Atrios led me to it with his one word title "Fight."
I had become an admirer of Glenn Greenwald. I need that verb tense because today's over the top attack on Kevin Drum changed my opinion somewhat. The fight concerns Feingold's censure motion and the Democrats response to it.
Greenwald purports to be concerned with the "core principles of our constitutional republic', and thus is outraged that Drum might not support censure, which of course is not a constitutional remedy. The only such remedy is impeachment.
He uses one of his trademarked "to describe that argument is to illustrate its absurdity" arguments against Drum. This signature line of Greenwald's gives him the advantage of not having to actually confront the position that Drum was taking. ("That conduct mocks itself.") In fact, Feingold's not giving his colleagues advance warning on his plan to ask for censure is not some minor break with "some Senatorial courtesy." It's not a "so what." If Feingold were serious about something other than getting headlines for his 2008 Presidential run, he would have consulted with other Democrats. Should they go for censure or impeachment? Is this the right time for this move? What other headlines might this be replacing?
The Republicans may use this strategy of throwing a bomb and then accusing those not leaping to the attack of being cowards in a military context. But they would never be so dumb to it as to do it in a political battle.
Greenwald is fond of comparing this situation to Watergate, and says that Drum's position would have meant that Nixon would have completed his second term. The reverse is true. If, instead of waiting two years to have reporters and politicians ferret out the whole story, Democrats had screamed for censure two months after the robbery, the motion would have lost. (I have disagreed with Glenn on this one before. I do not think we have developed a coherent narrative that will persuade the public that Bush's crime matters.)
Lastly Greenwald himself borders on incoherence. He condemns Drum for wanting to fight only winnable battles, and at the same time argues that we should be fighting this one because it is winnable. In fact, Drum makes it very clear that he has no problem fighting losing battles, but he does want to have a clear objective in so doing.
I do agree with both Greenwald and Drum that our politicians are often spineless. But the way to develop strength is not by the Greenwald/Feingold course of abusing fellow Democrats. Republicans win in part because they slander us; not fellow Republicans.