A Textbook Case of False Equivalency

Bob Kerrey hasn’t read the Senate Intelligence Committee’s summary of the “Torture Report.” But he’s taken to the op-ed page of USAToday to condemn it. Why? This seems to be the biggie:

I do not need to read the report to know that the Democratic staff alone wrote it. The Republicans checked out early when they determined that their counterparts started out with the premise that the CIA was guilty and then worked to prove it.

When Congress created the intelligence committees in the 1970’s, the purpose was for people’s representatives to stand above the fray and render balanced judgments about this most sensitive aspect of national security. This committee departed from that high road and slipped into the same partisan mode that marks most of what happens on Capitol Hill these days.

When Republicans “check out” of a bipartisan process because they cannot control it, it is by definition the fault of the Democrats for not finding a way to prevent it.

Lord-a-mercy. When a former Democratic senator–a former college president, for God’s sake–succumbs to this kind of “logic,” is it any wonder Republicans keep blowing things up so they can scream for fire trucks?

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.