Chancellor Katehi's impressive learning skills

To justify her own lack of accountability, she invokes the same mentality for which Dick Cheney today praised Obama

Published November 21, 2011 11:08PM (EST)

The UC-Davis Chancellor responsible for the pepper-spraying of her students, Linda Katehi, today went on Good Morning America and explained why she should not resign or otherwise be held accountable: "we really need to start the healing process and move forward." On a radio program in the afternoon, she expanded on this view by saying: "We need to move on." So apparently -- yet again -- the only way everyone can begin to "heal" and "move forward" is if everyone agrees that those in power with the greatest responsibility be fully shielded from any consequences and that their bad acts be simply forgotten. I wonder where she learned that justifying rationale?

Speaking of that, Vice President Dick Cheney today gave an interview to The Wall Street Journal about President Obama's Terrorism War and foreign policy, and the interview appeared under this headline:

The former Vice President heaped praise on President Obama for his policies of escalating drone attacks, military commissions, and indefinite detention -- once known in Democratic circles as "shredding the Constitution" -- and then added:

I was very upset when we had talk by the Justice Department about prosecuting the intelligence professionals who'd carried out our policies in the enhanced-interrogation area. They've backed off that since. That's good.

Along with most neocon figures from the Bush era, Cheney has lavished Obama with praise before for his Terrorism and civil liberties policies, but this is the first time that he so graciously expressed his gratitude for being fully shielded for his crimes. Indeed, we should all be grateful, because as President Obama has taught us (though not the Indonesians) -- and just as Chancellor Katehi today teaches -- the only way we can begin healing and moving forward is if we all band together to shield those in power (but nobody else) from the consequences of their wrongdoing.

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Jonathan Chait, whose career (like the magazine that long employed him) has been devoted to complaining that liberals are so unreasonable and unSerious (that is, when he and his magazine weren't cheerleading for the Iraq War and vowing to re-make the Democratic Party in the image of Joe Lieberman), today complains that liberals are so unreasonable because they don't swoon for Obama the way he does; maybe Chait could ask Dick Cheney to explain to him why this is so. Meanwhile, Andrew Sullivan today observes that Chait, David Frum and himself all adore Obama and believe he has done an absolutely superb job, and just cannot for the life of him understand why many liberals don't share this sentiment. Aside from the fact that the question sort of answers itself -- is it really baffling that a President viewed with such adoration by David Frum, Andrew Sullivan and the permanently-New-Republick-ed Jonathan Chait doesn't provoke the same level of giddiness among many liberals? -- perhaps Sullivan also could ask Dick Cheney to explain this to him, or ask Tom Friedman, Morris Davis, Jack Goldsmith, Anthony Romero, Paul Krugman, Eric Schneiderman, Bob Herbert, or this consensus of experts (or, for that matter, Andrew Sullivan or Andrew Sullivan).

By Glenn Greenwald

Follow Glenn Greenwald on Twitter: @ggreenwald.

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