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The Party Of Torture

by Sanford Levinson

Is the Republican Party "the party of torture?" A recent book by Ramesh Ponnuru is helpfully titled The Party of Death: The Democrats, the Media, the Courts, and the Disregard for Human Life. To my knowledge, no Republicans have suggested that there is anything over the top about that title. So why shouldn't we start referring to the Republican Party as "the party of torture," given that almost all of the party, with all too few honorable exceptions, seems to be lining up in goosestep fashion behind the administration's desire to engage in the de facto legalization of torture (whatever euphemisms they choose to call it)? For an all too revealing insight into the decadence of the House Republican majority, I can do no better than recommend Dana Milbank's article in today's Washington Post.

Presumably, Democrats are hesitant to use such a term as "the party of torture" either because it would be viewed as over the top (unlike "the party of death?") or, more ominously, because they fear that too many "median-vote" Americans actually like the idea of tortuous modes of investigation against those the administration declares, by fiat or otherwise, to be "deserving" of such treatment. Alas. ...