Exploded View
20 most recent entries

Date:2006-12-22 03:41
Subject:How to Prevent a "Stabbed In The Back" Myth

Kevin Drum at the Washington Monthly and Swopa at firedoglake, among others, are concerned that, by denying Bush and McCain their "surge", the Democrats will again be subject to demonization for a generation as "traitors" who stole victory from the military due to cowardice or contrary motives. This sort of thing can be constructed in hindsight even for unpopular wars. The majority of the population supported withdrawal from Vietnam at the time, but within a few years many were convinced that it was liberals and the counter-culture who had defeated America. That is, after all, a much more comforting belief than accepting blame for defeat.

There is a Democratic answer to this, however:
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Date:2006-12-06 02:50
Subject:To Save Afghanistan, We Must Leave Iraq (and Dems must say so)

Richard Armitage, who is reasonable and intelligent by (former) Bush official standards, has hammered the last nail into the coffin on Iraq. Afghanistan is in serious danger of being lost to the Taliban, and, if it is lost, the instability is likely to quickly spread to Pakistan. Pakistan has had nuclear weapons and is a signatory neither to the Non-proliferation Treaty nor the non-first strike agreement (rival India is a signatory to the second, but not the first). Their longstanding conflict with India, also a nuclear power, threatened to escalate to all out war just a few years ago. And, of course, Afghanistan, unlike Iraq, was a place where we had a legitimate, or at least defensible, casus belli: to capture or kill bin laden and dismantle al queda.

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Date:2006-11-18 11:49
Subject:The Lieberman Maneuver is a One-Punch Ticket, or Let's Lamont Them Again

A dangerous incrustation of conventional wisdom, congealing around us as we speak, is that the Lieberman victory invalidates the strategy of primary challenges against conservative Dems. However, that could only be true if the strategy that got Lieberman elected were repeatable. And it is not. To re-elect Joe Lieberman, the Republicans had to betray their own candidate and force their own backers, members, and organization to work towards the re-election of a Democrat that had spent almost two decades vilifying.

There will be a cost to this, not visible but nonetheless real. Any potential Republican candidate who wants to take on a Conservative Dem now has to wonder if their party will stand beside them if the Dem is primaried out. This is likely to cost them some candidates, good ones who will not run simply for ego or to make a point, but only if they see a realistic shot at victory. But once can be a fluke. If the Republicans pull this again, they will create a civil war in their party between those who advocate this strategy, and those who fear having a bus hitch a ride on their backs.The Republican Party would be declaring war on itself. Since they so love declaring war, they could not pick a better target. Such a civil war could be a useful for us as replacing a centrist Dem, so, by all means, let's Lamont them again.

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Date:2006-11-13 20:07
Subject:Why Rumsfeld Went Down

Bush has been telling us he decided to dump Rumsfeld weeks ago, but vowed the opposite publicly, as he did not want to play politics with the decision. The only appropriate response to that claim is laughter; there is nothing with which a President who has built his legacy around the disaster that was 9/11 will not play politics. Furthermore, the military establishment, through the panty-hose puppets (much more transparent than sock puppets) of the military papers demanded Rumsfeld's resignation the day before the election, costing the Republicans the Senate ( the editorials could easily have flipped 4000 votes in Virginia, R to D. Indeed, it is hard to imagine their impact was so slight), probably as well as some Congressional and state seats. Did Rove really just forget to hint to the military what was coming?

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Date:2006-11-13 00:07
Subject:James Carville: Why Centrists Logically Become Traitors

All the anger, anguish, and alarm over Carville's recent attacks on Dean and, by proxy, the netroots, while justified, miss that this is not only a defense of personal power, but an attack on the interests of the Democratic Party. After all, to suggest replacing the 50-state strategy, which has just proven so dramatically effective, with the old losing strategies, headed by Ford, Tuesday's only loser in a close race is a noble summons to leap off a cliff, or at least to break the tsunami. Which is what you would expect from someone of the ideological bent of Carville and his keepers, which is to say the Clintons. It is not simply a question of personal ambition, much less corruption. For a Democrat with a centrist agenda, it is simply not desirable that the Democratic Party have too much power.
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Date:2006-10-26 17:26
Subject:The Google Thing

