Saturday, April 29, 2006

It's Probably Just a Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy

Byron York, the National Review's D.C. correspondent and the author of the hard-hitting but self-ridiculingly-titled expose The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy: The Untold Story of How Democratic Operatives, Eccentric Billionaires, Liberal Activists, and Assorted Celebrities Tried to Bring Down a President — and Why They'll Try Even Harder Next Time, doesn't understand the new reality. Don't you hate it when the paradigm shifts and no one has the courtesy to tell you? (Oh, wait, we did tell him, but since we're the loony left, he can read "Crashing the Gate" or any number of blogs without ever actually understanding a word of what we're saying.)

He doesn't understand what Glenn Greenwald's new book, "How Would a Patriot Act?", really is about, nor why it's finding an early success that's not news at all to the readers of Unclaimed Territory or VichyDems but is an utter bafflement to the right:

There's something interesting happening on the best-seller list these days. A new book, How Would a Patriot Act? Defending American Values from a President Run Amok, by the left-wing blogger Glenn Greenwald, is number one on's top sellers list. It has been there for several days after having shot from somewhere in the 50,000 range to number one earlier this week — all in less than 24 hours and without the benefit of any high-profile radio and television publicity campaign. And it hasn't even been released yet — the official publication date for How Would a Patriot Act? is May 15, 2006....

How Would a Patriot Act? appears to have become something of a (quiet) publishing phenomenon, outperforming — at least in the early stages — other, higher-profile anti-Bush books, not to mention all the other best-sellers on the list these days. Why? No one seems to know.

Note: Glenn's not a left-wing blogger, just a civil libertarian who's following issues like this and this, and his book is also outperforming all the other, higher-profile pro-Bush books -- but I digress:

So far, How Would a Patriot Act? has received almost no attention in the press. Perhaps reporters just haven't noticed, or perhaps they don't understand what is going on. If the latter is the case, they have company at Amazon. "This is unusual," says Tom Nissley [of Amazon]. "We're still figuring out how this works."

I'm glad to see Glenn's book being noticed by people who aren't regular readers of his blog; that's the idea. And, to be frank, I'm glad to see that conservatives in the writing and publishing industries (which includes Amazon) don't understand the new model yet. What really matters is that both the concept that regular Americans care about their civil liberties, and Glenn's thoughtful, accurate legal analysis, are starting to reach the broader public, the opinion-makers, and (hopefully) the cowering class of national leaders, including both most Democrats and the small handful of "moderate" Republicans, who simply don't understand the issues as thoroughly as they should and who will either be educated (by Glenn and people like him) or schooled (by voters who sick to their souls of timid tepidity and will start throwing the bums out next November).

Go, Glenn. (You can buy the book here.)


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