Monday, June 20, 2005

Durbin Delights

Mark Steyn makes the good point that, strictly as a factual matter, Dick Durbin's claim:
If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime -- Pol Pot or others -- that had no concern for human beings.

Is ludicrous. Even if you believe--which I don't--that every cell in every American detention facility looks like what Durbin describes, only someone who has never read accounts of life in the prisons of Stalin, Hitler, and Pol Pot could mistake this treatment for the living hell those men created. I mean, forget the death toll, the actual day-to-day treatment bears no similarity. Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot did not simply play with the temperature, blast bad music, and let prisoners pee on themselves.

That said, I'll be surprised if anything happens to Durbin. Hugh Hewitt suggests that the Senate should censure him while Bill Kristol thinks it's more appropriate for the Democrats to remove him from leadership, particularly following the example of how the Republicans handled Trent Lott.

But I'll be surprised if that happens. You see, the key difference is that conservatives and Republicans in general disagreed with the sentiment Lott was expressing. So far it looks as though liberals and Democrats believe Durbin's thoughts to be true.


Anonymous said...

Democrats currently have a stark and critical choice to make between simple sanity and wild moon-battery, and yes, in significant degree, between good and evil (real evil, e.g., in the virulent anti-semitism of McKinney, Conyers et nauseum al; in the attacks on our nation's troops, their safety, and the success of their mission and security of our country, Durbin's just being the latest and most prominent example; in the unhinged hatred for the president). And they are consistently choosing wild moon-battery and evil.

Every time I see one of the disappearing species of rational and principled Democrats on T.V. I see an image of the proverbial frog casually croaking away while sitting in a pot of water already coming to a boil.

It's almost uncanny that most of them are actually accepting active roles in betrayal of their own avowed principles, their own country, and yes, their own party, while even the very best among them can manage only to be somewhat more passive in those betrayals.

Anonymous said...

But perhaps the key distinction is not one in whether or not either side identifies and correctly defines "real evil" but in whether, if at all, and whom, to believe is telling the truth about what happens at Gitmo. Durbin and some of the Demoncrats are prepared to believe (A) that interrogation techniques including torture, psychological and physical torment, religious mockery, and sensory deprivation are fundamentally wrong, no matter how "evil" the subjects thereof are, particularly when (B) the only people who are defining these subjects as "evil" are the ones doing the interrogations. So two different points of disagreement: some disagree that it's ever right to interrogate in this manner, and others argue that it might be ok in some circumstances, but don't trust the wisdom/knowledge/competence of those making the determination that these are the appropriate circumstances. JVL and anonymous and others seem to trust that the interrogators know enough to define the subjects as "evil" and to believe that they are sufficiently "evil" to warrant this type of treatment.

Doesn't make someone "wild moon battery" to disagree on who to trust, particularly given the track record here (though I pause to comment that "wild moon battery" is a fantastic misnomer of an expression - I suppose something like tithing at windmills?)

Anonymous said...

But don't you see that in framing the issue in such a calm, thoughtful manner you have exposed the idiocy of Durbin's hyperbole? Durbin didn't need to make wild charges, he could have made the thoughtful deliberate and not at all inflammatory point that you, Anonymous II, have. Which is exactly what we (on the right) want. Durbin and the rest of the loony Left seem intent on refusing to engage this topic in the measured, honest way you (anon II) do. The problem with Durbin et al is not that we on the right don't want to engage in a discussion about what is appropriate, it is that one cannot have such a discussion without a reasonable opponent. Durbin could have raised the issue in an intellectually honest way, as Anon II has. But he chose to toss verbal grenades and grandstand, which is what I object to, and which is not helpful to the larger cause, i.e. winning this GWOT. Durbin refuses to acknowledge that there may be a spectrum of choices which should be discussed in a civilized manner. Doing so wouldn't serve Durbin's primary purpose: to take shots at Bush. The Right awaits a rational discussion, any time a suitable partner steps forward. None seem to be available in the Dem caucus.

Anon III