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April 19, 2005

Pangs of Conscience
Posted by Suzanne Nossel

Alright, this is it for the night but one last thought.  In the throes of today's dramatic SFRC hearing, bombshell-dropping Senator Voinovich commented that: "My conscience got me." 

He flatly acknowledged that in ignoring his misgivings he was doing something wrong - going against his conscience. But when he spoke up he did so as if he was embarrassed.  The sheepishness of the concession to conscience suggests that his earlier inclination - and what he knew others would expect of him - was to suppress his conscience in favor of . . . what?  fealty to the White House?  "conservative principles"? 

It's not clear, but the fact that Voinovich was until now consciously suppressing his conscience calls into question the claim that conservatives are somehow motivated by deep-seated moral impulses.  If that we're so, Voinovich's resort to conscience would not have come as the surprise it did today.


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So Suzanne, you apparently bought into the right-wing spin and you were surpised by it.
This is exhibit one in the effectiveness of the right-wing spin machine.
What is amazing is that ANYONE in Washington would admit to having a conscience when it is obvious they all lack any sense of morality.
You should be the one with a "pang of conscience" for becoming so much like them.

Gee, I didn't read the stories that way at all. Granted, I didn't see the hearing.

Voinovich says he didn't attend earlier hearings, so I will work with that. The way I figure it, Voinovich hears from his staff, "The Democrats say that Bolton is unsuited for the job because some of his subordinates say he is abusive." He rolls his eyes -- imagine that! -- and prepares to cast the routine Aye vote. Then he shows up for the hearing and discovers that Biden and Dodd are actually making sense. He changes his mind.

Bolton is an astonishingly poor choice for UN ambassador. By now we've gotten used to Bush making astonishingly poor choices, and we supply the diabolical laughter. But it isn't so surprising that a mainstream conservative Republican wouldn't hear it. I don't _think_ the administration sends out memos saying, "We're about to perpetrate another travesty of historic proportions -- anyone got a problem with that? Your Kool-Aid ration is on the way!"

I see no evidence that "Voinovich was until now consciously suppressing his conscience," and if we're going to generalize about the extent to which conservatives are motivated by deep-seated moral impulses, well, let me off that train.

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