Lord knows that I have deep disagreements with Glenn Greenwald (not least on his extremely low opinion of me), but in fairness you’ve got to credit him with consistency. He hated Bush’s War on Terror policies, and he didn’t stop hating them just because Barack Obama became president. What I particularly appreciate is that Greenwald isn’t merely outraged by the intellectual hypocrisy of Obama’s supporters, he also acknowledges what might be called the emotional hypocrisy of those who admit the double standard exists. It’s not just that Bush’s critics opposed his policies, they cast his policies as anti-constitutional warmongering that posed a near-existential threat to the rule of law and human decency. When you listen to most of the handful of liberals who criticize Obama for what he’s doing, they almost uniformly criticize him more in sorrow than in anger. They’re intellectually troubled by what Obama is doing, but they see no reason to get worked up since there’s no real threat involved. It’s like they’re dismayed they have to concede a debating point, not that there’s anything to get really worked up about. As Jennifer Granholm puts it, no one really cares because liberals like her “trust” Obama.
Now, as someone Greenwald wouldn’t hesitate to dub a “warmonger,” I will admit that I think Obama’s drone policy is basically right, though I think there’s room for updating and reforming how we do this sort of thing. A little more transparency and accountability would be a healthy thing. But if you saw Bush’s actions as a fundamental threat to the fabric of democracy and the rule of law, it’s hard for me to see how you can yawn at what Obama is doing.