I ask the question that has been flitting through my mind as I went about real life since early this afternoon?

When you wrote parts of this post, could you perhaps--unconciously or not--also have been responding that NYT lip-gloss article?

To wit:

It began in the early 19th century, with the technical advances that the historian Daniel J. Boorstin, in his proleptically anti-Camp manifesto, “The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America” (published in 1961), termed the Graphic Revolution; sped up in the late 1800’s with the invention of dry-plate photography and then the camera; and acquired a plangent but heartless mood of its own with Christopher Isherwood’s Sally Bowles as well as a bit of philosophical heft after Walter Benjamin wrote his 1935 essay “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” From there it was a hop, skip and jump to the club scene on the Rive Gauche, where the competing egos of the young Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld used to hang out, as evoked by Alicia Drake in her fascinating account of the two designers’ rivalry, “The Beautiful Fall”: “There were pockets of homosexual life and men cruising all over Paris, but Saint Germain in the 1950’s was known for its folles, the name used to describe camp gays of the moment who were recognized by their bottom-swivelling walk and deliberately effeminate ways, including a habit of high-drama shrieking.” By the late 80’s and early 90’s, Spy magazine, ever alert to the taxonomy of the risible — and newly available for scrutiny in what is itself a swishy form of homage, a book titled “Spy: The Funny Years” — was busy attending to the climate change, teasing out the fine line between “Camp Lite” (attending the Warhol auction) and “True Camp” (attending the Warhol funeral) in one issue, and again, almost three years later, charting a graph of camp icons with the aid of categories that included the “Healthily Campy” (Robert Goulet), the “Forgiveably Campy” (Henry Kissinger), the “Rather Sad” (Priscilla Presley) and the “Just Pathetic” (Sukhreet Gabel). True to Sontag’s dictum that the ethos does not allow for the possibility of tragedy, Spy allowed for none, either.

I count just four sentences in that thar 'graf--and I almost lumped the fourth with the third, so suspicious was I that the latter was destined never to end.

And Maxine, a question for you as well: Does the referenced paragraph do it for you? ; )

Amiably signed, tongue partially in cheek,

One Whose Encounter With That NYT Article Left Her Relatively Numbed To Greenwald's Post, Stylistically Speaking, At Least

downtownlad said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
downtownlad said...

Greenwald's general argument was still spot on.

For the right-wing bloggers to try to say that THEY are the ones who are looking out for the best interests of gay people is a COMPLETE AND UTTER FRAUD.

It is disgusting. Equivalent to the KKK saying that they are looking out for the best interests of black people.

And Glenn Reynolds is also pushing that disgusting argument. Which to me - highlights the fact that Instapundit is either a complete moron or a true homophobe of the worst kind.

nedludd said...

Even Greenwald's sock puppets can't make it through one of his post without going "What the hell is he trying to say?"

michilines said...

Last commenter,

Wow, you managed to ball up :) every name and every reason to diss Gleen Greenwald. What you failed to do with your cutsie nonsense is refute what he has said.

Anny nonny has done much the same.

I see now why you limit your commenters. You might just turn into balloon-juice!

There are some out there -- Paul? sys? We could create the same here. I'm willing to try. Are you with me?

Old Dad said...

Looks like Greenwald mixed his red and white sock puppets in a hot wash cycle.

Hanging Chad said...

Simon, mucho gracias. Great reply.

I will take you up on your offer via email, or another thread, if you don't mind.

Also, thanks for the link, which I believe is your website/blog, which I'm wading thru right now.....good stuff.

michilines said...

neddy, it's quite easy to read and understand Glenn Greenwald's posts. I manage to do it every day. I have done it for many months now. I have done it since last October.

If you are challenged, then I empathise.

michilines said...

old dad

oops, you are wrong.

Oh, you have a bloggy blog

nice

michilines said...

Ann, by requiring your commenters to have a blogspot, you limit your input. I can understand that, but it ignores those of us who don't use blogspot. You can see that, can't you?

You can also see that many of you commentors believe in the well refuted fact about Glenn. You allow that drek to be published so anyone can associate you with the nonsense that passed for *serious* commentary a few months ago.

Ann, you are why I never went to law school. Glenn is why I wish I had.

AJ Lynch said...

For what is it worth Ann, you have had three times as many profile views (128,000) as Greenwald (40,000). From what I could tell, he has been on blogger for a year. I don't know about you.

And I bet the eyeballs you draw are more desired by advertisers because they have higher incomes,and net worth (you know a lot of yacht owners)and your visitors are way smarter than Greenwald's.

P. Froward said...

downtownlad,

Equivalent to the KKK saying that they are looking out for the best interests of black people.

Are you claiming that right wing bloggers (the ever-fungible right wing bloggers) torture gays with propane torches, castrate them, and hang them by the neck from trees? Do they burn crosses on gays' laws, or indeed anybody's lawns? Do they even accuse gays of being, in a literal, genetic sense, subhuman?

You're an idiot.

downtownlad said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
downtownlad said...

I don't even read Greenwald, his posts are long-winded, but I came to that post through some other bloggers the other day. And I still think the general thrust of his post is spot on.

By the way - how come nobody is even mentioning the fact that the Republican candidate for Governor in Florida is gay? He's been outed several times. But I guess because he was outed by a former Republican and not a "lefty" blogger - then there's no issue.

Doug said...

Greenwald is being very dishonest in his argument, and I am not even mentioning his dishonesty in trying to link Ann's previous post to an expression of right wing outrage. His dishonesty occurs when he claims that this outing of Craig was simply the work of an obscure character and outing isn't part of the left wing MO.

