Salon: Better To Not Protest the NSA Than To Hold Hands With Libertarians

Found at Hit and Run Blog at Reason

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By JDTuccille

Writing at Salon, “New York based journalist and consultant to progressive causes” Tom Watson objects to the anti-surveillance Stop Watching Us rally, scheduled for October 26 in Washington, D.C., because it commits the unforgivable sin of reaching across partisan lines. The fatal flaw of this gathering, says this breathless correspondent, is that it includes (gasp) libertarians! Much better to keep objections to the NSA and intrusive snoopiness as a private club for those who, he insists, really care about privacy. “The path to NSA reform so clearly lies inside the Democrats’ big tent,” he writes, “and runs through its liberal wing.”

Stop giggling. That’s so not polite.

Writes Watson :

This is a vital cause, and I agree with it.

Yet I cannot support this coalition or the rally. It is fatally compromised by the prominent leadership and participation of the Libertarian Party and other libertarian student groups; their hard-core ideology stands in direct opposition to almost everything I believe in as a social democrat.

The Libertarian Party itself – inaccurately described by Stop Watching Us as a “public advocacy organization” – is a right-wing political party that opposes all gun control laws and public healthcare, supported the government shutdown, dismisses public education, opposes organized labor, favors the end of Social Security as we know it, and argues in its formal political manifesto that “we should eliminate the entire social welfare system” while supporting “unrestricted competition among banks and depository institutions of all types.”

More of this astonishing story can be read here

12 thoughts on “Salon: Better To Not Protest the NSA Than To Hold Hands With Libertarians

  1. Jill Pyeatt Post author


    Congratulations to the Libertarian Party!!! We’re scaring the heck out of the Powers That Be!! We are undoubtedly finally getting somewhere!!!!

  2. Dale Sheldon-Hess

    The Democrats liberal wing is getting stonewalled. It can lead the charge, but without some allies, it’s not going to get anywhere.

    You get up on that stage and you say “Despite our many differences, we can agree on this.”

  3. Dave

    Makes me wonder what the author thinks of the Greens and Nader.

    I imagine he’d find a convoluted way to tie them into being Libertarian sympathizers who should be shunned as well. Or maybe tar them as irresponsible progressives because they dare to work outside of the Mother Party.

  4. Steve M

    My take is Salon (based upon the comments) seriously fucked up running this story and they already regret it. It is so factually incorrect that even to their editorial board it must be painful.

    ohh those comments… I went back to review them and even though the page had finished loading about those comments… “Loading Comments…”

    you can follow or attack the author on Twitter @tomwatson.

  5. paulie

    Maybe he is just desperate for attention? He could gain a whole bunch more hits by making the looniest anti-LP attacks. That in turn gives him evidence that he has a larger audience, which he can use as a way to get more lucrative writing contracts.

  6. Thomas L. Knapp

    Quoth Steve M,

    “My take is Salon (based upon the comments) seriously fucked up running this story and they already regret it. It is so factually incorrect that even to their editorial board it must be painful.”

    I doubt it. They run Michael Lind’s nonsense, along these same lines, all the time.

  7. wredlich

    @paulie – Sorry about that. I must have missed Jill’s article. But I did take a different spin on it, pointing out how the author dissed the Greens in a backhanded way by ignoring them and saying the only way forward was with the Dems.

  8. paulie

    I’m not saying your article was a duplicate or anything. Just that he is getting a rise out of us, which I think may have been part of his intent. I don’t just mean here at IPR; it was mentioned above that he is getting a lot of comments on the original article, etc. That could be a ploy for him to have evidence that his work is highly read and talked about, which could translate into more prominent gigs and better paying contracts. I don’t know this for a fact, of course – but it could be.

  9. paulie

    It was:

    Three articles rebutting the attack in Salon on inclusion of LP and libertarians in Stop Watching Us rally have been published so far:

    Here’s the Salon piece:

    Who’s co-opting whom? The LP has been at the forefront of defending the Fourth Amendment for over 40 years:

    Scroll to 6:07 in this video:

    Carla Howell
    Political Director
    National Libertarian Party

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