Friday, June 27, 2008

Countdown Carnival

Updated below: Updated again

Keith Olbermann is losing it. He has never been exactly the voice of balance and sober reason in the media, but he is becoming utterly unhinged. I watch Olbermann regularly, and my family refers to me as a “flaming liberal” (which is an exaggeration), but sometimes Olbermann
has me screaming “What?!” at the television.

He has these little voice impressions that he does of his arch enemies “Bill-o” and Rupert Murdock which may have been slightly funny the first time he did them, may have been, to a few people, but after a few hundred repetitions are simply inane. Well, no, he still thinks they are hilarious.
You see my point.

He came up with a really cool defense for Obama’s support of the new FISA bill, having to do with Obama being willing to savage the Fourth Amendment in order to pursue future criminal prosecution of the telecoms. At best that would result in a few telecom executives in jail and a weakened constitution for future generations – hardly something that a true left-winger would delight in. But there are a few pitfalls.
Barack Obama might lose the election.
Bush might pardon the telecoms on his way out.
The telecoms might find a way to prevent indictment.
Even if indicted, the telecoms might find a friendly judge.
The prosecution might lose the case.

But even if none of those pitfalls materialized, the best outcome, to repeat, would be a few telecom executives in jail and a weakened constitution for future generations.

So maybe the better course would be to not pass the bad FISA law to begin with. But Olbermann doesn’t want to hear any of that, goes on Daily Kos and calls Glenn Greenwald an idiot for suggesting it, and reiterates what a wonderful plan he has come up with. He presents this plan as if he is sure that it is what Obama plans to do, despite the fact that neither Obama or anyone on his campaign staff has so much has hinted along those lines (and despite the fact that it is actually an idiotic plan), and suggest that he cannot figure out why Obama has not defused criticism by revealing it.

He invites Markos Moulitsas, of Daily Kos, onto his show to confirm the wonderfulness of this secret plan that he has dreamed up for Obama, but that sort of backfires on him because Markos says, in part,
I don't want to hear him talk about leadership. I don't want to hear him talk about defending the Constitution; I want to see him do it.

Which leaves Olbermann sputtering in frustration. But not backing down.

Last night he was outraged that the Supreme Court would claim that an amendment to our constitution ought not be thrown out, and made Justice Scalia his “Worst Person” for the night. His claim was that the founders were very clear that the Second Amendment had to do only with maintaining a militia. He said that the “fog” over whether it pertained to militias or individuals was created by the NRA, that clearly it not only pertained exclusively to militias but that the only “arms” which were protected by that amendment were arms that were pertinent to the forming of a militia in the 18th century such as muskets, flintlocks, and black powder cannon. (I can own a cannon? Oh, no, only militias.)

I have read many arguments as to whether the Second Amendment applied to militias or individuals. There are points to be made on both sides of that discussion and (other than in Olbermann’s little mind) the issue is some distance from being fully resolved.

But to suggest that it protects only the arms that existed in 1791 is a really new and bizarre argument.

And it opens up a real can of worms. One could extend that to suggest that any person born after 1787 is not covered by the US Constitution, and any person born after 1791 is not covered by the Bill of Rights.

Or perhaps any state admitted to the US after those dates…

Update: Saturday morning
Oh good. Olbermann is so enamored of his "Obama Super Secret Plan to Prosecute the Telecoms" that he is going to provide us with one of his "Special Comment" segments on it Monday. In addition to the fact that it is an utterly stupid plan, he may have to backtrack on it since John Dean (who provided the comment that triggered the plan and "is worth 26 Olbermanns") has since said that it might not work.

An upcoming "Special Comment." I am breathless with anticipation. My wife pointed out that with my fubar lungs I am always breathless, but that is beside the point.

Update the second: later Saturday morning
If this idiot is going to claim that the only firearms protected by the Second Amendment are those which existed "in 1791, when the Bill of Rights was passed; the musket, the wheel-lock, the flint lock, the 13th century Chinese hand canon. Stuff like that." then he has to suppose that the only free speech that is protected by the First Amendment is the type that existed "in 1791, when the Bill of Rights was passed" also. That would be verbal first-person speech and the printed media, so telephone medium, radio, and the television upon which he brays this idiocy are not protected.

That ruins his "Obama Super Secret Plan to Prosecute the Telecoms" too since it involves wiretapping which, by Olberman's static constitution theory, is an unprotected form of communication and therefor not at issue.

(I know, Fourth not First is the issue. I'm emulating Olbermann.)

Olbermann needs to go back and read his scripts from before the primary campaign began, and go back to doing that kind of thing. The kind of stuff that he did before he lost his freaking mind.


  1. Can I just ask, "Who inyour family calls you a 'flaming liberal'?" I will admit that I have been called a "bleeding heart liberal" but I am not sure it was my family that called me that. (I say, "Better a bleeding heart than no heart at all.")

  2. Anonymous10:05 PM

    any kind of liberal I have never been nor been accused of being. I do find that militia argument to be full of sh*t. The framers put that in there, so that government would not have all the weapons and the citizenry be helpless.

    And all the hoopla is much ado about nothing.. the right to OWN guns was protected, they still can have regulation of them.