Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Bush, brawling

Sorry that I am so pressed here that I haven’t had a chance to assert myself on the blog today! I have my Lincoln seminar tonight, so I am still at it, limping along, staying just one step ahead of my smart students. Yet, I couldn’t resist noting that Bush’s press conference today (transcript and the AP story) was an example of the problem Ruth Marcus thinks Bush has: manliness. Note these few lines from the AP story, and note how they are to Bush’s advantage, and note how it can be called manliness and then note the threat about the upcoming elections, and then note that the Dems will not take him up on his offer, and then note what will happen in the November elections, and then we will explain to Ms. Marcus the connection between politics and manliness:

More than 2,300 Americans have died in three years of war in Iraq. Polls show the public’s support of the war and Bush himself have dramatically declined in recent months, jeopardizing the political goodwill he carried out of the 2004 re-election victory.
"I’d say I’m spending that capital on the war," Bush quipped.

When asked about his failed Social Security plan, he simply said: "It didn’t get done." But the president defiantly defended his warrantless eavesdropping program, and baited Democrats who suggest that he broke the law.

Calling a censure resolution "needless partisanship," Bush challenged Democrats to go into the November midterm elections in opposition to eavesdropping on suspected terrorists. "They ought to stand up and say, ’The tools we’re using to protect the American people should not be used,’" Bush said.

Discussions - 16 Comments

"They ought to stand up and say, ’The tools we’re using to protect the American people should not be used,’" Bush said.


This is a flat out lie. I have yet to hear a single democrat say that terrorists should not be wiretapped. What they have said consistently is that it should be legal. What one thinks about the legality is another question altogether.


This graphically illustrates for me the total bankruptcy of the Bush administration. Even on something so obvious they have to lie.


Can someone, genuinely, set me straight? Are there transcripts, footage, even blogs where someone with a clear affiliation to the democratic party is saying : We should not be wiretapping terrorists?


C’mon guys, this is a genuine straight question.

Stop being naive. The actions speak much louder than words!

When a Democrat states that we can’t wiretap without a warrant communications between Americans and terrorists, who are outside the US by the way, they are, in effect, stating that they do not want to stop the terrorists!

Brian, why are you even protesting America’s actions in this matter? The UK has much broader wiretapping powers than the United States. Heck, it has much more broader powers in general in respective to individual liberties.

TexasDude,



I think you’re nuts if you really believe that Democrats do not want to stop terrorists . . .



Brian’s right on this . . . All I’ve heard from the Left are complaints that Bush never got a warrant for the wiretaps. When the court who grants them has only turned down 4 of the hundreds (maybe thousands?) of requests they’ve gotten, I don’t think that’s too much to ask . . . All I want is a little bit less executive power and a little more oversight. I’m not opposed to stopping the terrorists and I don’t think any Democrats are . . . That’s silly . . .

When a Democrat states that we can’t wiretap without a warrant communications between Americans and terrorists, who are outside the US by the way, they are, in effect, stating that they do not want to stop the terrorists!


That is a lame response. Almost every Democrat I’ve heard speak on the subject explicitly qualifies what they are saying. That they do want to wiretap terrorists, just with judicial oversight.


This doesn’t even qualify as duplicitous or disingenous. Framing it the way Bush has done is a lie.

The Democrats want to stop terrorists, but their actions say something else, whether they realize it or not.

The problem is that the Democrats are hampering the fight against terrorism on purely political grounds and not on any idealogical grounds.

That is why there was not much of a peep out of these very same Democrats when Clinton signed Executive Order #12949 which allowed very broad warrentless searches against US citizens even if they are NOT suspected of committing a crime and this broadened FISA’s scope. Nope, not a peep.

Of course, the very same Democrats who are protesting President Bush’s view that war powers allows him to ignore FISA did not say anything when former President Clinton held the same view. Nope, not a peep.

So, yes, I do think that the Democrats are not serious about stopping the terrorists and are just grandstanding.

