Friday, May 22, 2009

The Debate that Never Was

Former Vice President Cheney squared off against President Obama yesterday. While not face to face, they were back to back.

Black and white against nuance.

We are not dead, we have not been attacked, we thus did the tough job. With us or against us.
We face a wall of continued hatred, escalated by years of abuse of our own values and by extension, abuse and disregard for the value and worth of every human being on the planet who is not on our side.

Enhanced interrogation and the closing of the infamous prison. Nancy Pelosi and whether or not to release photos of our past misdeeds. The debate that never was now is.

While we are still consumed with our economic survival, we have at least begun the process of exhaling. Thus, while there was no room in our brains last fall to hear of anything other than how we were going to avoid total collapse, we have now begun to at least entertain other topics. Last year it was more critical to discuss whether we should fill up our tires with air then to focus on our foreign policy and our methods to accomplish our goals.

While W is off doing whatever it is that W does, and the Republican party decides how to reconstitute itself, the man who now stands at their forefront is without remorse for any past actions or fear of political suicide in the future. He finds himself free of any shackles of political correctness. In his new role, he is attempting to push the President into a corner.

Obama's position relies on trying to find some reasoned middle ground. More photos, no. Layers of decisions for the level of threat posed by each detainee. Obama is constrained by a logic and philosophy that never held Cheney back. Cheney has come out swinging and Obama, for the moment, seems to be covering up (not that kind of covering up). Let's see how good a counterpuncher the new kid at 1600 will be in the coming months. Round 1 is over but there is more ahead.


Shelley Kaplan said...

Yes the paradigm has changed or is trying to change..This is the great fear of those like Cheney. Will enough of us be on board for that shift or will we, those who know and can, grow weary of the fight. This is the challenge.. the old view with America calling the shots as opposed to the re-calculation necessary for a new inclusive world order. There are more voices at the table now. And make no mistake there is a 16th century mind with 21st century equipment out there which desires to impose their totalitarian might on us all or kill us all. We must deal with this threat too. The question is will we continue to be the beacon on the hill with all the intelligence and beauty we have bestowed on humanity or will we become just another oligarchy? It remains to be seen.

Robert said...


Thanks for the insightful and well written thoughts.

We are at a crossroad. This is a different world and time. The only certainty is that we will have to adjust to it, and can no longer rely on everything adjusting to us.