Monday, December 22, 2008

An instructive exchange

The following exchange occurred on the bottom of this thread about how Bush should tell the Iraqi authorities his shoe-throwing assailant must not be beaten or mistreated. I think the conversation nicely illustrates the difference between the law and order crowd and the rest of us. As a bonus, you'll also see how moral absolutes vanish when the wrong ox is being gored. I'm in black. WebGirl is in red.

I have no idea how much actual physical harm he could have inflicted on President Bush had his target hit the mark; it's almost besides the point, because he did miss.

No, its very relevant. "Attempted" something is different from actually doing it.

The point is the attempt.

Yes, but an ATTEMPT is less serious that actually doing it.

Would you feel any differently if he hurled a rock?

If he missed? No.

Would you feel any differently if it were President Obama instead of Bush?

I hope not.

It amazes me that you are annoyed at the President for not defending his attacker

It amazes me that you're capable of seeing the president as a symbol when he's a victim, but not when he has the opportunity to stand up for something important (like saying no to torture, or to lynchings, or to punishments that don't fit the crime.)

especially given the fact that some idiots are now turning this man into a hero

What does that have to do with anything? Torture is wrong. Abusing someone who is in custody is wrong. This president is supposed to be big on clarity and moral absolutes. [Though as S. cleverly noted the president can't denounce the Iraqi authorities. To do this is to admit that the signature event of his administration, i.e the war to bring democracy and freedom to Iraq has failed.]

If someone unsuccessfully attacked you, was arrested and then was beat up in jail, would you express outrage at the treatment he received?

If he had his bones broken? I hope so. I truly and honestly hope so.

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