#rsrh Radley Balko gets what he wanted.

Good and hard.  While he’s complaining about the quote-unquote “War on Whistle-blowers,” I feel that Balko should consider this observation from just before the 2008 elections:

This isn’t to say that Barack Obama would be any better. Government would undoubtedly grow under his watch. And from my libertarian perspective, he has been increasingly disappointing even on the issues where he’s supposed to be good. We may not go to war with Iran in an Obama administration, but we’d likely become entrenched in a prolonged nation-building adventure in the Sudan. Obama’s vote on the FISA bill and telecom immunity also suggests that, for all his criticisms of President Bush’s use of executive power and assaults on civil liberties, Obama wouldn’t be much better. On the drug war, Obama has promised to end the federal raids on medical marijuana clinics in states that have legalized the drug for treatment, but he wants to resurrect failed federal criminal justice block grant programs that have had some disastrous effects on civil liberties.

While I’m not thrilled at the prospect of an Obama administration (especially with a friendly Congress), the Republicans still need to get their clocks cleaned in two weeks…

…which was made by, hey! Radley Balko.  Personally, I’m more sympathetic to Balko than I am to say, Glenn Greenwald* – the latter’s a nasty ideologue while the former just didn’t appreciate the difference between ‘bad’ and ‘worse’ – but as somebody who actually has to live in this country I am distinctly not enamored of the idea that the only way to make things better is to deliberately go about making things worse first.  A lot of otherwise sentient folks made that argument in 2006 and 2008, and I would take it as a personal favor if all of those people could show a little chagrin at how their ever-so-clever pseudo-revolutionary strategy blew up in everybody’s faces.

Thanks in advance!

Moe Lane

(H/T: Instapundit)

*Whose extensive whine on the subject of said whistle-blower thing was extensively quoted by Balko.  You will of course be utterly unsurprised to find out that Greenwald never happened to mention that said ‘whistleblowing’ apparently burned one of our foreign assets.  Mind you, Greenwald’s notoriously indifferent to foreigners being harmed by his ideological stances, particularly if they’re not Europeans.

[UPDATE]: And Greenwald’s an actual hypocrite, too.  Now that’s just funny.


  • Skip says:

    Well, to be fair to Balko, the Republicans in Congress *did* need their clocks cleaned, although not for the reasons that Balko thinks. Unfortunately that involved taking on a lot of damage that’s going to take years to undo.

    But we’d have had a lot of damage to take years to undo under a hypotherical McCain administration, and no moral authority to actually start doing it. Sure, there’d be no Obamacare, but the stimulus? Probably would have been about half to 2-3rds the same size, and just to different recipients. And we’d probably have had a round of amnesty pushed through, further demoralizing the base. And there would be no tea party. Fiscal conservatives wouldn’t have learned how much fun activism can be. Congressmen and Senators wouldn’t be on notice to get things headed correctly or go home. The budget would be somewhere around three trillion dollars, and we’d still be speeding towards an inevitable economic collapse, just slightly slower.

    • Moe_Lane says:

      My problem with that argument, Skip, is that it’s a favorite of people who did precisely jack and sh*t to work on the problem earlier. I am not point fingers at any of my commenters here, but from 2005 to about the middle of 2009 we over at RedState felt sometimes like we were trying to push a boulder uphill. We begged people to participate in the GOP on the ground level; we begged them, and not enough of them did. Easier to bitch and moan than to fix, apparently.

      I admit to being cool and unsympathetic to Balko, in other words: if he didn’t like the way the GOP was going then he should have done something about it.

  • Skip says:

    There was quite a bit of that, yes, Moe, but I also remember a whole lot of “shut up, we’ve got an election to try and win for this guy most of you can’t stand” going around at redstate, and that’s a pretty strange way to “beg people to participate in the GOP on the ground level”. It seemed like the fix was in, the entire slate was very unappealing, except for the idea of Fred Thompson (as opposed to the candidate Fred Thompson). I was so disgusted at the whole thing that I wasn’t even going to vote for president. Only two things changed that. One was Palin, I could tell myself I was voting for her. The other was the Heller decision. When four justices are incapable of overcoming their political biases enough to try and overturn the clear language of the constitution it became important to try and not turn that into five. But McCain was a huge risk here, as he was really, really going to want to nominate justices that would overlook the first amendment to approve the free speech restrictions in campaign finance reform, and a judge willing to overlook the first will almost certainly overlook the second. Still, on the whole, there was probably a one in four chance a McCain judge would vote to uphold the 2a, and a zero in four chance of an Obama judge to do so.

    • Moe_Lane says:

      :shrug: I couldn’t stand McCain, either: I had to sit down and take a couple of drinks before I could face having to formally endorse the so-and-so who gave us McCain-Feingold. But we would have been better off as a country with McCain as President: I think that people would have gone ballistic over Congress, only with more primary challenges.

      Not that I can prove that, of course.

  • Thomas Crown says:

    Dude, you seriously need to watch Greenwald care in public in those comments. It’s glorious to behold.

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