This was much too good not to share. The other day I mentioned Tom Watson’s post warning progressives not to associate with libertarians when opposing the NSA. One aspect of his piece that I didn’t mention was his (I’m sure unintentionally) funny confidence in the Democratic Party:
For those whose feet still touch the ground, the path to NSA reform so clearly lies inside the Democrats’ big tent – and runs through its liberal wing. And because we are a liberal republic, whose central government is not leaving the landscape anytime soon (the libertarians’ fondest goal), change must also run through an elected Congress.
This is straight out of the Orwellian playbook of the presidential elections, when Ron Paul was ignored completely by certain progressives even though he was far better than any of their political heroes on issues that are supposed to matter to them. But let’s let Justin Raimondo have the last word on Watson:
Gee, now I could be wrong – along with every news outlet that reported on the matter – but wasn’t it a libertarian Republican, one Justin Amash, who introduced legislation that almost defunded the NSA’s unconstitutional snooping, barely losing by a mere 16 votes? And wasn’t it Nancy Pelosi, one of the most visible and vocal leaders of the Democratic party, and former Speaker of the House, who lobbied relentlessly against the Amash bill? Indeed, Pelosi headed off a trans-partisan civil libertarian coalition in Congress – the same one reflected on the speakers platform shared by libertarians and pro-privacy progressives this coming weekend – by mobilizing Obama-loyal “progressives” who de-prioritize civil liberties in the same way and for the same reasons as Watson. If it were up to Watson, the Amash bill – supported by a very broad congressional coalition stretching from the Ron Paul Republicans to the Alan Grayson left-populist types – would never have come as close as it did to passing: indeed, it would never have made it to the floor.
Which is exactly Watson’s desired outcome, in spite of his ostensible support for the programmatic demands of “Stop Watching Us.” As he puts it:
“Political change requires choices and compromise, as well as action. If too many young organizers focus entirely on privacy and security and abandon the front lines on crucial economic issues, civil rights and inequality, the rights of workers, criminal justice reform, environmental regulation, and the pursuit social justice, their gains will be too little and society’s loss too great.”
Watson wants “young organizers” to stop focusing on those libertarian-oriented issues like privacy: America’s emerging police state is a marginal issue when compared to “the pursuit of social justice.”
In short, you don’t have to stop watching us – if you give us free stuff.