Some Conservatives Discover Their Morality on Torture:
We like to think everyone has a line, some imagined border that their sensibilities will not cross, no matter how depraved they may be. You can be a scabby-dicked masturbator in semen-stained boxers who watches the most fucked up porn, where morbidly obese women are getting fucked by the foot stumps of multiple amputees, where dudes with shaved heads and balls are double sodomizing the ass and face of another guy suspended from the ceiling by hooks pierced through his back, where a midget uses his head to penetrate an elephant's pussy. But someone sends the aforementioned masturbator a link to some kiddie porn, and he'll recoil in utter revulsion. It crossed his line. Everything else has at least the sheen of consent, even if no one asked the elephant.
Some conservatives have actually gotten queasy with the release of the torture memos and the Senate Armed Services Committee report on the same. Maggie Gallagher, who has lived for years now off the lucre she makes from her hatred of gay marriage, once praised the illegal data mining that Bush's NSA did: "When exposed to information about efforts like this by President Bush, I am not outraged. I'm deeply grateful. And worried now about who might die now that The New York Times has published this information." Now, in the National Review Online (motto: "Is anyone still reading this shit beyond bloggers who need something to argue with?"), Gallagher writes, "I personally believe torture is wrong. We shouldn't do it. Even if it means me, my husband, and my two sons get blown up. Seriously, if I had to choose I'd say: Death is common to us all; torture is a choice." It's as impassioned an anti-torture statement as anyone on the Left has made.
The Washington Post's Kathleen Parker, who pissed off conservatives mightily by saying that Sarah Palin was as worthless as a four day-old skinned moose carcass, yet who just recently wrote against federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, is also having the moral dry heaves over torture: "We're either a rule-of-law nation -- or we're not. We can't invent definitions of torture for one type of person that wouldn't be acceptable for another, no matter how much we may despise or distrust him." That could come from a Bob Herbert column.
Finally, there's something they can't abide, their personal lines. Here are the small spaces where the entire ideology of the right, even now in its death throes, can be subverted. It's like a gap in a wood floor where you can shove a crowbar and pry it open to reveal the rotting corpses below. Sure, it ain't many who are realizing just what they've aided and abetted for the last decade, but, like the potentially spreading virus out there now, it's gotta start somewhere.
And now with Arlen Specter switching parties to save his political ass, there's a chance for a pandemic of Republican abandonment.