Donkey Punch

December 21, 2007

Between Crusty Realism and Inherent Optimism

Filed under: Dennis Perrin, Greenwald, Politics — t4toby @ 12:49 pm


Dennis Perrin is one of my favorite bloggers. I discovered him about a year and a half ago, and have followed his blog daily ever since. He is dark, funny, and jaggedly witty.

One thing I value about his blog is how honest he is about how he feels about the world. He doesn’t sugar coat his ideas, and some times he’s just plain harsh. He is largely vilified by the progosphere because of his no holds barred take-down of Digby’s big coming out speech:

While listening to Digby drone on and on and on…I had a vision of me seizing the stage armed with an AK-47, and forcing those present to listen to my speech:

“Hello, friends. Some of you may know me, but if you don’t, you’ll know me after tonight. I don’t want to take up a lot of your precious time, but after listening to Digby’s 6th Grade civics lesson, I feel the need to add my thoughts. And thanks to a rather loose interpretation of the Second Amendment [waves weapon], I get to do just that. Thank you.”

You may see how that could offend some of the bloggers more prone to pearl clutching.

Well, he seems to have stepped on a big left toe again, this time relative to Chris Dodd’s recent FISA success.

Jesus, what little it takes to get the libloggers dancing on their keyboards. They’re like a perpetually jilted and ignored would-be lover who’ll leap at any hint of recognition, however cynical or fleeting. “I just knew he cared! I mean, he does care, right? He must care!”

That may sound a little rough to some, but I cannot disagree at all. Evidently this kind of talk is not allowed on Teh Left.

Enter Glenn Greenwald. He is like the Anti-Perrin. All reason and seriousness with absolutely no concept of brevity. He also happens to be another one of my favorite bloggers. Once he gets on an issue, he is tenacious like a pit bull. He is also a Liblogger Superhero.

So Dennis gets attacked for being defeatest for saying:

While it’s nice that FISA and retroactive immunity for the telecoms has been placed on hold for the moment, I wouldn’t hold your breath for some kind of systemic cleansing.

Which is another way of saying this:

In the Beltway world, anyone who aggressively objects to the Bush administration’s extremism, and especially its lawbreaking, is always guilty of (at least) one of two sins: they are either fringe, unSerious, overly earnest losers, or — as in the case with the accusations against Dodd here — simply pretending to be bothered by such things in order to rouse the rabble and exploit them for cynical political gain. Anyone who disrupts Beltway harmony in order to hold the Bush administration accountable — anyone who seems actually bothered by the rampant lawbreaking — is thus easily dismissed as an annoying radical or a self-promoting fraud.

And Greenwald quoting the Washington Post’s Paul Kane:

Eventually, in a month or two, it’s extremely likely the Senate will pass a FISA reauthorization with telecom immunity…

is just another way of saying this:

For Harry Reid and his cronies, it takes a hot issue off the front burner for the holidays, allowing them to focus on other ways to skull fuck the public.

I really think one of the problems with the Progressive side of things is unhealthy amounts of optimism. It is great to hope and wish for things, even necessary at times to stay sane, but that should not cloud your accurate determination of the state of the world at hand. And as much as we need the Greenwalds and the Jane Hamshers and the Markos Moulitsases, we need the Dennis Perrins if we expect to progress anywhere. Having people around to challenge our beliefs is an important function in a free world. Just don’t give that dude an AK-47.

(Full Disclosure: For reasons I’m still not too sure about, I exist on Perrin’s blogroll.)