--AZ-Sen: Jon Kyl
--AZ-01: Rick Renzi
--AZ-05: J.D. Hayworth
--CA-04: John Doolittle
--CA-11: Richard Pombo
--CA-50: Brian Bilbray
--CO-04: Marilyn Musgrave
--CO-05: Doug Lamborn
--CO-07: Rick O'Donnell
--CT-04: Christopher Shays
--FL-13: Vernon Buchanan
--FL-16: Joe Negron
--FL-22: Clay Shaw
--ID-01: Bill Sali
--IL-06: Peter Roskam
--IL-10: Mark Kirk
--IL-14: Dennis Hastert
--IN-02: Chris Chocola
--IN-08: John Hostettler
--IA-01: Mike Whalen
--KS-02: Jim Ryun
--KY-03: Anne Northup
--KY-04: Geoff Davis
--MD-Sen: Michael Steele
--MN-01: Gil Gutknecht
--MN-06: Michele Bachmann
--MO-Sen: Jim Talent
--MT-Sen: Conrad Burns
--NV-03: Jon Porter
--NH-02: Charlie Bass
--NJ-07: Mike Ferguson
--NM-01: Heather Wilson
--NY-03: Peter King
--NY-20: John Sweeney
--NY-26: Tom Reynolds
--NY-29: Randy Kuhl
--NC-08: Robin Hayes
--NC-11: Charles Taylor
--OH-01: Steve Chabot
--OH-02: Jean Schmidt
--OH-15: Deborah Pryce
--OH-18: Joy Padgett
--PA-04: Melissa Hart
--PA-07: Curt Weldon
--PA-08: Mike Fitzpatrick
--PA-10: Don Sherwood
--RI-Sen: Lincoln Chafee
--TN-Sen: Bob Corker
--VA-Sen: George Allen
--VA-10: Frank Wolf
--WA-Sen: Mike McGavick
--WA-08: Dave Reichert

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Date:2005-11-18 15:13
Subject:83,000 in the Gitmo Archipelago

You know, just the other day, I was in a discussion in the comments at Crooked Timber, where we debated whether it was legitimate for Human Rights Watch to refer to Club Gitmo and the rest of the US WOT franchise as "gulags". I argued that there was indeed a similarity in kind, but assumed there was not one, yet, of scale. I ventured no guess, but when a "reasonable" interlocutor said that this was only a few dozen people, some "unreasonable" person, more concerned with fact than moderation, responded that it was at least 8000. No one seemed to think it was more than 10,000 or 12,000, so the "scale" portion of the debate looked at where gulags were in the first few years of their inception. The only relatively hard number that came up was "around 100,000" by the end of the 1920's, i.e., after a decade or so.

Well, like everyone else, I was just not paranoid enough. My apologies; I'll try to do better. 83,000 probably exceeds where the Soviet gulags were at in year 4. Of course, there are countervailing considerations. The gulags were not the sole such Soviet atrocity. And despite the surprisingly large number, the same article indicates the numbers are, in fact, trending strongly down. Indeed, it speaks well of the homeostasis of the American organism that Bush is quickly being neutralized, though our terrain is still richly wooded, and this is the territory where dangerous surprises lurk behind the trees.

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Date:2005-10-25 08:25
Subject:Rosa Parks and What is Wrong with Libertarianism

One element of the Republican coalition that may feel that can claim Park's legacy without embarrassment are the Libertarians. After all, Libertarians certainly would oppose a government telling people where they had to sit on a bus or requiring them to surrender their seats to others. But the Libertarians would have all buses private anyway. Would a Libertarian support having the government prohibit private entities from imposing whatever rules they like on their own buses? It would, at the least, be a compromise with the soul of the Libertarian philosophy to do so, and I have heard Libertarians defend racial discrimination in housing on similar grounds.

Would "the market" then work to effectively stop such discrimination, making government intervention unnecessary? In the social context of the American South in the 1950's, it's hard to see how. The majority clearly favored and benefitted from such discrimination, and, besides being the numeric majority, this group had more disposable income per capita than the oppressed minority, giving them even greater clout in the market than they would have from their numbers alone.

