Glenn Greenwald has the observation of the day regarding yesterday’s 53-40 vote to confirm Michael Mukasey as Attorney General of the United States:
The most amazing quote was from chief Mukasey supporter Chuck Schumer, who, before voting for him, said that Mukasey is “wrong on torture — dead wrong.” Marvel at that phrase: “wrong on torture.” Six years ago, there wasn’t even any such thing as being “wrong on torture,” because “torture” wasn’t something we debated. It would have been incoherent to have heard: “Well, he’s dead wrong on torture, but . . . ”
Now, “torture” is not only something we openly debate, but it’s something we do. And the fact that someone is on the wrong side of the “torture debate” doesn’t prevent them from becoming the Attorney General of the United States. It’s just one issue, like any other issue — the capital gains tax, employer mandates for health care, the water bill — and just because someone is “dead wrong” on one little issue (torture) hardly disqualifies them from High Beltway Office.
Greenwald’s major point is that the Democrats had the votes to maintain a filibuster, but did not. Thus all the heartfelt opposition expressed among the 40 opponents during the four hour debate signified nothing, if it meant anything to begin with.
What with Tom Brokaw’s new book, the era of the Baby Boomer’s passage into adulthood is getting renewed attention. The rap on us of the anti-war side of the decade is that we were too strident, too confrontational. But then again, what were we going to do? By 1967, there were too many Republicans fanning flames of polarization and too many Democrats who just went along to get along, not wanting to rock the boat, even if it was sinking at the time.
Sort of like today. Except today, they’ve turned torture — TORTURE BY AUTHORITY OF AND IN THE NAME OF THE UNTIED STATES OF AMERICA — into just another topic of discussion.