Towards A Good Samaritan World

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


The Nation's blog thinks that the momentum for impeaching Bush is building. They quote John Dean as saying that "There can be no serious question that warrantless wiretapping, in violation of the law, is impeachable." Maybe, but, Nixon aside, lots of presidents have engaged in warrantless wire-tapping, and not been impeached. Meanwhile, Americans, wisely or not, are on Bush's side on this one:

We are now two weeks into the artificial brouhaha engineered by the Times when it exposed that the National Security Agency (NSA) had been authorized by the President to monitor the international phone calls and emails of terror suspects within the US.

Despite the best efforts of the Times and its backup singers in the mainstream media, this revelation has not resonated as scandalous with the American people. A Rasmussen poll released December 28th revealed that 64% of Americans believe that the NSA should intercept such international communications. This was the majority opinion among Republicans (81%), Democrats (51%) and Independents (57%) alike. A mere 23% thought the NSA should be prohibited from such warrant-less monitoring.

And 68% of respondents said they were following the NSA wiretapping story closely, so the President’s critics cannot blame ignorance for the rejection of their arguments by the citizenry. Indeed, the respondents understood very well that President authorizing such eavesdropping to assess national security threats is not new or unusual -- only 26% were misinformed enough to think that Bush was the first President to do so.

Are the Democrats really crazy enough, if they do retake Congress in 2006, to try to impeach Bush? Talk about misinterpreting a mandate!

If they do, it would be political suicide. Bush would be Reagan to Nixon's Goldwater. The Democrats would delegitimize Watergate's journalistic coup, and would have the odor of fifth-columnists for a generation. And by the way, I'm a bit leery of wiretapping myself, because in the long run I fear our government more than the terrorists, and because, while I trust Bush more or less, there are tight limits to the powers I wish to entrust to future presidents. But to imagine that Democrat-voters in 2006 want to impeach Bush for wiretapping is delusional.

If voters know that this is what Democrats will do with their mandate, Republicans should have an easy time holding Congress this November. So get the word out! ScrappleFace is looking prescient.


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