A bus line that required blacks to surrender seats to whites would get a much larger share of the white market than one that did not, given prevailing attitudes. It would lose much of the black market, of course, but its non-discriminatory competitor would be limited to that less lucrative market. Even if such a competitor could remain in business, which is doubtful, it could not run as many lines, nor be as frequent, which, of course, also makes it less competitive. In fact, the discriminatory bus line could well be better off banning blacks entirely. It's not going to get much of their business anyway, and the whites would probably prefer not to see them at all (if the whites enjoy the power that comes from forcing others to vacate, this might not be true. I don't understand the underlying psychology of the time and place well enough to make this call. But "whites only" seems to be what the South went for when it could, so I think it reasonable to assume that would be their "consumer preference") The logical result would be two bus lines, one for whites and one for blacks, the latter clearly inferior in service, assuming it was economically viable at all. If not, the result would be that only whites could ride busses.

Notice that this is actually worse for blacks than what racist government intervention produced. In a sense, the market here is behaving as advertised: it is filling consumer preferences more effectively and efficiently than the government does, and possibly than the government could. It is not producing greater efficiency in use of resources; multiple bus lines serving similar routes is less efficient than having one bus line. (in fact, the logical market outcome would be racially segregated bus lines run by the same company, but even that is less efficient). But that productive efficiency loss is compensated for the fact that a white consumer preference is being met that otherwise would not. The market would have to pass on this cost with somewhat higher prices or reduced service, but prejudice seems to be more emotionally compelling than minor increases in bus fare, and the public would never be exposed to the alternative to form a basis for comparisons anyway.

When the government imposes discrimination, it is imposing a social norm. When it prohibits such, it is also imposing a social norm. Although I believe greatly in individual freedom, I don't think there is any way around the fact that the government is going to impose some norms. To arbitrate which norms should be imposed, you have to get down to the substance of the norm. It cannot be a purely procedural debate.

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Date:2005-10-17 12:15
Subject:Grounds for Impeachment: A Foundation

"If the President knew or should have known that the intelligence justifying the war with Iraq was falsified or deliberately distorted, it is grounds for impeachment."

This is something the Democrats should begin pushing as a resolution and talking point, and also ask Harriet Miers about in her confirmation hearing. Because it is hypothetical, it makes no accusations. However, it puts those who would oppose it in a difficult position. If they vote "No", they are saying that a President can legitimately lie us into war without consequence to him, as impeachment is the only recourse for a sitting President (If the Repubs want to split hairs and say censure not impeachment, that moves the debate greatly in the direction we want.) That's a difficult position to defend, and Congress people who take it will be binding themselves more tightly to Bush and his questionable Iraq justifications, even while they are currently trying to distance themselves. On the other hand, if they vote for it, they will be hard-pressed to vote against impeachment later, if the hypothetical is confirmed. Simply lobbing the "I" word into the air constitutes a sea change. Thus, this is a "win either way" situation for us, which is what you ideally want in politics.

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Date:2005-10-16 18:21
Subject:More Crimes in the Plame Case?

Some others pointed out that, according to the Times' accounts, Miller got Fitzgerald to limit his questions to Libby on the premise that there was no other significant source - then credited the words "Valerie Flame" in her notebook to some other source that she can't recall. Another problem that I haven't seen discussed is in this passage:

"Mr. Abrams [Miller's lawyer - M] said Mr. Tate [Scooter's lawyer -= M} also passed along some information about Mr. Libby's grand jury testimony: that he had not told Ms. Miller the name or undercover status of Mr. Wilson's wife."

Isn't revealing grand jury testimony a crime? Especially to someone with a clear stake in the testimony? Especially to someone with an incentive to coordinate the testimony? Isn't that witness tampering?

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Date:2005-10-15 12:07
Subject:What Does Dobson Know?

The discussion of Dobson's remarks has made too little note of how strange they really are and has therefore tended towards insufficient explanations. Here's what he said:

" when you know some of the things that I know, that I probably shouldn't know, that take me in this direction, you will understand why I have said, with fear and trepidation, why I have said why I believe that Harriet Miers will be a good justice ...If I have made a mistake here ... the blood of those babies that will die will be on my hands, to some degree. And that's why this has weighed so heavily on me"

Notice: he is frightened. He knows something he himself believes he should not know. Also, notice that he is not in fact fully convinced that Miers will vote to overturn Roe.

