June 24th, 2005



So, recently both Richard Durbin (D) and Rick Santorum (R) made references to Nazis in comments. Durbin's comment was in regard to treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo. A paraphrase would be these methods are methods we would not expect of the U.S., but instead by the Nazis or Pol Pot. Santorum's comment was with regard to the use of the filibuster by Democrats, as in it's Nazi-like to filibuster a president's judicial nominees. Santorum's comments received some play in the media, but Durbin's received a lot more. Republicans made hay of Durbin's comments, including statements that Durbin's comments aided and abetted terrorists.

So that's the background. I have two takes on this:

First, Democrats should know by now that they will get savaged if they make analogies like this. They need to be a lot smarter in their presentation because they know the compliant and lazy main stream media is going to play along with Republican spin. Someone at the D.N.C. needs to slap down Durbin and get him a better media consultant. It's sad that this is required, but if you want to play to win, you gotta do better. Republicans can get away with it, Democrats can't. Deal.

Second, and more substantively, I don't agree with Republicans that Durbin's comments are abetting terrorists. What is aiding the terrorists are the methods of interrogation of prisoners used at Guantanamo and in other locations. An analogy I'll make is similar to a criticism I have of namby-pamby improvement of self-esteem by commentary proponents. There's a certain crowd that says in order to improve people's self-esteem we should not criticize people. Don't point out failure because that'll make a person feel bad and they won't be motivated to improve themselves if they feel bad. My response to that is always: your self-esteem will improve when you do things that you esteem. If I'm going to say something nice about a person, the person better be taking actions about which I can say nice things. Same thing with Guantanamo. However inappropriate Durbin's remarks might have been, he's mostly just stating facts. If the government doesn't want terrorists to use Nazi comments as propaganda, it really shouldn't use methods that could be construed as Nazi techniques.


House sold

I have a verbal agreement to sell my house, and the buyer has his financing put together.

I mail off the written agreement on Monday.

Closing should be in 2 or 3 weeks.

What can fuck this up now is if he changes his mind, or someone has made a claim against my title since I bought the place. Be odd if I didn't know about that. I doubt he'll change his mind given that he took out a second loan on his current house and a personal line of credit already. This way he does it without a mortgage, and technically will own the place free and clear with no encumbrances. So then he plans to take out an equity line of credit against my house and pay off the personal line of credit. All without an official mortgage. Pretty slick.