Thursday, June 26, 2008

Infinity Goes Up On Trial

I am a fan and admirer of Keith Olbermann, but I think Glenn Greenwald has him dead to rights here, where he notes that in January, Olbermann used these words to characterize proposals to give immunity to telecommunications companies involved in illegal spying:

shameless, breathless, literally textbook example of Fascism -- the merged efforts of government and corporations that answer to no government.
But as of last evening's Countdown program, policy that had been a "textbook example of Fascism" transmogrified, by virtue of Barack Obama's embrace of it, into a show of "strength" and political acumen: a Profile in Courage (minus Ted Sorenson), a Sister Souljah Moment, arguably a Nixon-Goes-to-China moment, quite possibly a Corpse-of-Nixon-Mouth-Kisses-Sister-Souljah moment.

These moments and their nomenclature have a way of getting out of hand, so call it what you will. Value judgments are involved, and not necessarily simple ones. But Fascist Outrage to Show of Courage is quite a swing in appraisal in just a few months featuring no changes in the relevant underlying realities: FISA, spying, the fourth amendment, and so on are very much what they were in January.

It will be interesting to see how and whether Olbermann responds.

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