April 14, 2009
GLENN GREENWALD looks at the DHS’s lame report on right-wing “extremism” and argues that people on the right are reaping what they sowed over the past years.
This would be more persuasive if it weren’t the case that — as Dave Kopel and Paul Blackman exhaustively documented — this was all going on before Bush, too, with massive law-enforcement overreaching (aimed mostly at the right) during the Clinton years. Greenwald writes: “When you cheer on a Surveillance State, you have no grounds to complain when it turns its eyes on you. If you create a massive and wildly empowered domestic surveillance apparatus, it’s going to monitor and investigate domestic political activity.” But some of us were pointing that out to Dems who complained back in 2002.
And, really — are these tongue-in-cheek comments by Mark Steyn an “elaborate, detailed martyr fantasy”? I think, rather, they’re a mockery of same. But Greenwald’s always been deaf to irony.
UPDATE: Questioning the Timing: Limbaugh says the DHS report release was an attempt to distract from the Tea Party message.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Correcting the lefty cackling:
Andrew Sullivan chooses to miss the point and savor an “I told you so moment”, exulting in his criticism of Bush’s shredding of the Constitution and expansion of the “Surveillance State”. Uh huh – the problem with this DHS study is not that they are threatening extra-Constitutional surveillance and interrogation of people; it is that they are coming very close to attempting to criminalize non-violent political dissent. That is deeply problematic even if they do it with all the proper warrants.
But don’t let that stop the point-scoring, even if the points scored are entirely delusional.