Friday, April 24, 2009

we must not waste our precious bodily fluids

As Paul Krugman points out, the people in government working on today's problems wouldn't really be distracted by trials or investigations into torture. In the same paper, Roger Cohen whines that everyone got it wrong, so there's no point in dwelling on the past. Krugman is, of course, as right as Cohen is wrong. It should be remarkable to see words like
The press failed... Scrutiny gave way to acquiescence. Words were spun in feckless patterns.
opposite a column written by someone who did not fail, who did not fail to scrutinize, who did not spin words in feckless patterns, but it's so common, it's trite. Somewhere in the Village rulebook, there's a provision that requires such counterpoint, and requires that the one who writes of a world that didn't exist to be treated as serious, while the one who describes the world as it was is derided as destructive of the normal order.

But I digress. I was supposed to be discussing the wasting of precious bodily fluids.

Who would be distracted, who would be mired in the past and unable to move forward by serious investigations and prosecutions of those who committed crimes and blackened our national soul over the past eight years? Not those on the hard left, not those trying to solve the problems of today, not those who were right. The Cohens, the Hannitys, the Becks, and Limbaughs of the world, however, would be forced to explain and defend themselves endlessly. Democratic fellow travelers, those who enabled and abetted the crimes of Bush administration, would be put on the defensive. The punditocracy who cheered them on and rationalized them would be forced to confront time and again how empty and (yes) feckless they were and continue to be.

In short, those who would be distracted and forced to waste their precious bodily fluids are exactly those who, lacking backbone and any semblance of moral fiber, shouldn't be contributing to discussions about the future, anyway. That investigations and prosecutions would distract them and waste their energy is a feature, not a bug.