"The Christian must discover in contemplation, and in the giving of his life, those symbolic actions which will ignite the people's faith to resist injustice with their whole lives, lives coming together as a united force of truth and thus releasing the liberating power of the God within them." - James Douglass, Contemplation and Resistance.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Tolerance, Compassion, Sanity, Hope, Justice

"Torture should not be what America stands for . . . I do not vote to allow torture,” said Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy. Russ Feingold said: “we need an attorney general who will tell the president that he cannot ignore the laws passed by Congress. And on that fundamental qualification for this office Judge Mukasey falls short.” Feingold added: “If Judge Mukasey won’t say the simple truth — that this barbaric practice is torture — how can we count on him to stand up to the White House on other issues?"

Wow — it sounds as though there was really a lot at stake in this vote. So why would 44 Democratic Senators make a flamboyant showing of opposing confirmation without actually doing what they could to prevent it? Is it that a filibuster was not possible because a large number of these Democratic Senators were willing to symbolically oppose confirmation so they could say they did — by casting meaningless votes in opposition knowing that confirmation was guaranteed — but were unwilling to demonstrate the sincerity of their claimed beliefs by acting on them?" - Glenn Greenwald

The conclusion is clear: "The role of the Democratic Party is to block any movement of working people that would challenge the political monopoly of the corporate elite." - wsws.org

As this blog has often argued, the role that the Democratic party fulfills in maintaining the current power structure is as a lightening rod to draw the energy of righteous anger and ground it in innocuous channels. The latest spectacle is of a piece with the political theater of the past year with the same flamboyant rhetoric hiding the same lack of will.

And the consequence? "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."

Not at all. A small matter such as whether to torture someone to death - it's an issue, a matter for political debate, perhaps, but not a life and death issue for Americans, who must be safe.

Indeed, a few years ago, we were a decent people. Now we are still "Christians", but what does that mean? Nothing, so long as we "register our displeasure".

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