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Date:2005-10-05 19:10
Subject:Iraq: The Third Option

Currently, debate about what the US should do in Iraq centers around two broad possibilities, both disastrous: "stay the course" and "cut and run". "Stay the course" means continuing to sacrifice American and Iraqi blood and treasure to prop up a prospective Shia theocracy generally aligned with Iran. "Cut and run" means abandoning Iraq to almost certain civil war, which has considerable potential to draw in the neighbors: Iran likely, Saudi Arabia or Syria possibly, and Turkey remotely possibly. Let us be clear: regardless of the specific politics "cut and run" will end up blamed on the liberals and Democratic Party, who are seen as the party of peace, and who will, in fact, be where most of the opposition to the war will be generated. Even though most Americans may support "cut and run" at the time, they will not think highly of its consequences and will look for someone else to blame.

The Democratic Party then has two objectives: to save the situation if possible, or at least to minimize the damage, or, failing that, to make sure the blame, both for the war and its aftermath, falls where it belongs, on the Republican Party. "Cut and run" serves neither objective.

What the Democrats should do, therefore, is openly and formally call on the Bush Administration to open negotiations with the UN to take control of the situation. It will be objected that this is futile; Bush will never eat that much crow, nor screw his base that hard. If so, this course provides the Democrats with perfect political cover. To irresponsibly cut and run becomes a Republican policy, and the Republicans must take the heat for it (it is important to start saying "Republican", not "Bush" to ensure they all go down with him, as they should, having all stood by him). Bringing the UN in might not work, though I would argue it has much better prospects than either alternative, but if Bush refuses to do it, it will remain the solution "that could've worked", as opposed to what the Republicans actually do, which will become the solution that did not work.
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Date:2005-10-05 18:53
Subject:Bush Nominates Horse to Supreme Court

President Bush caught the pundits by surprise yesterday in nominating his horse Harriet Neighers to the Supreme Court. Many Democrats who had been concerned that Bush's next nominee would have extreme ideas were impressed with how deftly Bush neutralized the "idea" problem. "From all we can tell by the paper trail, her main concerns have been accumulating hay and flicking off flies. Who could argue with that?" said Senator Harry Reid, slyly suggesting that he had been consulted on the nomination. Senator Dianne Feinstein reported that she had once asked the horse at a cocktail party whether she approved of Roe - one tap for yes, two taps for no. The horse tapped once, lost its balance, and fell over. "I suppose we were all drinking a bit at that party", said Feinstein, "but, still, one tap is one tap".

Many conservatives, however, fulminated in anger. "A pony! We clearly told that simian simpleton we wanted a pony!" spat out Michael Savage, already feeling cussed from all the fuss over the anniversary of his ex, Allen Ginsberg. "Look at those teeth! Those droopy eyes! This horse won't last two decades! We ask for a virile, young Clarence Thomas of a horse and get a Mrs. Ed leftover from the sixties!".

But Bush praised the horse warmly, "She may not be an Arabian Stallion - those are bad form these days - but she's *my* horse. That's the important thing. I've had to go through some real sewers to get where I am today, and no matter how putrid and toxic a soup she had to go through, she always did exactly she was told. That's what makes a horse a horse, a real horse, of course, of course, and that's why I nominated her. People worry about how she will vote. Well, we put this little box on her back, under the saddle, and let's just say she'll always know what to do. Ain't that right, Harriet?" Neighers blew air through her lips in agreement.

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Date:2005-09-07 09:05
Subject:Dirge for New Orleans 4: The Waiting

4. The Waiting

The sleep drains away and leaves hard road
against my cheek.
I wake on a seashore of delirious asphalt.
The streets have all gone water.
Far as I can see.
Like a Venice of the dead.

Mama's in the car.
We put her there,
not to smell her, not to look.
I'd bite the damned sun if I could.
There's nothing else here.

My nephew, Bobby, he just ain't talking.
Sits and shudders in the sun.

The helicopters come and gone.
I hope they took someone.
Jesus, please Jesus, deliver me from this.
If I drink that water, I know I die,
but at least I won't die thirsty.
Get behind me Satan! I bind that.
in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord.
My Lord.

That sun just don't know how to stop!
Sun on the water, sun on the asphalt, sun in the sky.
It's like we're inside the sun.

But the night is worse. When it's dark,
I hear a lot of screaming and gunfire.
Other sounds,
I don't know what they are.

Bobby talks: "Aunt Abbie,
What they want with granma' for?"
He points to the car.
I hadn't been looking. I glance over.
Cockroaches! Hundreds, thousands of them!
They're climbing up to the car.
They're climbing up the rear tire.
They must have a way in.
"Abbie, what they doin'?"
I can't think of a lie to tell him.

