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Boxed in

By Michael J. Smith on Wednesday April 6, 2011 02:48 PM

Years ago, a girlfriend of mine had a pet turtle. She -- the turtle, I mean -- was a box turtle, not a snapping turtle like her cousin pictured above. Her name was Sweetie Pie. The girlfriend was a sweetie-pie too, about whom I think often and fondly; let's call her Susannah.

There was nothing wrong with Sweetie Pie's turtle skills, but apparently a sound understanding of right angles isn't very important for turtles on their own turf. Sweetie Pie was constantly getting herself wedged into corners, as Cuz is shown doing, and was sorely puzzled about how to get out. She was a fairly energetic, peripatetic turtle, so if we hadn't recently seen her deliberately transiting a stretch of floor, Susannah or I would notice: Have you seen Sweetie lately? No -- I'll check the bathroom. We'd always find her facing into a corner -- she had a couple of favorites -- and we'd pick her up, rotate her 180 degrees in the X-Y plane, and put her back down to resume her rambles.

Sweetie's perplexities came to mind recently when I read this item from Glenn Greenwald:

The impotence of the loyal partisan voter

Rachel Maddow [says]:

A Democratic President kicks his base in the teeth on something as fundamental as civil liberties ... How can the base itself possibly change this dynamic?
I'm not saying I know the answer....What would ever make Democratic Party leaders change how they view this dynamic?
Turtle skills are one thing, people skills another. Turtles aren't expected to understand plane geometry, but people, you'd think, would grasp the fact that you don't get out of a corner by persevering on the course that got you into it. Thus Greenwald's obtuseness here seems downright chelonian. (The less said about Maddow, the better; in fact, what is a bright spark like Greewald doing quoting a teevee talking head like Maddow in the first place?)

Two words, Glenn: third party. That will get their attention, if anything will; and if nothing will -- as I suspect may be the case -- then you might as well at least have some fun, and enjoy the pleasure of pulling a lever without holding your nose.

* * * * *

Speaking of which, Buffalo Beast editor and renowned prankster Ian Murphy is running for Congress on the Green Party ticket in New York's 26th District, formerly represented by Shirtless Chris Lee, the Craigslist tail-troller. I'm tempted to go establish residency in Buffalo just so I can vote for him. It should be fun -- there's a regular Demolican and a regular Republicrat and apparently a couple of Teabaggers too. Stay tuned!

Comments (8)


Depending on one's timeframe and one's patience, Greenwald either has come a long way since publishing How Would A Patriot Act?, or he's barely moved despite learning some games of subtlety that are fairly superficial. It always seems that when cornered like Sweetie Pie, Mr Greenwald insists that the path is to try to "fix" or "change" the Democrats.

Skeptics might say that's because he writes for a culture media outlet, rather than an outlet dedicated to examining the problems of American government and politics. They could be wrong, however.

Cynics might say it's a hard-to-remove Donkey tattoo on Mr Greenwald's heart.


To he'll with a third party or a fourth or a fifth for that matter what d,ya want Israel in 50 bigger pieces ?..

Nope give me a vanguard party

That 'll fix what's ailin'. Us
A great big sinister target for Glenn beck
Why if this were back when commies were flexing muscles in hidden alcoves
of power
Glenn would not only still be lookin at a long long future at fox
With ratings thru the roof
Why i bet he'd be next in line for Roger ram jets job


Sure, I'd prefer the vanguard party (though it probably wouldn't have much use for me; but that's neither here nor there.) But that wasn't the question young Glenn was puzzling over. He wanted to know how to get the party bureaucrats' attention.


One might be tempted to ask why Greenwald continues to mine the "change from within" vein of fanbase-expansion.

For a guy who has been studying Federal machinations for near unto a decade, he doesn't seem to have learned much.

He's not alone in this, of course. In this he resembles Markos Zuniga, Duncan Black, "Digby," Jane Hamsher, Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, Jon Stewart, Al Franken, Randi Rhodes.

It has the faint whiff of Podesta, his angle.


"that wasn't the question young Glenn was puzzling over"

father of course he was
and of coures you have properly chided him by providing a far far better act then
merely wringing ones hands a crying

"oh the monsters the monsters
they ..they give us no respect
no respect at all
we're ... we're
umph ...why we prog ponders are ..are
well we're the rodney dangerfield of party bases .. we get treated worse then ...
negro americans !!!

what can we DOOOO

want can we DOOOO.. "

is it my fault
glenn barkstein here
is not providing answers ??

hell he's not even failing to answer
the right questions


"...it probably wouldn't have much use for me..."

oh father the party would have uses for you
the party has uses for.... EVERYONE



btw i give up
i can't fight myself any longer

i love rachel maddow

i'm a fairy princess lesbian
trapped in the body of a guy whale

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