Bob Franken


November 5, 2007
Bore Crimes (Bob Franken)
@ 12:20 pm

If they are really serious about controlling torture, members of Congress should consider banning committee hearings. Forget waterboarding.

Nothing is more inhumane than witnessing the evasive answers to lame questions that characterize nearly every chairman’s effort to get on TV.

It’s not that they aren’t dealing with the outrageous conduct of this government and the private companies that have become bloated by shameless favoritism. They are. That’s the hook. But inevitably they deteriorate into a buffoonery that’s hard to watch.

TV news goes along with it and carries them because these dismal theatrics, masquerading as legislative action, provide the networks free filler programming between paid commercial breaks.

While we’re at it, we will really need to do something about the tortuous attempts by the candidates to have it all ways on any given issue. And I wouldn’t limit this to the Dynamic Duo from New York, Rudy and Hillary, although I would certainly include them.

I would say that most of the presidential wannabes in both parties are guilty of these crimes against humanity’s intelligence. Don’t we all cringe as they try and stay on the middle ground while treading onto the extremist single interest groups who require pandering to their fundamentalism.

Examples would include the anachronistic fundamentalism of labor and the religious right. This is a bipartisan rant.

It’s just as agonizing to observe the candidates abandoning rhetoric and promises when it’s convenient. I refer not only to the Mitt Romneys of this world but to the Barack Obamas who glide back and forth to and from promises of a “new” campaign of warmth and fuzziness, to good old-fashioned fangs-out attacks on Hillary. Oh and did I forget John Edwards? Please forgive the oversight.

I don’t want to overlook John McCain either as the man who is trying so hard to endear himself to his former enemies, the religious conservatives.

Or Fred Thompson, who wakes up every once in a while to say something or other that makes him sound like Ronald Reagan.

In the spirit of leaving no stone unhurled, let’s not ignore Mike Huckabee, who is successfully using rock ‘n’ roll and a sense of humor to blur the reality that he is a hard-rock conservative. While we’re at it, toss a big one at those of us in the media who buy that act.

Which gets us back to torture. As the committee hearings demonstrate, it’s a hell of a lot more difficult to glibly confuse voters than it is to serve us.

We all know the cliche about anyone liking sausage or government never seeing it made. Well, fewer and fewer of us like this stuff anymore. And no wonder, look at the ingredients. Making us swallow this is real torture.

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