Blowing Off Steam

by digby

The Conservative Id puts it all in perspective:

LIMBAUGH: We have allowed — we have allowed these guys, Obama and his buddies over at the CIA and in Congress, to water down the definition of torture to mean anything that makes a person uncomfortable. You know what this reminds me of? Remember when the NOW gang and all these other social interest groups started asking women if they’d ever been a victim of domestic violence? They didn’t like the numbers they got initially. The numbers weren’t high enough for the NOW gang. So they expanded the definition to include a man shouting at them. A man shouting at them equaled domestic violence. It didn’t matter if the women shouted first. But let’s not get sidetracked. The important thing to understand is that these appeasers have painted themselves into a corner. Dick Cheney has now called their bluff. The stark truth is that despite what the political left and the Hollywood elite say, extreme measures, enhanced measures, so-called torture — whatever you want to call it — it works. And he’s seen the memos. And he wants them released.

Yeah, it "works." Just like it "works" when a man threatens to punch a woman in the face if she doesn't tell him she loves him. She tells him she loves him.

This is the way the right thinks. Limbaugh even famously believes that US soldiers should be allowed to torture prisoners to relieve their stress. And he's still invited into the homes of seemingly decent people. They defend him on the pages of their magazines.

Here's the thing: these people are puerile, schoolyard thinkers who believe in any means to an end. If they could have done what they truly wanted to do after 9/11, they would have opened concentration camps or started a nuclear war. They believe that you have to use everything you have at your disposal or the wogs (everyone but us) will think you are weak. That's the full extent of their understanding of the way the world works.

That using torture and endless imprisonment of innocent people are immoral and disgusting taboos that put the perpetrator in the same company as history's most evil villains is entirely unpersuasive to these people --- they think that's a good thing. But even on a practical level that even a very average 9th grader should be able to understand, you would hope they could see that these people hurt the nation in ways that we'll be dealing with for decades --- we showed that America loses its head when attacked, overreacts, spends and then botches the whole thing so badly we don't know whether we are coming or going. We've shown that we are pants wetting, panic artists who will harm ourselves when frightened. And that is a weakness no powerful nation should ever allow the world to see.