Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Just a note: I'm tired and still covered in dust.

I've been thinking about why I've been spending so much time with the crap in the last post- and one I just took from the 'drafts' pile- as opposed to recent events: I watched some of Abu Gonzalez' un-sworn testimony yesterday when I came home from work. The answer is so obvious I've never bothered to acknowledge it. At least that's my excuse.

Our President is saying nothing more than that he needs to be free to innovate, to create new templates that allow him to govern in this time of crisis. Defenders of the rule of law point to words on paper as if they were priests defending a sacred text. President Bush is a free thinker by comparison.

Law in it's formal rigor is a mediating force, but it's the mediating force of history and custom. As people have pointed out, even if FISA were unconstitutional, it wasn't the administration's decision to make. Odd as it may seem, only the courts make such decisions. That's how we do things around here.

The rule of science by comparison is the rule of scientists. As I think I made clear yesterday, Cosma Shalizi is intelligent but not very observant and not self-aware. Indeed he seems opposed to it. His enthusiasms and presumptions get the better of him. If he understood that this was so and why, he would have a better understanding of people and of culture and of politics.

As it is he and others while they may defend the concept of the rule of law- and I include DeLong in this- make arguments against our need for it.
It's the same for those who defend the goal of objective reporting. But the press is an advocate for the people, separate and apart from those advocates we elect, and advocates aren't supposed to be objective; just ask a lawyer.
The problem did not begin with bias but with attempt to eliminate it: institutionalized moralism is institutional hypocrisy.

The single greatest error of Modernism was the claim that those who could grasp the complexities of history would be able to transcend it. The people I piss on in this diary are those who continue that absurd romance with their own imaginations.

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