Friday, April 24, 2009

It Didn't Take Long for the "C" Word to Pop Up

With news of a possible inquiry into the use of torture during the Bush administration, I was waiting for the right-wing to say: This is the criminialization of politics! It didn't take long:
Huge Hewitt: Now I introduced Ed Meese at a Heritage luncheon a couple of hours ago at the Century Plaza Hotel, and when I did that, I paused for a moment to reflect on what a radical break the Obama direction is with American history. When Reagan arrives, he doesn’t attempt to criminalize what Carter did. When W. arrives, he doesn’t attempt to criminalize what Bill Clinton did. It, in fact, he stressed continuity, did not want to look into why we were not ready for 9/11, et cetera, et cetera. This is very different, Mark Steyn, and it’s perilous. The criminalization of past political differences is something that, Mark, the Royalists and the Roundheads for years, but not America.

Mark Steyn: Right. Yeah, well in the modern era, it’s South Africa after apartheid, or Czechoslovakia after communism. And for some reason, Obama seems attracted to that model rather than simply saying well, we had an election in a two party system, in a continuous Constitutional republic that’s been doing this for two and a third centuries now, and this time instead of Party A winning, Party B winning. He could look at it like that. But as you say, the left has chosen to criminalize politics. It’s not enough to say well, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have a different view of this than we do. That’s not enough. It’s not enough. They’ve got to actually say no, it’s beyond that. Dick Cheney’s opinion, and George W. Bush’s opinion are criminal. And they have to be criminalized. And I think this is horribly damaging. This is horribly damaging in the most basic sense to political stability and to the functioning of a two party system.
The remaining apologists used to say the same thing about the treatment of Nixon.

Note: They didn't mention the legal proceedings against Clinton while he was in office.

The question if course, is did they break the law? Not their politics. Had they have gotten legislation through that lifted the ban on torture, then they are not criminal. But they didn't do that, and played a game a semantics with what officially constitutes torture.

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