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Date:2005-09-07 08:45
Subject:Dirge for New Orleans 3: The Music

3. The Music

For New Orleans lived in a nation called "Carribe"
Its sisters were Kingston, Havana, Vera Cruz, San Juan,
Trinidad, Barbados, Belize, Puerto Limon,
and, ultimately, Port au Prince.
Carribe spawned reggae, merenque,
calypso, zydeco, mambo, cha cha cha.

And, in America,
In New Orleans, the land
suspended below the dam,
Carribe spawned jazz,
the music of freedom.

Its tap root was the blues,
the slaves' music of displacement.
In major and minor at once,
in two and then in three,
Every chord is dominant
and never settles home,
There is no scale that quite contains them.
The blues wrestled this contradiction
into tears, into expression,
the poignant wail of a people
homeless in their own land.

There had been already ragged time, a music
for mechanical, self-playing pianos,
a suave, yet innocent music
of elegance and joy, imagination and clarity.

And there was the tap beaten down on sidewalks. The cakewalk
pounded through the hips of strippers.

All these musics were draped across a rhythm
a pulse from Africa never abandoned,
as it animated centuries of forced work, sex, church
conversation and the rocking of children.
The beat was the flesh,
It made the music
a solid thing.
Syncopation gives sound momentum,
provides weight to rhythm,
makes you feel the landing of a groove,
makes your body move,
makes a crowd of singers or of dancers
all become one wave.

But New Orleans wanted to address the world
in freedom, in a language that could say anything,
by letting other languages speak through it.
As free as a drunk in a whorehouse,
or, in Prohibition, smoking hash.
New Orleans spoke a saucy French,
and had a rich palate for impressionism.
The newly minted media
presented Broadway's polished anthems.
And the sea itself, being Caribbean,
spoke Spanish, pidgin, and Indian,
insinuated spices, santeria, hot sex, crime,
and transformation.

That was it! Transformation! Changes!
A liquid music that could skip across harmonies
like a stream across stones.
A chord progression is an environment -
A given; you move within it.
The stream bed makes a shape,
and the water follows its will within it.
And the water follows its will.

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Date:2005-09-07 08:37
Subject:Dirge for New Orleans 2: The Tireless Eye of the Media

2. The Tireless Eye of the Media

And the tireless eye of the media
looked on the people with no food,
no water, no medicine, no power,
no future they could see,
watching their lives slowly
erased from below
as they clutch at life
in rooftop archipelagos.

The blistered sun pressed down upon the skin,
and the alligators grinned and waited
while the mosquitoes fornicated
on the wide-open eyes of the dead.
On the bridges and freeways, the people
slowly dwindled of thirst.
The old dropped off first, their blankets
draped on their faces,
so the others would not have to see them.
Some became sick and ate back their vomit,
the only gumbo on offer.
And the tireless media eye
took it all in.
Ate the anguish and desperation,
the thousands staring hungrily at the sun,
and ten million TV sets screamed in unison,
in pain and rage:

"The niggers are looting! Dear God! Look !! The niggers are looting!"
"Wet niggers are looting! From stores!"
Christopher Matthews blustered in outrage,
knowing that he would willingly
shrivel from thirst
before he would walk into 7-11
and take a bottle of Calistoga
that did not belong to him.
Larry King waxes grim
on how he would let his children starve
before a display of Chef Boyardee
before he
would smash the window
and take those Spaghetti-o's
because he is a man of principles.

And, let's be clear,
some were stupid enough to steal TV's there,
and, all across the world, millions of TV's
were stupid enough to care.
Every TV set in America
bewailed the pain of its brothers
rudely fondled by dark hands
ripped bodily from the stores
and carried off by niggers

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Date:2005-09-07 08:31
Subject:Dirge for New Orleans (excerpt 1)

1. Nathan's story

The hammerhead cruises Bourbon Street at night.
Its blunt head abruptly shifts
With no regard for rhythm.
It sniffs cantankerous at saxophones
Swallows whole the fast-food meals
Gumbo and rice in styrofoam.

The delicate feet of the alligators
Grope downward through the water
learn quickly the crevices of awnings.
The gators accumulate on the larger buildings,
and gather new rumors of food.

Nathan Tillman has seen no alligators.
Sharks in the waters are still
Dark rumors.
Nathan's aerobed lies soft against his skin.
So soft it threatens to give in
and release him
to the bottom.

