US – Canada – The Declining Discourse Of The North American Professional Left – Demagoguery Or Soft Bigotry – Choose Your Poison, Apparently – 9 June 2013

Cracks in the professional Left façade of unity? Driftglass takes on Glenn Greenwald. At first, I thought, get out the popcorn.

For those of you unaware, Driftglass is one of the more popular firebag blogs, almost as popular as the Firedoglake blog which gave firebaggery its name. It’s quite amusing to see that some awareness of the libertarian anti-gummint quackery of the virulently anti-Obama reporter Glenn Greenwald is finally starting to permeate the upper strata of the firebag pundit elite. The anonymous poster to this site seems to, finally, demonstrate some consciousness that maybe Greenwald has his own agenda.

So what’s not to like in the post? Well, there is something that isn’t so likable.

I thought at first I would not post this because of one aspect of Driftglass’s attack on Greenwald’s demagogic “Worse than Bush! Worse than Nixon!” screeds appalls me. The constant references to a “bitchy” Greenwald’s arguments seem to be a veiled attempt to reference the fact that Greenwald is gay – which is utterly unrelated to anything he said in the article being critiqued, as well as unrelated to the substantive content of anything said in response.

Of course, that’s not the first time I’ve seen homosexuality used as a political football on the far Left. I remember back in March 2010 when I tried to convince University of Ottawa students that Ann Coulter, as much as one might disagree with her, had the right under Canadian law to give a speech at the University of Ottawa – students at my alma mater apparently believed otherwise and were acting to prevent her from doing so. At first, people engaged my disagreement with them on the matter – I did have some good discussions with some of them. But others, particularly the more monosyllabic of them, responded with demonisation. Towards the end of it, it descended into schoolyard bullying – a good deal of which involved offers, disproportionately from young men, to get me a date with another male since my obsession with free speech obviously showed I wasn’t getting enough sex with one of my presumed kind.

This was a good way to hassle me in a public forum associated with a left-wing movement because they could always say they weren’t targeting a rhetorical opponent as a “fag” or something – they were just concerned I don’t have a social life…I mean, what could be more friendly than that? Mind you, none of these young men were saying that they were gay and were interested in dating me or whatever – they were just implying something about the personal life of someone they don’t know, pretty obviously because they thought this would convince me to stop speaking against their position on free speech. (Kind of makes the point about free speech all the more, doesn’t it? Naturally I continued all the harder to vigorously oppose the anti-free speech dribble they were promoting.)

I understood what that meant then as I understand what it means now. It isn’t reasonable for any response to anyone’s politics to be turned into a slur on his or her sexual preference.

As far as the current article goes, the word “bitchy” would not have been applied in this context to the comments of a heterosexual male, nor would anyone get away with applying it to the comments of a female, for obvious reasons.

I ultimately decided to post this article, not merely because I agree with most of the other things this post says about Greenwald, but because it’s such a great example of what passes for discourse on the extreme Left. Anti-government demagoguery versus soft, understated bigotry. Such great choices.

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