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Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Why do Texas Republicans want so badly to torture human beings?

Today, an exasperated Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas begged Attorney General nominee Eric Holder, Jr. to agree that torturing children is kool and fun.

HOLDER: I think your hypothetical assumes a premise that I’m not willing to concede.

CORNYN: I know you don’t like my hypothetical.

HOLDER: No, the hypothetical’s fine; the premise that underlies it I’m not willing to accept, and that is that waterboarding is the only way that I could get that information from those people.

CORNYN: Assume that it was.

HOLDER: [Laughs] Given the knowledge that I have about other techniques and what I’ve heard from retired admirals and generals and FBI agents, there are other ways in a timely fashion that you can get information out of people that is accurate and will produce useable intelligence. And so it’s hard for me to accept or to answer your hypothetical without accepting your premise. And in fact, I don’t think I can do that.

Most frustrating for Sen. Cornyn is that he got his kryptonite-proof supermagickal logic from a fictional, comic-book teevee show with a name so short and bereft of letters that even former members of the Texas Supreme Court can remember it: “24.”

And who can argue with the total, undeniable truth of fiction? After all, in that Republican Classique of a bodice-ripper, The Fountainhead, forcible rape is a rilly kool first date !!!

In this daylight exchange without boiling oil pots being poured from Gargoyles’ mouths, Sen. “Jock” Cornyn demands that Uppity Mulatto Eric Holder, Jr. accept a premise no different from the Inquisition and the Klan (let us assume as fact that brutal torture is the only way to obtain the truth, even though it is fun to watch them beg and squirm in pain until they die).

And Cornyn is astounded that Comrade Holder will not accept the “Let’s Assume Burning Joan of Arc at The Stake Will Save The Children” as a valid argument in a U.S. Senate confirmation hearing for United States Attorney General.

Tres gauche !!! Mon dieu !!! Ou est mon pomme frites de freedom??

Cornyn so desperately wants Holder to concede there are some situations where it is okey dokey and kool for children* or their parents to be brutally tortured and for the torturers and accomplices to be considered noble and caring in doing so.

This is Deathconservatism in its essence. They want Tough Love legislated down to the length and stiffness of the cane. They want someone normal to assure them their bizarre, secret sadistic desire to see pain inflicted on helpless, imprisoned, shackled people is somehow gritty, brave and noble. They want to tell us that we are too weak to do what “needs” to be done. It’s the worship of the abusive dad rapping the buckled belt around his fist and saying, “I’m doing this for your own good. This will hurt me more than it hurts you.”

Talk about going to the Abuse Confessional Backwards. These folks are fetishizing a War Crimes Trial where the martyrs are the ones lighting the torches and administering the eye-gouging spikes.

Why do Republicans so badly want to torture human beings?

*Cornyn’s argument necessarily implies that children of any age can and should be brutally tortured to obtain information. U.S. torture proponents in Congress and the Bush Administration have never excluded children of any age from their claims for justifiable torture and indefinite imprisonment. A 14 year old boy from Chad has been imprisoned incommunicado in the Guantanamo Gulag since 2002. He is now 21 and still incommunicado.


  1. repeated on the Daily Show last night?  Same fool mentality, (sic): “I don’t like reporters in war zones, you just get people worked up.  I liked it in WWI and WWII when we went to the movies and just say newsreels…”

    iow – “Stop thinking about what is right, just do whatever feels good!!”


    Torture=”These folks are bad!  Hurt them!!”

    Which is all well and good if: a/ you always have all the right people all of the time, and; b/ you don’t really care about any actual results, and: c/ you don’t care about maintaining any ethical standards.  Unfortunately, a/ you don’t, b/ that’s stupid and c/ those are the folks we are opposed to.

  2. spacemanspiff

    Most frustrating for Sen. Cornyn is that he got his kryptonite-proof supermagickal logic from a fictional, comic-book teevee show with a name so short and bereft of letters that even former members of the Texas Supreme Court can remember it: “24.”

    Which reminds me of a diary I read over at Big Orange.

    RedState Army Strikeforce

    Erick Erickson, the editor of RedState, has just given us fodder to use for the rest of the year.  In an attempt at being politically savvy–and by telling himself that what they do is somehow akin to being a “soldier” in a “war”–Erickson has decided that conservatives need to field-organize like progressives.  And what better way to motivate the “troops” for activism than by inventing your own unit crest which, of course, replicates those worn by actual combatants in real wars?

    Sad (but hysterical).

    Like many chickenhawks who struggle with what it means to be a man in the modern era, Erickson and the “soldiers” in his budding “Strike Force” have again tried to imitate serving in the military without actually having to don a uniform, pick up a weapon, or sacrifice much of anything at all.  However, by creating this make-believe world in which RedState activists are members of a military-like “Strike Force,” they’re actually quite a lot like the Dungeons and Dragons fans LARPers in the video below pretending to be wizards, basilisks, and gorgons.

    The video is classic .

  3. Michelle

    Cornyn is a disgrace, a true chickenhawk who avoided Vietnam and now claims to have the military interests close to his heart.  I am thrilled that Holder stood up to Cornyn’s bullshit, and I am continually disappointed in Texans who vote for these assholes and then claim to “Support Our Troops.”  

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