Balkinization  

Monday, June 21, 2004

Moral Clarity, Part 2

JB

As I read this New York Times article about how certain conservative pundits are happily gearing up once again to decry the Clinton Presidency on the grounds that he was immoral and brought dishonor to the country, I began to wonder, what planet are they on? What vision of morality do they have? There is a moral crisis in the highest levels of government today, and they are paying no attention to it. Indeed, they are trying to direct our attention away from it.

Clinton was hardly a paragon of virtue: He had an affair and lied repeatedly about it, including under oath. But the Administration that followed him violated the civil liberties and the human rights of countless individuals, misled the public about its reasons for going to war, and justified abuse and torture. Clinton lied about his sexual behavior; this Administration has lied about far more serious matters. After the close of the Clinton Administration the world knew that American Presidents have affairs and lie about them under oath. After this Administration, we know that our country violates international human rights and enages in torture. Which is the more serious moral crisis for our nation? Which of these has brought greater dishonor on our land?:

"Yes, it's terrible to be caught," the Spectator wrote, "though rather delightful to commit moral error when no one is looking."

You mean, like getting caught in ordering attack dogs turned on prisoners, abusing them in violation of international law, or placing them in secret detention without informing the International Red Cross?
"I have found that the best way to get a rousing response from a crowd is to say that whatever disagreements you may have with President Bush on one issue or another, nobody can argue that he hasn't restored honor to the White house," said Gary L. Bauer, chairman of the organization American Values.

With all due respect, Mr. Bauer is on drugs.




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