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Obama V. Cheney: Give this one to the Golden Boy

gallery-obama521speech3.jpg I love today's Obama/Cheney head-to-head on torture for a variety of reasons, but mostly for these two:

As a patriot I love that we actually have these kinds of public, open debates about matters that speak to the very core of who we are as a nation. We have two very different sides of the debate presented by legitimate representatives of each side. This is why the United States is the greatest country in the world.

As a registered Democrat and dedicated supporter of the President I love the politics of this thing. Today is almost perfect in that it so clearly puts the two viewpoints (and the personalities representing each) in such stark contrast: on one side we have the snarling and defensive Dick Cheney who is out there in front of a now reviled neo-con hornet's nest fighting for his legacy and possibly his freedom should this ever come to court; on the other we have the reasoned Obama defending the moral righteousness of America in front of a mural depicting the Founders. On the optics alone, Obama wins...again.



I'm not quite sure I understand how a reasoned debate between two high-profile politicians makes "the United States the greatest country in the world" (does that happen nowhere else?), nor do I put too much stock in "the moral righteousness of America." But I will go along with your take on yesterday's debate. Fred Kaplan did a nice job of it in Slate: http://www.slate.com/id/2218762/.

I put stock in American righteousness and I do think this is a good debate. Charles Krauthammer (link below)has a good reverse take on the whole thing (though methinks he grossly exaggerates Obama's legitimization of Bush's policies).

I think so-called Bush Derangement Syndrome was a very real phenomenom and I smugly crow that I never caught that bug. There was a huge paradigm shift after 9/11 and there is a very real and good debate on how national security should have adapted.

Of course, as a proud liberal, I hope Obama Derangement Syndrome stays strong, because it guarantees a target-rich environment, much as Jesse Ventura had with Hannity.

Here's the Hammer o' the Krauts:


Well, this kind of high profile open debate on subjects as critical to who we are as a nation do not happen in many countries. This debate is not the total of what makes America great, it's a realization of the ideal of a nation of an by the people.

And I have an article coming up soon on the idea of American exceptionalism and what that means in the context of torture and civil/human rights overall. Stay tuned.

Nothing's immoral if an American does it!

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