Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Blocked by Jeff Greenfield

Authors, it appears don't give you any credit for reading their books.

I'm effectively banned from leaving comments on Scott Sumner's blog. Even so, I wrote him this pretty fair-minded review.

I've read a number of Greenfield''s counterfactual history books-and enjoyed them very much.

He has repaid me by blocking me on Twitter. LOL.

Well, not because I read his books of course-he neither knows nor cares about that. But I did complain about his Hillary bashing recently. I did argue that an RFK cultist like him can never be fair to Hillary Clinton, just like he could never be fair to LBJ.

He has a few different revisions of JFK: in one case JFK is spared and of course everything changes for the better. Evidently, JFK paid nothing for dragging his feet on civil rights.

In another, JFK is killed by his first would be assassin-before he was sworn in. So LBJ is immediately President. LBJ of course totally botches the Cuban Missile Crisis and this leads to the Soviets dropping a the bomb on an attempted American invasion in Cuba.

This latest tweet by Greenfield which was displayed on a Washington Post piece about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, got me going:

"2/2 If there's a redo of Bush v. Gore, how does Ginsburg not recuse herself, given her Trump comments?"

Sure, that's the real threat. That Hitler 2.0 won't get a fair coronation. I don't remember Sandra Day O'Connor recusing herself after she was overheard decrying Gore's apparent win in 2000-which was later reversed.

The GOP dominated Supreme Court handed the election to W. Nothing was able to stop that.

But Greenfield's worry is that Trump could unfairly be denied the Presidency?

Chris Cillizza:

In bashing Donald Trump, some say Ruth Bader Ginsburg just crossed a very important line."

Sure, It's not like Trump wouldn't cross dozens of very important lines on his first day in office. It's not like he already has-like refusing to release his tax returns, or continuing to run his for profit businesses.

It'd be nice if virtuous phonies like Greenfield were as concerned about that as over the Clinton Foundation which is at least philanthropic.

So when I went to tweet him my disgust it turns out he'd blocked me.
What do you expect from an RFKer?

But the larger point is I worry about this normalization of Trump where his possible Presidency is already seen as this legitimate thing. It is fitting that an RFKer would rather see a President Trump than an imperfect Democrat like Hillary win.

In the 60s folks like Jeff Greenfield looked down their noses at LBJ-because he was from Texas and didn't have any glamour-yet LBJ was the one who got civil rights done and did the Great Society.

Sure, I know that Greenfield likes to flatter himself as being 'above politics' and concerned only with process. But that idea is an illusion. The worst thing is pretending that outcomes don't matter, only the process does.

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