Having a certain masochistic streak, I can’t explain it in any other way, I read some of the various blogs at the Atlantic, that is Megan McArdle, Andrew Sullivan, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and James Fallows as I mentioned in my last post.
Megan McArdle seems to represent the rightward most position acceptable in polite company- economically somewhat libertarian, but supporting all the ongoing policies of bailouts and other spending, skeptical about the health care plan but not actually opposed. The rest are pretty much, “What’s wrong with these evil scumbags?” in their attitude towards the average American.
Sullivan brings up Glen Greenwald today, an example of perhaps the most noisome creature in the US, the “constitutional law/civil rights” attorney or professor. We are reminded occasionally that Obama was a “constitutional law professor” although in reality he was nothing more than a part-time lecturer, the title of professor and its associated subdivisions being jealously guarded distinctions amongst college facutly. I put that in quotes because while such a person may be an attorney, which is a simple description for a member of the bar who represents others, there is essentially nothing constitutional about what these people do, and nothing even legal except to the extent the judge can send the sheriff after you.
The reigning theory of law in the US, at least among the liberals who actually control almost everything, is Critical Legal Studies, here in Wikipedia-
I’ll save you the trouble of following the link by summarizing that this just means the law is whatever they think it should be.
The left likes to slam any use of the concept of patriotism, which they blackguard as an attempt to take ownership, to define what is good and righteous behavior; but they do the same thing all the time themselves. The terms “constitutional” and “rights” are constantly abused; whatever they think government policy and social norms should be we are assured is a matter of “constitutional rights” while in reality it is simply what the consensus is among a certain elite, achieved on an informal social basis rather than a legislative one and bearing only the most tenuous relationship with the US Constitution.
If The People are brainwashed by appeals to righteousness and patriotism, it is entirely by the left, which has hijacked the legal system since the New Deal era to serve as their enforcement mechanism. Glen Greenwald is just a goon.
How can Glen Greenwald, Barack Obama and the rest of these refined folks just be goons? Well we were repeatedly told that the prison at Guantanamo Bay was illegal and unconstitutional. If so all the individuals held there should have been released the afternoon of January 20, 2009 when the Obama administration took office. If it were in fact illegal and unconstitutional there would be no question at all as to what had to be done; and yet over a year later the individuals are still held, with no certainty at all as to what will be done with them.
So what was illegal, unconstitutional and immoral under Bush is merely unfortunate and inconvenient under Obama. He would like to do away with this prison, we are told, it’s just so difficult to arrange an alternative! But- again- if it is illegal the prisoners must be released more or less immediately. 24 hours for some kind of processingly might be acceptable, maybe even 72 hours or a week, but no more.
If what is legal depends on who does it, we have a system little different from the Soviet Union. One doesn’t go to jail for dissenting; plenty of dissent is tolerated to the extent the dissenters are only punished with shame and ostracism; but the fact of a party that decides for itself what is right, and then propagandizes the society to obey, is just the same.