This obscure blogger went on the largest left of center radio show, Ed Shultz, in an attempt to humiliate a US senator, to end his career and possibly end his marriage. Greenwald then complains about right wingers endorsing these tactics in the past, yet as the link to Kos indicates, there is an overwhelming endorsement of these sleazy tactics by the leftist, nutroots community.

Just go on a left wing messageboard and see the glee they express when they find out a republican is gay. Listen to them gossip about how this guy or that guy is really in the closet. So spare me the superior attitude that Greenwald and other liberals express on this matter.

downtownlad said...

P. Froward - Actually the right-wing Republicans are about 1000 times worse towards gays than the KKK are towards black people.

The KKK at least has the honesty to say what they think about blacks. And the official policy of the KKK is not does not advocate breaking any laws. They are just exercising their right to free speech, albeit admittedly disgusting speech.

The Republican party on the other hand has an official policy for the following:

1) Making gay people second-class citizens through the enactment of the Federal Marriage Amendment.

2) Passing state amendments that outlaw any benefits whatsoever for gays.

3) Repealing Lawrence V. Texas and reinstituting sodomy laws, which would mean gay people would go to jail for having sex in the privacy of their own home.

4) Rejection of anti-bullying laws in schools, because those laws are designed to protect gay people.

5) Propagation of the lie that being gay is a "choice" and encouraging harmful, repudiated psychotherapy to try to "cure" gays.

You, of course, probably agree with all of those positions - which makes you one big anti-gay bigot. And for you to then make the bogus claim that you have the best interests of gay people in mind - also makes you a liar.

AST said...

If I could explain that, I'd be able to tell you why Keith Olberman has his own cable show.

Edward said...

downtownlad: Good point about the Republican candidate for governor.

You know, the actual governor of Texas (an extreme homophobe) has been repeatedly outed, but I'm not sure what impact that's had.

Unlike Andrew Sullivan, I generally support outing homophobic politicians, but the impact of outing seems to vary from case to case.

Ann Althouse said...

SouthieFL: "Ok Ann, here's the rest of your statement: After all, the president has a sworn duty to uphold the Constitution; he has advisors, and they've concluded that the program is legal. ...?'

No, that's not the "rest" of the statement. Read on and stop being a fool or worse. You have not understood the piece. You should be ashamed of yourself!

Here's the whole op-ed. The part that follows what you took out of context is:

Why should the judicial view prevail over the president’s?

This, of course, is the most basic question in constitutional law, the one addressed in Marbury v. Madison. The public may have become so used to the notion that a judge’s word is what counts that it forgets why this is true. The judges have this constitutional power only because they operate by a judicial method that restricts them to resolving concrete controversies and requires them to interpret the relevant constitutional and statutory texts and to reason within the tradition of the case law.

This system works only if the judges suppress their personal and political willfulness and take on the momentous responsibility to embody the rule of law. They should not reach out for opportunities to make announcements of law, but handle the real cases that have been filed.

This means that the judge has a constitutional duty, under the doctrine of standing, to respond only to concretely injured plaintiffs who are suing the entity that caused their injury and for the purpose of remedying that injury. We trust the judge to say what the law is because the judge “must of necessity expound and interpret” in order to decide cases, as Chief Justice John Marshall wrote in Marbury. But Judge Taylor breezed through two of the three elements of standing doctrine — this constitutional limit on her power — in what looks like a headlong rush through a whole series of difficult legal questions to get to an outcome in her heart she knew was right.

If the words of the written opinion reveal that the judge did not follow the discipline of the judicial process, what sense does it make to take the judge’s word about what the law means over the word of the president? If the judge’s own writing does not support a belief that the rule of law has substance and depth, that law is something apart from political will, the significance of saying the president has gone beyond the limits of the law evaporates.


Why don't you get it? It's not that hard. The point is that the judge's opinion only gets to trump the President's because the judge follows a judicial method. If the judge doesn't follow a judicial method, the reason for the judge's opinion prevailing over the President's is lost.

Do you really still not get it? Because if you don't, you are so lacking in intelligence that I really don't know how to talk to you. This is an eighth grade civics lesson.

downtownlad said...

Doug is also being dishonest.

Michael Rogers has been outing people, including DEMOCRATS, for years.

And somehow Doug, and the right-wing lapdog blogosphere, thinks it's just awful that Kos linked to the outing.

Well - guess what. Ann Althouse linked to the outing story as well. Doesn't that make her just as guilty as Kos???? Give me a break. The story was out there - and Kos has just as much right to comment on it as Ann does.

And Mike Rogers has the right to out whoever he wants to. It's a free country. How dare we try to suppress his free speech rights.

If you don't want to be outed, then don't have gay sex. Or have better judgment about who you sleep with.

Doug said...

The Republican party on the other hand has an official policy for the following:

1) Making gay people second-class citizens through the enactment of the Federal Marriage Amendment.


downtownlad, why did Howard Dean go on Pat Robertson's show and brag about how the Democrats have in their platform that marriage should be between a man and a woman? The platform actually doesn't say that, which makes Dean's bragging even more puzzling.

As for the second class citizenship, wasn't it a Democrat that signed the Defense of Marriage Act in the 90's? The idol of modern day liberals, Paul Wellstone voted with the republicans on DOMA. Are Clinton, Dean and the late Paul Wellstone 1000 times worse than the KKK?

