Sadomasochism…W Style

sa·do·mas·o·chism (sey-doh-mas-uh-kiz-uhm) n. The deriving of pleasure, especially sexual gratification, from inflicting or submitting to physical or emotional abuse.

In a way, I feel a sense of sympathy for John McCain. It’s got to be difficult to be a Republican with presidential ambitions surrounded by sexual deviants — many of whom you need political support and money from.

How else do you explain his recent trip to New Hampshire to curry favor with money people and have to explain why he’s against the torture of human beings — even if some of those humans are our putative enemy?

The New York Times sets the stage of the absurdity in these opening ‘graphs:

Senator John McCain, who is battling with the White House over the interrogation and trial of terrorism suspects, on Sunday flew to New Hampshire — and right into a blistering editorial from the conservative Manchester Union-Leader that assailed him for standing up to President Bush on the issue.

Mr. McCain, Republican of Arizona, responded with a spirited defense, invoking his experience as a prisoner of war as he vowed to block the White House effort.

“This issue is not them — this issue is about us,” he said of terrorists, facing an audience sipping cocktails on a lush lawn next to a pool. “The United States has always been better than our enemies. I’ll tell you right now: one of the things in prison, in North Vietnam, that kept us strong was that we knew we were not like our enemies. That we came from a better nation, with better values, with better standards.”

These cocktail-sipping-pool-sitting types were unimpressed with McCain’s defense. They lightly applauded him for appearing at their party and generally dismissed him for being out of touch with those who believe the best way to make friends in the Gulf and middle east is by torturing many of them.

I wrote to a friend who teaches up in Canada about how Bush continues to amaze me, and how in the not-too-distant future there will be whole academic conferences devoted to the theme of sexual deviancy of the Bush adminisration’s policies in the so-called “War on Terror.”

Too harsh? Well, what else do you call the desire to keep a policy in place that would make it legal to torture Muslim men with brown bodies? Do you call it a hallmark of a civilization? Do you call it an effective technique for extracting vital information on the whereabouts of The Big Bad? If so, then why do most sane people who have worked in prisoner interrogation say that abusing people does not work in getting accurate information?

If torture is an ineffective method of interrogation, then why continue to use it and defend it? That’s John McCain’s view (or at least it’s partially his view), but now that he’s taken a position that opposes Bush, the attack dogs on the Right are gunning for him.

I would love to be a fly on the wall and hear McCain unload on these hypocrites.


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