Friday, September 22, 2006

A Cheap Metaphor in One Act

Fourteen Year-Old Girl: Dad?

Dad: Yes, honey?

FYOG: Can I go to an all-weekend party/sleepover at the captain of the football team’s house while his parents are out of town?

Dad: Abolutely NOT!!

FYOG: Dad! You’re so square! Well, can I go to the senior prom and after-party with the captain of the football team?

Dad: Well, I guess that’s ok. Have fun, sweetie!

-- scene --

Now, substitute “all-weekend sleepover party” with “detain and torture whomever the president chooses without oversight or legal protection for the prisoner.” And substitute “senior prom and after-party” with “detain and torture whomever the president chooses without oversight or legal protection for the prisoner.” And there you have the “compromise” that has been reached by the so-called maverick Republicans who “stood up to” the president.

But virtually no attention has been paid to this radical and wildly unjust provision, because as bad as the McCain-Graham-Warner proposal is, the president's was slightly worse. And by masquerading as the principled opponents to a handful of the most extreme provisions in the president's proposals, these "dissident Republican senators" were depicted as the moderates in the debate, as the reasonable, serious thinkers who would carefully balance the need for strong antiterrorist measures with the need to safeguard our basic liberties.
We should have seen this coming a mile away. I think it’s really gotten to the point that there is honest to God, not a single person in political office with any sense of decency or even a soul.

Senator McCain, who -- despite the fact that I have never bought into his whole straight-shooting shtick, which always seemed as manufactured as the president’s brush-clearing cowboy boots -- was tortured for five years in a POW camp, and yet is giving the president carte blanche to be just as bad as those horrible Vietnamese who crammed bamboo under his fingernails. This is the United States of America, people. We are handing to the president the right to imprison without legal council or to be told the charges against you, to spy on, and to torture anyone in the world – including yourself. I don’t care how scared you are that you might get blown up tomorrow, which you won’t, and you never will, how can you feel comfortable giving the president, legally, the power of a brutal dictator? What has he done to show us he has any sense of responsibility to the truth or to accuracy or to being decent? What has he done to demonstrate that he can have this amount of power and use it with wisdom?

And then think about how people are being beaten, threatened, stripped down, raped, mauled, and yes – murdered in your name. And when does it stop? How long do we have to stay down this road until it’s not just so-called terrorists who are imprisoned? How long until it’s political prisoners being tortured and sent away without charges? The administration has already long been calling people who disagree with him traitors and terrorist sympathizers. How big of a step is it from terrorist sympathizer to terrorist? One word. That’s all it takes. And all of a sudden, The Daily Show is mysteriously pre-empted with Blue Collar Comedy Tour and for some reason Comedy Central doesn’t explain why.

Git R Dun!

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