Thursday, October 19, 2006

Is Keith Olbermann Emblematic of All That's Wrong with Netroots Democrats?

Keith had a little something to say last night on the loss of Habeus Corpus. He has become the voice of the liberal Democratic base, but is that a good thing? Watch the video, then I'll post another point of view.

John McIntyre at the Real Clear Politics blog took issue with Keith's statement, and he has declared that "the growing power of the Olbermann wing of the party does not bode well for long term Democrat success."

Is that true? Do the Dems face a tough future if they stand in favor of human rights and the Consitution? McIntyre offers this small quote as an example of KO's (one would assume the implication is faulty) thinking:
For, on this first full day that the Military Commissions Act is in force, we now face what our ancestors faced, at other times of exaggerated crisis and melodramatic fear-mongering:

A government more dangerous to our liberty, than is the enemy it claims to protect us from.
Conservatives laugh at this kind of an assertion. This is the standard conservative criticism of all liberals who question Bush's efforts to create a more powerful unitary executive. KO and other liberals think that Bush's efforts to systematically dismantle the Consitution are a greater threat to democracy than a handful of angry Islamic fundamentalists.

Sure, they can bomb us -- take a few hundred or a few thousand lives. And that is horrible. But terrorists can never destroy the moral and philosophical foundation of this nation the way Bush's policies can. Without the Bill of Rights, we cease to be Americans. Without ALL of our Constitutional protections, we cease to be a great, free nation.

In that way -- and many others -- Bush IS a greater threat than terrorists.

The Dems need voices with the power and precision of Keith Olbermann. They need someone who can articulate in clear language that for which our democratic republic stands. Too bad none of those voices are politicians.

The future of America is now.


Unknown said...

I think that like Olbermann, you're being a tad hysterical, here, Bill-H.

For one thing, the danger comes to our Constitution only if the Supreme Court plays along and I'm betting they won't. I do agree that limitting Habeus Corpus is outrageous, but even if the conservatives in SCOTUS go along, we will get our country back in the longrun.

Plus, there is this election thing coming in 2 1/2 weeks which is going to change the direction of the prevailing winds. I think we should hold on to our hats.

As for KO, most of his raving is loony and it is this looniness itself that causes political mischief. The progressive wing is aping Rush just as it has been aping Rove. It would be nice, imho, if the progressives GREW UP and were starkly, evidently the most capable folks to handle the challenges of the country.

We cannot be making 'a contest' out of who is worse: Bush or the terrorists. It is a stupid contrast that doesn't resolve anything. And since the terrorists can conceivably nuke Philadelphia, I think I would be able to more than forgive the public if it decided that the terrorists were the greater danger.

william harryman said...

I'm not betting on the courts anymore -- the Supremes are stacked to the right. Much of the damage Bush is doing will be tough to undo, so a new president (assmuning it's a Dem, and that's a big assumption) will have a hard time rewrting all of the stuff Bush as done.

KO has gotten a bit over the top, but he is still often right. The Dems need their own Rush or O'Reilly.

I agree, it would be nice to see the Dems act as though they should be in charge -- not likely as near as I can tell. As always, it's the lesser of two evils.

As far as chosing between Bush or the terrorists -- if Bush has his way, there will be nothing to defend from terrorists. We will simply have a Christian-American version of Islamic fundamentalist rule.


Unknown said...

I think what we are seeing NOW is what we will see or would see if Habeus Corpus passes SCOTUS muster, or if the Christians were empowered in this country: The nation would recoil and the conservatives would return to the wilderlands.

Conservative [in its many stripes] is something the country toys with but ultimately rejects when it catchs a strong wiff of what life would really be like in a Conservative Gulag.

So sometimes it is nice -- simply nice -- when the conservatives get their way and drive the bus into the ditch. They prove themselves to be corrupt, narcissistic, hateful and hypocritical. It is the speediest way for the liberals to get power handed back to them.

Now I think it is necessary for us to get Obama elected president so that we begin to undo the horror of the Bush years.