Edward said...

doug: Outing has definitely not been part of the traditional Democratic MO, like it has been among the Republicans for at least two decades.

I agree with you that outing has very recently become more accepted among Democrats, but their motivation differs completely from the Republican motivation in outing.

The fact that the Democratic Party is essentially gay-friendly whereas the Republican Party is essentially hostile to gay rights makes all the difference in the world in the moral value that one should attribute to the outing each party practices.

Doug said...

And somehow Doug, and the right-wing lapdog blogosphere, thinks it's just awful that Kos linked to the outing.

don't pull this shit, I never once complained that Kos linked to the outing, if you can find that in my post, I would be very interested in seeing it. My mention of KOS was to state that a link to Kos that Ann provided showed that 70% of the people on his site who responded to a poll said that outing was kosher. My point was not to admonish posters on KOS for linking to the Craig story, it was to criticize them for the endorsment of the outing tactic.

To your other point, I didn't say they should be legally stopped from outing, or that their free speech should be infringed upon. They have the right to be assholes, just like Holocoust deniers have the right to be dickheads,or Ann Coulter has the right to spew her venom or Jets fans have the right to be drunken idiots. I am not saying they can't out people, I am saying they should have the decency not to.

Once upon a time, Democrats told us what happens in a politician's private life is no one's business.

OddD said...

The fact that the Democratic Party is essentially gay-friendly whereas the Republican Party is essentially hostile to gay rights makes all the difference in the world in the moral value that one should attribute to the outing each party practices.

So, the Democrats get a bye? How badly do they get to treat gay people before we have to find them worthy of derision?

Edward said...

doug: You can argue until you're blue in the face, but there's simply no denying that the issue of gay equality is one of the clearest dividing lines between the Republican and Democratic Parties today.

Ideologically, the two major parties have converged on many issues over which they used to fight bitterly.

On gay rights, however, the Democratic Party is vastly superior to the Republicans.

It's hardly worth the trouble to debate someone who can't see the truth in that.

The two worst things that Clinton did to gay people -- DOMA and the Don't Ask Don't Tell military policy -- were laws he signed under extreme duress.

The congressional Republicans made all kinds of obscene threats to Clinton, threats that they would have carried out if he hadn't sign those laws.

Clinton NEVER would have signed DOMA and DODT if the Republicans hadn't virtually threatened to crucify him if he dared oppose them.

Mellow-Drama said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ann Althouse said...

To whoever is complaining about having to register in Blogger to comment: This is necessary to keep out spam. There's no other reason. I don't like it, but I'd have to spend all day deleting robot droppings if I didn't do it. So your big ideas about my motivations are quite wrong. You ought to apologize for jumping to that conclusion. And you don't have to have a blogspot blog to register in Blogger.

OddD said...

Doyle,

The smoking gun for Greenwald's sock-puppetry for me is this: Greenwald and three of the sock puppets posted from the exact IP within minutes of each other (in one case, 17 minutes). The IP was located in Brazil.

To posit that this was not Greenwald is to suggest that there are four people on the same subnet as GG in Brazil who are not only deeply interested in American politics, but know who Greenwald is, agree with him in every regard, read all the same blogs and yet don't know each other and never post on the same blogs as each other.

Strains credibility, as I said.

Fenrisulven said...

Doug: Once upon a time, Democrats told us what happens in a politician's private life is no one's business.

Once upon a time, Democrats believed in the things they lectured us about.

Mellow-Drama said...

I like it that Ann picks on other people's writing. People need to be more conscious of their prose. Maxine's comments (and michilines) are a perfect example of How Not to Write, at least if one wants to be taken seriously. (And dang it, there I went into passive voice!) If other people want to make political points and score hits off each other, they have blogs to do it. Ann chose to use her blog to criticize a bad writer. Sure, it stings, but why should she "the rules" limit her only to substance? Style is an important theme on this blog, and if people don't like it they don't have to read it. Duh.

PhD9 said...

The fact that the Democratic Party is essentially gay-friendly whereas the Republican Party is essentially hostile to gay rights makes all the difference in the world in the moral value that one should attribute to the outing each party practices.

Just to clarify, this particaular liberal's position is that ALL people should be afforded the same rights under the law and that the fact that there are instances where gay people aren't is just a particular example of a larger problem. Also IMHO outing gay people who choose to be closetted is a violation of privacy that I would consider equivalent to someone pointing out in a public forum that I have ED or perhaps am partial to online erotica.

It's nobody's business but my own and the degree to which it is anybody else's business is the degree to which our political discourse make contact with the gutter.

Well welcome to the real world.

Of course all of this is off-topic, the topic being whether or not Glenn Greenwald is a good writer. But that would be off topic as well if the actual question was "Is what he is asserting true?"

Mark said...

Mellow-Drama:

There's nothing wrong with criticizing style over substance. It's Ann's blog and she may post about whatever she wants in whatever way she wants. I (and I suspect, some others)am taking issue with Ann's unfair and over-the-top (in my view) characterization of Greenwald's prose and Greenwald's readers. Ann is free to criticize whoever and we are free to criticize Ann. At least, that's how I understand it.

Fenrisulven said...

Badger: Shorter Fenrisulven: I think Greenwald is so lame and dishonest that his site stats must be faked, and in my 6 posts I can't explain why he is dishonest and lame, which means he dishonest and lame.

Sock Puppets. I explained it very clearly. Sock Puppets. There it is again. Idiot.

Mark said...

Of course, I meant to say: there's nothing wrong with focusing on style rather than substance. Should have previewed my comment :)

Doug said...

