Brad DeLong says:
"We can finally have normal politics and policymaking again. That's not a tremendous accomplishment, is it?
It feels like one:
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth... the holy city, new Jerusalem..."
I'm not sure it's possible to return to a normal politics after the last eight years, that well is deeply poisoned: still I agree it's a relief (in the same way that a biopsy for cancer coming back negative, is a relief) to have a respectable President again.
Not much to ask, but it seemed unattainable for so many years. Ezra Klein sums up the Bush legacy:
"He has been worse than a bad president: he has harnessed the power of America to do genuine evil, under his watch."
From the report by the Senate Armed Services Committee (12 R, 12 D, ranking member Sen McCain):
"senior officials in the United States government solicited information on how to use aggressive techniques, redefined the law to create the appearance of their legality, and authorized their use against detainees."
The general counsel for the Department of the Army has declared that what we did to prisoners in Guantanamo was torture. No weaseling, no mealy-mouthed obfuscation by tough-talking bed wetters, just the admission that it is in fact plain old ugly torture. The Red Cross thinks so too. Of course, most of the tortured were innocent as well.
This is the second time I've voted for a black president. I also got to vote for Nelson Mandela, in the first free South African elections. Praise be. Perhaps a Truth and Reconciliation Commission is a good next step, now that we will stop torturing people.
John McCain seemed relieved and happy in his concession speech. Odd. Perhaps he does have a conscience after all ?
Elsewhere I proposed 'Caravan of Love' as the song for the day. It's always worth hoping.
Update on torture: there was no campaign promise and no official statement on this. I had confidence however, and now:
"I have said repeatedly that I intend to close Guantanamo, and I will follow through on that. I have said repeatedly that America doesn't torture, and I'm going to make sure that we don't torture. Those are part and parcel of an effort to regain America's moral stature in the world."
Decency in government, what a refreshing change.