The Poster Boy For Litmus Tests

“Litmus test”.  It is THE buzzword for presidential nominees, particularly for Supreme Court Justices, but for other positions as well.  And it’s not typically seen as the good kind of buzz word either.

But first, it may be a little helpful to understand at least a small part of my philosophy on principles in politics.

I take what I like to think of as a long view when it comes to political principle.  I understand that I don’t share this country with a bunch of like minded individuals, and to try to shove my agenda down their throat a lot of the time is either wrong or counterproductive.  For instance, homosexual rights.  I am a devout believer that homosexuals are fully deserving of all the rights afforded to American citizens, including the right to marry.  However, to push too hard and too fast will likely have a net negative result, so you dig in and prepare yourself for a long, hard slog.

Indeed, this is the view you have to take on anything you attempt to achieve progress with.  Whether it be universal healthcare, gay rights, strict gun control, or any of a number of progressive issues, it must be understood that cunning and prudence will most likely get you further faster than thick skulled entrenchment.

On the other hand, there are times when principles must be adhered to and fought without question.  There can not be budging of an inch, and you have to dig in and fight without relent.  More often than not, this is when you are protecting something, or trying to end something.

More specifically, I speak of protecting the integrity of the constitution and our country, and ending thoroughly un-American practices such as torture and infringement upon civil liberties.

Thus, one thing that the Bush administration has taught us is that we would do well to stick by certain litmus tests, and bend not an inch when it comes to meeting them.  With the ouster of Alberto Gonzales as the Attorney General, one of those litmust tests should have been, and indeed for a time looked to be, NO TORTURE!  NO WARRANTLESS WIRETAPPING!

But here is where the Democratic leadership (and I’d be loath to omit Chuck Schumer who really made all this possible) really let us down.

Now, today, CIA director Michael Hayden not only insists upon the fallible argument that waterboarding is necessary, but in a strange bout of raw audacity, also admits that the act probably isn’t legal.

One would think such a blatant admission of guilt would prove to be the beginning of the end for all of those who have under clandestine machinations sought to keep waterboarding in place.  Yet they have nothing to worry about.

This because our shiny new Attorney General, Mike Mukasey, has also just today declared that the DOJ will not investigate either whether waterboarding is a crime, nor warrantless wiretapping.

It is the crook saying, “yeah, we did it, we’ll probably do it again, and yes, it’s illegal,” followed by the good guy saying, “and we’re gonna let him get away with it.”

Back when Chuck Schumer made the fateful decision to support Mukasey’s appointment, part of his justification was that Mukasey would be better than the place holder AG who was filling in after Gonzales resigned.

Personally, I just don’t see how.

2 Responses to “The Poster Boy For Litmus Tests”

  1. Karen Boyette says:

    All well put. It is all so very, very depressing….

  2. Thank you, and yes yes it is.

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