Friday, January 01, 2010

NOT A YEAR-END "BEST OF," but emblematic in its way -- The Ole Perfesser:
Yeah, I actually agree with Andrew [Sullivan] on torture, but the more I read his stuff, the weaker my sentiments on the subject get...
This really nutshells a certain kind of conservative thinking -- either directly of the "I used to consider myself a Democrat, but thanks to 9/11, I’m outraged by Chappaquiddick" school (thanks, Prof. Berube), or opportunistically feeding off it -- whose adherents claim they would have coherent moral standards if only liberals didn't make them mad.

I'm actually surprised the Perfesser used language that would hearken us back to the warblogger era ('member that?), when alleged former liberals like Matt Welch and Jeff Jarvis would bellow that the scales had been torn from their eyes, revealing to them the necessity of invading Iraq. I notice that they're not similarly rallying to the call to invade Yemen, which suggests such epiphanies have a more limited shelf life than once was thought, as well as a longer, subsequent period of buyer's remorse.

To assert while drunk and belligerent at a party that you've become more hot for torture because people you dislike are against it is one thing, but to publish such feelings while sober, and with evident sincerity, is literally depraved.

Yet apparently this sort of thing goes over in the conservative world now, as is also seen in the whole crotch-bomber contretemps. The similarities to the Richard Reid shoe-bomber episode, which passed with blame largely attributed to the malefactors rather than to the Bush Administration, are obvious, but the current rightwing talking point is that the threat "would have easily been caught by 1990’s computer" were it not for the deliberate malfeasance of Obama.

There is literally nothing, in the eyes of such people, that is not suddenly rendered immoral by its attachment to liberals. But it leaves the rest of us free to ask what, in particular, their own moral certainties might be.

UPDATE. People are leaving comments referring to some "New Year" thing. Is it some sort of holiday? It sounds suspiciously like Year Zero. Is it socialist?

Haw haw, I am making the joke. Happy 2010, if that doesn't prove an oxymoron.

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