So, Eric Holder is opening an investigation into the CIA torturing people. I guess I'm glad these guys are going to be (in theory) punished, but I just can't find it in my heart to be that excited about it.
Let's be honest here: John Ashcroft isn't going to prison over this. I doubt anybody will. I'm glad it's going to be looked into, but at the same time I feel it's almost a way to distract us—let's get revenge on Bush and Cheney!—from the fact that, while things haven't yet collapsed or anything, neither have they gotten Super Awesome yet. My main concern is that perhaps Obama may be biting off more than he can chew. There are a lot of things that need to be fixed, but I kind of doubt they can all be fixed at the same time. My fear from the beginning was that Obama (or whichever Democrat took the White House) would wind up being the second coming of Jimmy Carter, a guy that got tossed a live hand grenade and then took the blame when it exploded in his hand. I really hope that's not the case—Obama seems a lot smarter than Jimmy Carter, and a lot more ruthless, too. You can tell that beneath his Cool Dude exterior he can be a Serious Hardass if he needs to be. Not unlike JFK. Granted, other than fucking Marilyn Monroe, JFK didn't accomplish much.
In the end, Obama is a politician, which means that he promised a lot of things—things that he probably really believed in—that seem destined for compromise at best or failure at worst. A lot of things that I don't have a whole lot of hope for. Which means that the guy was probably not the best candidate for me. I've always been a glass-half-empty sort of person. Rather than “Yes We Can”, I'd have been a lot more comfortable with “We Probably Can't, But Hey, We'll See What Happens”, which doesn't really pack as much of a punch, I admit, but it's a lot more honest, and sums up my attitude much better.
The good thing about Bush, Cheney, et al was that while they were in power, I always knew where I stood: in direct oppostion to them. They were my North Star—I could always find my way home by their putrid lights. But now, I feel lost and listless. My compass spins. The wilderness remains.
You could spend the next four years (hell, the next eight) punishing the people who fucked this country over, but my heart just isnt in it, not tonight.
Columbia University Magazine
1 week ago