January 25, 2006


Democrats May Argue Liberties to Their Peril: The GOP appears eager to portray the challenge to presidential authority as weakness on security. (Ronald Brownstein, January 25, 2006, LA Times)

Leading Democrats are challenging President Bush's record on civil liberties across a wide front, inspiring a Republican counterattack that even some Democratic strategists worry could threaten the party in this year's elections. [...]

Bush and his allies have fired back by escalating charges that Democrats would weaken America's security by imposing unreasonable restraints on the president.

These exchanges establish contrasts familiar from debates over law enforcement and national security throughout the 1970s and '80s, with most Republicans arguing for tough measures and many Democrats focusing on the defense of constitutional protections.

That emerging alignment worries some Democratic strategists, who believe it may allow Bush to portray Republicans as stronger than Democrats in fighting terrorism, as he did in the 2002 and 2004 campaigns.

"If Democrats want to be the party of people who think [the government] is too tough and the Republicans are the party of people who are tough, I don't see how that helps us," said one senior Democratic strategist who asked not to be identified while discussing party strategy.

Here's all you really need to know about hos the terrorist surveillance program cuts politically, First Read notes that today:
[President] Bush visits the National Security Agency. Per White House spokesperson Scott McClellan, he will tour the agency and address NSA employees (including those off-site, via satellite) at 12:50 pm, then is expected to make some remarks to the press pool.

...and the White House leaked to the Washington Times that they're preparing for impeachment hearings on the issue. The President is eager to be seen defending the aggressive prosecution of the WoT and to have Democrats be seen as opposing it.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 25, 2006 9:28 AM

If some Dem congressman would offer up the articles of impeachment I would hope that the GOP leadership would bring it to a quick vote 'a la the Murtha ammendment. It would really put some Donk Senate candidates on the hot seat. I'd be particularly interested to see how Sherrod Brown and Harold Ford voted.

Posted by: Jeff at January 25, 2006 9:50 AM

If some Dem congressman would offer up the articles of impeachment I would hope that the GOP leadership would bring it to a quick vote 'a la the Murtha ammendment. It would really put some Donk Senate candidates on the hot seat. I'd be particularly interested to see how Sherrod Brown and Harold Ford voted.

Posted by: Jeff at January 25, 2006 9:51 AM

Impeachment brought up in a time of war on a security issue? The Democrats have recently won, in my view, the title of the stupid party, but that stupid?

Posted by: Genecis at January 25, 2006 10:06 AM

There will be no impeachment, but it is a win-win proposition.

Cheney appoints Guiliani as his vice-president and we will have a proven leader in the White House in 2009, and until then we will have President who speaks in complete sentences.

Posted by: h-man at January 25, 2006 10:19 AM

A great point of argument here is the huge missing piece for the Democrats. Feel free to call them on it.

Where are the victims? Where?

Before we could point at Martin Luther King, or some 60's activist, and sympathy for them would follow.

So again, where are the victims?

(hypothetically) OH, here's one! His name is Mohammed Al-Haddad, and he called his brother in Yemen to talk about his little sisters wedding, and the NSA listened in!

Yeah. Boo freakin' hoo.

So where are the victims? No victims, and it's a bunch of theoretical bloviation and.....

OHhhhhhhh, now I get why the Left is so big on it.

Posted by: Andrew X at January 25, 2006 10:25 AM

I suspect the Democrats in the House would vote fairly strongly to impeach George Bush. The "moderates" don't have the guts to stand up to the left (Murtha used to be considered a conservative, and so did John Spratt) and the leadership has shoved a lot down the throats of their members (one reason why Steny Hoyer doesn't like Pelosi). And no Democrat wants an opponent like Paul Hackett in the primaries (i.e., one to the left).

The NSA issue is a loser for the Dems across the board - Pelosi can't afford to let it pass (because of her district), and the blowhards in the Senate are flogging it for the donations. But for any Democrat who has a real race this fall, it will just be a killer. Has anyone asked Bob Casey about it? And I'll bet Mike Bloomberg might have some choice words on the subject. Hackett himself will be hurt by it in OH.

Posted by: jim hamlen at January 25, 2006 11:56 AM

hey, "West Wing" was cancelled :)

Posted by: toe at January 25, 2006 12:45 PM

The political position of the Dems here is quite precarious--on the one hand, ~10% of the public is opposed to any US military action ever (even Afghanistan) and another ~10-20% probably only favor explicitly self-defense actions (i.e., only Afghanistan). That's a big chunk of the electorate that has to have a political party to support, and currently it's half of Democrat voters. On the other hand, should AQ actually land another strike on the US, the Dems will be stuck with ONLY those people. It seems absurd to wager your entire political future on events that you have absolutely zero control over, but that's the position they're in. Not a place I'd like to be sitting...

Posted by: b at January 25, 2006 1:04 PM

The depth and scope of bad judgement on the Democrats' part is astounding. Apart from the particulars of the issue, it brings into question their basic ability to discern things truly.

The outcome is that they will be viewed by a large majority of voters as both wrong and mad.

Posted by: Luciferous at January 25, 2006 1:24 PM

Actually, the position of the Democrats isn't that much different from where they were prior to the first Gulf War. Remember, the vote in the Senate was very close (53-47, I think), with luminaries such as Sam Nunn voting no.

Also, the Boland Amendment was passed in a Democratic House. And the Dems might have tried to really go after Reagan, had Ollie North not knocked them back with his testimony in the summer of 1987.

The fringe groups have more power now, because the Dems are in the minority. So the most shrill voices come to the fore. But now, those shriekers have become the party insiders, unlike back them.

Posted by: ratbert at January 25, 2006 2:48 PM

Brooks ventured on TV this Sunday that Bush supporters aren't disillusioned but are simply getting worn out. H-man's post reminded me of Brook's comment and I think Brooks may be on to something.

And H-man, you may want to spiff up that last sentence. All in fun.

Posted by: Genecis at January 25, 2006 2:59 PM

Brooks isn't a Bush supporter--he was a McCainiac.

Posted by: oj at January 25, 2006 5:44 PM

Brooks is out of the closet as a lib.

Posted by: erp at January 25, 2006 5:53 PM

Wasn't much of a closet--he told Brian Lamb he wasn't a conservative.

Posted by: oj at January 25, 2006 6:01 PM

Who will President Guliani appoint as his VP after the dembats impeach Cheney & remove himfrom office (which they will attempt to do if they nail "W"?

Here's a moonbat scenario for everyone to sleep on...
"W" is impeached & removed and Cheney's VP selection is delayed whi8lst he is impeached & removed, thus Pelosi becomes President by default.

Posted by: Jayson at January 26, 2006 12:25 AM

Pelosi -


Posted by: Sandy P at January 26, 2006 12:50 AM

Rudy appoints Jeb.

Posted by: oj at January 26, 2006 7:46 AM