The Times gets it wrong in criticizing the torture bill that the House passed yesterday. We aren’t Rushing Off a Cliff, we’re strolling, carefully and deliberately. Other than that, the editorial is dead on:
Here’s what happens when this irresponsible Congress railroads a profoundly important bill to serve the mindless politics of a midterm election: The Bush administration uses Republicans’ fear of losing their majority to push through ghastly ideas about antiterrorism that will make American troops less safe and do lasting damage to our 217-year-old nation of laws — while actually doing nothing to protect the nation from terrorists. Democrats betray their principles to avoid last-minute attack ads. Our democracy is the big loser.
And it’s especially disappointing that my congressman, Dennis Moore, was one of only a handful of Democrats who went along with the Republican torture agenda. I understand the fear of being tagged as soft on whatever, but sometimes you have to stand up and declare that, on balance, torture and abandoning constitutional protections is bad. Especially when you have a weak opponent and Republican energy is focused elsewhere.
It’s no wonder that, in a Democracy Corps analysis of focus groups, “When pushed to say something positive, … undecided voters would only offer comments on the arrival of football season or how much they like surfing the internet.”