Hello, Mr. Charles Pierce, writer for Esquire magazine and frequent guest on radio and television talk shows. I have a question for you.
You have stated recently, Mr. Charles Pierce, writer for Esquire magazine and frequent guest on radio and television talk shows, that people who encourage American voters to stay home and sulk these coming mid-term elections will precipitate such disasters as:
Jim Inhofe as the chairman of the Senate Environment Committee? Chuck (Bag Of Hammers) running Judiciary? Grumpy McCloudyeller with an even bigger platform as chairman of Armed Services? Jefferson Davis Beauregard Sessions as chairman of anything?
I take it from your tone that you believe that electing more Republicans to government office in the United States would be a Bad Thing. That encouraging people who would not vote for Republicans, but rather for Democrats, to stay home and sulk while the howling lunatics who comprise the Republican base turn out for the midterm elections en masse as they always do is the action of a fucking moron who enjoys seeing a Republican lawmaker standing virtuous guard over every American woman’s lady bits, lest they be put to some heinous, non-Christ-approved use — the action of someone who is, in short, a yutz.
Mr. Glenn Greenwald has stated, publicly, that one of his most cherished political wet-dreams is to punish the Democratic Party of the United States of America for the sin of Not Being Pure Enough to Suit Mr. Glenn Greenwald. To see fewer Democrats elected. To see more Republicans elected. To allow Republicans to inflict all of their darkest, most repressive, most atavistic political plans on the population of the United States (while Mr. Greenwald himself experiences none of the… uh… benefits of this course of action, being nice and safe and cozy in Brazil and all) and hope that the resulting groundswell of horror and outrage leads to… something… and the Republicans will be driven from the land forever!
And all the repression of women and brutalizing of the poor and punishing of the hungry and deregulation of industry and poisoning of the landscape that will inevitably happen under a Republican government would just be something for people (other people, as opposed to Mr. Greenwald, safe and cozy in Brazil and all) to endure on their march to the inevitable Progressive Utopia to come. The electorate would surely rise up. Electoral conditions and rules would surely allow them to do so effectively (it’s not like Republicans are known for constantly monkeying with election laws to make it damn near impossible for their political opponents to vote, after all, o I’m sure it’d all work out fine).
So here is my question, Mr. Charles Pierce, writer for Esquire magazine and frequent guest on radio and television talk shows: if only there were someone with a big national platform and decades of journalistic experience — someone way, way the hell above my pay grade — who could ask Mr. Greenwald about his position on the subject of seeing Senator Jim Inhofe as chairman of the Senate Environment Committee and post Mr. Greenwald’s response (or lack thereof) in a public forum with enormous reach accompanied by evidence of his previous stated positions on the subject for the purposes of either supporting or disproving Mr. Greenwald’s answer… well, that’d be pretty nifty, don’t you think?
You’re smart, Mr. Charles Pierce, writer for Esquire magazine and frequent guest on radio and television talk shows. Really smart. And yet, at every turn, you seem to become deeply confused (or at least, mildly petulant) when someone points out that the individuals who helped expose a whole hell of a lot of ominous skullduggery in the U.S. intelligence community appear to be a couple of anthropomorphic bags of dicks in their own right (and at least one of whom is also, apparently, a yutz), a minor detail which may hold a certain amount of relevance to the proceedings, relevance that does not absolve the U.S. intelligence community of their manifold sins by the mere fact of its existence or the existence of people who point it out.
Let me try summing it up, Mr. Charles Pierce, writer for Esquire magazine and frequent guest on radio and television talk shows, so we’re on the same page here and can discuss these issues like sane human beings instead of bipedal snark machines.
The NSA is probably doing stuff it shouldn’t.
The oversight placed by the U.S. government to keep an eye on these agencies is, at best, kind of wimpy, and at worst a bad joke.
Mr. Snowden’s actions put a big fucking spotlight on these issues.
Mr. Snowden broke laws to accomplish this, without even bothering to try using any established avenues to address these problems; these laws may need to be examined, overhauled or expunged, but he still broke the damned things.
These established avenues for addressing problems in the intelligence community may or may not be utterly worthless at the moment, if they ever worked in the first place; regardless, Mr. Snowden was required by law to at least genuflect in their general direction, and he didn’t.