TexasDude - I know that you are capable of more serious thought than this. You have demonstrated it, and I don’t understand why you write as though you cannot think.

Try entertaining two different thoughts, and weighing them, a bit for their rationality: (a) Democrats prefer terrorism to Republican leadership (b) Democrats and Republicans have differing priorities when it comes to civil liberties and protection.

Now, a simpleton might accept (a) but I think you are smarter than that. And, a simpleton might interpret (b) to mean that Democrats don’t care about safety, but I think you are smarter than that, as well.

Instead, I think you are capable of recognizing that we have a debate about relative (not absolute) priorities. Democrats and liberals seem to care more about civil liberties than Republicans do, and therefore, we are more suspicious of a guy like Bush than we were of a guy like Clinton. Bush has a history of promoting measures that threaten our civil liberties in the name of a security that is questionnable, given his lax approach to security measures that would NOT threaten those liberties (like the ports deal, and like strengthening our borders, and like capturing OBL instead of attacking a country that had nothing to do with the attacks of 9/11 which, unfortunately DID occur on his watch.

So, he shows little trustworthiness when it comes to actually protecting us, and even less when it comes to respecting our civil liberties.

Now, a simpleton might suggest that Republicans don’t care about civil liberties, but I would rather suggest that they simply care less about them, and that they are MORE likely than are Democrats to hand over their civil liberties in return for the illusion of safety that Bush promises.

not much of a peep out of these very same Democrats when Clinton signed Executive Order #12949 which allowed very broad warrentless searches against US citizens even if they are NOT suspected of committing a crime and this broadened FISA’s scope. Nope, not a peep.Comment 5 by TexasDude

Democrats and liberals seem to care more about civil liberties than Republicans do Comment 6 by Fung

Only when the President is a Republican.

I am not saying the Democrats prefer terrorism.

What I am saying is that they are using the current situation for political gain only and are not truly interested in the security of the nation.

Seriously, when did the Democrats finally get religion in regards to national security?

The Republicans have been better on national security, but are far from perfect.

Okay, that’s a bit more reasonable, but I would disagree. As I recall, Bush inherited a pretty nice shiny military with which to attack Iraq, and it might be argued that the military fared better under Clinton than it has under Bush.

Second, I would argue, again, that it is Republicans who are trying to make political hay out of the safety issue. One of Bush’s selling points was that we would be "safer" with him as President, and that a vote for Kerry was a vote for weakness. Meanwhile, we were advised to collect bottled water, duct tape our windows, and to be vigilant.

The Democrats care about security, they just haven’t manipulated fear as a means to steal our civil liberties.

As for Clinton, there is a case in point. If he HAD had a history of threatening our civil liberties, then there would have been more of an uproar over #12949. But, no one trusts Bush for good reason. he has overspent on any political capital that he perceived he had.

Clinton and civil liberties. Now that is a joke.

A cult leader in Waco went bezerk because Clinton and Reno, with the help of the military, decided to serve a warrant on the cult leader’s compound, which ultimately lead to the deaths of all those in the compound, which included women and children. The federal government had plenty of opportunity to snatch the leader in other ways which would not endanger the followers, but, instead, they decided to create the end-of-times scenerio that was preached by the leader.

Of course, it was coincidence that many opponents of Clinton were audited by the IRS and, during an investigation, a law enforcement officer was physically shoved aside by administration personnel, effectively obstructing the investigation. Any other person would have been arrested for assaulting a police officer and for obstructing.

Of course, let’s not forget the Elian fiasco, whereby a little boy is taken from his new home forcibly by law enforcement and sent to Cuba, the wonderful country that has is so great for civil liberties that people are willing to risk their lives crossing the ocean in homemade rafts.

Heck, with all the hoopla about wiretapping, it has been lost that the ACLU called the Clinton administration most wire-tapping administration in history.

Oh, there’s more if you truly intend to stick to your guns on this matter ... much more.