Edward, I have never tried to argue that republicans are better on gay rights than dems, I am pointing out the fact that Clinton and many other democrats treated gays as second class citizens and wondered if it was different when an R does it or a D does it. From what I can tell, when a republican does it, he is called 1000 times worse than an organization that murdered black citizens. When a democrat treats gays a second class citizens, it is rationalization and excused by saying that Newt was going to be mean to Slick Willie.

The DNC ran ads on religious radio stations publicizing that Clinton signed this act. Hillary still states that marriage is between a man and a woman. Also, the blowback on gays in the military strongly came from Sens. Sam Nunn and Robert Byrd, both democrats. At the time, the democrats controlled both sides of Congress.

I think gays should be allowed to marry and serve, republicans don't agree with me, and many democrats don't either.

Fenrisulven said...

Edward: You know, the actual governor of Texas (an extreme homophobe)

Again, I ask what your definition of "homophobe" is. I'm guessing its anyone who disagrees with you on homo issues? Edward, do you beleive its impossible to oppose gay rights without being a "homophobe"?

And I have to agree with others here: its not half as important an issue to Americans as you're making it out to be.

Edward said...

The right to privacy is poorly understood by many people.

Fundamentally, it is the right to behave in one’s personal life as one sees fit. It is a right that bears upon action, not upon information. As such, the Democratic Party fully defends this right.

The right to privacy is not a right to keep secrets, as it is often misunderstood to be.

My right to privacy is protected if it affords me the full liberty to have a gay relationship in my personal life.

My right to privacy does not entitle me to prevent the entire world from knowing about or talking about a gay relationship that I might have.

The problem with interpreting the right to privacy as a right to keep secrets is that the right to free speech and the increasingly free flow of information in the internet age will always trump the imagined right to keep secrets.

reader_iam said...

Fundamentally, it is the right to behave in one’s personal life as one sees fit. It is a right that bears upon action, not upon information.

I'd like to see some more discussion of this. Is this the generally accepted notion, in law and otherwise?

Edward said...

Fenrisulven: I’ve explained my definition of homophobia in other Althouse threads. I suspect you’ve read it but forgotten what it was.

Yes, I do think that any opposition to full civil equality for gay people is a manifestation of homophobia, to a greater or lesser extent.

The phrase “greater or lesser extent” is important, because a person can support virtually all forms of gay rights except, say, marriage, and such a person would not deserve to be called an extreme homophobe.

And it would certainly be counterproductive politically to go around calling everyone who opposes same-sex marriage homophobic, especially if they support virtually all other gay rights, including civil unions.

Nevertheless, full equality is the gold standard for the integration of any minority group into a modern democracy. When it comes to other minorities, anything less than support for full their equality is routinely called bigotry, even though such bigotry is often quite mild and attenuated.

Why should gay people settle for anything less than full equality, and why should we alone, of all minorities, be forced to call opposition to our full equality something other than bigotry or, in this case, homophobia?

Bluto said...

Greenwald simply doesn't proofread. About a year ago I took issue with one of his sophomoric Iraq=Vietnam posts. I explained that he was correct in the sense that the terrible mistakes in the reporting of the Tet Offensive were being repeated in Iraq.

Glenn flew into a snit and lectured me about what a tough enemy the "North Koreans" were. Strunk & White can't help stupidity.

Freeman Hunt said...

The sockpuppet *thang* was homophobia writ large.

You are so looking like Greenwald. No one except Greenwald would both mention his books *and* dispute his sockpuppetry, especially in the same thread of comments.

Gahrie said...

My right to privacy is protected

There is no right to privacy, despite the Supreme Court's tortured attempt to create one. The pseudo-right that currently exists was entirely an activist construct by liberal Justices in order to legislate from the bench.

It will one day end up on the same ash heap as "seperate but equal".

If the Founding Fathers had intended there to be a right to privacy, it would be there, in Amendment 1, 3 or 4.

PhD9 said...

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures

Damn those justices for thinking that security in houses, papers and effects for having anything to do with privacy.

Next they'll be declaring that

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.


means that they can legislate habeus corpus off into the ether on a whim as well....

PhD9 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
LoafingOaf said...

To the person wondering why Andrew Sullivan frequently pats Greenwald on the back, I've wondered about that too. I suspect it's because Sullivan wants traffic from links and thought kissing up to another "club" would help.

Sullivan reads a lot into other bloggers linking to blogs he find disreputable. I noticed him praising the New Republic for firing Lee Siegal over sock-puppetry yet did not say one word about Greenwald doing the exact same thing.

The popularity of Greenwald's blog has made me lose some respect for the blogospehere. He smears, he misrepresents links, he's a shameless liar. I used to believe a blogger couldn't get away with that on a regular basis because people of all persuasions wouldn't abide it. But nowadays people tolerate anything from partisan blogs that are on their "team." I used to believe that one of the ways bloggers rise to popularity is by, over time, demonstrating how seriously they take their credibility. I now see that the fast track to blogger stardom is being a partisan propagandist.

Greenwald once claimed that a "staple" of Instapundit is “extremist rhetoric, vicious character smears, and deliberate incitement to violence." I understand Instapundit rubs some people the wrong way, but come on!! Link: http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.com/2006/07/journalists-its-time-for-some-articles.html

And, yeah, he is a tedious blowhard to read.

Gahrie said...

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures

Damn those justices for thinking that security in houses, papers and effects for having anything to do with privacy.


