Tuesday, November 06, 2007


There are a lot of things going on in the political scene in the United States that I find pretty abhorent and disgusting; I've written about some of them here but some of them have just passed by, because my energy for outrage is no higher than my energy for anything else. I suffer from outrage fatigue as well as every other kind of fatigue I can think of (emotional, physical, mental... is there any other kind? I'm sure there is. Anyway.) It's gotten to the point where I seriously look at all the political maneuvering and campaigning and the money and the flashy ads and think to myself, I could be happy with this if only I thought that we, as a country, were trying, even a little bit, to do the right thing.

This is more or less how I've become a single issue voter. Don't get me wrong- there are a lot of things I care about. I care about the economy, about the war in Iraq, about the Gag Rule for international reproductive health aid, about habeus corpus, ENDA, and the things I hear about how the very richest Americans are paying a lower percentage of taxes than the middle class (18% v. 30%, according to... the comments sections on blogs that I've read on the past couple days but can no longer remember. Balloon Juice, possibly.). But, to get my vote, all you have to do is proclaim loudly and believably that you strongly oppose the United States torturing confessions out of captives who have been convicted of no crime.

I really wish that I was joking, but I'm not.

You would think the country masquerading as the Good Guys in a Cosmic Battle Against Evil could be persuaded that torture was, you know, wrong. Particularly since it doesn't even work. (see A Question of Torture by Alfred McCoy for a good review of the evidence, or this article for a brief overview.) This whole absurd drama drives me beyond words; I can't even describe how frustrating I find it.

Which is why today, for the very first time since we moved to Missouri, I wrote my Senators to tell them my opinion. Michael Mukasey has passed the Judiciary Committee and his appointment as Attorney General will soon be voted on and, according to the New York Times, he will probably be confirmed. Even though everyone who cares, including most of the Senate I have to assume, has read his written testimony weaseling out of defining waterboarding as torture, weaseling out of condemning the practice, weaseling out of being a decent human being, still he is seen as fit to command the highest law enforcement post in the nation.

It makes me sick, all the more so because I know that writing my Senators will change absolutely nothing.

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