Thursday, February 5, 2009

Thank You, Glenn Reynolds -- Instapundit

Thanks to everyone, and especially Professor Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit.Com, who posted links to my essays on liberal flip-flopping, silence and acquiescence in response to the news that Obama will retain some aspects of the heavily maligned "rendition" program utilized by Bush. Although the essays sparked some buffoonery, for the most part people seemed to enjoy the commentary.

Reynolds is a conservative libertarian (if Wiki is reliable). Notably, only a handful of liberal libertarians found these sobering stories tolerable. What was that great line from the movie "A Few Good Men" about handling truth?


Critical Thinker said...

Hey Professor,

You sure you don't just want to defect over to our side? We could use a good shot of activism on a few key issues that we agree upon. The rest we can work out the details in the fine print. Have your people get in touch with my people and we'll talk over Sushi, lol. Congrats on making it into Instapundit, pretty cool!

Decidere said...

Yuck, Glenn Reynolds? Hardly a model of inviolate truth.

Look, break down your argument. 1) Orgs like Human Rights Watch are flipping - yes. Either there complaints under Bush were too broad, or they're hypocrisizing for Obama. 2) Liberals/progressives - well, the gamut is more complicated than for rights orgs. Not everyone has thought through the nuances of why there might be other reasons to rendition people without court supervision. Any good reasons or none? Someone mentioned snagging Eichmann - any others? There are 2 problems - the first is simply the non-chalance to abet torture, the second is whether rendition vs. formal extradition is always a horrible, moral idea. 3) Obama flips. Well, he'll ride the edge of the coin, doing as little to confront the status quo as possible. Surprised? I'm not. Master of weasel words and inspiration - I guess they go together. Anyway, we'll see how well he can hold this together. Off to a rocky start.

Decidere said...

Make that "horrible immoral idea"

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

How did you know I love sushi?! Well, I have some friends from back home who are staunch conservatives, and they visit the blog. Plus I have tons of students who have been conservative over the years. Most of my friends are liberals or moderates. I think my new category for myself is "post-partisan progressive." I am for anyone who wants to think in a forward fashion! And you are definitely one of those.

PS: Be nice to FLRN.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Decidere - I am not sure how it will work out. I think that some liberals were overreaching in their arguments either because it was Bush or because they had not thought through the implications of banning rendition altogether (which might have resulted because it was Bush using the policy). Now, there is silence, or defensiveness or claims of hypocrisy. I am on the "claims of hypocrisy" team. I really do not have an answer about rendition. My con law instincts say that the government must have some power to do it, but that we must balance that against the rights of persons who are "rendered." That's what judges do when they face complex situations. But defensiveness, silence and denial are just not options here. And citing to Eichmann is not the answer either because Eichmann could have been taken legally. There was just cause to return him for numerous war crimes. And if it could not happen through lawful means, at least the argument is that rendition was a last resort. But it is anti-liberal to justify violations of civil liberty by pointing to the outcome.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Decidere - Glenn Reynolds was very supportive by posting my essays. I am eternally grateful for that. I have heard a lot of liberal bickering over him. Why?

Aeneas said...

Ah, fellow sushi afficionado. Actually, two. May I join? We would have quite a time of it!

Decidere--he's riding on the edge of the coin? Ouch!

AS for making it to Instapundit--congratulations; I'm going to go over to see what this guy is all about. And, I am not surprised--you present some pretty powerful and sharp points. Another ouch for some. :)

As a general comment, looking back at the past two weeks (gosh, only two weeks?) and Mr. O's speech tonight--raised voice, beating eyebrows, snarling expression, etc--uh, is there something coming off the wagon here? Like a couple of little wheels?

Am I just seeing things? It's way too soon, I'd say. It feels to me like it's amateur hour. Screaming at the Republicans and threatening who knows hwat catastrophy is not how one takes leadership; one which he has abrogated to Congress and Pelosi/Reed on one of the most important items of his Presidency--it's not Gitmo; it's not rendition; it's the economy, stupid. And for him to let others lead, that is very disappointing. Perhaps he has no ideas of his own, or doesn't want to take responsibility for any--but this is not a campaign. This is the real thing. The buck does stop in the Oval Office. If a ridiculously bad and damaging bill is passed, it won't be Congress who will be blamed, but the President.

What is going on?

FLRN said...

od point Aeneas ~ We have seen so many magazine covers, radio, and internet feeds that the TV interviews barely stands out. These last two weeks have been nothing but sophomoric drama! There is so much hype that Obama is coming across an some icon figure - just like Mickey Mouse. I am just wondering if this is going to be “the way it is now” with each and every good and bad (Daschle , Killefer, Geithner…)decision argued and justified via the media? There only way to escape this will be to watch the Disney Channel - with the way things are going in DC it might as well be the Magic Kingdom!

Aeneas said...

FRLN--it's the scifi chanel for me: Battlestar Galactica, reruns of Stargate, ghost hunters...

On the other hand, I must know what's going on, so that I know when to bolt.

Wait... I've got Dissenting Justice! :)

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