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5.24.2009

Empathy for Dick Cheney

Let me say this, I don't hate Dick Cheney. Having authorized waterboarding seems like an easy moral victory for the left. All of their suspicions are true, he's a terrible, horrible monster who likes to torture people and anyway it doesn't even work and the people were totally innocent. Now I certainly have my own problems with the torture issue (see posts below), however, I think there is a complete and total unwillingness on the part of Cheney's critics to take into consideration his responsibilities and the fact that at the time he was, appropriately, under fire for not taking the terrorist threat seriously enough. The stakes simply could not have been higher. If you're seriously having to wonder about these whackjobs getting their hands on biological weapons or taking over Pakistan, then in a sense, all bets are already off. If you're actually, seriously, having to consider losing a major American city, well then what are you not going to do to protect it considering you already lost round one? That's all I'll say about that. I just think that should be taken into consideration. You don't have to have sympathy for him, but some empathy is always good, for both sides. The Republicans are probably worse than the Democrats at it. Actually, the Democrats are too good at it, but anyway, the blindered political vision that comes with partisan politics is the worst of human beings on display.

To be clear, I have no problems with prosecutions for torture, and I think Obama is trying to make the case that we can fight the terrorists without betraying the principles of the U.S. as embodied in contracts like the UNCAT (I hope he's right). But demonizing Cheney is about as helpful as demonizing Nancy Pelosi.

Hadn't seen this before, a smackdown of the typical "gut-feeling" rhetorical nonsense the Republicans are always fucking spewing, about looking into people's eyes and trying to scare the shit out of people with bullshit lines rather than coming up with reasoned arguments for your claims.

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