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The Daily Banter Mail Bag! Drone Hysteria, CPAC Insanity and Pope-on-Pope Action!


Welcome to this week's edition of The Daily Banter Mailbag! Today, Bob, Ben and Chez discuss drones, CPAC insanity and Pope vs Pope.

The questions:

1) There's been a lot written at The Daily Banter this week about drones and a lot of calling out, mostly aimed at Glenn Greenwald, David Sirota and their ilk who seem to be fixated only on the drone issue. Is it really possible for these kinds of short-sighted purists to have an impact on American policy or are they just pissing into the wind?
-- Trish

Chez: I think that above all Greenwald and Sirota are careerists. This isn't to say they're making it up as they go and don't care about the subjects they write about; it's simply that they've come to realize that people expect a certain limited repertoire out of them and actually want to hear the "greatest hits." I guess for a Greenwald acolyte, reading Glenn and NOT seeing him indignantly bitch about drone strikes, Bradley Manning and the general tyranny of the Obama administration would be like going to see the Stones live and not hearing "Satisfaction." He and Sirota have both made very tidy sums of money for themselves being the obsessive opposition from the ostensible left to Obama -- ranting and raving about how their utopian progressive ideals aren't being brought to fruition in a manner they feel is essential to earn even a little support from them -- and so you can be sure the hectoring will continue, ad infinitum. Can they make a real difference? They've got their fan base but I really think no one outside of that base takes them the least bit seriously -- precisely because they're unreasonable ideologues drowning in their own piety.

Bob: Honestly, I've never felt more out of step with my own side, even though I mostly agree with my own side that all of this war on terrorism awfulness has to end and the president ought to be stripped of his war powers. But as soon as anyone takes the far-left to task about being too kneejerky and radical, they're painted as a Yoo/Cheney Brundlefly. Seriously, I hope the coverage we provided this week at least makes a sensible dent in the hysteria over this topic because certain usual suspects need to calm the hell down.

Ben: I have a schizophrenic attitude towards people like Glenn Greenwald and David Sirota, because it's often hard to argue with the logic behind their arguments. I don't think they're wrong about drones, the NDAA etc etc, it's just they bang on about it to the exclusion of well, pretty much everything else. And that makes them pretty much irrelevant when it comes to affecting anything in the real world given most people just tune out when they start talking. They're both very smart guys who do a lot of serious analysis, but it's laced with so much holier than thou condescension it's almost unbearable to make your way through. Both writers assume the stance that Obama is a drone loving, anti civil liberties, social security cutting war monger bent on pushing through a conservative agenda at all costs, never taking into consideration the unbelievably complex political landscape he has to navigate. Obama has to make deals with very conservative Democrats and a lunatic opposition that won't budge an inch in negotiations -  a reality Sirota and Greenwald never want to acknowledge. I thought people dropped the high minded, hectoring, I'm-always-right bullshit after college. But Sirota and Greenwald are still going strong.

2) What's the craziest thing we can expect to hear at CPAC?
-- Sid

Bob: So far, it's been Marco Rubio saying, "Just because I believe that states should have the right to define marriage in the traditional way does not make me a bigot." But Sarah Palin, as of this writing, has yet to speak so get read for a geyser of crazyburgers.

Ben: Well, Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert actually tried to pin the screw ups in Vietnam, the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis and both wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on Jimmy Carter, so that was pretty crazy. But we've got Sarah Palin yet to speak, so I'm sure more craziness is on the way.

Chez: It's not so much what we'll hear as what we'll see. I'm expecting the highlight of the convention will be toward the end of the last day when, inspired by this past weekend's episode of "Girls," Dinesh D'Souza forces Dana Loesch to crawl on all fours onto the dais where he then jerks off onto her tits. Todd Akin will rave about the performance, calling it "legitimate."

3) Who would win in a battle to the death, Pope "The Emperor" Benedict with his Nazi lightning fingers or Pope "General Zod" Francis and his powerful anti-queer eye lasers?
-- Walt

Chez: No idea, but I have to imagine a battle that epic would probably leave all of Vatican City in ruins. And that can only be a good thing.

Bob: Well, the new Pope is suddenly infallible, while the old Pope has evidently been stripped of his infallibility, so definitely the New Pope. By the way, I'm not exactly sure how that works: infallibility one minute, then fallibility the next. It's like being able to jump really high, then not any more, arbitrarily.

Ben: Man, I've got a lot of very good Spanish Catholic friends and I keep getting in shit with them for my criticism of the Church/Pope. I won't keep quiet about the sex abuse scandal because that is extremely serious, but I'm at least staying away from the snarky jokes....


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