His body is wrenching for water.
He's had none in almost two days,
and water surrounds him.
Water surrounds him, but it reeks
of gasoline and sewage,
cadavers, alcohol, and chemical spills.
Its skin is a patina of dead chickens and cooking grease,
Christmas tree balls, bubble wrap, plastic bottles, voodoo baubles,
popsicle sticks, puffed rice cereal -
Cereal, my God, food -
human or dog feces,
and the endlessly breeding mosquitos.

The arches of McDonald's are visible
above the water. The grocery store,
he knows, is about 40 feet away.
Through the water, he can see
the top of the building
maybe three feet down.
He clenches his face and unloads himself.
How can he keep the mattress from floating off?
He must deflate it, knowing that means
he must blow it up again, by mouth,
as he did this morning,
when it is time to escape.

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Date:2004-11-02 17:35
Subject:Libertarians costing Repubs in House

According to early counts, Repub House incumbents Hostettler and Bass are in trouble by margins well below the Libertarian votes in those races. Maybe the Lib vote will now force the Repubs to pay attention! GO LIBS!

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Date:2004-11-02 10:54
Subject:Draft Talk Backfiring?

Although I don't think this will be the prevailing trend, I just heard from some teenagers who deliberately did not register because they thought it would make it harder to hide from the draft. In this day and age, I think hiding from the draft will only be possible for homeless people and not long for them. It's not really a good reason, but I guess it was an argument once, and no telling how many may buy it now. Wish I had thought of the impact of this before. Nonetheless, with the huge turnout going on, I think an actual Kerry victory, both popular and electoral, is assured. Whether it can be stolen is another question. I suspect the Repug strategy will be to contest enough Electoral votes so that neither candidate gets a majority and the matter has to go to Congress. Nonetheless, omens are good, and I am optimistic for the moment, though I have been flipping back and forth on that count.

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Date:2004-10-31 01:35
Subject:For an American Truth Commission (a la Mandela)

One of the smartest things Nelson Mandela did on taking the reins in South Africa (and, yes, he also did some stupid things) was decide that getting the truth out about the horrors of the Apartheid period was more important than punishing the perpetrators. After all, there had been decades of atrocities committed by both sides, although you cannot on that basis make a moral equivalence between those fighting for and against Apartheid. Also, both sides had done things designed to be blamed on the other. Mandela was trying to reunite a society that had endured a low-intensity civil war for decades. What they most needed was to know the simple truth.

So he liberally traded amnesty for confession. Anyone involved in atrocities or crimes during the apartheid period could be pardoned provided that they confessed fully to all crimes before being incriminated by others. If their confession was found to be substantially incomplete, their amnesty was void, and they could be prosecuted both for the crimes they had admitted to and those they had not. The confessions were broadcast for all to see.

If Kerry takes power this January, he takes it from an administration deeply saturated with criminal activity. There is the Plame affair, the manufactured California blackouts, the ordering of the amusements of Abu Ghraib - and these are only the matters acknowledged in the mainstream media, though the culpability of the Administration is still danced nimbly around. By all rights, the major figures of this administration should be treated to the Dantesque pornography of the American prison for the rest of their lives.

That would be "justice". But justice is not what matters; history is. The fact is that trying to impose such a penalty on figures like Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Bush would tear the country apart, and would be powerfully resisted, even by many who agree with removing this crew from power. They must be offered a way out, but the exchange must be that the flashlight gets to hit all the shadowed corners. All of them, not just those very recent or already visible. The clandestine government that Cheney and Rumsfeld tried to set up in the eighties, for example, need a thorough account. So does the Administration's cooperation with Rev. Moon. Understanding the totality of what has happened and why will be our best vaccination against repeats in the future. And, as this understanding is filled out, we must make sure that it is taught and emphasized to our children, so that the fertilizing manure of willful ignorance that has been enabling this bunch to thrive can never again find a complementary chemistry in the mass soil.

What we have been seeing for the last four years is the world we glimpsed during the Iran/Contra scandal. The Democratic Party, perhaps in part for noble reasons, though one darkly suspects corruption and cowardice, cooperating in the closing of this door, and in convincing people that they just imagined what they thought they saw behind it. The Democratic Party has been paying heavily for this ever since. It will either rectify the error by probing the Republicans thoroughly when it again takes power, and it will be shunted aside into irrelevance.

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