This has been a preoccupation of mine lately, wondering how to express my admiration of SOME of the principles of the Ron Pauls of the world. I’ve half articulated the thought that “Yes, he is totally batshit crazy on some issues, but exactly right on others” and I was trying to find a way to describe mainstream Dems and Republicans as being just as crazy as—if not more— crazy than Paul.
Glenn Greenwald has articulated my half/mal-formed thought perfectly in today’s column, Who are the actual “crazy” people in American politics?
Just consider who is supported and embraced by those who slap the “crazy” label on the forehead of every perceived dissident. Hillary Clinton — the ultimate embodiment of Democratic Party Seriousness and Sanity — supported the invasion of Iraq by warning of scary weapons and Al Qaeda ties that did not exist (“Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members”), and she spent her campaign beating her chest and doing things like threatening to “totally obliterate” Iran. While in office, Barack Obama has endorsed putting people in cages with no charges, assassinating American citizens with no due process, eavesdropping on Americans en masse with little oversight, increasing military spending beyond its shockingly inflated levels while searching for ways to cut Medicaid and Social Security, and blocking judicial review of presidential felonies and war crimes on the ground that those criminal acts constitute vital “state secrets” and must be protected. Most Serious, Sane Democrats have supported all of that insanity.
Meanwhile, the GOP establishment from top to bottom spent a decade cheering on torture, disappearances, abductions, unprovoked wars, chronic presidential lawbreaking and truly sick McCarthyite witch hunts. Both of the Sane Parties conspired to transfer, with little accountability, massive amounts of public wealth to the very Wall Street firms which virtually destroyed the entire world economy, while standing by and doing very little about tragic levels of joblessness or the future risk of Wall-Street-caused financial crises; kept us waging war for a full decade in multiple countries (while threatening others) even as we near the precipice of bankruptcy, the hallmarks of under-developed nation status and the disappearance of the social safety net; and are so captive to the corporate interests which own the Government that they viciously compete with one another over who can be a more loyal servant to those interests.
While all of that is happening, those whom all Serious, Sane people agree are Crazy — people like Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul and Alan Grayson — vehemently oppose most if not all of that and try to find ways to expand the realm of legitimate debate and political alliances beyond the suffocating stranglehold of those responsible. So who exactly is Crazy?