Surely if there was a right to privacy, these things would be secure from any search, not just an unreasonable one.

If the Founders had believed in a right to privacy, it would surely be included in this amendment, if even only as dicta (such as the militia language in the second amendment).

Badger said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
PhD9 said...

If the Founders had believed in a right to privacy, it would surely be included in this amendment

The founders were addressing the concerns that specifically caused them to rebel in the first place. As such, they focussed on the invasions of privacy to which they were subject as opposed to the invasions that may have cropped up down the road.

Badger said...

Sock Puppets. I explained it very clearly. Sock Puppets. There it is again. Idiot.

Well then you need to prove it very clearly. That's all you got? An obscure wingnut blog that nobody knows, or reads is your proof? I'm sorry, but any blogs that links to this on their front page as "Stuff That's Good" is to *not* be taken seriously about anything. Seriously dude, how can read this shit?

http://badgas.co.uk/lynndie/

You come in here and post 8 times crying he is hack, his stats must be fake, blah blah blah. Me thinks you are a tad envious that quite a few people read his blog, that he is relevant, and yet you cannot argue any of his posts or opinions, other than sock-puppetry heresay? You guys will literally believe *anything* your masters tell you is true.

Weak. Waiting for the accusation his books were written by someone else...

Seven Machos said...

Man, I love it when Ann Althouse dresses down two-bit, stupid punks (and it's not me). She really brought the noise on this thread.

Come on, Southie. Tell us all about judicial review.

LoafingOaf said...

and yet you cannot argue any of his posts or opinions, other than sock-puppetry heresay

You mean "hearsay."

That comments were posted across the internet under various alternate names from Greenwald's PC in his home was proven beyond all doubt. Greenwald admitted that much, and suggested it was his boyfriend posting them.

That these were posts Greenwald himself wrote was proven beyond reasonable doubt when the blogger Ace of Spades found that some of these comments coming from Greenwald's home PC included exact phrases that wound up in posts on Greenwald's blog shortly thereafter.

As far as I can tell, Greenwald does not use sock puppets anymore. But he still lies, smears, and misrepresents. He's a sleazeball.

Seixon said...

As for questions why Greenwald is so popular, it can be explained in one word: DailyKos.

DailyKos made Greenwald what he is today.

I guess the better question is: why is DailyKos so popular? The answer to that, of course, is that it provides liberals with the propaganda and "thoughts" that they want. Well, it used to anyway, but now it looks more and more like a DNC campaign blog to me.

JT Davis said...

Ann Althouse said...
To whoever is complaining about having to register in Blogger to comment: This is necessary to keep out spam. There's no other reason. I don't like it, but I'd have to spend all day deleting robot droppings if I didn't do it.


I think you missed a few.

JT Davis said...

Ann Althouse said...
He seems to get 30,000 visitors a day! Why???


Sexism. Or maybe he's just prettier than you.

Revenant said...

He seems to get 30,000 visitors a day! Why???

I suspect that 29,500 of them are readers of the blogs he likes to attack, following links from the blogs in question.

It seems unlikely to be due to the quality of the blog itself. You can get better-written versions of the same crap, in greater quantity, at DailyKos.

anomdebus said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
anomdebus said...

Just in case somebody didn't get the reference: lambchop is probably the most famous puppet made from a sock in the US (though it is a bit dated now), hence the reference to Greenwald.
see here

(nb deleted old comment to change nobody to somebody, more in line with what I was thinking)

Ernst Blofeld said...

"The right to privacy is not a right to keep secrets, as it is often misunderstood to be."

The ability to keep secrets would be exactly what privacy is defined as by the dictionary, which says it is "the state or condition of being free from being observed or disturbed by other people".

Gahrie said...

The founders were addressing the concerns that specifically caused them to rebel in the first place. As such, they focussed on the invasions of privacy to which they were subject as opposed to the invasions that may have cropped up down the road.

No No No! They were creating a document meant to last for the ages. They spent hours arguing over punctuation and word choice for exactly that reason.

For instance, they deliberately refused to use the term "slave" or "slavery" so that no one could point to that term later, and claim that slavery was a right guarenteed by the Constitution, because the Founders included references to it. That ius why they used the term "all other persons". I note that they also never used the word privacy.

The Founding Fathers would have been perplexed by the idea of a right to privacy, especially in matters of sexuality and reproduction which is where that "right" is mainly exercised today.

When that right was written, abortion and homosexuality were illegal in almost all places. I assure you, if they meant to enshrine these rights, even if only with a penumbra, it would be there.

Gahrie said...

My last paragraph should read:

When that document was written...

george said...

