Bob Schieffer excoriated NSA-leaker Edward Snowden on Face the Nation this morning, not as a traitor but as a coward who fled the country rather than accept responsibility for his actions.
“I like people who are willing to stand up to the government,” Schieffer began. “As a reporter, it’s my job to do that from time to time. Some of the people I admire most are in the government. Men and women who led the civil rights movement— Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr.—they are true heroes. I’m not ready to put Edward Snowden in that category. For one thing, I don’t remember Martin Luther King, Jr. or Rosa Parks running off and hiding in China. The people who led the civil rights movement were willing to break the law and suffer the consequences. That’s a little different than putting the nation’s security at risk and running away.”
Schieffer was careful not to let his disapproval of Snowden be misconstrued as complete acceptance of the surveillance Snowden revealed, but was also careful to criticize a program about which he knew little.
“I know eleven people who died or lost a member of their family on 9/11,” Schieffer said. “My younger daughter lived in Manhattan then. It was six hours before we knew she was safe. I’m not interested in going through that again. I don’t know yet if the government has over-reached since 9/11 to reinforce our defenses, and we need to find out. What I do know, though, is that these procedures were put in place and are being overseen by officials we elected and we should hold them accountable.”
“I think what we have in Edward Snowden is just a narcissistic young man who has decided he is smarter than the rest of us. I don’t know what he is beyond that, but he is no hero. If he has a valid point—and I’m not even sure he does—he would greatly help his cause by voluntarily coming home to face the consequences.”
Watch the commentary here…
Rush Limbaugh has never espoused truth, logic or common sense. So, surely he has no incentive to start now…
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh sought to equate the fight for African American civil rights with opposition to gun safety on Friday, suggesting that the movement could have better protected itself from segregationists had it been armed. Limbaugh specifically signaled out Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), a nonviolent civil rights activist who was beaten during the 1965 voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery.
“Try this,” Limbaugh said. “If a lot of African-Americans back in the ’60s had guns and the legal right to use them for self-defense, you think they would have needed Selma? I don’t know. I’m just asking. If (Rep) John Lewis, who says he was beat upside the head, if John Lewis had had a gun, would he have been beat upside the head on the bridge?” Listen:
http://soundcloud.com/thinkpro/limbaugh-on-gunsLewis has issued a response to Limbaugh, noting that “Our goal in the Civil Rights Movement was not to injure or destroy but to build a sense of community, to reconcile people to the true oneness of all humanity.” “African Americans in the 60s could have chosen to arm themselves, but we made a conscious decision not to. We were convinced that peace could not be achieved through violence. Violence begets violence, and we believed the only way to achieve peaceful ends was through peaceful means.”
Civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr — a strict disciple of nonviolent resistance — was shot by an assassin in 1968. In the wake of his death — as well as the murders of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Malcolm X — Congress passed, the Gun Control Act of 1968, the nation’s first comprehensive federal firearms regulation. Unfortunately, gun advocates have seized on King’s legacy to prevent gun safety reforms and are hosting a Gun Appreciation Day for the weekend of President Obama’s second inauguration. Larry Ward, chairman of the event, claims that it “honors the legacy of Dr. King.”
Seen on Think Progress’ comment section from the following article:
The “bombshell” video combined with the right wing conspiracy theorist who thought the President had Breitbart offed should be having them ask themselves the question “how stupid are we?”. Of course they won’t because as you know all they will do is start disowning Brietbart. It’s funny, I already see it happening.
Breitbart.com and Fox News believe that President Obama’s affiliation with the late Harvard professor Derrick Bell, as evidenced from a hug they share in a video from 1990, is some kind of “smoking gun” for his perspectives on “racial division and class warfare.” Bell was the first tenured African-American law professor at Harvard University and helped establish the study of Critical Race Theory (CRT). This morning, Breitbart.com editor Joel Pollak appeared on CNN to repeat this claim, but Soledad O’Brien was quick to point out that he had absolutely no understanding of CRT and that the clip presented no “bombshell” for the President:
O’BRIEN: What part of that was the bombshell? Because I missed it, I don’t get it. What was the bombshell?
POLLACK: Well, the bombshell is the revelation of the relationship between Obama and Derrick Bell—
O’BRIEN: Okay, so he’s a Harvard law student and a Harvard law professor. Yeah?
POLLACK: That’s correct. And Derrick Bell is “the Jeremiah Wright of academia.” He passed away last year, but during his lifetime he developed a theory called Critical Race Theory, which holds that the Civil Rights Movement was a sham and that White Supremacy is the order and it must be overthrown. Barack Obama was—
O’BRIEN: I’ll stop you there for a second and then I’m going to let you continue, but that is a complete misreading of Critical Race Theory. As you know, that’s an actual theory and you could Google it and someone would give you an good definition, so that’s not correct.
Critical race theory does not have an absolute set of principles, but later in the interview O’Brien accurately describes it as a theory that “looks into the intersection of race and politics and the law.” CRT emerged from a broader movement known as critical legal studies, which examines how factors such as race, gender and social class can often skew legal decisions in favor of privileged groups. Critical legal theory is, by definition, critical of how our law has developed and often calls for significant departures from existing law—but its central premise that judges are prone to decide cases in ways that advantage their own social group has certainly been vindicated by cases such as Citizens United.
CRT looks specifically at how race and racial privilege shapes the law. The purpose of CRT isn’t to wage war against white people, as Pollak and others of his anti-liberal ilk would have us believe. Indeed, its entire goal is to ensure that race not be forgotten as a significant factor in the operation of society. The value of this perspective is certainly demonstrated through voter ID laws, immigration policies, and drug enforcement penalties that disproportionately impact non-white populations. Policies that target racial majorities, by contrast, would never become law in the first place because the majority possesses the power to veto them.
The President should be applauded for standing with great minds who do not accept that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 marked an endpoint in the fight for racial equality. It is those who seek to disregard the experiences of all people of color — lest they confront the persisting effects of racial injustice — who should be ashamed.
(H/t: Yankee Clipper)