Tuesday, November 06, 2007

listen to what the republican candidates are saying

There are two topics that I believe are fundamental to the survival of the United States as a prosperous democracy - climate change, which could damage, perhaps very badly, our prosperity, and the erosion in the name of "security" of our civil liberties, perhaps best demonstrated by the current de facto Bush Administration's use of torture.

And two separate bits in the Post today showed how truly appallingly BAD most of the major Republican presidential candidates are on climate change and torture. In this article, we see how all the Democrats are advocating major cuts in our greenhouse gas emissions. You know, so we can still visit Miami without using a glass-bottom boat, and so Kansas still boasts ambers waves of grain, not amber dunes of sand.

What do the Republicans say? Rudy Giuliani says we shouldn't be too hasty. I'm sure he would want us to carefully assess the situation for an hour or two before leaping out of a bus that just caught on fire too. And Fred Thompson makes an absurd comment that there must be SUVs on the other planets since they are growing warmer, too. Maybe Fred would like to study the legal system of Saturn to make recommendations on torture, too.

And Richard Cohen notes how Giuliani, Thompson, and Mitt Romney want to keep Guantanamo open because they are unaware of any torture there. Apparently, they seem to think that unless you actually SEE it, it doesn't exist. I wonder if they believe in radiowaves? Can't see them either.

Giuliani goes farther, of course, disparaging the idea that sleep deprivation is torture. Sleep isn't just a pleasurable activity. It is an essential physiological need for humans. Eventually, sleep deprivation can cause a complete mental collapse and ultimately, death. Would Giuliani say that depriving water or food or air to detainees were also not forms of torture?

To be fair, John McCain, although not my favorite politician, is on the correct side of both these issues. He is the only major Republican candidate whose election might not be a complete disaster for the United States.



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