The headline of today’s editorial in the Washington Post says almost all of it: A Defining Moment for America – The president goes to Capitol Hill to lobby for torture.
Here’s the political snapshot: the house has fallen into line and has voted to give the president unreviewable authority to torture. The Senate has balked, and has voted an alternative bill that is merely very very bad rather than despicable. Senator Reid, the Democratic minority leader, has indicated that Bush’s version would be filibustered if it made it to the floor. President Bush has vowed to veto the Senate bill if it gets to his desk (but I personally predict this is a hollow threat). There have been some heavyweight letters on all sides which I haven’t the time to summarize while at these meetings.
No bill at all would be the best outcome, and there’s at least some hope of it. But I’m not hopeful yet.