Kevin Drum on conservative moral relativism:
When the subject has anything to do with sex, the right in America is the party of moral absolutes. We know what's right, we know what's wrong, and even if there's a price to pay we can't shirk our responsibility to set a proper example and do the right thing.It works as a double standard as Andrew Sullivan points out, “… when the Republicans impeached a president for committing perjury in a civil suit, it was about the rule of law. But when it comes to holding a president accountable for war crimes in his public capacity, it is about criminalizing political differences. Do these people even hear themselves?”
But when the subject is torture, suddenly it's all about carefully weighing the costs and benefits. Having an honest debate about how far we should go to protect ourselves. Understanding the context of what happened. It's just not possible to flatly say that waterboarding and sleep deprivation and stress positions are barbarisms unfit for use by a civilized country. It's much more complex than that.
Funny how that works, isn't it?