Doctor Science Knows

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cheney and the Rule of Law: Scary

At the new conservative blog Culture 11, Conor Friedersdorf worries:
if Dick Cheney is found guilty of a prison worthy offense, the process of investigating, trying and convicting him is going to be an exceedingly ugly one for the country.

I commented:


Count me in with those who don’t see how the “domestic nightmare” of trying Cheney for breaking the law is worse than letting him get away with breaking the law.

You’re going to have to be much more eloquent about what is in this domestic nightmare. What *specifically* are you afraid of? Rush Limbaugh (et al.), or Timothy McVeigh 2.0?

That is, are you afraid of:

1. Frankly authoritarian rhetoric from the right? From my lefty POV, we’ve had that for years anyway.

2. Frankly anti-authoritarian rhetoric from the left? Strikes me as implausible but happy-making.

3. Conservatives having to make a public stand either for or against might-makes-right authoritarianism? And the downside of this would be ….?

4. More right-wing terrorists (on the McVeigh model) foaming out of the woodwork? That’s a worry, all right, but doesn’t seem worth giving up the rule of law for — and reigning in the right-wing demagogues would do a lot to keep the lid on these people. But the right-wing demagogues can only be reigned in by other (rich powerful) people on the right — we lefties aren’t going to get Rush to ratchet back.

5. Full-fledged insurrection? On behalf of *Cheney?!?*

Conor (and Charles, in this discussion), you seem to be deeply fearful about *something*, but I really don’t understand what is so frightening that the idea of undermining the rule of law isn’t clearly worse.

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