If you recall, I did a post about the case surrounding the situation with Anwar al-Awlaki. In that post, I relied heavily on postings written by Salon's Glenn Greenwald, and I agreed with many of the points he raised on the subject. Now, Andrew Sullivan has offered a lengthy answer (following an earlier posting) to questions that Greenwald raised, and it makes for a fascinating read. Sullivan also makes some really good and potentially, for me, persuasive points. I strongly encourage the folks who read this blog to check both writers' positions on this fascinating subject.
I've decided not to focus on my position on this issue now, because I am currently re-reading the exchange. But I did want to point out that this is what a discussion on politics and policy should look like between a liberal and a conservative. In reading these posts, I am reminded of precisely what is missing in our political discourse: substance. And we are suffering from that loss. Imagine our political leaders (though I think President Obama tries) having a substantive and actually informative discussion on issues. What we get now is an assortment of empty rhetoric, pedantic talking points and meaningless sound bites.
We need a real return to a discussion of issues in a substantive manner. We need to force Americans legitimately interested in solving our many problems to step up to the intellectual (and civil) plate and play ball on a higher plane. The Greenwald/Sullivan discussion can serve as a template. What have we to lose by trying?