Over at The Poor Man, The Editors is angry that a whole lot of people are now blaming the Democrats for torture. That's an odd category error for the writers on such a smart and funny site, but my respect for Poor Men, one and all, compels me to make a correction.
We do not blame the Democrats for the toture and anti-habeus bill, we blame them for not opposing it. The supposedly exculpatory statistics printed in The Editors' post achieves the opposite of its intended effect, which is presumably to show that 70-80% of Democrats did indeed vote against the bill, therefore the party is unified. Except that almost 100% of Republicans voted for it! And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what you get for, lord help us, "emphasizing divisions among Republicans." You get 97% of them in the House and 98% of them in the Senate (including one curious abstention or absence) voting to deprive Americans of a right enjoyed before any gringo but a Viking had even stepped on the soft soil of the New fucking World. How do you like thems apples?
We blame the Democrats for being "a worthless passel of cowards . . . [who] allowed a debate on changing the soul of the country to be conducted intramurally between the Torture Porn and Useful Idiot wings of the Republican Party."
We blame the Democrats because they could band together to "save Social Security"--to preserve a decades-old government pension program that doesn't even do what it's intended to do, which is keep the elderly from poverty (but at least they can eat shitty food instead of cat food!)--but they can't hold it together for the defining moral debate of our time. They can preserve a 50-year-old entitlement but they can't preserve a basic right of free peoples with roots going back nine centuries to the writs of Henry II. I don't think that's unfair sniping. In fact, I think it's very fair. It displays all the callow electoralism of the party, which would cut out its own guts if it meant another senescent lawn-bowler would shuffle to the polls and pull the D lever, but sits idly by while McCain and Warner play Dogberry and Verges all over Washington.
Now we're asked to forgive--worse, to applaud them because Barack Obama gave a speech and because they marshalled 33 votes against the most craven and venal political act of our times. The Editors throws up his hands:
From our history: the Fugitive Slave Act, the Alien and Sedition Acts, the internment of Japanese-Americans. Now the McCain Torture Bill - and this, too, shall pass.You don't have to be Davey Hume to know that just because you see the sun rising every morning, that ain't hardly proof it's gonna rise again tomorrow. Who will roll back the torture vote? Who will disavow the evisceration of habeus protections? The Democrats will not win, and if they do, they will not do it.
If we continue to reward them, they will never learn.