The Liberal Dream

Every liberal has had this dream at least once.

It starts out like any other morning (or, if you’re me, afternoon), where you wake up, all groggy with sleep crusties hanging on the corner of your eyes.  You stumble out of bed and on autopilot fumble your way to the bathroom.  Your stiff muscles tell you you should still be asleep, and your aching joints second that motion while faintly you wonder why God (or Gods, or the universe if you prefer) hates you so as you brush your teeth, and lifelessly perform the rest of your morning bathroom ritual.

Like a zombie you groan your way to the kitchen, open the fridge, stare at the eggs and faintly remember telling yourself the night before that this time you were going to make a real breakfast before work.  You then promptly reach for the last slice of pizza that has been able to ward off the strange green fuzz that has invaded its neighbors, and grab an already opened can of soda that has gone flat and syrupy.

Your mouth hates you as you force down your, “breakfast,” and so does your stomach once the, “food,”  finally gets there.  As your stomach starts kicking around your other organs in an attempt to get back at you, you click on the tv or hop online to grab a couple of headlines before heading into the office when you read something that changes everything.

“BUSH, CHENEY, TO BE IMPEACHED!”

You check the calendar to see if it’s April 1st.  No, definitely not.  You dig deeper into the story.  If it’s on the tv, you keep watching, if it’s on the internet, you immediately check virtually every blog and website you ever stopped by for two seconds.  It just has to be a joke.

But it’s not.

Bush and Cheney really are going to be impeached.

The next three weeks are the most marvelous of your life.  You and your liberal friends organize C-SPAN watching parties where festivities like, “Bushism Bingo,” and, “Dick Cheney heart-attack death pool,” are accompanied by nachos, wings, and more alcohol than any single building should be allowed to hold.

The parties get raucous.  What starts out as little more than the equivalent of a Super Bowl party turns into a passionate love fest.  Personal boundaries are destroyed as lithe bodies twist and shudder together in a sultry undulating mass of taut, searching limbs.

Through the political and sexual ecstacy, the news comes through; Bush and Cheney have both been ousted from office.  The orgy only intensifies until, with a wild bucking and deep throated moans, the entire party comes to a quivering, exhausted halt.

You sleep.

You don’t know how long you sleep, but you know you are awoken by another bleary eyed reveler who directs everyone’s attention to a new headline: “BUSH, CHENEY TO BE TRIED FOR WAR CRIMES!”

Someone makes a run for some little blue pills and NO DOZ; the party’s just begun.

*sigh*

Oh!  Hey!  Sorry about that… I, uh, got a little carried away.

*ahem*

As my colleague, Kathy, pointed out last night, Marc Ambinder has lifted an eyebrow or two with the following, cryptic, post:

A provocative headline, I know, perhaps needlessly so, but it remains one of those hidden secrets in Washington that a Democratic Justice Department is going to be very interested in figuring out whether there’s a case to be made that senior Bush Administration officials were guilty of war crimes. Stories like these from ABC News — Top Bush Advisors Approved ‘Enhanced Interrogation’ — will be as relevant a year from now as they are right now, perhaps even more so.

As much as I want to be with Marc on this, I just can’t get on board.  Don’t get me wrong, I really would throw a little party if this were to come to pass, I just don’t think it’s going to happen.  For much the same reason than I don’t think we’ll ever see an impeachment of our current president and vice president.

Partisan politics; they get in the way.

The problem with going too harsh after Bush and Cheney and White House officials is that to do so would be too easily painted as ugly partisan attacks.  In the situation that Ambinder points out, I can almost see the backlash now.  You think there’s a stink over the politicization of the Justice Department now, just wait until it starts looking for War Crimes charges.

Granted, there would be some great benefits to such a thing outside of the kinds of parties I would attend.  Namely, it would send a message to the world that we are ready to hold our own accountable, and it would send a message to future administrations that they, too, will be answerable to the rule of law and the principles of justice.

But I fear that to actually do any of these things would result in a bitter backlash.  Republicans would sound the call and people would rally, and our nation would become more divided than ever.

What about Clinton? You may ask, and you would have a great point.  Bill Clinton’s impeachment had little to do with lying a country into war, resulting in the loss of four thousand soldiers, breaching both law and decency in pursuing a policy of torture, and any other number of things that Bush and his ilk have done in the previous seven years.

But none of that matters.

As I’ve always maintained, the measure of a scandal is in how easily digested it is.  Bill Clinton’s scandal was the easiest of all because it involved sex.  You don’t have to engage in heated ideological and philosophical debate in order to sell your case when it comes to sex.

But even as heinous as Bush’s policies on torture might have been, they’re still not as easy as sex.  Now we’re talking about torture, but not just plain old torture, which I’m sure that most people will say is wrong, but torture used against terrorists.

All of a sudden things start getting hazy.

I’ve always believed that you don’t torture ever ever ever, but not everyone holds these same beliefs.  There are gray areas, and those gray areas have been the focal point of the Bush administration’s efforts from day one.  They’ve never really put much stock in convincing everyone that torture is cool all the time, but instead, as though out of force of habit, focused on their strategy of fifty-plus-one, muddling the lines of morality and circumstance until they could create an environment where torture may not still be right, but there’s at least some wiggle room.

They’ve been playing for the shadow of a doubt the entire time.

And as long as that shadow of a doubt is still there, as long as they can convince enough people that every great once in a while there might actually be a need for torture, no attempt to prosecute any of these people will succeed.

Worse.

No attempt will go unpunished.

The entire Democratic party will be maligned for going after the Bushies for cheap partisan gain, and the newly installed Democratic president will be lame ducked so fast countdown calendars to the end of his or her administration will start popping up before the first State of the Union address.

I wish that weren’t the way things were, but that’s how it is.

Still, all that taken into consideration, I would have immense respect for any administration, Justice Department, and congress that would be willing to brave the inevitable slings and arrows that come their way in order to hold this current administration accountable for what it has done.

More from Memeorandum: Newshoggers.com (Cernig rightly notes that while there may be no prosecution pony here in the States, Team Bush may want to forget about getting passports once they leave office) and Weekly Standard Blog

2 Responses to “The Liberal Dream”

  1. It was nice while it lasted, Kyle 😉
    (…of course – I love the orgy scene…LOL)
    Peace,
    =RD=

  2. I know, I try not to let myself drift off into this dream land scene too much lest I cast off the real world completely. Not that I would particularly mind, but the wife and kids would.

    Not that I would mind that the wife would mind either, but the kids… Ah, me curmudgeonly heart still needs a regular dose of the girls.

    As for the orgy, well, I had to limit myself, us being the family friendly site that we are 😉

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