Saturday :: Dec 8, 2007

The merest spark.

by Turkana

Another Bush Administration outrage, and another round of calls by Democrats for investigations. I don't need to list the specifics. They don't matter. It's a generic pattern; and if there are actual investigations, so will be clear findings of facts, subpoenas that will be ignored, and no substantive consequences for any of it. There are no substantive consequences, anymore. We in the blogosphere go nuts, the better corporate media commentators express various degrees of disapprobation, and the Beltway cocktail party circuit buzzes on in bland indifference.

There are, however, unintended consequences to Democratic Congressional investigations. One is a further withering of trust and confidence in the Democratic Congress by Democratic partisans. Another is the further degradation of our national stature. Even without enforcement of subpoenas, what comes out of these investigations is continually shocking and infuriating, until our synapses are so fried that we are no longer capable of being shocked or infuriated. It's defining deviancy down at the national and international political level. The nation and the world see what the Bush Administration does, and they see that there are no substantive consequences, and they therefore come to understand that these investigations are merely informative: here, see, this is what's now acceptable in and by America- we just wanted you to know.

Am I saying that it would be better if the Democrats didn't even bother investigating, and allowed the facts to remain hidden? I don't know. And that's the problem. I believe in transparency, but I also believe in the rule of law; but when the transparent is so cruel and ugly, and laws don't seem to apply, maybe a measure of ignorance would be preferable. At least, then, we might have reason to still delude ourselves that the Eighteenth Century revolutions actually meant something.

Obviously, I'm being snarky and cynical. I want investigations. I want to know. To some degree, those wants can be sated. I also want consequences for criminal behavior by government officials, but that appears to be as likely to be satisfied as my desires for world peace, an end to poverty, and eternal youth.

So, let the Democratic Congress go ahead and pursue further investigations. Let's continue to discover ever deeper depths of depravity by the Bush Administration and its enablers and minions. Let's try to keep our ability to be outraged alive. Let's know that knowledge, itself, is all we are likely to get. There will be no consequences. Consequences are not acceptable in polite company, and they clash with the table linens. But the desire for consequences, the desire for fair justice, keeps us alive. And human. And sane. If there is any hope for a better future for America, and for America to play any role in creating a better future for the world, it remains in that. The merest spark. Within each of us. We cannot expect it from our ostensible leaders, but neither can we give up hope that it will eventually reach, heat, and inspire them to act.

Turkana :: 2:57 PM :: Comments (21) :: Digg It!