Wednesday :: Apr 29, 2009

Principles Matter, Not Ideas / Torture Memory Hole Update


by paradox

Although Arlen Specter is a slimy snake of a politician no Party truly should be happy to accept with open arms, just the threat of eliminating the filibuster mechanism has crushed Republican optimism and morale—giggly stuff, yes, but those are still two critical variables for any human organization—and just as importantly finally smashed home the fact the Republicans lost in 2008, lost really badly, can political actors finally start acting like it?

Mark Halperin, rightly speared by John Cole for being so clueless on Pennsylvania demographics, Republicans are losing there for a long time. The Congressional Republican leadership, so clownishly and clumsily bluffing their way to oblivion when anyone could see they have nothing, a few wins on the stimulus bill is all they’ll ever get for this term, pathetic doesn’t begin to describe it. Janet Napolitano, groveling stupidly and appallingly to a right wing hissy fit.

The journalism corps will resolutely try to ignore it all, they hired Karl Rove and Mary Matalin this year in a hurry, but even those two—legendary in their ability to twist up any set of facts to rationalize anything or knife a Democrat with them—will never able to breathe life into this corpse of a Republican Party.

New Ideas, that’s another lame meme making the rounds, those great mysterious ideas could save the Republican Party. “…so that once again it has the ideas and the leaders that appeal to Republicans, independents and like-minded Democrats." Well, where would these ideas be?

“Their gubernatorial candidates may be in a position to incubate new ideas,” Dan Balz writes in the Washington Post. Ha, why in the hell would that be? No one knows, it’s just theoretically possible. At least Balz wrote the Republicans “are desperately in search of them.”

Of course they are, they aren’t to be found, Lord knows any Republican would have feverishly employed the noble new “idea” lying around somewhere in 2006 and 2008, but they didn’t and got their asses kicked.

I’m contemptuous here because ideas never win elections, principles do. Perhaps Balz and the consultant Madden meant new ideas on how to create a wedge issue or something, but as Digby noted the Republicans are plain tapped and worn out, that game is so stale it can’t work anymore. Republican principles are to always cut taxes, government is the problem, then use that problem to wage as much war as possible. That’s it.

Oh yes, what a winner set of principles that is. No new idea is ever going to “incubate” out of that reeking contradictory violent mess, Republicans will have to come up with better principles if they ever want to win again. Perhaps ditching that government is the problem shtick—while seeking to run it—might help. Possibly.

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Just one day after setting the memory hole clock for torture proponents for war crime justice suffered a massive setback, torture got blown off the media agenda by possible swine flu pandemic and Arlen Specter.

It better get back on top of the agenda fast, because there is no government mechanism to report on, journalists can’t wait for news and old memos to be released. The media agenda and consequent public pressure is all the torture justice folks have.

Jane Hamsher noted over the weekend a possible deal may be in the works to impeach Bybee as a classic Obama compromise, get rid of him and we can move on. Indictment proponents hope the hearings will fuel new revelations and a need for a special prosecutor, but that’s a great deal to expect out of a Congressional environment, ask Ollie North.

Besides, what’s to stop Bybee for waiting for the compromise to gel and then resign? The outcome is the same for him while totally stalling everything else.

Let’s be perfectly clear, I want war crime prosecutions as much as anyone, I just refuse to accept as reality what may in fact be total fantasy. The entire pattern of these war crimes is to vanish in the memory hole to become quaint historical markers, with no Executive, Journalism or Congress backing prosecutions the memory hole is relentlessly drowning the torture story.

Frank Rich says it won’t happen. We’ll see. I was nice with 5-1 odds, 20-1 is more like it, but stranger things have happened. The Democracy was blown up with Bush vs. Gore, I’ve been waiting for these felons to be put in chains for nine years, and the memory hole has always won.

Somehow the key is to move Holder to appoint a special prosecutor. It’s the only chance I see to keep the story alive and eventual justice.

paradox :: 4:30 AM :: Comments (3) :: Digg It!