Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Nero isn't even pretending to fiddle

The Senate is preparing to consider bills to revise our national commitment to habeus corpus, to make the US into a nation ranking with Syria in its comfort with torture, to raise the specter of American citizens imprisoned without recourse on a whiff of accusation that they were aiding "the wrong side" in a perceived national conflict. Even conservative journalists are becoming nervous about the heedless rush of it all:
We have argued that the only remedy to the mess made by the Bush administration in holding hundreds of detainees without charge at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere since 2001 was congressional action. Yet rather than carefully weigh the issues, Congress has allowed itself to be stampeded into a vote on hastily written but far-reaching legal provisions, in a preelection climate in which dissenters risk being labeled as soft on terrorism.
Digby's longer chewy piece really gets at some of my frustration -- this is so clearly an issue with a significant moral element, and yet no leader is willing to oppose the bills from that standpoint.
The vote is going to happen and it's going to pass. But I can't help but wonder if the momentum wouldn't have gone the other way if some of the Democrats who constantly exhort the rank and file to be more friendly to religion and values and morals had stood up and said no. Imagine if Barack Obama had staked out a leading position against this legislation making the explicit argument that it is immoral and unamerican to torture. That would have gone farther to demonstrate our respect for religious values than his frequent process talk and scolding could ever do.
Digby even suggests that Lieberman could retread his condemnation of Clinton for the occasion, heh. But seriously, if there were ever an occasion for Obama to justify the adulation that surrounds him, or for those with Presidential apsirations to show that they can stand up for the most important of our Constitutional protections, now seems like a pretty good time. Anybody?

(via Atrios)

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