Over at Spanky's Sandbox and Pillow Fort, The Politic's Charles Anthony postulates about a public torture inquiry rather puzzlingly:
That attitude is unsatisfactory. An inquiry is only as good as it satisfies the level of scrutiny of all the left-wing and right-wing wack-jobs involved.
In other words, you will spend more of my taxes to subsidize professional arguers on both sides of the fences who will repeatedly discuss the merits of more hearsay evidence ad nauseum. At the end of the day, if you do not like what the inquiry discloses (or fails to disclose) you can stiill cry foul.
Huh. How ... interesting. What Charles seems to be suggesting is that a public inquiry -- no matter how competently run, no matter how unimpeachable its conclusions -- will simply produce a bunch of bickering ideologues in the end, some of them agreeing with the results, some disagreeing so, like, what's the point?
What a fascinating conjecture.
Because if I read Charles correctly (and I'm pretty sure I do), what he's suggesting is that he simply doesn't accept the concept of an objective reality -- a reality which, regardless of your political bent, must be accepted based on the overwhelming supporting evidence.
You see, one would have thought that a properly run public inquiry would not simply consist of people yelling at each other across the House of Commons. No, one would have thought that a properly run public inquiry would involve interviewing the players, collecting the relevant official correspondence, teasing out the incriminating e-mails, checking phone logs and perhaps even wrenching free from the pathologically corrupt and secretive Stephen Harper Party of Canada (probably via official Freedom of Information requests) the sorts of things they really, really, really don't want you to know. You know -- things that prove beyond any doubt what sort of hiedously dishonest scumbags and weasels they are.
Yes, one would think that a competently run public inquiry would, first and foremost, concentrate on establishing objectively what happened, and when it happened, and who it happened to, that sort of thing, all based on solid evidence, much of it from the public record that can't just be contemptuously dismissed so that, in the end, there is no logical way to reject the carefully-crafted conclusions. You'd think that, anyway.
But that would not be part of the world that Charles lives in. Apparently, Charles' world is inhabited by people whose rationale for rejecting massively substantiated claims is simply that ... they don't like them. In Charles' world, ideological bluster and spittle is all-important; proof and evidence and facts, eh, not so much.
It's depressing but totally unsurprising. After all, these are the people whose accusations of horrible, anti-Conservative media bias are defined as "whatever we disagree with." Whether or not bias actually exists is quite irrelevant. What's relevant is that they take exception with the content. And whether the content is grounded in reality is, for Charles and his drinking buds, not really part of the conversation.
In a sense, then, Charles is entirely correct. A public inquiry probably would be a waste of time. After all, if it was based on rigourous and methodical investigation, it would be accepted by sane people regardless of where it led, while the opinion of Canada's whingnuts would take into account nothing more than whether or not they agreed with the findings.
For Charles and his right-wing whackjob colleagues, ideology is everything. Reality is simply convenient, but only occasionally.