Monday, January 08, 2007

profiles in courage

Contrast Sunday’s lead editorial in the Washington Post, in which Fred Hiatt pussyfoots around taking a real stand for or against Bush’s latest big-talk-little-action distraction (the so-called “surge”), with Gail Collins's top editorial (her last as head of the editorial board) in the Sunday New York Times, where she takes the President to task for his dictatorial rule at home and his “inhumane and unconstitutional” treatment of prisoners taken in his war on terror. Contrast, also, WaPo’s absurd labeling of pro-escalation Senators McCain and Lieberman as “principled and even courageous,” with the NYT’s praise for two senators who actually have shown a sense for the principles that should guide the United States and some courage in standing up to the administration:

The Democratic majority in Congress has a moral responsibility to address all these issues: fixing the profound flaws in the military tribunals act, restoring the rule of law over Mr. Bush’s rogue intelligence operations and restoring the balance of powers between Congress and the executive branch. So far, key Democrats, including Mr. Leahy and Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois, chairman of a new subcommittee on human rights, have said these issues are high priorities for them.

We would lend such efforts our enthusiastic backing and hope Mr. Leahy, Mr. Durbin and other Democratic leaders are not swayed by the absurd notion circulating in Washington that the Democrats should now “look ahead” rather than use their new majority to right the dangerous wrongs of the last six years of Mr. Bush’s one-party rule.

This is a false choice. Dealing with these issues is not about the past. The administration’s assault on some of the nation’s founding principles continues unabated. If the Democrats were to shirk their responsibility to stop it, that would make them no better than the Republicans who formed and enabled these policies in the first place.

Which editorial board do you think is more courageous?


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