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« Personnel Decisions | Main | It Covers the Garbage »

November 18, 2008


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I agree. Realistically, I believe the best course for Obama is to pick up the worst of Bush's policies and throw them in the garbage, which seems to be his plan.

On a political level, it will permit Obama to proceed with the rest of his platform while also making a credible showing to the rest of the world (and to ourselves) that the United States still has and follows core principles of liberty and justice.

On a normative level, it will make clear an important fact: the worst excesses of 2001-2007 were the result of a single man, not a collective fit of insanity, excesses which were halted by a single election of a single man. That will affirm, for the sake of history, that the United States did not truly take steps towards becoming Hitler's Germany or Stalin's Russia, because, unlike in those two examples, any arguably fascist or a totalitarian policies we had were not so firmly rooted in our governance that they could only be removed by generations of internal subterfuge and external reform.

Right. The best way to show the world we've changed is to change. There's no way for one part of the political elite to lay off blame on another part, and then declare, "That's that!"

The liberals who are screaming now about the priorities of the incoming administration are just exposing what incompetents they are at politics. The fact that they can't express their outrage over things we can't change in the short term and then acknowledge them as such and move on to things we can demonstrates their uselessness.

Help me to understand something. Or perhaps a few things.

If a person expresses outrage, but does not explicitly acknowledge the political situation, does that person not understand the political situation? Or perhaps that person has chosen not to spell out the political situation, for reasons of space, or for mental self-preservation, or any number of reasons?

Further! If that person is aware of the political situation, should that make any difference as to whether or not that person loudly speaks out for the correct principle? Shouldn't the person say exactly what he would say, on principle, regardless of the politics? Isn't that playing the long game, where you declare your principles until such a time as the politics comes around to you?

I guess what I'm getting at here is, what is the word "incompetent" doing in there? We are talking about people on the outside of politics, right? People with - ahem - blogs, that kind of thing?

Time to move on.

"Our government committed the kind of crimes that we gave out life sentences for at Nuremburg"

This will not be a popular argument here but the comparison trivializes Nuremburg.

The scale of Nazi crimes were so enormous that the Allied tribunal had Germans testifying as mere witnesses against the defendents whose own crimes dwarfed that of all war crimes committed by Western great power armies in the last fifty years combined -including the wars of Algeria and Vietnam.

To give you a few example, Rudolf Hoess was a third tier defendent at Nuremburg and a nonentity in the Nazi hierarchy - by his own guesstimate Hoess presided over the murder of 2.5 million Jews while commandant of Auschwitz. Fritz Sauckel, a second tier defendent was responsible for the enslavement of five million people. These two did not even rate being the main ( in the view of the Allied prosecution, the most culpable)defendents.

I'm not a fan of Pat Leahy but he knows the number of Americans who buy in to the Nuremburg analogy, while vocal, would be very small and that most people -not simply conservatives- would perceive such a campaign as a Democratic witch hunt to criminalize and ultimately suppress their political opposition. It would polarize the nation like no event in our lifetime.

Hey mang. Sorry if a comment got dropped at WF? We don't moderate comments, TypePad probably just lost it.

No biggie. I was just trying to agree with you on the treasure chest thing.

Bush is not Hitler. I don't think anyone is arguing that the scale of the crimes committed by Bush administration officials is in any way comparable to that of the Nazis. The point is that we, along with the other Allied powers, created the very standard for international justice that the current administration is systematically violating. Because of that history, the comparison to Nuremberg is inevitable. In terms of securing our political objectives, it's an own goal of staggering proportions, as well as being immoral by our own standards of decency.

And So It Goes in the Ultimately Supreme Republic of Everything

Supreme Commander of Everything Master Dada Kolo watched the military procession with what he hoped would be perceived as a stern, critical gaze. In reality, he was thinking about the coming luncheon. He hoped they would have those little cheeseburgers for appetizers.

He really liked those. "Mmmmmmmmmm, cheeseburgers”, he thought, as the tanks rolled by.

His attention briefly swerved back to the parade.

"'Look at all this stuff I have to kill people with, All these soldiers and guns and rockets. It's hot here in the sun, what does it take for the Supreme Commander to get a cold beer? Geez! You'd think a guy could get a stinkin' beer, being the Supreme Commander of Everything and all”

The Republic of Everything was a small African county, but Dada's dad, Moma Kola, had seen to it that Dada received the finest education that could be extorted from western rulers for his beloved son and heir.

During Dada's years abroad he had formed invaluable relationships to the Bush family and many executives in the Halliburton organization. Dada and Dick Cheney saw eye to eye on almost everything relating to how to rule a country. An interest in torture, a hobby they had in common, had initially brought them together. He was heavily invested in the Carlyle Group (Swiss bank accounts come in quite handily). Dada had never shot anybody in the face, but hoped to do so one day.

Dada glanced over to the foreign dignitaries, whose visit had instigated the ceremonies. Damn, Jenna was HOT! Not-Jenna was pretty warm. Laura looked like shit. George (43) glumly stared at the procession. “I hope he's sober”, Dada thought.

He wasn't.

Barbara was smiling. Something about black people walking in the sun just made her happy. “This has all worked out so well for them” (the black folk), she thought.

George (41) had the thousand yard stare thing going on. Clueless.

George (43) was thinking about retiring here in Everything. The post-presidential years hadn't been kind to him. And Everything's non-extradition policy was a plus in this consideration. The Obama administration had been ruthless in its investigations and SecState Hillary looked on the former administration as a target rich environment.

Dick Cheny was mumbling, " Go fuck yourself.' to no one in particular.

Fortunately, he wasn't armed.

No one puts their money into Swiss banks anymore.

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