Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger sent Democrats into fits of rage on Thursday when the two men at the center of the “Twitter Files” testified before Congress.
The hearing, which focused on the weaponization of the government to censor speech, had several viral moments. In one case, Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX) attempted to get Taibbi to reveal his sources, causing chaos in the chamber. In another, Stacey Plaskett (the non-voting member from the U.S. Virgin Islands) called Taibbi a “so-called journalist,” at which point he embarrassed her by listing his litany of journalistic awards.
Then there was Rep. Daniel Goldman, made infamous by his representation of the Democrats during Trump’s first impeachment. He has seamlessly transitioned from hack lawyer to hack congressman. For more context, the great Susie Moore did an excellent, extensive write-up on Goldman recently.
Back to the hearing, the fireworks didn’t stop once it was over. Goldman was still running hot on social media after, and he lashed out at Taibbi again.
Goldman apparently has the mental capacity of a young child. The idea that one can’t confront extensively evidenced corruption by the FBI and other government entities unless they accept the narrative surrounding Russian “election interference” is farcical. The Russians might have attempted to interfere in the election, but a relatively small number of Jesus vs. Hillary memes did not affect the outcomes, and Goldman seems to be dabbling in election denial with his comments.
Regardless, the real issue here is in his insinuation that the FBI was somehow empowered to possibly violate the US Constitution out of some irrational fear of the Russians. That’s not how things are supposed to work. There was no evidence, for example, that the Russians were involved in the Hunter Biden laptop story. Therefore, there was not any justification to try to censor it even under Goldman’s ridiculously illiberal standard.
Returning to Taibbi, he didn’t take Goldman’s shot lying down.
Goldman doesn’t seem to realize that he’s no longer at a private law firm. He is not special. He is not smarter than everyone else (far from it). Most importantly, he is a representative of the people, for better or worse, and he doesn’t get to tell Americans whether they are allowed to participate in a policy discussion. Certainly, he doesn’t get to do so with silly litmus tests surrounding fever dreams about the Russian menace.
Taibbi is right. It’s disappointing that Democrats couldn’t bother to act like adults in discussing such an important issue. Government overreach and censorship shouldn’t be partisan matters.