Kathleen Parker has, of late, been discovering that her fellow conservatives of the smug and sheltered suburban variety are kind of douchebags, and by the way the Christian Right is neither. To some that makes her more tolerable as a pundit, but today she’s back in her old form, defending Bybee and Yoo because, after all, they were just like defense attorneys:
released the so-called “torture memos,” both men have been demonized
and tried in the public square for expressing a now-unpopular legal
opinion. Depending on the outcome of an investigation pending in the
Justice Department, the men could face sanctions or, in the case of
When did we start punishing lawyers for producing opinions with which we disagree?
If by “demonized and tried in the public square” you mean “justifiably called assholes and lizards and told that they suck mostly by filthy hippies on blogs only to be defended on national TV by none other than the former vice president of the United States and given a columnist’s job at a major metro daily,” you’ll have to pardon me if I can’t work up the same sympathy for Bybee and Yoo I have for the attorneys of drug dealers and child molesters.
personally would agree, but then, I have a low tolerance for the
sensation of drowning and the perception of imminent death.
Do you listen to yourself? By that measure, the only thing I would agree would be torture is the thing where they let insects crawl on someone becauseuuugggghhhhh. It’s all about you, Katykins, isn’t it?
opinion, but nothing more. Any fair assessment has to include
consideration of context and distinctions that matter, including the
definition of waterboarding, which varies according to country and
The cop who pulls you over has a difference of opinion from you as to whether speeding constituted a violation of the rules, too. I have a difference of opinion about whether I’m allowed to rob a bank today because the ferrets need new toys. We all have differences of opinion, it’s why the grounds for justifiable homicide aren’t the same here as in, say, Uruguay, but come the fuck on, are you seriously telling me that somebody can argue up is down and that’s just a “difference of opinion?”
Wait. You’re a Republican. Of COURSE that’s what you’re saying.
of an ethical offense, much less a war crime. Under the Justice
Department’s own standards, an ethical issue would arise only if their
opinion was so obviously wrong that no reasonable lawyer could possibly
reach the same conclusion.
By that standard, the only obvious
wrong is the continued persecution of Jay Bybee and John Yoo. The
effect sanctions might have on future lawyering, meanwhile, could be
Yes, the eternal Republican argument when it comes to lawyers, political appointees and pundits: We may be the party of the biggest badassest manliest men around, but if you call us names or opine that maybe we did something wrong, you’ll so crush our fragile spirits that no one, anywhere, ever, will want to do anything again.
I really wish they’d recall all this wanking about the chilling effect of expressing one’s opinions while they’re calling war hero senators pussies for windsurfing, but whatever. The point is that John Yoo is sleeping fine tonight, and I doubt Jay Bybee will ever miss a meal. Can’t say the same for millions of Americans (let’s not even talk about the tortured prisoners) who don’t merit mention in Kathleen’s columns.
I hope this doesn’t have a chilling effect on future column-writing, Kathleen, but: Schmuck.