9.28.2006

I apologize

for not doing more yesterday, but I am too busy crafting diversions for my fellow subjects of our military-industrial-infotainment state.

BUT IF ANYTHING EVER DESERVED ALL CAPS IT WAS THIS TORTURE BILL. HERE'S JIM HENLEY:

My personal domestic politics analyst insisted to me tonight that the Democrats are still going to win one or both houses of Congress this year. I disbelieve her, but even if she is right, all it means is that a Democratic Party that has already ceded the principle that “our security depends on hiding people away and torturing them” will take power. That party will not have the self-confidence or ambition to spend political capital undoing what it allowed this week to be done. That party will be able to provide a nice living for its officials, do a tidy business in fundraising and maybe push marginal tax rates up a point or raise the gas mileage requirements on new cars - in a country whose official policy is that “our security depends on hiding people away and torturing them.” It will not be a party that opposes anything worth opposing. It will not be a party that can sustain majority support for an alternate philosophy of governance. In important ways it will hardly even count as a second party. And that’s the pleasant scenario.

There is, as they say, a lot of ruin in a nation. I expect the yoke of our weirdly Brezhnevite future to fall relatively mildly on most necks for quite awhile, including mine. People like me and all the other cranks with blogs are fundamentally unimportant, and the genius of one-party rule in this country is, so far, to let the unimportant slide. There remains an escalation problem. Four years ago, the “crises” were a rush vote on a manufactured war and the creation of a new bureaucracy. Two years ago it was the imperative not to admit that the manufactured war was pointless and counterproductive. This time it’s the overpowering need to hide whoever the executive claims is a terrorist away and torture them. Next time, if the economy is a little worse and the people a little more restless, what will it take? And the time after that? We can’t say. We can only say that Republicans will slaver and Democrats will whicker, shuffle and, finally, shrink.

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