Mon, 02 Oct 2006 14:47:09

There was an excellent post yesterday by G Bitch wherein she lamented the lack of decent choices for voters in the Gret Stet. It left me pondering Senator Mary Landrieu’s vote *for* the so-called compromise on the torture bill. If you look more carefully at the details Senators McCain Warner and Graham won one concession from the White House (the language modifying the Geneva Conventions) and caved on the rest. Over the years I’ve understood some of Landrieu’s more retrograde votes because this *is* a conservative state BUT this one is impossible to swallow. What’s conservative about torture? Nazis torture Communists torture and now Americans do it and brag about it. It’s as pathetic as it is disgusting.

This vote was a no-brainer to me: Americans regardless of ideology or party should be AGAINST torture. It’s wrong plain and simple and on a practical level it doesn’t work. People will lie like rugs under torture to end the pain. That’s probably why the Bushies like torture: they’re into lying. They’ve elevated it into a perverse art form after all.

I also take this personally. A friend of my family is a retired Greek naval officer who was involved in an attempt to overthrow the Military Junta that ran Greece from 1967-1974. He was tortured and imprisoned for nearly a year. Eventually he was released and post-Junta became an Admiral but he was literally scarred for life both mentally and physically.

Back to Senator Landrieu who is an adept practitioner of the devious Clintonian art of triangulation. A week or so before the torture vote she delivered a scathing attack on the Bush administration:

“America is not tired of fighting terrorism; America is tired of the wrongheaded and boneheaded leadership of the Republican Party that has sent $6.5 billion a month to Iraq while the front line was Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. … Americans are tired of the boneheaded Republican leadership that alienates our allies when we need them most. I am certainly not going to sit here as a Democrat and let the Republican leadership come to the floor and talk about ‘Democrats are not making us safe.’ They’re the ones in charge and Osama bin Laden is still loose.”

Fine words but she immediately went into the tank and supported the torture vote. It’s what triangulation is all about. Landrieu’s Democratic colleague Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska justiffied his role as one of the Torture Twleve by stating that he was following John McCain’s lead. It’s a poor excuse and doesn’t bode well for the future: McCain is the front runner for the 2008 Republican Nomination. Democrats need to get over their weird infatuation with McCain. Yes he’s a good and decent man BUT he’s wrong on the issues and has been one of the strongest supporters of the Iraq War and Bush’s endless misbegotten war on terrorism. Are Democrats so far gone that they regard a right winger who’s a nice guy as being someone worthy of following? Let’s hope not. Of course Democrats are busy sampling Presidential candidate flavors of the month instead of comprehending that the next President will have to clean up W’s mess. Someone put in a 911 call to Al Gore…

Now that I’ve vented I know that I’ll have to hold my nose and vote for Landrieu in 2008. Her replacement would be someone much worse: someone like David Vitter who gulps down the wingnut Kool Aid instead of sipping it with a pinky extended in coded disapproval.  “


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