Lightning Round: A Republic, If You Can Keep It.

  • It didn't take long for conservatives to identify the source of Gen. Stanley McChrystal's reckless comments: his frustration with Obama, who's really at fault in all this. Now, I haven't heard anyone outright defending McChrystal's remarks, but it is reflexive of the American right to empathize with military figures regardless of the circumstances.
  • Glenn Greenwald has been an indefatigable defender of civil liberties since he began writing about their erosion under the Bush administration, but it appears his focus on the abuse of executive power has led him to believe presidents have powers they don't. Not only does Greenwald believe that the president can bend Congress to his will but also that he has unlimited sway over the national-security bureaucracy.
  • I don't get the skepticism here of nonprofit investigative journalism. They have an agenda? They're not adhering to some unachievable standard of objectivity? My position has long been that good journalism can comfortably accommodate a political orientation as long as the reporting stands on it's own.
  • It would be comforting to believe that the prime motivation for lunatics like Andy McCarthy is greed at the expense of gullible, ignorant, and paranoid conservatives. But I'm not so sure. The belief that the left is complicit with radical Islam is a view not just widely shared among conservatives -- it is believed fervently. But I don't detect anything less than deep sincerity that he is fighting for a just cause.
  • Remainders: Hey, some presidential nominees were actually confirmed by the Senate; Tea Partiers aren't that complicated; I love the irony of criticizing a "strong, charismatic leader who knows what’s best for you" in the midst of a reflection on Ronald Reagan's genius; and can we stop pretending these "originalists" give a damn about the Constitution?

--Mori Dinauer