Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bi-partisanship--and So Much More

I read that Obama doesn’t want to prosecute anyone for torture because he wants to avoid a “partisan” fight.

That seems disingenuous. First, partisanship is here to stay. We have a two-party systems and folks can, do and will stand with their party. Actually, it is beginning to seem like every time President Obama invokes “partisanship,” he is signaling his willingness to bend over backwards to make the Republicans feel good about themselves. But nobody should feel good about torture. Strangely enough, many Republicans do.

And isn’t it interesting that the debate over investigating and prosecuting those involved with the torture is shaping up along, if not exactly party lines, then certainly along the broad political ideologies that underwrite party politics. Liberals (Democrats) want to prosecute those involved; Conservatives (Republicans) want to congratulate them because they (ostensibly) saved American lives.

I wonder what they think an American life is worth, not in terms of dollars and cents, but in relationship to other lives. Ten other lives? A thousand? A million, billion, trillion? Where do the advocates of torture draw the line?

More importantly, where do you draw the line? How many human beings would you torture (or allow to be tortured) to save your own life?

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