The recognition that the Bush administration, especially Cheney and Rumsfeld, authorized and directed the torture of prisoners is now taken for granted by Newsweek. What’s that say about the state of the nation? In the linked article, it wasn’t so much the information — which has been widely known for a long time — but the tone that struck me. I don’t think they should hang, but not because they don’t deserve it — because we’d be better off being merciful. Of course, we’ll be lucky, as a country, if we get a public apology. More likely, Bush will give everyone, including himself, a pardon & we’ll be told that it’s better for the nation of we just let bygones be bygones.
Okay, I have a couple of non-political posts in the hopper, but I want to get this down in pixils before returning to regularly scheduled programming. So, here’s what I care about at the present political moment:
- Real health care reform that does not simply reorganize the current domination of insurance and pharmaceutical companies. I would prefer a national single payer plan, but I am open to innovation.
- An economic stimulus plan that pushes investment in infrastructure, education, and and green energy.
- A complete and unambiguous repudiation of extraordinary rendition, torture, and the warrantless wiretapping of American citizens.
- A complete & final withdrawal from Iraq & no escalation in Afghanistan.
Number three will be a bright line indicator for me of the Obama administration’s moral seriousness. There are also several things I don’t give a hoot about:
- Hillary as Secretary of State — might create something of a circus atmosphere, but if Obama wants her I don’t have any objections.
- Same goes for bringing in seasoned professionals from the Clinton administration. I seem to recall that, long ago, in what seems like a fairy tale, president Clinton presided over eight years of peace and prosperity despite the frothing radical right’s attempts to destroy him.
- Prosecuting Bush / Cheney for war crimes. Some on the left are disappointed that this appears unlikely & yes the invasion of Iraq was a crime, but a prosecution wasn’t / isn’t ever going to happen in any case & would consume all of Obama’s political capital if it did. That’s just not the way the system works & I’m not going to spend too much time regretting this. History, as Bush himself has said hopefully, will judge. (I think his hope is misplaced & that he will be judged harshly.)
I voted against Nixon; I voted against Reagan; I voted against both Bushes — this time, while I’m voting against McCain, I am also voting for Barack Obama. That’s a good feeling.
Update: Josh Corey’s eloquent call to vote for Barack Obama.