When Ed Markay and Earl Blumenauer's amendment calling for and end to the funding of torture of detainees and extraordinary rendition came up for a vote on Wednesday, it passed the House 420 to 2.
So who the hell were the 2 who voted in favor of the use of government funds for torture?
The first, Robin Hayes of North Carolina, is a member of the Armed Services Committee. Although a Republican, he comes from a heavily Democratic district, and went on record as calling the Abu Ghraib scandal "disgusting." He also voted against tearing down the Abu Ghraib prison, lest vital evidence be destroyed along with it. Notably, he is one of the top recipients of Tom DeLay's contributions.
Mark Souder is a bit more of a thoroughbred wingnut -- he is the valiant spearheader of the effort to put Ronald Reagan's face on the dime, a drug warrior buffoon who wants the FDA to declare cannabis unsuitable as medicine, and a devout fundie who believes that Iraqi-syle democracy may not make much of a change there because it is not fueled by the Judeo-Christian ethic necessary for success:
The United States was at its founding, and still is, not only a religious nation but largely a Christian nation. Through Judeo-Christian beliefs that anchor our legal, our economic, our military, and our political system, the balance of powers and constraints upon the state -- and thus upon the majority -- assume the sinful nature of man and one that is not perfectable.And as as an evangelical House member, he sure is a dutiful gay-hater. According to the LA Weekly in 2002:
[W]hen [HHS Secretary Tommy] Thompson was criticized by vociferous protests against Bush’s AIDS betrayals during the secretary’s speech at the international AIDS conference in Barcelona earlier this year, influential Indiana Representative Mark Souder — an evangelical Christian who says all gay sex is “immoral,” and who chairs the House’s oversight subcommittee on HHS — sparked a witch-hunt against a dozen respected AIDS service organizations (including San Francisco’s Stop AIDS Project) because some of their members participated in the demonstration. Now being conducted by Allen, the HHS witch-hunting audit is designed to intimidate all of the 3,500 local AIDS service groups, which are dependent on federal funding for their existence, into staying silent on Bush’s disastrous AIDS policies.Why would either of these Reps go out on a limb and support funding for torture? That's pretty much like saying "hand me the electrodes and fire 'er up" at this point. Perhaps to provide some scant cover for the Preznit, who in a press conference the very same day defended the need for extraordinary rendition? Would love to hear anyone's thoughts.
Update 3:12 pm: Souder is evidently also renowned for saying that people in Appalachian Kentucky and Tennessee had sex with pre-teen children on a regular basis. It's nice to see the GOP speaking so highly about its Red State base.