Sunday, November 4, 2007

Drowning in Self-Righteousness

In perhaps the worst ever editorial in a newspaper that specializes in awful editorials, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette endorses torture, and chastises us for questioning the torturers. Then, to flesh things out, they place the editorial next to an excreable editorial cartoon that illustrates that, yeah, waterboarding may be bad, but at least it's not beheading.

So, you read it in the Demozette: Torture's great, our leaders are wonderful, and the end justifies the means.


hipparchia said...

interesting to go back and re-read this post on the nomination of alberto gonzalez for attorney general, especially the part about attorney general being a stepping stone to supreme court justice.

i'd been wondering why, when mukasey was answering the questions, he sounded so much like roberts and alito i can't answer that question; i might have to rule on it someday. i realize mukasey didn't say i might have to rule on that someday, but his wording did leave that thought hanging in the air.

Archaeopteryx said...

Oh, please, for the love of God, all the justices are going to live another year. Please, God. Please.

hipparchia said...

that is my fervent hope too.

Kevin Clark said...

I don't think you have to worry. If there were a vacancy on the Supreme Court at this point, there is 0 possibility that the Senate would permit any nominee through, unless it were someone like Laurence Tribe.

By the way, is there any actual enthusiasm on your side for Hillary as President? I realize that you'd like to have a Dem in there, but do people actually relish the prospect of a Hillary Administration?

The last time that we made someone President because we thought a relative had done a pretty good job, it didn't work out as well as might have been hoped. My guess is that a second Clinton Administration would be roughly analogous.

hipparchia said...

sure, kev. lots of folks like hillary. me, i'm a little to the left of kucinich, so hillary looks republican to me, but i'd rather have her than any of the likely republican nominees.

unfortunately, i don't have your confidence in the current crop of dems. i think they'd grouch and grumble a lot, and maybe even fprce a miers-like withdrawal, but they'd still end up accepting whoever bush picks. the only likely scenario where they wouldn't is if the vacancy happened very close to the end of bush's term.

Archaeopteryx said...

Kev, I think a lot of people are actually excited about Hillary. There's a lot of the "hey, she's a chick, and it's about time" feeling. Personally, I'm looking forward to her competence. The current bunch has set my bar pretty low.

Really the only one I get excited about is Al Gore, and he ain't interested. It's a shame.

Kevin Clark said...

I'm not sure Hillary Clinton would want to base a campaign on competence. From what I recall of the whole Whitewater stuff, she didn't seem to be an exceptionally competent lawyer. She claimed that she didn't know about Monica and believed Bill when he denied it, which means she is either a liar or delusional, neither of which bespeaks competence. She made a complete muddle of the health care issue when she headed it. She has never run anything larger than her Senate office. I will grant you that she is apparently an extremely competent options trader, managing to turn 5K into 100K. As someone who has traded options, I can respect that.

As a conservative, I'm of two minds about a Hillary nomination. My first thought is that it would be great, because I think it would be almost impossible for her to win the general election. But as an American, I think that if she did somehow win, her tenure would be utterly disastrous. I think it would be disastrous partly because she would not be competent, but also for reasons beyond that. She would be the Dem least likely to be able to work with Repubs. She would come into office with no good will whatsoever, similar to how Bush came in after the Florida debacle. She'd also bring with her all the baggage from the first Clinton Presidency--all the hard feelings, all the score settling, etc. She would always suffer from comparison with Bill, who is ten times the leader she could ever be. And then there will be the inevitable Bill-related scandals.

I actually think several of the Dems would make decent presidents. I could certainly live with Biden, Dodd, or Richardson. I even don't particularly mind Obama, though he seems a bit inexperienced this early in his career.

We've had a Bush or Clinton in office since 1989. Isn't it time we give someone else a chance?

Archaeopteryx said...

Kev, many of those things weren't about Hillary's competence--they were about trying to save a marriage, or trying to dodge an unfair and uncalledfor persecution at the hands of a partisan special prosecutor. Whitewater was nothing. It was an overblown, piddling land deal in which Bill and Hillary lost money. Compared to some of the things that most of the other presidential candidates have done, or been accused of (check into Obama's land deals in Illinois) it doesn't even register.

You can say a lot of things about Bill Clinton, but you can't say he wasn't a competent administrator. I'd imagine that he'd be Hillary's most important advisor. That alone would be worth giving her a try in office.

Hillary wouldn't be my first choice as the next president (that'd be Gore). She wouldn't be my first choice out of the announced candidates. Or my second. Or my third.

But, since I've become something of a one-issue voter, any of the Democrats beats any of the Republicans in my book. You can talk about potential disasters all you want, but the war is inexorably destroying the future of this country. Unless a candidate says his (her) first priority is to get our troops out of Iraq, they don't even get consideration from me.

Anyway, all this conversation is moot. Get used to the phrase "Madame President."

Kevin Clark said...

Four years ago at this time, John Kerry was in 5th place. I got myself all used to saying President Dean, and them he imploded. Hillary is a massive implosion waiting to happen. All she needs is a hint of a scandal to remind everyone what her tenure would be like.

To me, Hillary is like the Democrat's obnoxious girlfriend. I can't figure out what they see in her.

Archaeopteryx said...

The difference between Dean and Hillary--and the big similarity between Kerry and Hillary--is the money-raising ability. Kerry got the nomination because he had the most money, and Hillary will too--the same way Guiliani will take the Republican nomination.

I like that "obnoxious girlfriend" joke, but the point isn't correct--or at least not relevant. The Republican Death Machine is going to tear into whoever we nominate, and anybody we elect--look what they did to John Kerry--a certified war hero. Look what they did to Max Cleland--a certified war hero. Look what they did to John McCain in South Carolina. This is what Hillary brings to the fight--she's not going to be ground into hamburger. The Republicans have done their worst with her and she's still standing. In fact, for everyone who's paid any attention for the last 20 years, any attacks on Hillary just look like the same old right-wing crap, and does the right more harm than good. It's like she's got an immunity.

Archaeopteryx said...

By the way, Kev, Mrs. Archaeopteryx points out that nobody was saying that "isn't it about time to give somebody else a chance" line when Dubya was running. (I was saying it, but then, as now, no one was paying attention.)

Kevin Clark said...

First off, I think you're wrong that the Republicans have done their worst to Hillary. They haven't done their worst at all. They've hardly started. They were restrained from really going after her before because she was just the poor, long-suffering wife. If Hillary gets the nomination, the swift-boat stuff look like a pleasure cruise.

Second, Bill Clinton used to have this line that doing the same thing time after time and expecting a different outcome is insane. Okay, we nominated and elected a guy because we felt that a relative did pretty well in office but was shabbily treated. That didn't work out so well, but now we're going to do it again?

My regards to Mrs. Arch.

Winghunter said...

If the "end" is defined by our survival, you bet your ass it justifies the means.

Wake the hell up here.