Sunday, August 16, 2009

NYT Editorial Board Carryin' the Water

I am from Kansas, which most of you know anyways, but it bears repeating. Senator Sam Brownback and Senator Pat Roberts represent me - and currently I'm pretty tickled with both of them (Brownback - border security, not so much). Let's look at a fresh editorial from the New York Times about my Senators and one of their decisions.

War Games

The country is fighting two very difficult wars. It needs a secretary of the Army, and President Obama has chosen Representative John McHugh, a Republican, for the job. Yet Senators Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts have selfishly put a hold on his nomination along with nine other appointments to the Pentagon and the Justice Department.

The two Kansas Republicans are demanding that the White House rule out Fort Leavenworth, Kan., as an alternative detention site when the Guantánamo prison is to be closed next January. They are trying to stoke hometown anxieties with the ludicrous argument that detainees present extraordinary dangers beyond the 1.2 million convicted felons in prisons across America.

“We don’t want them here,” said Senator Brownback, who happens to be running for governor next year. “They should be treated with dignity and humanely, but it shouldn’t be here.” Senator Roberts calls the Guantánamo prisoners the “worst of the worst.”

The prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and the abuses committed there, are a searing symbol of shame and a rallying point for international fury — in other words, a true threat to national security. President Obama was right to commit to shutting it down. That means that the 229 detainees must be sent elsewhere — either to prisons in the United States or abroad, or released if warranted.

Federal officials are reported to be focusing on Fort Leavenworth — site of the military’s only maximum- security prison — and another maximum-security penitentiary in Standish, Mich., that is slated to be closed.

This jingoism got its bipartisan start in May when Congress barred financing for shutting the Guantánamo prison and demanded a detailed resettlement plan from the White House. No one bothered to mention that convicted terrorists are already safely housed in prisons inside the United States.

If there is any common sense in the Senate (the self-proclaimed greatest deliberative body), the honorable members from Kansas should be forced to yield to the Army’s and the nation’s overriding need. They have already gotten their parochial headlines.

It's clear that the citizens of Kansas don't want Guantanamo detainees in the state. Period. End of story. The Senators are using their positions to do the will of their constituents. They are playing hardball with the White House, and the Times has it's panties in a bunch over this. To them, my Senators are grandstanding for the home crowd, and now that they have made their point, they should give in. After all, it's parochial, and they are bucking the will of Teh Won. So, for order to prevail in their universe, Brownback and Roberts must give in.

I don't use this sort of language online here very often, so I apologize in advance for my indiscretion.

To the NYT and Teh Won: Fuck off.

Obama campaigned on Hope and Change - and one of the things he really stressed was how he would cross the divide, cross the aisle, reach across the political minefields to work with his partisan opponents. So far, all I've seen from the White House is "my way or the highway - I won, so there." Pretty simplistic, but that's the way it appears from the cheap seats. In order to actually "reach across" requires a concept called "Compromise." This means both sides have to give up something to reach a common goal. I know y'all knew that, but I just wanted to repeat it, just in case someone might send this in to* - the White House apparently missed that day of instruction back in grade school.

Brownback and Roberts are experienced politicians who know there is a quid pro quo - and they will negotiate if they get something for something. No Guantanamo prisoners in Kansas, hey, you get your nominees confirmed. If the White House is committed to an autocracy without any compromises, were I the Senators, I'd say for them to pound sand where the sun don't shine. Which is pretty much their stand at the moment.

As for the editorial staff at the NYT, I hereby invite them to go hunting with Dick Cheney. Then they should hang with The Nuge for several weeks. Drastic, I know, but maybe they'd keep their noses out of our business for a time. Well, probably not, but one can always hope.

*yeah, I know it's a snitch line for the health care debacle, but I'm for thinking any transgression against Teh Won's agenda should be sent there.

1 comment:

Bob's Blog said...

Beautiful! Amen!