Wal-Mart Torquemadas

Republican Debate South Carolina – S.C. Debate: The Ultimate Waterboarding Championship – Esquire

Oh, my goodness, they do love their waterboarding, all of them except Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman, who is still battling a chronic case of invisibility. Herman Cain thinks it’s okay as long as we call it “an enhanced interrogation technique,” albeit one that results in an enhanced inability to breathe. (Otherwise, on Saturday night, Herman Cain announced his willingness to delegate the entire job of being president to various subordinates, which will be the nicest thing he’s done to a subordinate in a while. It’s going to be like Reagan without the senility.) Rick Santorum, when he’s not out there killing Iranian nuclear scientists, as well as their neighbors’ cats and whomever’s trimming their hedges that day, is fine with it, too, and for many of the same philological reasons that so appeal to Herman. La Bachmann is busy pricing designer thumbscrews and also is busy going completely off her admittedly limited rails and deep, deep into the outer bananasphere.

“If I were president, I would be willing to use waterboarding.”

(And, over at The Hague, pictures inexplicably begin to fall off the wall. Meanwhile, at the Cheney household, what may be a human heartbeat is detected by the sensors, setting off a Stage Four alert in Dick Central.)

“[President Obama] is letting the ACLU run the CIA.”

(Good idea. The ACLU sent me a copy of the Constitution in the mail the other day. The CIA never sends me anything… as far as I know…)

Paul and Huntsman came next, with their rationality and their pestery-pestering about what’s against the law and so forth. However, Bachmann kept yipping away in the background because she hadn’t yet unburdened herself of all of her warm Christian devotion — two millenia ago, she’d have been wearing an “I (Heart) Pilate” button — to the sacred task of drowning people. (This is where Pelley began to give up, I’m thinking.) I swear, she’s still out on the sidewalk right now, buttonholing winos on the topic. The last time I heard a woman talk that enthusiastically about torture, it cost me eight bucks for a Halloween midnight show in a movie theater on the north side of Milwaukee. Jesus Mary, it’s Ilsa, She-Wolf of the Bean Salads.

Even Bachmann fell short of our boy, Goodhair, though. Somehow, as though most of them already hadn’t revealed themselves to be abject moral algae on the subject, it came up again. Again, Ron Paul voiced an objection, which gave Perry an opportunity to leap in with both feet. Alas for him, neither of them was in his mouth this time. He was clear, precise, and totally batshit:

Waterboarding is not torture… and I’ll be for it until the day I die.

This is precisely, and in every respect, the position taken by several Japanese military officers in 1945. They felt exactly the same way, which is why we fucking executed them. 

There were a number of other highlights, two of which deserve special commendation, if only because they were what you would hear on The History Channel if it were run by marmosets. Newt Gingrich blamed the spottiness of our intelligence in Pakistan on the reforms of the intelligence community that emerged from the Senate committee led by Sen. Frank Church in 1975. (Give him another debate or five, and Newtie’s liable to demand the Panama Canal back, or another war with Spain. He is a historian, you know.) Still glowing with her inquisitional fervor, La Bachmann announced that she will be campaigning hereafter against “Lyndon Baines Johnson and his Great Society programs.” I wish her as much luck as Goldwater had with that.

Ah, you may be saying to yourself, I thought this was supposed to be a foreign-policy debate — “the Commander-in-Chief Debate,” as Pelley kept calling it, which made it sound like something you compete in at a Mary Kay weekend seminar — so how in the name of Jerry Jeff Walker did poor old LBJ get dragged into this kennel of mutts? Let La Bachmann explain — and remember, this is a person who believes that she, above all others, should be president of these United States:

“Look at China! They don’t have food stamps! Their workers save for their own retirements! They don’t have AFDC!”

(And, somewhere in a hut in Shandong province, a man comes home from a 16-hour day at the Happy Carcinogens Manufacturing Plant, stirs 27 grains of rice into a pot, garnishes it with what’s left of his sandal, and thinks to himself, “Goddamn glad we don’t have Head Start here. Freedom!.”)


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One comment on “Wal-Mart Torquemadas

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  1. Listening to Charlie Pierce is torture enough, it’s not surprising he can’t tell the difference between the Kempe-Tai, the Khmer Rouge, and the US Army, Beside if he hasn’t been paying attention, the same ‘devils advocate’ for Gitmo, Stafford smith, is going after the ‘targeted killings ‘ as well, maybe the comfy chair will be what’s left in the end.

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