Will History Vindicate Bush? III
Hitchens doesn't regret voting for Bush. His reasoning is uncharacteristically weak:
We are never invited to ask ourselves what would have happened if the Democrats had been in power that fall. But it might be worth speculating for a second.
The Effective Death Penalty and Anti-Terrorism Act, rushed through both Houses by Bill Clinton after the relative pin prick of the Oklahoma City bombing, was correctly described by the American Civil Liberties Union as the worst possible setback for the cause of citizens' rights. Given that precedent and multiplying it for the sake of proportion, I think we can be pretty sure that wiretapping and water-boarding would have become household words, perhaps even more quickly than they did, and that we might even have heard a few more liberal defenses of the practice. I don't know if Gore-Lieberman would have thought of using Guantanamo Bay, but that, of course, raises the interesting questionnow to be faced by a new administrationof where exactly you do keep such actually or potentially dangerous customers, especially since you are not supposed to "rendition" them. There would have been a nasty prison somewhere or a lot of prisoners un-taken on the battlefield, you can depend on that.
He also worries about tomorrow:
Inescapable as it is, "compared to what?" isn't much of a defense. And nor has this column been intended exactly as a defense, either. It's just that there's an element of hubris in all this current hope-mongering and that I am beginning to be a little bit afraid to think of what Wednesday morning will feel like.