Monday, January 23, 2006
Why Are Democrats Trying To Do?
A majority of Americans—56 percent—said the Bush administration should be required to get a warrant before monitoring electronic communications between American citizens and suspected terrorists, according to an AP-Ipsos poll earlier this month.
One wonders just what prompts a majority of Americans—or at least a majority of those 1,000 or so polled—to believe this way. I’d say the demagoguery by the President’s enemies is responsible for a good bit of it, given that we hear, see and read about their charges far more than we are provided with the President’s reasoning and legal basis. So, we are treated to an endless stream of blowhards expounding on their wish—that Mr. Bush actually would break the law, enabling them to gain ground in trying to salvage some power in the November elections—rather than on actual fact.
“The President is breaking the law,” they pronounce, offering nothing in the way of proof, or even allowing that the issue is not a settled matter residing in that large gray area between right and wrong, good and evil, and legal and illegal. Naturally, the media jumps on this with both feet, because it’s not only a good headline, but it suits the media’s own prejudice.
So what is Mr. Bush’s rationale? "Congress gave me the authority to use necessary force to protect the American people, but it didn't prescribe the tactics," Mr. Bush said, adding that the government needs to know why people linked to al Qaida are calling into the U.S. That’s a fair question, and one that I’m darned happy someone is asking. "One of the ways to protect the American people is to understand the intentions of the enemy," the President said. Don’t you just love common sense policies?
Mr. Bush noted that Sen. Pat Roberts, the Kansas Republican who is opening hearings into the program, was among the lawmakers on Capitol Hill who were given regular updates about the surveillance by the White House. "It's amazing that people say to me, ‘Well, he's just breaking the law,’" Mr. Bush said, with Roberts sitting behind him on stage at Kansas State University. Here’s another fair question: "If I wanted to break the law, why was I briefing Congress?" Mr. Bush asked, rhetorically.
The media won’t present both sides of this disagreement, and can’t even be counted on to make sure the issue is accurately cast. As an example, it is commonly referred to as the government spying on Americans, when in fact it is the government listening in to overseas phone calls involving suspected al Qaeda operatives in and out of the U.S., and some citizens are on the other end. You might expect red-blooded, patriotic Americans, particularly those elected to serve in Congress, to be more interested in who is on the U.S. end of those calls, and why. But, no, not when an election is at hand, and when your party is desperate to win something.