Back in 1993, US Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York wrote a famous essay, entitled “Defining Deviancy Down,” for the American Scholar. Its main supposition was that American culture was becoming more accepting of behavior that had heretofore been considered deviant. Conservatives were very much in agreement with that analysis. Much hand-wringing and controversy ensued.
It seems to P&J that we face a similar situation with the Bush administration, which is attempting to “refine” the language of the Geneva Conventions, to gain a lot more leeway in torturing prisoners of war. The administration chicken hawks, loath to listen to people who actually know something about torture (like Senator John McCain), are pushing on with their disgraceful legislative initiative.
Apparently, Bush and his cronies want the world to accept us as moral leaders while dispensing with all the values, traditions, and laws that have made the US the envy of the world. And how can people who seriously lack personal dignity try to reinterpret the Convention’s prohibition of “outrages upon personal dignity”?
Fuck you, Bush, and your attempts to define torture down. Those who revere this country’s legacy as a global beacon of hope must reject Bush’s despicable attempts to further damage our nation. He’s not protecting shit — and this is obvious to anyone paying a scintilla of attention. Iraq is a mess, the Taliban is ascending in Afghanistan, and we are now despised by most of the people in Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa.
The Bush administration’s battle to reserve the right to torture people has had a profound impact on attitudes in the rest of the world. Keep it up moron, and even when we are on the right side of most things, we lose. That’s why it’s so important to run this clown out of town on a rail.
We basically reject most of the rationales for why Linc Chafee beat “Laugh at Me” Laffey — handily — in last week’s primary. Sure, a lot of hard work was put into this, but the main reason why Chafee won was because the majority of Vo Dilunduhs are thoughtful, intelligent people who picked up on the odious nature of Laffey.
While instinctive understanding is (we believe) a characteristic of our friends and neighbors, this ain’t everybody. We were astonished to see a quote from a northern Vo Dilun couple in Charlie Bakst’s day-after-the-primaries column. They were alarmed by the continuing gap between rich and poor, locally and nationally, and so, they were voting for Laffey.
Are you kidding us?! Laffey is an exemplar of the economic policies that drive the inequity in our society. Hey, Laffey-boy, stop reading Friedman and pick up Keynes. When did this country make its greatest strides toward economic equity? How about from the end of WWII to the mid-1970s? That happens to be the time when liberals were generally in charge of our government. Do you get it now? For our still “conservative” and Republican-voting confreres, we suspect not. At this point, they think Barry Goldwater was a liberal. It’s a sad, sad, sad, sad world.
P&J are reveling, of course, in the coverage of John Celona’s flipping like a toupee-topped pancake during the Roger Williams Medical Center trial. In this public version of Nawt Prov Politics 101, he is taking many others down a bit as he chirps like a canary on crack.