Not Getting the Point

Matthew Yglesias responds to the Matt Stoller post I pointed to (twice) yesterday. (Which is similar to this scary piece I wrote yesterday.) He doesn’t seem to get the point. I left this comment:

Your post misses his point and makes his point at the same time. You’re talking about “the merits of pragmatic compromise” and wishing you could have good-faith debates on issues with these guys, while they’re creeping up on you carrying a noose.

Matt left a coment too,

This attitude is what I’m pointing at. The passive voice ‘are given sufficiently solid defeats…’ implies a certain reticence in realizing that WE are the ones who must administer the defeats. Moreover, the question is not just of electoral defeats, but of punishment. If you accept that this is essentially a criminal gang running a fraudulent political apparatus based on increasing their amount of power and institutionalizing the placement of certain monied classes above the law, then electoral defeats don’t begin to address the political problem that we must deal with. Well, they begin to, but only just.

My question is still as follows: When Kerry takes office (let’s assume), what happens to the people who have run this government, and run it ignoring law and moral probity? Do they get off like the Iran-Contra people did? Do they get off like the Clinton haters did? After all, these are the same people who from Watergate onward have sought to subvert US legality in pursuit of illiberal objectives. They have committed electoral fraud, financial fraud, intelligence fraud, and torture. This is not hyperbole, but reality. So how do you deal with criminal actions at the highest levels of power?

Sending them back to their proverbial ranches in Texas doesn’t involve enough handcuffs for my taste.

(Matt uses more words than me.)

Richard and Thomas – what do YOU think we should do with them after the election? (Assuming your boy Ralph doesn’t siphon off enough votes and get Bush back in.)