Saturday, March 19, 2005


professor b says:

Anyway, so now he's changed his mind. Sort of. On the grounds that the opposition would make it very difficult to run a legal system. Not, mind you, on the grounds that it's fucking disgusting (I know, just like a girl to get all emotional. That's not a substantive political argument! Next you'll be saying that it "makes you feel sick," and we'll be able to accuse you of being Victorian. Which of course is a substantive political argument, because we say so).

And apparently a number of people seem to think that this is real big of him. This is how low the bar is set? It's reasonable to debate whether or not torture is ok while tut-tutting the inexcusable level of personal abuse that someone advocating torture gets, praising him for his usual even temper?

Yes. Let's all toss bouquets about when people advocate torture in measured tones, and distance ourselves from those who are horrified. Let's nod our heads sagely and have a discussion: is torture a good idea? Let's denigrate those who express incredulity and anger at said discussion by calling them "abusive" without tasting the bitter irony. And, having whetted our appetites over a rousing gentleman's debate, let's buy torture advocates dinner when they allow that, well, torture may be desirable but, alas, it's not practical.

You look a little nauseous. Here, have a mint.