Return of the anti-Keillor

The Star Tribune’s thoroughgoing liberalism rules the paper from stem to stern with the exception of metro columnist Katherine Kersten — and one columnist who has asked us to protect his or her identity. S/he writes that s/he has become the self-appointed “Anti-Keillor” to rebut Keillor’s liberal rubbish whenever it appears in the Star Tribune. Because Keillor’s wretched column appears in the Strib’s expanded Sunday opinion section, our correspondent will be writing most Mondays. We posted the columnist’s first commentary as the anti-Keillor here two weeks ago. Today s/he writes:

Yesterday’s column by Garrison Keillor — “Why you didn’t see the raven this year” — about Halloween in the good old days before color TV and conservative talk radio, had a relatively low anti-Bush content.
It took The Old Socialist until paragraph four to mix politics with fun and mention the Nixon masks. Several leaps and bounds of logic later, he was describing George W. Bush as Torturer-in-Chief:

I feel fine today, thanks for asking. But I have a healthy sense of dread, due to having grown up when I did. You children missed out on Richard Nixon: He was Halloween personified. An unctuous creepy figure who had not a shred of the genuine in him and yet, say what you will about him, Richard Nixon was never in favor of torture. He never strutted on a stage and said, “If I knew that America was in imminent danger of being attacked by a million rabid fruit bats and that one particular horrible evil person was in possession of secret info about that attack, I would not hesitate for one moment to drive red-hot needles under that person’s fingernails” — that sort of thing did not pass for political discourse back in Nixon’s day. But times have changed.

While times may have changed since Nixon, the principles of warfare have not. The simple, ugly fact is this: What’s unthinkable in peace is indeed thinkable in war. War is, after all, nothing more than legalized mass murder. That’s why it’s to be avoided, if possible, and brought to a swift end, once begun.
When it comes to the awful business of war, Bret Stephens has written a brilliant column about those who admonish us about waterboarding. The crux of Stephens’ argument is this:

“… opponents argue that [waterboarding] is unconscionable and inadmissible under any circumstances, even in hypothetical cases where the alternative to waterboarding is terrorist attacks resulting in mass casualties among innocent civilians. [I]t is possible to avoid this choice if one is also prepared to pay for it in blood

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