Saturday, June 2, 2007

The Congress! How many divisions have they got?

Michael Kinsley has a piece on the legal and logical trap awaiting any responsible and thoughtful opponent to Bush's War--whether that opposition was from the get-go or is rather lately arrived-at. And, he notes, that same trap can just as easily come back to bite the conservatives on the ass the next time a Democrat is in the White House:
Advocates of the current war who enjoy the spectacle of war opponents caught in this trap of laws and logic had better hope that every military action a president chooses to engage in from here on out is as wonderful to them as is the war in Iraq. Because there is nothing war-specific about this line of argument. It would work just as well on an invasion of Canada or an aerial bombardment of Portugal. The president can do it if he wants to, and no one can legitimately stop him.

Of course, the president is elected, and in that sense he is acting as proxy for the citizens when he decides to take our country into a war. Right? Well, not quite. Let's leave aside the voting anomalies of the 2000 election. When this president first ran for national office, he campaigned on a platform of criticizing his predecessor for engaging in military action (in Kosovo and Somalia) without an exit strategy. He mocked the notion of trying to establish democracy in distant lands. He denounced the use of American soldiers for "nation-building." In 2000, if you were looking for a way to express your disapproval of the policies and prejudices that later got us into Iraq, your obvious answer would have been to vote for George W. Bush.

Check and mate.

That's the thing with movement conservatives (okay, and Clinton-haters, which is roughly the same population): They don't understand, or don't care about, the fact that they're not just pursuing the conservative Republican advantage, they're breaking the Constitution, without which, given the right following wind, they could wake up in a detention camp as easily as their political opponents.

Kinsley's piece is going onto the Readings list in the sidebar.

No comments: