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9/17/2004

Moral Relativism

We hear a lot these days from the "Right" side of the country about so called "moral relativism". The argument usually goes something like this; "John Kerry and the Democrats can't possibly be trusted with power in the United States because they made excuses for the personal behavior of Bill Clinton. They have no moral compass and will not stay the course. President Bush and the like have moral clarity and are willing to make tough decisions and stand by them." There are variations, but basically that is it.

Well, I've noticed some moral relativism on the other side as well lately. It started right up at the top with the President himself. See, he didn't mislead us or lie to us about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, or his ties to 9/11, he simply had bad information. Why should he say he was wrong when he wasn't? He believed it when he told us Saddam had the WMD, so it's not a lie. It's all the CIA's fault.

And sure there may have been some wrong doing at Abu Ghraib but compared with what went on there under Saddam's rule it looks like fraternity hazing, so we still don't need to say we were wrong. Oh sure Donald Rumsfeld says he will take "full responsibility" for what happened there, but what does that mean? He wasn't fired. He was even reprimanded. With consequences like that I may take full responsibility for what happened at Abu Ghraib. Talk about taking liberty with morality.

As has been noted here before, we are fond of telling everyone else in the world that they are not allowed to develop any nuclear bombs and of course they should never contemplate using them (with good reason of course), while at the same time trying to secure funding for R&D on our own new nukes to be used presumably on terrorists.

So let me be sure I understand. You must treat American prisoners humanly and justly, but we will treat yours however we wish. You may not mess with nuclear weapons, however we will develop new and better nukes for our own amusement. Just try and stop us from using them!

Oh yeah and George W Bush was for the 527's before he was against them, or more specifically before they where against him.

Well, now this moral relativism has filtered to the state level. In two heated races in South Dakota the two Republican candidates sit back and let 3rd parties and even their own state party apparatus take cheap pot shots at the Democratic incumbents and simply wash their hands of the matter entirely. "We aren't the one's make those statements, why should we apologize or do anything to make them stop?" seems to be their rationale.

South Dakota congressional candidate Larry Diedrich attended an event yesterday that promised to
"Help Larry defeat "Washington Witch' Stephanie Herseth." Of course Mr. Diedrich would take no responsibility for this statement, instead he sent a young college supporter out to say it was all her fault. That's just the kind of "the Buck stops here" attitude we need in power today.

In an even more amazing race, Senatorial candidate John Thune (who previously said thanks but no thanks to incumbent Tom Daschle's request that both ask third party groups to stay out of their race) now can't even stand up to his own
state party. It seems that South Dakota GOP chief Randy Frederick has been sending around an email saying the Daschle has given "comfort to America's enemies" in his role as Senate Minority Leader. So the man (John Thune) who is trying to make South Dakotans think he will be an independent voice in congress, first can't muster the courage to tell out-of-state third party groups to stay out, and then can't even keep his own state party chairman in check. Yeah, I'm sure if Bush and Thune both get elected that Thune won't just be a lap dog for Bush. Sure and also I believe I just saw a monkey fly by my window. Of course Thune has had no response, after all, he isn't responsible for any of this.

Moral relativity? The Republicans should know, they've perfected it
.

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