A Distinction With a Difference
Andrew Sullivan laments today that:
[T]he most depressing fact of our time is that the right seems unable to refute torture without qualifications and the left seems unable to refute terrorism without qualifications.
This strikes me as being extraordinarily disingenuous. One of the most depressing political facts of our time is that mainstream Republican opinion-makers, politicians, and Presidential candidates have openly embraced the torturing of prisoners. It’s shameful and disgusting, and frankly the advocacy of torture is, in my mind, akin to treason because it betrays the founding principles of this country.
On the other hand, outside of a few college professors and other voices on the fringe, I don’t know anybody on the left who is unable to “refute terrorism without qualifications”. Does Sullivan honestly believe that Edwards, Obama, and Clinton somehow think that terrorism is okay in the same way that Giuliani, Romney, and other Republican opinion makers such as Rush Limbaugh and Deroy Murdock think that torture is okay? Hardly.
One of the most annoying things about modern political commentary is that it seems that every criticism of one side of an argument has to be coupled with an exaggerated example of how the other side is “just as bad” as something else. This kind of “balanced” mentality tends to skew political thinking into a “plauge on both their houses” mentality that doesn’t do justice to any of the players involved and, frankly, prevents folks on the right side of an argument from receiving due credit for being right.