Ann,
You appear to be having one of your emotional meltdowns when forced to confront valid criticism of your opinions. Glenn linked to your blog, because you did take a right-wing stance on the lefty outing of a senator. But you have a protean personality, continually shape-shifting on each issue or topic under discussion in your blog. Glenn merely pointed out the obvious fact that Republican operatives have played dirty tricks against Democrats when it suited their needs. Politics is a blood sport in America, war by other means, because Americans worship at the altar of the bitch goddess Success, as Norman Mailer pointed out in his Advertisements For Myself.
As a Vietnam veteran, I thought the swiftboarding of John Kerry in the last presidential campaign and John Murtha when he announced his plan for a redeployment of American soldiers in Iraq are only two glaring examples of the usual mud-slinging Republicans have engaged in ad hominen attacks against political opponents. To use two adjectives that you employed in your emotional rant against Glenn, they were "sleazy" and creepy."
By the way, I opposed the Iraq War even though both Kerrey and Murtha voted for the war resolution. Historians will not be kind to them when the tragic narrative of the Iraqi foreign policy debacle is written. Like McCain, Kerrey and Murtha are Vietnam veterans, who have seemed to learn nothing from their experiences. But Gore Vidal long ago in one of his essays called America the "United States of Amnesia."
I said you were having one of your emotional meltdowns in the first sentence in this e-mail. I am referring to your political faux pas over the blogger of Feministing when she appeared in a group photograph of bloggers with former President Bill Clinton during a long lunch and conference at his office in Harlem.
Once again, when valid criticism in the blogosphere (see a representative example in the Broadsheet section of Salon) was directed against you, you threw a hissy fit. You acted like a scorned woman rather than an established and tenured law professor and respected blogger. And hell haith no fury like a woman scorned. But that's what makes you so interesting to me. You are openly vulnerable in your emotions, which I find an intriguing aspect of your blog. Of course, I disagree with your opinions on certain topics, such as the Ellen Barkin piece in the NYT, the Feministing controversy and now your personal attack against Glenn. But I can live with that? Can you?
But thank you for giving Glenn a lot of free publicity for his blog, Unclaimed Territory. I will conitnue to read his blog in the future along with yours.
Perhaps you could arrange an exchange between you and Glenn on bloggongheads.tv? That would be entertainig and interesting, right up there with the recent Corn/York thrilla in Manilla.

isaidso said...

Edward said:

As a heterosexual man (I presume), Greenwald probably never before had to confront the full measure of dishonesty that lies at the core of homophobia. He now has, and I’m sure he’s not alone.

HEH

Is Glenn Greenwald's "Brazilian partner" male or female?

salvage said...

"Can someone who puts up with Glenn Greenwald's prose explain something to me?"

Ann you don't seem to get much so I'm not sure anyone could explain it to you.

See if you could understand Glenn's points then you probably wouldn’t be the target.

But keep ragging on the sloppy grammar no one will ever suspect that you’re taking cheap shots to avoid his main points.

Anonymous said...

Leftists think that they read the smartest guy on the 'net, therefore they are smart.

If you started posting naked pictures, you'd get more hits. If you started bashing Bush, you'd get more hits.

Not that you need more hits, mind you. I'm just explaining Greenwald's mystifying success.

Pogo said...

I'm glad I missed the current Greenwald discussion. He was absolutely proven to be using sock puppets but didn't have the guts to admit it. As a result, all of his writings are suspect for accuracy.

Face it, Greewald doesn't write, he types, repeatedly, over and over again, repetitively pounding out tired phrase after phrase after phrase, copying at length from himself, forever stamping out the same coin, reweaving the same basket, thesaurusizing his verbiage, ...

...sorry. He's a virus, Greenwald. Best use antibacterial lotion on the keyboard after reading his blog.

P.S. for george:
Anyone quoting Gore Vidal except to ridicule him is by definition a moron.
P.S. for salvage:
Greewald's main points are too stupid to respond to, or too badly written. besides, how do you know he's writing them?

Anonymous said...

Greenwald's content is like pornography for the Left.

Leftists think that they read the smartest guy on the 'net, therefore they are smart.

If you started posting naked pictures, you'd get more hits. If you started bashing Bush, you'd get more hits.

Not that you need more hits, mind you. I'm just explaining Greenwald's mystifying success.

Ann Althouse said...

"Perhaps you could arrange an exchange between you and Glenn on bloggongheads.tv?"

How could that work? My problem with him is that he's boring and longwinded. How could that make a good show? He drones on and on and then I occasionally say things like "Are you done talking yet?" and "Man, that was a lot of words amounting to almost nothing" and "Sorry, I was in a coma." Or I could comically walk off screen, come back 5 minutes later with a sandwich, and the funny thing would be that Glenn wouldn't have noticed.

But I like your typo "bloggongheads.tv." My head would feel like a gong if I had Glenn's words banging on it for an hour.

On that point someone just made about how people think Glenn is really smart. Well, that's sad. I hope anyone who reads Glenn and believes he's seeing a strong intellect does not have a job that involves reading students' term papers.

Fenrisulven said...

george: As a Vietnam veteran, I thought the swiftboarding of John Kerry in the last presidential campaign and John Murtha when he announced his plan for a redeployment of American soldiers in Iraq are only two glaring examples of the usual mud-slinging Republicans have engaged in ad hominen attacks against political opponents.

Huh? How were those ad hom attacks? Kerry lied about his service in Nam and was corrected by those who served with him, many of them Edwards Democrats. Murtha allowed his service to be distorted [left three limbs on the battlefield of Nam] and allowed others to proclaim him a "hero", when his wounds were a result of picking up a live Amercian grenade on his way to the O-Club for a beer. Tragic, but hardly heroic.

To use two adjectives that you employed in your emotional rant against Glenn, they were "sleazy" and creepy."

Kerry & Murtha lied [or allowed others to lie for them, in their presence] about their service and were busted. When did honesty become "sleezy" and "creepy"?

And I'll note that you've also distorted Glenn's attack on Ann. How did she take a right-wing stance on the lefty outing of a senator?

Simon said...

Anderson said...
"Uh, Simon, you just posted a comment including *entire paragraphs* and *complex sentences* on a thread lambasting GG for not writing in op-ed style. I salute your sense of irony, sir."

