Thursday, November 20, 2003

Lagniappe: Shock and Awe(ful) - To all my liberal friends out there, I apologize if the following offends you; but I just can't seem to write off the disappointment and outrage I feel at what conservatives are calling the collusion memos. I understand that this is coming out of a decidedly conservative and partisan organization, but Senate Democrats are not contesting the authenticity of these memos. The following is a comment that I posted on the comment board of this blog post of Conservative Blogger JunkYardBlog.

Don't get me wrong: I am a fierce critic of conservatism and a die-hard defender of liberalism, and I will continue to be so; but I've just got to be morally and intellectually honest and speak out on this matter, which has really, really disappointed me. Read Mr. Preston's blog first, and then consider this, my comment:

Again, I am stunned. This is not an arsenal, it is a nuclear explosion.

This kind of politicking is intolerable. The Democrats have a lot of explaining to do, and no hemming and hawing and diversionary tactics. Either they admit that this is the dirty politics of Washington, which all politicians play (which still doesn’t justify it in my mind); or they admit that they are crass opportunists not really interested in nominee qualifications and borderline racists. (I say borderline because I just scanned the memos and didn’t find where the recommendation was made to block Estrada specifically because he was Hispanic - but I don’t doubt it’s there given the awful tenor of the memos.)

Bryan, you say “live by the leak, die by the leak” and you are dead on 100% right. But one of the worrisome implications here is that this is normal politics as usual in Washington regardless of party affiliation - it’s just that leaks bring this nastiness to the surface.

This makes me want to advocate for 100% transparency in the course of politics - that nothing, and I mean nothing, not even for “national security” reasons, gets shielded from public scrutiny. I know this is an unreasonable position and probably even unwise, but shenanigans like what the Senate Democrats are doing here make me feel this way.

I am horrified. This is not what I expect out of liberalism. Perhaps I am too much of an idealist when it comes to the nuts and bolts of politics; but I think I have a healthy appreciation for pragmatism. This whole situation, however, does not seem born out of pragmatism, but rather absurdity.

Do all politicians behave this way in private when “confidentiality” is supposedly secured? Is there no integrity left in politics?

But in spite of my outrage and disappointment with this, I can assure you that this won’t shake my faith in liberalism as the right vision for America.
I would most certainly welcome anything liberals can tell me about this incident and these memos that would salvage my respect for the behind-the-scenes behavior of these Democratic Senators and their staffers in Washington.

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