Thoughts on Torture, Buckley and Pro Wrestling ...

Matt Lewis
|
Posted: May 03, 2009 2:07 PM
For a conservative, reading Sunday's NYT is always troubling.  Today was no exception. And since they quit returning my emails, I have no choice but to vent here.  So here goes ...

I was going to drop this, but Maureen Dowd's NYT column today -- again brings up President Obama's torture comments at his recent press conference.  Dowd writes,

As Mr. Obama said in his news conference, it is in moments of crisis that a country must cleave to its principles. Asserting that “waterboarding violates our ideals,” he said he had been struck by an article describing how Churchill would not torture prisoners even when “London was being bombed to smithereens.”

“And the reason was that Churchill understood, you start taking shortcuts and over time, that corrodes what’s best in a people,” he said. “It corrodes the character of a country.”

... The trouble is, several blogs have already noted that this was false.  Britain did, in fact, torture -- that is, if you believe the The Guardian

This, of course, is not to say that waterboarding is torture, or that torture is good or bad.  It is, instead, to say that Barack Obama was apparently wrong (turns out, he got his info from reading Andrew Sullivan blogs). 

... Perhaps even more intersting, judging by Dowd's column today, is that the MSM has failed to get the message that Obama was wrong.

Frankly, I was considering writing about the fact that Obama was wrong -- but I assumed the story was now out of date (things move fast these days).  I suppose Dowd didn't get the memo.

In other news, the NYT Book Section (still alive) has a review of Chris Buckley's new book out on his parents.  This part of the review got my blood boiling:
We witness his “sort of mad-professor look,” his pill-popping, his habit of uninhibited urination upon opening the car door. During one hospitalization “the most articulate man in America was speaking gibberish”; when back home he mistook the DVD player for a thermostat.
This, of course, makes me wonder -- is nothing to be kept private between family members?  ... Clearly, though, this was all William F. Buckley's fault.  After all, he should have negotiated a deal with his son that his dying be "off the record." 

Buckley is doing the book tour thing.  This morning, on Fox News Sunday, he told Chris Wallace he wouldn't have endorsed Obama if his dad were still alive, "because dad might have gotten mad."

He is currently on C-SPAN, where he said of President Obama's economic plan, "I think they are going to bring this country to its knees."  This, of course, makes me wonder why on earth he didn't see this coming -- and if he did -- why he would have endorsed a president who might, "bring this country to its knees."

My only hope is that Chris Buckley's kids take him down in their memoirs...

Lastly, I was interested to read the following line in a NYT op-ed about Sen. Arlen Specter's switching parties:
Like professional wrestling, politics loves a good turncoat tale.
... I was interested because I had written an entire blog comparing Specter's switch to pro-wrestling

To be sure, I'm not suggesting they saw my piece and appropriated it.  More than anything, I'm relieved to see that at least one other writer in the world drew this bizarre comparison.