Well, let's put it politely: Ann is far more interested and concerned with blogs having the quality of being "bloggy" than am I. Concision is one thing, but terse is quite another; it seems deeply misguided, to my mind, to shackle a medium that promises to free us from the drugery that is the terseness of newspaper columns with precisely the same demand. Why import a soundbite culture into a medium which does not require it from a technical perspective?

Which is not to say that, in this instance, she's wrong. I think what Ann's criticizing isn't that Greenwald is writing full sentences, or that he isn't writing "op/ed" style (I like Ann's scholarly writing, her blogging, and her op/eds, in that order - and the op/eds finish a distant third, not because there's anything wrong with Ann's writing, but because there is something inherently wrong with the newspaper format: its sarifice of precision and elegance in favor of utilitarian brevity), but that he's a bad writer. While my writing may not be the most elegant ever to grace these pages - as the preceding sentence demonstrates, LOL - it runs circles around Greenwald's turgid prose. But of course, so would a hundred monkeys with a hundred typewriters given a hundred seconds. ;)

Fenrisulven said...

Salvage: But keep ragging on the sloppy grammar no one will ever suspect that you’re taking cheap shots to avoid his main points

Greenwald's main point being that he defines himself by the lowest common denominator. He gets his values by looking around to see what everyone else does. If he thinks the Right does it, then its okay for the Left too.

That is his main point, yes? Republicans are hypocrites to condemn outings because some Republicans have outed gays.

No wonder he turned out to be a fraud.

Fenrisulven said...

badger: Well then you need to prove it very clearly. That's all you got? An obscure wingnut blog that nobody knows, or reads is your proof?

Dumbass. Greenwald has admitted to using the sock puppets. And I question his traffic stats based on such sleezy dishonest behavior - it fits the pattern. Someone who would resort to using sock puppets is very likely to cheat in other ways, like networking a few computers to pad his hit count, or getting someone else to write his book for him. Its in his character. He's a charlatan and you are his fool.

Palladian said...

Almost all of Greenwald's minions who've come over here to rant and rave about his wonderful, erudite writing have displayed very poor writing skills themselves. Funny, that.

Fenrisulven said...

Side bet: How many are minions and how many are Glenn? LMAO.

Ann Althouse said...

george: "To use two adjectives that you employed in your emotional rant against Glenn, they were "sleazy" and creepy.""

George, your commenting would be better if it didn't contain egregious errors like that. What you call an "emotional rant" was not directed at Glenn. It was about some other blogger engaged in outing a politician. And are you saying it's not "sleazy" and "creepy" to out gay persons? I don't think that's ranting. It's a statement of opinion. If you disagree with it, say so. And you'll look bad.

And let me clear up a misreading about my comparison of Glenn's post to op-eds. Op-eds are usually 800 to 1200 words long. I consider that extended compared to a good blog post. Every time I've written an op-ed that was to be based on a blog post, I've had to elaborate and add more. So for a blog post to be twice the length of an op-ed is ridiculous. I'm not saying blog posts should be like op-eds!

Mack said...

Are you really not aware of the blogging practice of linking to a post that has already compiled the relevant citations, without necessarily making reference to the post itself?

When Eschaton links to a wanker of the day, it's rarely to the right-wing site itself. That doesn't mean he's calling the linkee a wanker. If it's obvious from your post that you're not outraged, then I don't see how you have a gripe. He even linked you on "pundits," after all, not "expressing," or "outrage."

As to his writing, I think it's conversational, and he's very good at giving well-explained critiques of Republican nonsense. If he sat around editing all day, he wouldn't be able to do that. Personally, I kind of appreciate someone who throws out an occasional "repeatedly, over and over," just to say "I'm not going to sit around turning this into poetry, because that's not the point. It's more than just repeatedly, so I'm going to say it twice." It shows conviction.

Fenrisulven said...

edit: I was thinking of Max Cleland above, not Murtha.

JorgXMcKie said...

Well, all this posting certainly proves one thing.

If Ann wants to drive her traffic up, all she has to do is write about boobs.

Gotta Know said...

A few comments about Greenwald and his site:

--For some reason following the infamous sock puppet incident I have visited his site from time to time and posted comments. I say "for some reason" because I can't quite figure out what exactly is the attraction.

--Contrary to what his defenders have said, there is no excuse for writing the way he does. It is just plain bad. It's not a question of my lack of intelligence or the desire for comic book writing. The fact is that longwinded run-ons obscure the point and serve to render any conclusions ambiguous. I suspect this is somewhat intentional.

--I have often challenged him to just once lay out what he thinks should be done, on the question of Iraq in particular, since he so often lays on extreme criticism of current policy. He has never done so. He recently said in response to some other commenter regarding a different matter that he does not feel compelled to do so since he is not running for office. This is a weak excuse and proof that, among his other traits, he is nothing more than a back-seat driver.

--Although I have been aggressive in my comments at times, I have never used foul language or directly attacked his character. Nevertheless, he has banned me twice. Both times the "ban" went away after a few weeks or perhaps a month. This is ridiculous. It makes a mockery of his obsessive, blathering defenses of personal liberty and the First Amendment. (Not long ago I "banned" him from the list of sites I visit.)

--When I first started posting comments I was particularly careful to be polite and courteous and was looking forward to some good, honest debates. That hope didn't last long. Not only were the responses to my comments rude and immature ("Grow a brain, moron."), they were also almost always emotional and devoid of serious content.

--One of the reasons he gets the level of traffic that he does is that his comment section is more like a chat room. You can say something, and two hours and 25 posts later the same three people are raging on about what an idiot you are.

