A Few Quick Comments on Coates, Greenwald/Kinsley, and Brooks

The Rude Pundit doesn't write on weekends, generally, but he didn't want to let this week go by before commenting on a couple of things before we are immersed in a fresh vat of shit on Tuesday, after we consume our burgers and fancy-ass grilled corn on the cob on Monday. Besides, he felt leaving you with a beefcake photo was a lame way to end the week.

1. Regarding Ta-Nehisi Coates' article, "The Case for Reparations," just read it. Stop listening to everyone talking about it and just fuckin' read it. The Rude Pundit isn't a drooling Coates fan, but it's rare these days when a writer so succinctly, so admirably lays waste to virtually all conventional thinking. It provides white liberals all the ammunition they could ever want when their backwards ass racist fuck relatives show up at the barbecue and talk about African Americans. For non-conservative African Americans, goddamn, it's gotta be almost cathartic to have someone say what they've known from their life experience. Any time someone wants to pretend to argue that white privilege doesn't exist, they should be forced to eat every page of the printed copy of "The Case for Reparations." It's that good and that important.

2. The Rude Pundit hasn't read Glenn Greenwald's book, No Place to Hide, the story of how National Security Agency classified documents were given to Greenwald by Edward Snowden, so he can't comment on whether or not it's any good. But he thinks that if he wrote about it, he'd be able to separate the book from the importance of the events, as it seems Michael Kinsley was unable to do in his New York Times "review." Greenwald has already ripped Kinsley a new asshole (which would give him about twenty).

But let's just get this straight (again): Whether or not Greenwald is the biggest egotistical prickhole in the world has nothing to do with the story. The story is the story. Kinsley can go crazy on how much he hates Greenwald; that's fair game in a review of book that's ostensibly part-memoir, even if "self-righteous sourpuss" is one of the lamest, most priggish insults the Rude Pundit's come across in a while. It's when Kinsley expands to criticize the very act of leaking classified documents that he becomes a craven coward.

When Kinsley writes, "There are laws against government eavesdropping on American citizens, and there are laws against leaking official government documents. You can’t just choose the laws you like and ignore the ones you don’t like," he is essentially taking a shit on the American tradition of civil disobedience. Of course you can choose to ignore the laws you don't like. Sometimes the effect of that is to change the laws, like, oh, fuck, the Civil Rights Movement? And one of the things that happens when you ignore laws you don't like is that you are subject to punishment, which used to be arrest and a trial. What would happen if Edward Snowden came back to face charges? Would he even be allowed to present the evidence against him in court? Would he get the Manning treatment? Not for nothing, but exile is a pretty harsh punishment.

Kinsley and others who decry the revelation of the NSA's all-encompassing spying seem to subscribe to the incredibly fascistic idea that citizens shouldn't be kept informed about what the government they elected happens to be doing to them. That's more frightening than however self-righteous Glenn Greenwald might or might not be.

3. This blog didn't get around to commenting on this, but, holy fuck, did David Brooks really write in the Times this week that the United States should consider becoming more autocratic and less democratic? Well, at least that's being a great deal more honest than most conservatives.