Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Hey, I (Almost) Agree With Glenn Garvin!
Boy it's slow out there, huh?
I was going to point out that anybody with a law license is now apparently under consideration to be the next United States Senator, but I see my friends over at Riptide beat me to it.
So let's talk Glenn Garvin.
It's certainly a legitimate political and rhetorical tool to point out when the other side is being hypocritical.
But how far does the observation get you?
It happens so often and with such stunning frequency that -- standing alone -- a charge of hypocrisy in politics is like getting excited over spotting an iguana in your South Florida neighborhood. It just doesn't resonate that much anymore.
So in today's column Glenn observes that economic boycotts used to be bad when they were directed to the Dixie Chicks, but now liberals like them when they are directed to Glenn Beck.
I think he has a point, but an infinitesimally small one.
In addition to the legitimacy of economic boycotts as a tool of political expression, isn't there also a component of whether or not -- in a particular case -- the economic boycott is appropriate?
To equate the Dixie Chicks, who criticized the President once while on foreign soil (a bugaboo that Glenn Greenwald has recently been discussing at length), with the repeated stream of corrosive crazy talk from Beck, is a bit unfair.
Doesn't it matter at all what you are boycotting?
Glenn also conflates corporate punishment with economic boycotts. Bill Maher wasn't fired because he was the subject of a popular protest movement - his bosses fired him because he made comments deemed too controversial. Entirely different thing.
That said, Glenn does devote his entire column to making an exceedingly minor rhetorical point, and I actually agree with him.
So I'm sure back when the Dixie Chicks were being vilified the way Garvin's buddy Beck is today, Glenn was writing similar columns condemning the outrage and pointing out the hypocrisy just like he's doing today, right?
Umm, the Herald must not have archived that column.
But look at this -- Garvin did accuse the Chicks of "embracing their First Amendment martydom"!
See how hypocrisy works, Glenn?