Voting for Torture

VOTING FOR TORTURE….A reader emails about Sherrod Brown’s and Ted Strickland’s votes in favor of the detainee/torture bill:

My wife and I have been lifelong Democrats and have contributed and worked on national and Ohio campaigns for the Democratic Party since 1988. This year we were actually looking forward to winning Ohio for the Democratic Party.

No longer. We’re livid. We will not work, support or even vote for either Brown or Strickland. Judging from the reaction of many fellow Democrats, we’re not alone.

Mark Kleiman writes:

Note to Blue opinion leaders: I hate the torture bill as much as you do. Maybe more….But is it really a good idea to spread the “Democrats are cowards” meme six weeks before an election that might restore the system of checks and balances? Would it be intolerably rude of me to note that you’re doing Karl Rove’s work for him?

Rude, maybe, but hardly undeserved. Democrats have been voting for stuff I dislike for as long as I’ve been voting for Democrats, but I have to say that their poll-tested cowardice on the detainee bill over the past couple of weeks has been about as bad as anything I can remember. And what makes it worse is that not only is it craven, it’s probably politically stupid as well.

The leadership of the Republican Party decided after 9/11 to govern the country by trying to keep it in a state of permanent panic and tarring anyone who opposed their calculated panic as a weak-kneed appeaser. The way to fight this is not to give in to Karl Rove’s political machinations, it’s to fight them. It worked for Thomas Jefferson, after all, and Democrats consider him the founder of their party. They should take a lesson from him.