Friday, December 30, 2005

What will happen in 2006?

Molly Ivins writes a good summary of the FISA/NSA wiretapping scandal, and why you should be scared and/or outraged.

The first time as tragedy, the second time as farce. Thirty-five years ago, Richard Milhous Nixon, who was crazy as a bullbat, and J. Edgar Hoover, who wore women's underwear, decided some Americans had unacceptable political opinions. So they set our government to spying on its own citizens, basically those who were deemed insufficiently like Crazy Richard Milhous.

For those of you who have forgotten just what a stonewall paranoid Nixon was, the poor man used to stalk around the White House demanding that his political enemies be killed. Many still believe there was a certain Richard III grandeur to Nixon's collapse because he was also a man of notable talents. There is neither grandeur nor tragedy in watching this president, the Testy Kid, violate his oath to uphold the laws and Constitution of our country.

As someone with a lifelong interest in politics, I love to try to predict what will happen. But I honestly have no idea how all of these scandals will play out.
  • The Democrats -- when will they grow a spine? At what point does our nation's descent into a monarchy start to trouble them? When will they stop supporting the unpopular Iraq war altogether?
  • Fitzgerald -- what charges will he file against Rove? Libel, or something less spinnable as the work of an out-of-control prosecutor?
  • Libertarian wing of the Republican party (and the four or five guys who could be considered moderates) -- When will the libertarians and moderates vote their principles? Yeah, it's fun to be in uncontested power, and I'm sure everyone there has enjoyed all the swell gifts from the lobbyists. Still, at some point, the representatives who started out with libertarian principles will have to look in a mirror and realize they don't have anything left, not a single shred of a single principle of theirs is being supported by the GOP, or will ever be. There has been a absolute frenzy of spending and intrusive government that should be the antithesis of what a principled libertarian would support. When will the penny drop?
  • Self-interested wing of the Republican party -- Unaided by a hostile media and anything remotely resembling an organized push by the Democrats, many Americans are starting to associate rampant criminality with Republicans in office. The upcoming trials will not help, especially if Abramoff's plea bargain implicates important players. Immediately after the 2005 elections, some defections were seen in house votes from previously loyal GOP members, all from disputed districts. Will there be a consensus in Congress at some point that it will be better to hang Bush than hang with him?
  • People with a conscience -- Our government, the U.S. government representing us has kidnapped and tortured innocent people. It's just apalling, and every day it seems like there's worse news on this point. Of course, many millions of Americans were absolutely horrified by this news when it first broke; but there were people who simply could not believe the obvious conclusion that the license for these abuses came from the Whitehouse. Will the FISA/NSA scandal repel enough voters that the Democrats might regain a house in 2006? Will the long-delayed new photos of torture at Abu Ghraib have any impact?
I just don't see enough outrage over the wiretapping scandal. I think the most that we can hope for is a vote of censure against the president, and even that will be a stretch. The crucial thing for everyone in the House and Senate is that these issues must completely wrapped up as soon as possible. That is their most logical goal, because, short of their sending out an intern to go blow up a bridge somewhere, Americans are going to be really hard to distract on all of these issues. The recent Rasmussen poll said that 68% of Americans were following this case somewhat or very closely. That cannot be good news for the Bush Administration. In addition, if past history with them is any guide, we'll learn that the details are inconceivably worse than we could ever imagine, most likely direct wire taps of political opponents and even erstwhile allies, plus unauthorized wire taps of thousands more Americans. That's entirely speculative, but you read it here first. If, that is, anyone were reading this blog.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course you have readers! Good post, you need more politics on your blog.

Sunday, 01 January, 2006  

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