Monday, January 23, 2006


As noted previously, the White House is showing its hand in how it will frame the 2006 election: if you can’t convince the people that you didn’t break the law, the next step is to persuade them that if you don’t vote for Republicans, we’re all going to die.

Americans may be willing to support extraordinary measures – perhaps extralegal ones – if they are posed in the starkest terms of protecting the nation from another calamitous attack. They are less likely to be supportive, members of both parties say, if the question is presented as a president breaking the law to spy on the nation’s own citizens.


Mr. Rove’s speech on Friday to the Republican National Committee was a classic example. “Let me be as clear as I can be: President Bush believes if Al Qaeda is calling somebody in America, it is in our national security interest to know who they’re calling and why,” Mr. Rove said. “Some important Democrats clearly disagree.”

Never mind that not only do “some important Democrats clearly disagree,” so do some prominent Republicans and conservatives who believe that the rule of law — something they were so proud to trumpet loudly when Bill Clinton was in office — can just as easily be trampled by a mob mentality and ceaseless invocation of 9/11, as if one horrific act justifies a thousand others in retribution.

It really makes you wonder what kind of desperate mindset has taken over the political geniuses of this country when the only way you can stay in power is by demonizing any oppostion, minimizing the law, and thus basically terrorizing people into voting for you.