--Amazingly, despite the unfailingly consistent criticism of all things Republican he resolutely claims to be a non-partisan "libertarian." This is just totally absurd and undermines the total body of his work. The funny thing is, he actually seems to believe it, which to me is no better than intentional misrepresentation. If you can't be even the slightest bit honest with yourself, with whom can you be honest.

But we know the answer to that...

River Cocytus said...

There are zero excuses for being verbose.

To do so is for one or more of these reasons:
1. No editing
2. Too little substance
3. Drunk
4. Idiot-savantitis

(Idiot-savantitis is something I just made up to describe too much education in too few things.)

Greenwald gets 30,000 visitors a day because his main audience does a lot of surfing.

I used to be over-verbose, but I got it slapped out of me. Having to write headlines, or properly use the space on a single webpage does that.

Ideas start out fluid and verbose, and end up refined and perhaps aphoristic.

Compressed, if you will, like a jpeg image.

Don't knock aphorisms just because you're bitter that they don't solve all of your problems.

Regarding Glenn's sexual lifestyle: There is a significant connection between viewing people as homophobes and living the homosexual lifestyle. Its simply a matter of perspective.

People who live heterosexual lifestyles who see others as homophobic primarily are being empathic to people they know who live homosexually. (If you don't know any homosexuals, when you first come to be freinds with one you will be surprised how much more sympathetic you become.)

You don't have to agree with those statements... I don't claim you must. They're just opinions. If you want to refute them solidly, the footwork is on you.

And don't resort to gainsaying, sophistry or personal attacks. I hate 'em.

If you want me to explain any of these things more clearly, just ask.

(I will admit that there was at a time a tribalism going on-- this is part of the folk culture-- in which Americans did inexcusable things to homosexuals. The modern charge of 'homophobia' is different than this phenomena.)

Edward said...

I’m disappointed that the opinion of Ann Althouse and others here on the issue of outing is so simplistic and unnuanced.

It seems like, to them, outing is just bad – very, very bad. Always bad, awful actually – oh, and it’s also sleazy and creepy. And anyone who accepts outing looks really, really bad.

That’s just childish nonsense that doesn’t reckon with the real-world way that people talk about homosexuality every day. It also fails to grapple intellectually with the rapid mainstreaming of gay people that today’s America is experiencing.

A fundamental problem with opposition to outing is that it always trades in the notion that homosexuality is shameful.

Gay-friendly opponents of outing (which includes some gay people) hasten to claim that they’re just sensitive, caring individuals who are very aware of the hazards of coming out of the closet. They completely disavow homophobia in all its forms (so they say), but they want to protect all closeted gay people (including immensely powerful and extremely homophobic closeted Republican politicians) from having their feelings hurt by having their sexual orientation exposed before they’re “ready” to reveal it themselves.

There may be a grain of truth in this “enlightened” anti-outing stand, but it’s blown out of all proportion when such opposition becomes absolutist.

Doctrinaire opponents of outing are also wrong when they can’t speak respectfully about those who at least support outing powerful public figures (who already have a greatly diminished expectation of privacy), and especially those who support outing politicians who daily do harm to the gay community.

Also, doctrinaire opponents of outing often appear holier-than-thou and detached from the real-world way that people talk about homosexuality all the time.

Who, in their everyday lives, hasn’t engaged in conversations speculating about whether such-and-such a person is gay? Everyone has, and we all know that.

With the internet turning into one big, freewheeling (inter)national conversation, I think it’s only natural that someone on some blog somewhere will begin speculating about which politicians and other public figures are gay. Is that so despicable? Is that so utterly different from the ordinary conversations that we’ve all had as to whether certain people we know might be gay?

To varying degrees, opposition to outing always trades in homophobia (however attenuated), and such opposition always gives effect to and reinforces homophobia (however slightly).

Even the aggressiveness of the term “outing” reflects old-fashioned homophobia.

In many parts of American society, homosexuality is so well accepted that talking about whether someone is gay is just a casual part of everyday conversation. It’s not considered “outing.” It’s just life in a modern, diverse, and tolerant society.

Mark said...

Maybe I am wrong, but I think there's a very strong correlation between one's political views and attitude toward Glenn's prose: if one is a Republican or agrees often with Republican positions, he/she is much more likely to find Glenn's prose terrible and obtuse, and vice versa. Probably I am not an exception. :) It would be nice to find out what truly non-political people think of his writing,

Badger said...

Dumbass. Greenwald has admitted to using the sock puppets

Link please

salvage said...

He was absolutely proven to be using sock puppets but didn't have the guts to admit it.

Um voices in heads make for poor witness, can anyone show me this "absolute" proof?

Did Powell do a presentation to the UN about it?

salvage said...

So for a blog post to be twice the length of an op-ed is ridiculous.

Ann? Sweetie? Deep breath now cuz I’m about to say something shocking; the only parameters for a blog post to be called one is that it’s a post on a blog.

Neat huh?

I understand that you have a rather short and narrow attention span (matches your vision) but to the rest of us a blog post is exactly as long as the writer intended it to be. There are no rules, that’s what’s great about blogging and I guess that’s what’s confusing you, your type thrives on structure and direction.

But it’s adorable that you think you can declare and define them. You ought to write a book.

Doyle said...

if one is a Republican or agrees often with Republican positions, he/she is much more likely to find Glenn's prose terrible and obtuse

For lack of any more substantive criticism, apparently.

Ann's just doesn't like Glenn for being an unabashedly shrill partisan who often calls out Bush sympathizers like herself.

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