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June 15, 2004


I think this is clear from the context, but just in case, about the title of this post:
1) It's sarcastic.
2) "Republicans" refers only to the members of the Bush administration, not ordinary G.O.P. party members who obviously had nothing to do with the extraordinary rendition policies.

As a registered Democrat who pretty much never identifies with "Democrat" used in any policy context (you'd have to be obviously attacking Democratic voters to get me anywhere near feeling personally affronted) I can't say I quite understand the default interpretation of "Republican" as applicable to the rank and file. I simply assume one is talking about those directly involved with the party apparatus, particularly the public face of the party, unless otherwise implied.

Is this a personal idiosyncrasy of mine?

It's a better-safe-than-sorry issue, Gromit: we get a goodly amount of traffic from sites where the default assumption aren't as specific as yours, and I want it to remain clear that this isn't one of those sites.

That being said, in this case I wouldn't have said anything: all the bloggers here are free to post as they like and I try not to jog Katherine's elbow. Artistry requires a lack of nitpicking in order to fully bloom. :)


Really, though, what's the use? I prefer torturing the guilty to torturing the innocent, but torture is torture. It was still illegal. It was still wrong. It was still unnecessary.

Right on, Katherine. Dead right.

".. they actually tried to get Egypt to comply with the torture convention .."

Yeah, right, OTOH instead of sending someone to a country that regularly breaks human right, they prolly could have just sent him to a country that respects human rights.

Factory--well, exactly. And that's the reason I gave up on the list of differences.

I knew right off that Bush's actions do not justify Clinton's, any more than Clinton's justify Bush's. What I realized after a little while is that Bush's actions do not even mitigate Clinton's, any more than Clinton's mitigate Bush's.

When you find out that we sent suspects to be tortured in Egypt under a Democratic president, the proper response is not a list of reasons why the Republican president is still worse. Even if that list is accurate, it is a bad response.

One of the things that has been disturbing me about the torture scandal breaking is that many people on the Democrat side have been reacting in part with honest horror (as many people on the Republican side have also been reacting) but also with "This kills Bush".

Which may well be true: I don't know.

But the reason it disturbs me rather than elating me (since, obviously, I don't want Bush to become President again for another four years) is because this is just too dreadful to be used for any kind of party scandal. It's worse than the Plame Affair. The only proper reaction is a bipartisan determination at all levels of government to prosecute those responsible for these dreadful crimes, no matter how high up the chain of command this takes the prosecution.

And yes, if that means some officials under Clinton get arrested and prosecuted for illegally sending prisoners to Egypt, a country that had not complied with the anti-torture convention, that's a good thing. It would only become a bad thing if the Republicans currently controlling all three arms of government go after the Clinton offenses and ignore the far more serious offenses committed under Bush.

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