Mr. Snowden appears to have some questionable motivations underlying his actions, motivations which in no way detract from any salutary (or deleterious) effects his actions have had, or may yet have.
Any salutary (or deleterious) effects of Mr. Snowden’s actions have had, or may yet have, in no way detract from the relevance of examining his motivations.
Mr. Snowden’s actions damned near precipitated a shooting war between Indonesia and Australia.
A shooting war between Indonesia and Australia, regardless of its cause(s), would be a Bad Thing — there would be no upside to a shooting war between Indonesia and Australia, and any mention of either omelettes or eggs at this juncture by anyone should be met with physical remonstration directed at the speaker in question that requires said speaker to seek emergency dental surgery.
Mr. Snowden has found refuge in Russia.
Pointing out that finding refuge in motherfucking Russia (and on President Putin’s lap no less) while simultaneously denouncing America as the Great Satan That Goes Through the Porn Folder on Your Hard Disk Without Permission smacks of just a hint of hypocrisy does not make the person offering said observation a Dupe of O’Bummer’s Police State.
Just because Mr. Snowden has chosen/been forced at gunpoint to snuggle up to Big Daddy Vladdy’s glistening uncovered pectorals for protection and sustenance doesn’t necessarily mean that America isn’t on the road to becoming the Great Satan What Goes Through the Porn Folder on Your Hard Disk Without Permission. But it’s still a relevant observation in its own right.
Both Mr. Snowden and Mr. Greenwald have been curiously silent about Russia’s rather unpleasant activities in the realm of national intelligence, to say nothing of President Putin’s alleged predilection for having inconvenient journalists killed. But I’m sure that’s President Obama’s fault somehow.
It is possible to look at the U.S. intelligence community with deep concern (as they appear to have gone completely out of control); to look at Mr. Snowden and point out that he called attention to a serious problem, but that he also appears to have broken a hell of a lot of laws to do so, that he appears to have had less than noble motivations for doing so, and that he has found refuge under the protection of an unpleasant regime that is known for doing a lot of the stuff Mr. Snowden rails against far more openly and contemptuously than ever the U.S. intelligence community did; to observe that perhaps finding a journalist to air these issues who is slightly more reliable than someone who lies and exaggerates and generally acts like a pissy asshole all the goddamned time would be nice; to point out that one of Mr. Greenwald’s reasons for involving himself in this story (apart from fame and fortune) appears to be that he really wants Senator Jim Inhofe as chairman of the Senate Environment Committee; and to keep all of these thoughts in mind simultaneously without being either an NSA Tool, or a furiously-masturbating fanboy of the “all-too-human, yet curiously error-prone, heroes of the surveillance state.”
Mr. Charles Pierce, writer for Esquire magazine and frequent guest on radio and television talk shows, if you want to do something about the people who try to depress Democratic turnout in the upcoming midterm elections, perhaps you’d like to start by asking the public figure who said, publicly, that electorally punishing Democrats would be a positive step for the American political scene whether he really is a goddamned purity-obsessed moron where American politics are concerned or if he just plays one on TV, without being confused by the fact that said guy is all tied up in the mess that is the Saga of Snowden.
So yes, Mr. Greenwald is a yutz who wants Republicans to win elections more often, and this is just one of the reasons why every “revelation” he puts in print or divulges on air should be examined very, very closely by professional skeptics — not dismissed, necessarily, but vetted and edited by people who know what the fuck they’re doing.
Now, Mr. Charles Pierce, writer for Esquire magazine and frequent guest on radio and television talk shows, stop acting like a petulant child whenever someone points that out. It may not be the most important issue in the mix here, but it still fucking matters. And the fact that it fucking matters doesn’t mean that any issues raised by said yutz in the course of his committing yutzery in print and on the TV machine are unimportant or irrelevant. It’s just that sometimes, just sometimes, why people do the things they do is as important as what they do in the first place. Don’t you think?
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to take Stan (the NSA stooge who skulks in the bushes at the top of my driveway and goes through my garbage) a mug of hot cocoa. It’s started snowing again and the poor bastard looks cold as hell.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.