TexasDude,

First of all, you are suggesting that David Koresh was driven crazy by Clinton?

"A cult leader in Waco went bezerk because Clinton and Reno, with the help of the military, decided to serve a warrant on the cult leader’s compound..."

My memory of Koresh is that he was unstable and his cult dysfunctional prior to the Waco debacle.

Second, in hindsight, perhaps ATF, FBI, the Texas Rangers and Everybody’s Aunt might have behaved more intelligently, but I observed first-hand the stand-off between the same bunch and the "Republic of Texas," and that went off without a hitch. Whatever went wrong in Waco was hardly due to some national policy, and I would expect Koresh and his group to share some responsibility for it, too.

You are providing individual examples (a guy got shoved aside!!!! Oooooh!), including Elian Gonzalez, who was cute, but was here illegally.

You offer these pale, single-sample examples to counter Bush’s efforts to merge church and state, to ignore the FISA law, to invade another country illegally, to shut up Joe Wilson, to support Tom Delay’s gerrymandering, to suggest martial law as a Plan A response to the Bird Flu, to impose the Patriot Act indefinitely, to repeal a woman’s control over her own body, to expect due process when suspected of a crime, to expect a vote to count for its intended candidate, to bar journalists from accurate reporting of a war, to make torture legal, .......?

This guy has practically declared war on civil liberties! And you equate Clinton with him because a guy got shoved?

A guy got shoved aside .... hmmmm.

So, do you think you can push aside a law enforcement officer while he is in the middle of an investigation and get away with it? Nope, unless of course, you happen to be part of Clinton’s administration. For us normal folks who are not above the law, you would get thrown in jail ... fast! Why don’t you try it sometime and see what happens?

Clinton supported retroactive taxation, gun control, increasing the scope of warrentless searches and seizures, restricted free speach in regards to protesters, and tried to restrict free speach in regards to broadcasting. His administration even attempted to suppress dissent, which is something to expected in China, not the United States. Clinton also tried to pressure a judge to revurse his ruling on the threat of firing due to mounting political pressure.

Of course, we can’t forget the illegal campaign contributions and the fact that he lied under oath, was found in court no less to be in comtempt, had his law license suspended for said lying, and was officially impeach by Congress for the act.

In regards to illegally invading another country, again I will remind that Clinton did the very same. Even Gen Clark, who headed the operations in Kosovo admitted as much. Clinton ignored the UN on many occassions and threatened Haiti that we would invade their country, also against the wishes of the UN.

By the way, all these assertions I have made in regards to Clinton and documentable, verifiable.

The vast majority of your claims against Bush have no merit and are just standard Democrat/liberal talking points against the President.

If you wish we will get into further detail on my assertions and I will successfully demonstrate that your assertions are utterlly worthless and baseless.

Better yet, let me reduce all of your points to "talking points against Clinton," then state that all of my points are verifiable, while many of yours have nothing to do with civil liberties or with protection and security, and then we can agree to disagree.

Free speach, gun control, searches, and seizures not constitutional issues?

Do you live in the US?

If so, get thee to a civics class fast.

By the way, how did the standoff begin in regards to the Republic of Texas?

Compare that with how the standoff began with the Mount Carmel (sp?) folks.

Big difference, especially when take into account how both episodes were handled and how the both resulted.

"They ought to stand up and say, ’The tools we’re using to protect the American people should not be used,’" Bush said.
This is a flat out lie. I have yet to hear a single democrat say that terrorists should not be wiretapped. Comment 1 by Brian Coughlan

I did a quick check of google for you Brian, here’s what I found:

But we didn’t mean he could wiretap people in the United States, says Tom Daschle, then the Senate minority leader. http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20051226-095629-5103r.htm

"If the president wanted to expand the authority he already has to wiretap anyone who might be communicating with terrorists then he should have come to the Congress to get that authority," [Reid said in a statement]. That would be Senate Minority Leader, Harry Reid. warrants.http://blogcritics.org/archives/2006/01/24/225649.php

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