Monday, July 21, 2008

Sometimes your Strange Bedfellows are just prostitutes....

Libertarian Presidential candidate Bob Barr has, according to Third Party Watch, endorsed the Strange Bedfellows Accountability Now PAC initiative, which presents itself as a new, bipartisan rejection of the radical politics of the past eight years that have eroded the constitutional civil liberties of American citizens.

So I visited SB/AN to see for myself what the deal was.

Here's what I found:

August 8, 2008—this is the date for our Strangebedfellows MONEYBOMB on behalf of constitutional rights and civil liberties in America. Let's remove from power the key enablers of the tyrannical and lawless FISA 'compromise;' we can end the Patriot Act—and so much more. Join with us by pledging now—right here at AccountabilityNowPAC.com. Become a part of our transpartisan alliance of freedom lovers! Be a Strangebedfellow!

Who Are The Strangebedfellows?

Strangebedfellows is a unique and diverse left--right coalition which has come together to put a stop to the eradication of civil liberties in America. Modeled on a similar group in Britain, the initial Strangebedfellows group encompasses Ron Paul supporters (BreakTheMatrix.com, Rick Williams and Trevor Lyman), leading bloggers from the left (Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com, Jane Hamsher of firedoglake.com) and many more who share the view that warrantless surveillance, telecom immunity and other such outrages of the lawless surveillance state MUST END—AND END NOW. Our group of Strangebedfellows is organizing a moneybomb on behalf of AccountabilityNowPAC, and we’re reaching out to friends and colleagues from across the political spectrum who believe in the Bill of Rights and freedom in America. So join us-- become a Strangebedfellow! Add your name and group to our list of backers, and enter your pledge today to donate to AccountabilityNowPAC. Let’s reverse these police state sellouts by our political leaders—FOREVER.


What really made my little shit-detecting antenna tingle was this:

What are you doing with the money you raise?

For a detailed explanation, click here.


So I clicked there, which took me to a Glenn Greenwood article at Salon.com, that did little other than repeat the paragraphs above in somewhat greater detail.

But how would the money be spent, I kept wondering.

Finally, after discovering that this organization had already spent some $350,000 on (no shit) robocalling Steny Hoyer's constituents, purchasing a single one-page ad in the Washington Post, and sending $1,000 each to ten Democrats (either incumbents or their challengers) who opposed the FISA compromise, I reached this paragraph:

The August 8 Money Bomb is intended to be used to fuel a long-term campaign and an enduring organization devoted to changing the behavior of the political class with regard to these issues. We intend to begin now actively recruiting and promoting credible primary challengers against the likes of Steny Hoyer and other key culprits; to target for defeat those members of Congress who continue to support policies of this sort, Democrat or Republican; and to find ways to affect the public discourse on these issues, which are jointly distorted and ignored by both the so-called "liberal Beltway establishment" and the crux of the Republican Party.


If that sounds suspiciously like double-talk (and another Moveon.org in the making), allow John Lowell (who made this perceptive comment in reaction to the first TPW story) to enlighten you:

Glenn Greenwald’s new initiative has all the authenticity of a George Bush promise. The Accountability Now/Strange Bedfellows “coalition”, when examined carefully, is nothing more than an attempt to syphon off potential third-party, independent and anti-system votes in the direction of the Obama candidacy.

Pretending to be in rebellion with fellow “progressives” and allied “libertarians” against those members of the Democratic Congress that have consistently sided with the Republicans on the war and on privacy questions, Greenwald’s out there to get them alright. Why he’s going to go right into their districts and run embarrasing ads, that’s what he’s going to do. But all of that outrage won’t have anything to do with the Obama candidacy. No sir, Obama, his FISA vote and his AIPAC grovelling are going to get a pass. As Greenwald himself explained it when first describing this sham undertaking:

“Speaking only for myself, anyone devoted to these issues ought to prefer an Obama presidency to a McCain presidency, and those are the only two choices.”

It never seems to occur to Greenwald – or to Barr – that any meaningful accountability is an accountability of the system, not simply isolated aspects of it. And no, “those” aren’t “the only two choices”, there are Nader and Baldwin besides.

Greenwald just has to be one of the most formidable self-promoters since Rush Limbaugh came on the scene and that requires his being system through and through, of course. In this respect, Greenwald never disappoints. With all the kvetching he manages about perfidious Democrats, when it really counts, Greenwald has no more courage than they do. Some vision for schlemeil, Bob Barr, to be supporting, eh?


As I said when I took a look at Freedom Slate '08 a month ago: if you're going to support a candidate or a cause, send the damn money directly to them.

Otherwise, you have only yourself to blame when you wake up the next morning, find that your Strange Bedfellow has already left the building, and that your wallet is strangely empty....

With luck, you'll still have both kidneys.

2 comments:

disinter said...

Umm, moron, FreedomSlate didn't accept donations. All donations were made to individual campaigns by donors.

I have explained this before, however you seem to be a little slow.

Steve Newton said...

... and you keep conveniently overlooking the percentage cut that Freedom Slate took out of each donation before it was passed on to the candidate....