Lately there has been a minor imbroglio in the blogosphere between progressive stalwart Roy Edroso and Salon.com columnist Glenn Greenwald. The former took umbrage at the latter’s comparison of the foreign policy positions of Barack Obama and Ron Paul. I won’t bore you with the meat of the matter, but I would like to focus momentarily on Edroso’s umbrage, which is so unfortunately emblematic of the progressosphere at large.
In sum, Edroso’s “eyes filled with blood, he said — from outrage and insult, presumably — at Greenwald’s description of what any supporter for Barack Obama is actually supporting. To wit:
Yes, I’m willing to continue to have Muslim children slaughtered by covert drones and cluster bombs, and America’s minorities imprisoned by the hundreds of thousands for no good reason, and the CIA able to run rampant with no checks or transparency, and privacy eroded further by the unchecked Surveillance State, and American citizens targeted by the President for assassination with no due process, and whistleblowers threatened with life imprisonment for “espionage,” and the Fed able to dole out trillions to bankers in secret, and a substantially higher risk of war with Iran (fought by the U.S. or by Israel with U.S. support) …
This, it seems to me, is the most basic statement of unequivocal, undeniable fact imaginable. It is simply true that if you support the continuance of Barack Obama in power, this is what you support. I have been pointing this out from various angles here for years; Arthur Silber was pointing out exactly what supporting Obama meant even before the candidate of hope and change was elected. (See this, for example, from 2007.) There is nothing new in Greenwald’s recitation of the blunt, plain, unvarnished facts.
Yet confronting this reality — the actual reality of what supporting Barack Obama and his policies means — caused Edroso’s progressive eyes to “fill with blood.” All he could muster in answer was an ironic jibe at Greenwald for acting like a pantomime villain — “Jesus, Glenn, why not add ‘Mwah hah hah’ … while you’re at it?” — for simply stating the mundane truth.
This is painful. This is watching someone who is obviously of good heart twist and contort themselves to avoid the truth that they are supporting mass murder. Mass murder. The reality of children being torn to shred by drone bombs at the order of a Democratic president is no less evil than children shredded by Republican neo-cons or libertarian extremists — or by the worst kind of psychopathic child-murderer stalking some city street somewhere. There is no moral difference in the evil of these acts. Yet Edroso, blinded by the partisan blood in his eyes, casts about this way and that trying desperately, desperately, not to see the truth in front of him.
Over at another avatar of the progressosphere, Hullabaloo, David Atkins likewise casts scorn on those who might actually refuse to take part in the electoral process of a murderous empire “because of drones” or some silly nonsense like that. What a casual shrug — abandon Obama “because of drones”? Some little something like “drones”? Some little something like an industrial killing machine operating in dozens of countries around the world? What is that — a few hundred eviscerated, obliterated, gutted, beheaded children — to the impossible scenario of, say, Ron Paul becoming president of the United States and immediately enacting his entire extremist libertarian agenda across the entirety of the United States government? (For yes, it is just this ludicrous nightmare scenario that seems to petrify our progresso-stalwartians. They are far, far more concerned with these fantasies than the absolutely bedrock reality of innocent people being murdered, day after day after day after day, by the industrial killing machine captained so enthusiastically by Barack Obama.)
So many millions upon millions of pointless words spent on the “horse race” of the presidential election — which will be decided solely on the basis of which two corporate bagmen spend the money of their masters most effectively — and all of them nothing more than witless blather raising blood in the eyes of good people, to keep them from seeing the reality of the evil being done in their names, by the very “progressive leaders” they champion.