Mostly rational politics, with occasional rants about how a few crazy Republicans are ruining the country.
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Thursday, February 09, 2006
My take on eavsdropping
Democrats oppose Bush. For the last six years that's been our party's main function. Sure, we have positions, policies, ideas, principals and those influence when and how vehemently we oppose the President. But more often than not our principals are expressed as opposition to a conflicting Republican principal, rather than an uncoerced statement of our own.
Which brings me to the eavsdropping/wiretapping issue. Bush did something in the gray area of the law, and therefore Democrats have rushed to oppose it. It may or may not be smart politically - most Americans are very conscious of civil liberties and are glad Dems are standing up for them, but most Americans also think the Dems are weak on security, so we don't want to give the impression that we're soft, or that we won't use every power to protect citizens.
But it's worth noting that very conservative Republicans, like Sam Brownback also oppose this Bush policy. Is it because Bush has just gone too far?
I'm not so sure. As a European, I don't really get the American fascination with civil liberties above and beyond everything else. Safety, considering that I live in Iran's second and Al Qaeda's first favorite nuclear target, is one thing I definitely put ahead of my civil liberties. I understand that American democracy is about freedom, etc. But I actually (yikes) agree with President Bush that freedom doesn't mean squat if you're dead.
So let's be careful not to rush to criticize the eavsdropping itself. The legal framework through which it is conducted - fine. But let's also be clear that if the law is behind the technology, we must FIX THE LAW! Because what Bush is doing SHOULD be legal, whether or not it actually is.