Saturday, July 11, 2009

Kicking the can

I'm with Glenn Greenwald on war crimes. Punishing them deserves a lot more than lip service, which is all we're getting from President Obama.

My guess is that Obama decided he could have his political agenda or he could have legal accountability for the prolific crimes of Duhbya's administration, and he decided to work his agenda. Unfortunately, he seems to be getting neither.

For me, the rule of law is what the United States is about. We've tried before to welcome Republicans back to the straight and narrow, but they've repeatedly interpreted the lack of prison time as exoneration - Watergate and its associated abuses, Iran-Contra, and now all the megalomaniacal abuses of the Constitution of the Cheney years. If some of these people don't do hard time, they'll be back the next time the Republicans hold power.

Meanwhile, Democratic abuses that aren't even close to official crimes, even low ones, bring impeachment. Yet any attempt to investigate, try, and hopefully convict and punish Republican abscesses in the core of our legal system is roundly decried by media and Republicans alike as "criminalizing policy disputes." The absurdity of that claim is breath-taking.

(h/t Jay Ackroyd at Atrios)


Silence DoGood said...

Gerald Ford and "we" didn't "try it on Republicans". As if you were a part of it.

Obama may be making the same wise decision. But it will be lost on blood thirsty DemsBots and crazy right wingnuts.

Ford was very clear: "As President, my primary concern must always be the greatest good of all the people of the United States whose servant I am. As a man, my first consideration is to be true to my own convictions and my own conscience."

Reality is complex and goes beyond the glib sound bite. He didn't want the nation consumed on a witch hunt justified or not.

And be careful about setting up a tribunal too quickly. ALL presidents have been subject to impeachment bluster in recent history and Obama is next in line.

And contrary to popular myth his Sainthood will not exempt him. Or maybe Obama is thinking ahead. Yes I am a heretic.

lovable liberal said...

"Impeachment bluster"? One President has been impeached - for lying about sex. Official crimes under color of authority? No sanction whatsoever.

If your model of the rule of law is Ford, you've failed to understand the lessons of the last 35 years. No one I know would accept wiping the slate clean as a solution to the crimes that Republicans have repeatedly committed. If they were street crimes, we'd be locking the miscreants up and throwing away the key in righteous indignation.

I am part of a 'we' that matters: Americans. I was then too. That's all I meant, and you would realize that, too, except for choosing to be an asshole.

And, in fact, you've made the contrary argument from your incoherent worldview. Transparency, that's what you want - until some GOPer would have to bear the consequences.

The Republicans, on the contrary, go much further than I'm asking. Far from asking punishment for clear and important violations of the law, they are willing to trump up bullshit for their political convenience.

I'm done with this asymmetry. David Broder and you may love it, but I've had enough of Lucy pulling away the damn football.

Silence DoGood said...

I know you are trying so hard to be an intellectual-for-sport. It is cute, really.

You give up too easily when you resort to insults.

Poking zealots might not be supported by studies but it just "feels right"(Dogbert). Ok, I am engineer, you can pretend to make fun of that too.

Engineers: The ones who might offer work to intellectuals after the break-down of society. Even pretend ones.

globeisatrocious said...

Lying about sex = in this case, perjury under oath in a sexual harassment lawsuit

lovable liberal said...

gia, I know from Philosoraptor that you don't get the whole idea of proportionality. Someone failed in your moral training, sorry.

SDG, ha! I'm an engineer, too (although a software engineer, which hardly counts - but imagine you ever saying something so self-deprecating), just one who grasps the larger world. You really are narrow. Open your eyes.