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Will

Will writes from Washington, D.C. (well, Arlington, Virginia). You can reach him at willblogcorrespondence at gmail dot com.

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18 Responses

  1. Avatar ChrisWWW
    Ignored
    says:

    Finally, Broder suggests that any investigation will only distract the Administration from other important priorities.

    I’m pretty sure a DoJ prosecutor wouldn’t have been working on cap & trade or health care. Plus Republicans already frame every Obama decision as the next step on our path to Stalinism. In short, I don’t think there is all that much downside, and there is the upside of stigmatizing future torture.Report

  2. Avatar Ben
    Ignored
    says:

    As a generally liberal-minded person, yes, I would be willing to lose a shot at cap-and-trade or healthcare reform for a real chance at investigating torture?

    As a patriot, I believe that equality before the law, and the rule of law over administrations or politics is a fundamental aspect of American governance. Ignoring torture undermines the rule of law, and thus threatens our country. I think that bankruptcy because of health care and the potential consequences of climate change are also threats, but they’re primarily fiscal threats, not existential threats.Report

  3. Avatar Barry
    Ignored
    says:

    “So I have a question for my liberal and centrist-minded friends: would you be willing to lose a shot at cap-and-trade or healthcare reform or insert your preferred political priority here for a real chance at investigating torture?”

    In another world, where the GOP hadn’t clearly established a policy of “f*ck, no!”, this would be a valid question. In this world, not so much.Report

  4. Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto
    Ignored
    says:

    Yes. It’s significantly more important to reestablish the legitimacy of the government by investigating torture before going on making more laws (that may or may not be followed anyway.)Report

  5. Avatar Bob
    Ignored
    says:

    “So I have a question for my liberal and centrist-minded friends: would you be willing to lose a shot at cap-and-trade or healthcare reform or insert your preferred political priority here for a real chance at investigating torture?”

    It’s a false choice. The Obama administration can walk and chew gum at the same time.

    Wait, no they can’t. Well. maybe they can learn.Report

  6. Avatar Sheldon
    Ignored
    says:

    Will, of course with your final question you’ve fallen into the Broder swamp: “Would you be willing to investigate Bush administration violation of the law if it hurt you liberals politically?” First, why should it hurt liberal programs politically if the truth on this matter emerged? Could Republicans actually be less supportive of Democratic initiatives than they already are? (I didn’t think so.) Second, I’m as familiar with realpolitik as the next guy, but should this really be the ONLY criterion by which we judge whether an investigation is warranted? The fact is, of all the acts in our history that have led to criminal indictment or impeachment, authorizing the use of torture and killing innocent as well as guilty detainees through the use of torture is FAR AND AWAY the worst. If this is allowed to pass into history unremarked because it may be politically problematic, God only knows what future horrors await us. I imagine losing cap and trade, if that is in fact one result, would be a very small price to pay to avoid that outcome.

    Incidentally, as several others have pointed out, Broder is flat-out lying when he says he supported Nixon impeachment. Here’s the relevant excerpt from his column on that subject:

    [A] tidal wave of [pro-Nixon] public sentiment… would sweep over the Congress…. Nixon’s spokesmen… the impeachment investigation ordered by the Democratic leadership last October is nothing but a partisan assault on the integrity of the presidential office. If the Judiciary Committee were repudiated… the White House charge would surely have been proven to the public’s satisfaction.

    The President’s supporters in the country would cry vengeance against a Congress…. Democratic candidates would find themselves on the defensive about a 93rd Congress which did little but posture on impeachment…. Resurgent Republicans, rallying around the vindicated President, would almost certainly regain the offensive, exploiting the predictable public reaction against the press and the Democratic Congress which had burdened the country with the Watergate-impeachment fiasco….

    But not all Republican congressmen would be enjoying the turnabout. Those few dozen who had broken ranks to vote for impeachment would find themselves pariahs in the party of Richard Nixon…. Many of them would undoubtedly wonder whether there was any way to remain in public office as Republicans….

    All this is well within the realm of possibility. All that has to happen is for the House to exonerate the President by voting no bill of impeachment…Report

    • Avatar Will in reply to Sheldon
      Ignored
      says:

      Sheldon –

      Maybe my post wasn’t clear, but I am definitely in favor of investigating torture. I’m not a liberal, but my question was aimed at liberals who (like me) oppose torture and want to see it stopped: would you be willing to sacrifice an important part of the progressive legislative agenda to see that this happens?

      As I said above, I think there’s a good chance that a torture investigation – however necessary – would incur huge costs in terms of Democratic political capital and popularity. My question is whether Dems are willing to bear these costs.Report

  7. Avatar greginak
    Ignored
    says:

    “So I have a question for my liberal and centrist-minded friends: would you be willing to lose a shot at cap-and-trade or healthcare reform or insert your preferred political priority here for a real chance at investigating torture?”

    I realistic question and also straight to the heart of the corruption of our politics that it is so.

    Yes.Report

  8. Avatar zic
    Ignored
    says:

    Will, do you think Republicans would rather discuss torture or health care?

    Aren’t Cheney, Bush & co. worth sacrificing for the distraction it would create from all sorts of Democratic reform?

    My money’s on torture.Report

  9. Avatar Bob Cheeks
    Ignored
    says:

    Yes, yes investigate torture! I’d like to know what, if anything worked on the mujahadeen. And, do you libruls mind if we look at the Murrah Federal Bldg, Flt. 800, and Waco? Let’s get it all out…full and public disclosure, yes, no?Report

  10. Avatar Bob Cheeks
    Ignored
    says:

    Bob, Jaybird,

    Like the sign Muldur had on his wall, “The Truth is out there!”
    Yes, together we can find it!!!!!Report

  11. Avatar Barry
    Ignored
    says:

    It’s important to note (as Sheldon so helpfully did) that Broder is, of course, lying. He joins Richard Cohen and many, many other Villagers in:

    Opposing the investigation of Watergate
    Opposing the impeachment of Nixon
    Opposing the investigation of Iran-Contra
    Suporting several dozen investigations of Clinton, and his impeachment.
    Opposing any investigations into the Dubya administration.

    For those of us actual liberals (as opposed to Villager liberals who have WaPo columns), one of those things above is not like the other.Report

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