But Blumner's column also provides evidence of the unfortunate type of consistency:
These rhetorical criticisms that the candidate leveled at Bush are sad reminders of what we expected of Obama. He was to dismantle the prior occupant's jerry-built rationales for unlimited and unanswerable executive power. But Obama's refusal to follow the strictures of the War Powers Act says that he, too, is willing to manipulate language to ignore inconvenient limits on his power. Bush had John Yoo at the Office of Legal Counsel approving the use of torture by absurdly defining it so narrowly that it no longer included waterboarding.The unfortunate type of inconsistency occurs when one consistently condemns something like waterboarding without producing a coherent argument.
Blumner called waterboarding torture in part because of deeply flawed essay by Judge Evan Wallach. Wallach's essay treated substantially different types of techniques under the term "waterboarding" in order to argue it constituted torture. Wallach's argument wallowed in the fallacy of equivocation throughout.
Suppose somebody buys an equivocation-laced argument such as Wallach's. What better way to attack the argument on the other side than by claiming that its definitions are too narrow? That's exactly what Blumner does.
Let's hope Blumner eventually expands her use of the good kind of consistency to avoid the bad kind.