Another Damn Election Year

There’s this long article by Glenn Greenwald in Salon; It’s worth a read. Essentially, Greenwald takes progressive partisans to task for supporting Obama and vilifying Ron Paul when Paul is making all the same arguments against Obama that progressives made against Bush. Endless war, military engagement without congressional approval, further erosion of fourth and fifth amendment rights, increased surveillance powers for domestic espionage,  suspension of habeas corpus, and, of course, Obama’s one truly novel innovation: summary execution of American citizens without even a hint of due process.

I don’t agree with all of Greenwald’s policy priorities: I support Israel; I think a committed non-interventionist policy would be about as successful as it was for Chamberlain in the 1930’s; I don’t think that increased debt in combination with currency devaluation is going to do anything to promote economic growth… but I do agree with the thrust of his critique. Someone needs to be making the arguments Ron Paul is making, it’s just a damn shame it has to be Ron Paul.

Right now (and things could certainly change), it looks like we’re going to have Romney vs. Obama. That’s not much of a choice. It would, however, provide rich opportunity for  seriously deep hypocrisy. We’d get to see Romney–architect of the Mass. law (RomneyCare) that mandates health insurance coverage–argue that  the national law is bad policy. We’d get to see Obama–recipient of more Wall Street money than any other candidate in history and architect of multiple multi-billion dollar financial sector bailouts argue that Romney is a shill for moneyed interests. It’d also be interesting to see the media scrutinize Romney and the LDS but continue to minimize Obama’s association with pastor Wright.

Hypocrisy isn’t an end in itself, but it looks like it may be all that we’re going to get this year.