29 November 2007

And now a look at some brilliant Republican logic

Like Lose an Eye I didn't bother watching the debate last night. In fact, I don't watch debates since the last Presidential election season. As one who has actually read parts of The Lincoln-Douglas Debates, the debate between Bertrand Russell and Father Copleston on the existence of God, and a whole host of other debates, I find most political debates to be pathetically sophomoric.

Also, watching something I can just read a transcript of -- or a news story about -- is a terribly inefficient use of my time: I can read faster than anything will every happen in a debate. So I have read.

Most distressing was Giuliani's exchange with Romney on immigration. America's Mayor is supposed to be a hot-shot lawyer. Boy he must be out of practice.

In an effort, no doubt, at a tu quoque, he took Romney to task for employing illegals to do landscaping at his home. In order to deflect Romney's criticism of Giuliani's sanctuary-city-like immigration policy, Giuliani accused Romney of having a sanctuary mansion. When Romney explained that he didn't hire the people himself, but rather employed a landscaping company (which company -- not Romney --employed the illegals) Giuliani dismissed it as irrelevant because no matter how it occured the fact is that Romney had illegals working right under his nose.

What ever happened to intent? Because that -- and not the simple presence of illegals within one's jurisdiction -- is the issue. Giuliani intended to be lax in his policies. Romney didn't. Giuliani knew he had illegals; they weren't exactly under his nose. Romney didn't know, even if only because he didn't think it proper for him to ask about someone's legal status simply because they spoke with an accent. (Think about what Giuliani would have done with it if Romney had done so!)

Intent. It's relevant. It's absence on Romney's part is what separates him from Giuliani.

Then there was Senator McCain on waterboarding:

McCain, who has shown no love for Romney during the campaign, seized on Romney's response to a question about the legality of waterboarding as an interrogation technique. Romney said that as a candidate he would not publicly discuss what techniques he would rule out. That prompted McCain, a former Vietnam POW, to assert that waterboarding is indeed torture and should not be tolerated.

"Governor, let me tell you, if we're going to gain the high ground in this world ... we're not going to torture people," McCain said. "How in the world someone could think that that kind of thing could be inflicted on people who are in our custody is absolutely beyond me."

The Senator may want this thing he calls the high ground, but I want this thing I'm calling victory in the war on terror. Victory in a war and this "high ground" the Senator speaks of may be mutually exclusive objectives. There are some who think our doing nothing in response to 911 would have gained us this "high ground". Getting their idea of the "high ground" certainly will not get us a victory in a war. Since the Senator and these other people are both using the term "high ground" it must be something subjective. Victory in a war, on the other hand, is pretty objective, if not elusive at times.

And as for the legality of waterboarding -- as I've said at least once before: Let them continue to urge Congress to illegalize waterboarding if they object so strongly to it. Senator McCain can assert that waterboarding is torture. But as objectionable as waterboarding may be, it is not torture unless and until it is defined as such in the law. It isn't torture because McCain says it is. It's a rule of law kind of a thing. (Look at this way: Some people think abortion is murder. It isn't, not until Roe is overturned, returning the matter to the states and the states define it as such.)

So there it is. We have one candidate who can't (or just won't) distinguish between actively assisting illegal immigrants and simply being unaware of the immigration status of someone else's employees. And we have another candidate who thinks his opinion of what the law should say has the force of law, and people should be appraised accordingly.

Oh. Yeah. Senator McCain's we're-all-God's-children slap at the so-called based was a truly precious moment. We're all God's children is supposed to have some sort of specific implications for border enforcement policy I guess. Gosh. We're all God's children. Therefore what? His comprehensive immigration reform isn't really a logical implication of the proposition. We're all God's children. Well, heck, let's just do away with all borders. Then we won't have any illegal immigration to worry about. Anywhere.

You are now free to move about the globe.

H/T: Professors R-Squared


About Me

James Frank SolĂ­s
Former soldier (USA). Graduate-level educated. Married 26 years. Texas ex-patriate. Ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
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