Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad GOP?

by digby

Yesterday I posted a Villager discussion between Mark Shields and David Brooks in which Brooks stated that every Democrat he talks to on the hill just wants this torture issue to just go away. David Gregory said the same thing:

GREGORY: I think -- this is another example of why the administration doesn't want to go down this road. Doesn't want to get this debate. I spoke to somebody yesterday that said the problem is that nobody comes away cleanly from this debate. Not a Republican and not a Democrat. And now the House Speaker is ensnared in these questions about why she didn't push back harder and when she actually knew about the techniques. So here we are in a position where Pelosi is blaming the CIA, accusing the CIA, misleading her. and you have other Republicans who are in these briefings saying wait a minute. We were all told what was going on. We all knew what was going on. Now calls for the release of the briefing in full. And this is not where the White House wants to be. This is not the debate that it wants to have. And it just goes back to a more fundamental point which is that the more you debate this, the more you realize the politics of the time are incredibly difficult. And as many people who oppose these techniques now have to acknowledge that in 2002, there were not Democrats who were willing to stand up to the White House and say no. We are not going down this road. This is wrong for America. That debate came later. A lot of the beliefs came later because of the time nobody really wanted to get in the middle or stand in the way of techniques that might prevent another terror attack.

Gregory himself agrees, of course. Why would any self respecting journalist want to waste his time covering a massive government scandal with epic moral and political implications? After all, he's busy. (Plus it makes all the important people really nervous and that's just icky.)

Carlos Watson asks David Gregory, "What in your mind would be one or several tipping points that would move this towards a full investigation?"

Gregory's answer is this: "How about nothing?"

This morning Jim Webb went on ABC and verified Gregory and Brooks' take on the state of play:


STEPHANOPOULOS: That’s the irony here , Senator Webb, as Speaker Gingrich says, investigate. He wants a separate House investigation. Speaker Pelosi says, fine, let’s have a truth commission, the one that Senator Kyl doesn’t want. Where do you stand on this?

WEBB: I just don’t think it’s that big a deal. [...]

STEPHANOPOULOS: So, no truth commission?

WEBB: I think this will resolve itself without something like that.


STEPHANOPOULOS: I know there are about 17, I believe, Chinese Uighurs, they are called, who have been ordered released by a federal court, they’ve determined not to be a threat to the United States. And the administration has been working on plans to bring them to Virginia. Can you accept them in your state?

WEBB: Well, let me back up for a minute. The answer is no. No.


WEBB: We spend hundreds of millions of dollars building an appropriate facility with all security precautions in Guantanamo to try these cases. … I do not believe they should be tried in the United States. … We should, at the right time, close Guantanamo. But I don’t think that it should be closed, and in terms of transferring people here.

Webb had previously been for closing Guantanamo within the year.

A consensus is forming among the villagers.

The saddest thing to me is that the Democrats are taking this position because they are afraid of Republicans on national security, despite the fact that the last two elections were a thorough repudiation of braindead right wing foreign policy. Sometimes I think they just don't want the responsibility.