Thoughts on this blog’s future.

The torture debate (sickening, really, that it even is a debate) has set Andrew Sullivan on fire. I’ve been reading him on-and-off for a couple of years, and I can’t recall him ever being as good — as righteously furious because he’s right — as he has been in the last day or two. Just about every post from the last couple days is chilling, right-on, and perfectly put.

Reading The Daily Dish today, in fact, made me wonder exactly what it is I want to do with The Civic Spirit. Posts have been sporadic this year, in part because I’m busy with my real-world job but more because I’m not sure what I have to add to the chorus on most issues. I take it as a given, for instance, that torture is a bad thing and that we should avoid doing it regardless of whether it “works.” Up until fairly recently, this seemed to be the attitude of the rest of the country. Bush and Cheney changed that. They made torture an option, put it on the table, and its “effectiveness” is now seriously discussed by the country’s pseudo-journalists and self-vaunting intellectuals. The fact that the United States didn’t even torture Nazis during World War II has no effect on the pro-torture crowd. The argument is no longer “we are better than them because we don’t do that” but “we have the right to be every bit as bad as they are.” I could write serious posts about the torture “debate,” but why bother? It’s all been said, and yet it remains an “issue.” All I have to do is read one of the pro-torture arguments, and I feel like I’m floating in an acid bath. To respond to one of these things — to force yourself to take the premise seriously and understand where the other person is coming from — might be necessary, but do I have to be the one to do it?

Leaving things like that aside, I’m often not sure what I can say that Greenwald or Sullivan or someone else hasn’t already said. The blogosphere certainly needs a radical-republican take on Obama’s New New Deal, on the ongoing wars, on the recovering Right — but I’m busy trying to absorb it all. Events are moving so quickly that keeping track of what they all mean is a full-time task. But since I’ve decided not to comment on UA or local issues for the time being, that doesn’t leave me much room for taking time off from national politics.



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