Twenty-twelve is now in full swing so, of course, the political brouhaha kicks up the tempo with it. Only two days into the new year and I am already sick of it, almost literally (though to be fair, too much coffee might have something to do with that.) I weep for the week Republican field that guarantees a further drift to the right by the Democrats. Why throw progressives a bone when you know you can keep them afraid of the other guys?
This is all made more frustrating by the lock-step Democrats insistence that the President could do no wrong. So deep is this mind set that they allow themselves to express obvious hypocrisy, or delusion. None of this more unsettling than their approval of the killing of Osama bin Laden.
I have no doubt that the world is a better place with that man no longer in it, but he was either a criminal, in which case both he and the American public deserve a trial, or he was a head of an extra governmental organization and we should at least consider the idea that he should have been treated as a head of state. If we accept the latter then assassination is off the table, and for good reasons beyond any pacifist disdain for killing. Allowing for the killing of heads of state is asking for anarchy, and if bin Laden was not a criminal, then what was he?
Really, though, my own feelings about the action are not what bothers me. Maybe the President was right to have him put down like a dog. I will admit there was part of me that has wanted that since September 11, 2001. What angers me so, about this, and Obama’s continued use of wiretapping, indefinite detention and extraordinary rendition is the Democrats sudden revelation that these are all good things. During Bush’s presidency these were horrible evils that had to be stopped. These new tools used by the Republican administration threatened the very fabric of our society. Now that someone on their team is holding the keys to the jail, well, now it is all fine and dandy.
Are we really this shallow? Do Americans really have no values beyond conquering their rivals? If that is the case, we are going to have a very hard time of resolving any of the problems facing us as a community. If we cannot be honest with ourselves, how can we be honest with each other?