Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Even some conservatives think Sarah Palin is an extraordinary idiot (not least for her gleeful torture enthusiasm)

By Michael J.W. Stickings

So, yes, Sarah Palin, clamoring for attention, said that -- if I may paraphrase -- she's a gleeful torture enthusiast. And, yes, her gleeful torture enthusiasm went over really well with the retrograde morons who attended the NRA gunfest in Indianapolis. And, also, gleeful torture enthusiasm is alive and well on the right, and throughout the Republican Party, where human degradation thrives at its core and in its policies.

But there are exceptions.

Yes, some conservatives don't much care for Palin (actually, quite a few of them), and some even had the nerve to come out ferociously against her gleeful torture enthusiasm. For example:

Rod Dreher, The American Conservative:

Man, the 12 minute speech Sarah Palin gave to the NRA convention is awful. It's just witless, red-meat blathering, delivered in that nasal whine of hers that makes it sound like she's chewing wads of tinfoil. For people who like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing they like.

Palin and all those who cheered her sacrilegious jibe ought to be ashamed of themselves. For us Christians, baptism is the entry into new life. Palin invoked it to celebrate torture. Even if you don't believe that waterboarding is torture, surely you agree that it should not be compared to baptism, and that such a comparison should be laughed at. What does it say about the character of a person that they could make that joking comparison, and that so many people would cheer for it. Nothing good — and nothing that does honor to the cause of Jesus Christ.

Well, that's an overly religious view of the matter -- torture is torture regardless of what Christianity has to say about it (and the long history of brutality in the name Christianity means it has next to no credibility). So how about this:

Patrick Brennan, National Review:

Torture — waterboarding being something reasonable people may consider to constitute it — is and should be a question of grave moral consequence for Christians, and is for any Catholic familiar with the Catechism. Palin wasn’t even just jokingly comparing a serious violation of human dignity into one of the most important transcendental recognitions of it – she was mounting an expansive defense of something near torture, on the grounds that our prisoners ”would obviously have information on plots,” and therefore ought to, apparently, be subjected to a horrible practice not as a morally necessary last resort but a habit of quotidian intimidation. There’s a word for that kind of practice: barbaric. The Greeks used to use it to describe the other guys.

Well, okay, that's a Christian response as well, but, better. Yes, here's a conservative calling torture "a serious violation of human dignity" and Palin a barbarian. And that's awfully refreshing.

Sure, this is just a small minority view on the right. Generally, Republicans fall all over themselves espousing their pro-torture bona fides, pandering to the baser of the base instincts of the party base but also presenting such brutality as good in and of itself. But at least there's a bit of debate among conservatives over torture and at least some conservatives express something other than the violent bloodlust that coursed its way through Palin and her audience.

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  • In their overly simplistic view of the world, "Conservatives" like Palin have given little thought to what a "terrorist" even is?
    What is a "terrorist"? Some poor asshole who was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was picked up by U.S. forces walking down the street in Kabul? (More than likely, based on a bogus tip called in by a rival tribe).
    These people haven't been convicted, or even charged with anything. And yet the NeoCons are not only rushing to label them as "terrorists" but are eager to torture them.
    But one thing that sickens me even more than the likes of Palin is Hollywood. The movie "Zero Dark Thirty," rewrote history to make it seem like torture led to Bin Laden's death. It was an outrageous distortion of history and it glorified the use of torture as necessary to protect America. That movie was porn to the likes of Dick Cheney.

    By Blogger Marc McDonald, at 12:10 PM  

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