August 4, 2007
A Lame Duck Beats a Full House (and Senate)
And in the fullness of time, both the Democrat-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate broke with longstanding Democratic tradition and decided to support the United States of America.
Silly bit of business, really; foreigners calling foreigners whose calls happen to be routed through nodes in Los Angeles or New York, and the National Security Agency was listening in when it appeared that one or the other foreign party was a terrorist, a terrorist supporter, or a terrorist harborer. But the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court opened the Devil's gate by deciding that this violated some obscure clause of the Constitution of which we were all previously unaware: the constitutional right of privacy for all foreigners living abroad. A judge -- they won't say who -- struck down the program.
Gleeful Democrats charged into the breach and demanded that President Bush submit all proposed "wiretaps" to a judge, present their "probable cause," and sit back and wait two or three weeks until he makes his decision. And if the four hundred year old judge doesn't understand why it's important to "wiretap" some radical cleric in Waziristan talking to young Moslems in Westminister, then it's back to the drawing board for the NSA.
But the Old Texan called their bluff. He argued that protecting Americans from terrorism required gathering intelligence. He pronounced that foreigners living outside the United States have no rights whatsoever under the American Constitution. And he insisted that the people's business was more important than Congress' vacation plans.
Bush proposed that the decision to surveil be made by (here was the compromise) both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence... thus keeping it within the Executive branch, which has sufficient energy to make a decision and act upon it, rather than endlessly debating the question (as the Legislative branch does) or consulting accumulated decades of hoary "wisdom" (à la the Judicial branch); but also not leaving the decision solely to the discretion of Alberto Gonzales, the Democrats' current Great Satan.
And Bush insisted that Congress enact the reforms to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA, which predates both commercial cell phones and the modern version of Islamist terrorism) before adjourning for Congress' traditional August recess. This trapped the Democrats between Scylla and Charybdis:
- They're driven by the nutroots to dismantle any and every program to collect intelligence about pending terrorist attacks (while simultaneously demanding to know why we haven't gone right in and gotten bin Laden yet)...
- Yet they daren't be seen putting off American national security so they can go home and scarf up more campaign contributions and distribute more pork-laden earmarks.
At last, Democrats in both chambers of Congress arrived at the same conclusion, which they enacted and sent on to the president for signature: They caved to the Bush plan to reform the nearly three decade old FISA, thus betraying the MoveOn, George Soros, Daily Kos wing of the Democratic Party (they've been flying on one wing for seven years now).
But then, in an agony of cleverness, they set things up so their surrender to the Bush plan will only last six months... at which point they'll have to go through the entire nightmare all over again, navigating the narrow passage between the six-headed snake and the greedy whirlpool, to finally arrive right back to the same bill they just approved six months down the road (with or without yet another sunset clause).
That means that the next time Congress faces either infuriating "the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party," or else alienating those Americans who care anything about national security, it will be at the end of January and beginning of February 2008: Exactly when more than 50% of American voters go to the polls to decide the presidential nominees -- in the states of Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Florida, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Utah.
Brilliant planning, Democrats; somebody didn't have his PDA turned on when the donkey party agreed to that calendar!
I'm sure a massive debate about whether or not the Democrats care a fig about national security won't affect people's primary voting; just as I'm equally certain that the looming primaries won't in any way affect how Sens. Hillary Clinton (D-Carpetbag, 95%) and Barack Obama (D-IL, 95%) will vote on the terrorism-intelligence bill.
How do the Democrats always manage to get themselves into a pickle like this? Oh, wait -- maybe their complete lack of "the vision thing" or any set of moral principles has something to do with it.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, August 4, 2007, at the time of 11:01 PM
TrackBack URL for this hissing: http://biglizards.net/mt3.36/earendiltrack.cgi/2313
The following hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman
Just think they might be even foolish enough to repeat this once again so it would come up in July in the midst of the National Campaign,
Who needs Karl Rove when we have these folks?
The above hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman at August 5, 2007 6:20 AM
The following hissed in response by: Terrye
High time. I am so tired of these people making fools of themselves about everything.
The following hissed in response by: Big D
And Dems insist Bush is an idiot?
But hey, I'm sure the Dems will start caterwauling about how Bush and the evil Republicans tricked them. Those wascally wabbits!
And Dem voters will believe them. Never underestimate a Democratic supporter. Sigh.
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