December 27, 2005


The 'I' Word: Expect 2006 to offer up Nixon-era nastiness and a chorus of calls to impeach Bush. (Howard Fineman, Dec. 27, 2005, Newsweek)
Where’s the Outrage? (Arlene Getz, Dec. 21, 2005, Newsweek)

Back in the 1980s, when I was living in Johannesburg and reporting on apartheid South Africa, a white neighbor proffered a tasteless confession. She was "quite relieved," she told me, that new media restrictions prohibited our reporting on government repression. No matter that Pretoria was detaining tens of thousands of people without real evidence of wrongdoing. No matter that many of them, including children, were being tortured—sometimes to death. No matter that government hit squads were killing political opponents. No matter that police were shooting into crowds of black civilians protesting against their disenfranchisement. "It's so nice," confided my neighbor, "not to open the papers and read all that bad news."

I thought about that neighbor this week, as reports dribbled out about President George W. Bush's sanctioning of warrantless eavesdropping on American conversations. For anyone who has lived under an authoritarian regime, phone tapping—or at least the threat of it—is always a given. But U.S. citizens have always been lucky enough to believe themselves protected from such government intrusion. So why have they reacted so insipidly to yet another post-9/11 erosion of U.S. civil liberties?

Perhaps only the MSM could simultaneously expect impeachment over spying and bewail the fact that Americans are quite happy the spying was going on.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 27, 2005 9:56 PM

Gotta give Howie credit, though, for spilling the beans about the Media Party last January.

Posted by: ghostcat at December 27, 2005 10:09 PM

Notice the relentless lying of the MSM, by mis-framing the situation: "warrantless eavesdropping on American conversations". There is so much wrong in those few words. "American conversations" totally ignores the question "with whom". "Warrantless" ignores the reality that there are numerous legal warrantless searches. When I leave the US or return from abroad, I have to go through Immigration and Customs. If I am subjected to "warrantless searches" every time I leave or enter the country, why shouldn't my telphone or e-mail conversation?

Posted by: sam at December 27, 2005 10:46 PM

Also, notice the absence of any polls by the MSM asking Americans' views on "phone-tapping". Finally, notice Hillary's silence on the issue, the dog that is not barking.

Posted by: sam at December 27, 2005 10:49 PM

Wow, so we're now apartheid S.Africa in the minds of these amoral cretins andincompetents?

Altho I do agree that some folks have acted "insipidly" throughout all of this. It's just the Ms. Getz's of the world who've done so.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at December 27, 2005 10:56 PM

Also notice that none of the whiners has tried to get a judicial injunction to stop the surveillance.

Posted by: jd watson [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 28, 2005 12:15 AM

I usually don't listen to Michael Medved but I caught most of his show today while on a long car trip down to San Antonio and he spent a good hour on this subject of impeachment. I thought Medved was kidding but it became clear he was seriously debating this subject with callers.

I also listened to a few minutes of Air America and they're flogging this spying story to no end.

My dad, a political independent whose gut reactions almost perfectly match the tenor of the general public's, told me he can't believe the Democrats are making a big deal about this and as far as he's concerned, they ought to be doing more spying, not less.

What a perfect opportunity for the Democrats to showcase just how unserious they are: Stridently protest going after our enemies and attempt to impeach a president while not controlling either house of Congress. This whole scheme is perfectly nuts and only a fool would go forward with this.

In other words, watch for them to push it full-throttle.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at December 28, 2005 4:12 AM

I'll believe it when they cap Dana (the rendition lady)David Sanger (the lead Iraq war plans leaker)
and Hersh (too many to count)

Posted by: narciso at December 28, 2005 9:21 AM

Keith Olbermann and John Dean were flogging the impeachment topic to death Tuesday night onm MSNBC (it's right next to the National Geographic Channel on my cable system, and while kicking off channel surfing during commercial I found Keith getting Mr. Dean to outline his own articles of impeachment for those in the audience who have this as the No. 1 thing on their 2006 "to do" list).

Posted by: John at December 28, 2005 9:34 AM

President Cheney has a ring to it....

Posted by: oj at December 28, 2005 9:40 AM

Lord Cheney

Posted by: toe at December 28, 2005 10:22 AM

If they impeach and remove it would be overturning the election and we can't have that.

Posted by: Sandy P at December 28, 2005 11:16 AM

And why is it Nixon-era nastiness and not Bubba-era?

Posted by: Sandy P at December 28, 2005 11:18 AM

Nice how agitators like Ms. Getz could get
the heck out of S.A. without having to suffer
through the hell it would soon become.

Posted by: J.H. at December 28, 2005 11:47 AM

why do you (like the when-we's before you) continue to flog dead horses? the arlene getz's definitely had an impact on the former regime, for had we not chipped away - by whatever means, de klerk and his ilk would still be in power - subjugating anyone who was a darker shade of pale ...

de klerk personally denied me permission to leave SA ...

some of you chaps really cannot move beyond the quagmire that you so ignorantly accepted as gospel. that is why so many of you - here and elswhere beyond SA's borders - together with many who remained back home and whinge-whinge-whinge; still live in denial ... a time warp ...

ag sies tog ...

Posted by: mshengu at December 29, 2005 8:26 PM

Yes, but she was wrong then too. South Africa was too important strategically to be allowed to fall until the Cold War was over. Only now that the USSR is gone can we afford not to have the Afrikaaners running the place.

Posted by: oj at December 29, 2005 9:02 PM