Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Domestic Spying is THE Issue

For the unsure donkeys who’ve been waiting in the weeds for years, especially the sorry poseurs that endorsed President George Bush’s folly of a war plan for Iraq -- because they were afraid to seem soft on terror -- this domestic-spying flap is exactly what they’ve been waiting for. At this desk it says this is the issue that will unravel Bush’s overreaching presidency, unless...

The only way Bush will get out of this scandal with his political scalp intact will be if the sometimes-squirrelly Democrats once again fail to step up to the line, toe the mark, and clobber the palooka. America’s public opinion is poised to turn against President Bush like never before. Now he’s probably something worse than an inept executive -- “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.” Now Bush appears he may be an arrogant law-breaker, even a tyrant-in-the-making.

In short, it seems to me there aren't more than two basic reasons for Bush’s spies not to go to the FISA courts, as the law clearly calls for. Either the judges aren’t trusted to keep secrets, uh-oh, or the eager spies already know the judges would frown on their requests.

Bush can dress up in a flight-suit and declare whatever he likes, he can change the fear code from yellow to orange, but he’s still not above the law. This administration is out of control. Nixon's ghost needs to be driven out of the White House.

The play-it-safe guys should stand aside, it’s now up to bold Democrats to do their duty -- restore the rule of law. This is a time for leadership. Perhaps a fresh voice is what the doctor ordered.

Well, I hope Gov. Tim Kaine steps up to the line and throws a stiff jab, or two, when he speaks after Bush's State of the Union address. Instead of a scattered criticism of Bush’s entire presidency, Kaine should zero in on domestic spying as the can't miss issue it is. Kaine is a skilled trial lawyer, he could seize the moment and present the case for Virginians' privacy in a free society. Will he?

And, if Sen. George Allen is fool enough to stand too near President Bush’s peculiar interpretation of the law, he does so at his own political peril. Once everybody gets it that the ship is sinking, a clueless lingering in the wrong position could get an ambitious man trampled.
Illustration: F.T. Rea


The Richmond Democrat said...

That illustration is fantastic. Is it from a photo or is it your own "realization" of Bush?

Either way, it is a really striking picture.

F.T. Rea said...

J.C.: I did that particular Bush -- I need to do a new one for SLANTblog -- for a few years ago, to accompany one of my OpEd pieces for them. It's one of several politicians and athletes I did for them (way too cheap!).

As for my methodology I generally use photos for developing a caricature. I draw the subject over and over, changing this or that. Then, once I've drawn a guy enough times I usually need the photos less and less. (I could probably draw Nixon lefthanded with a blindfold on.) I always try to simplify and capture an expression more than I go for duplicating the photo reference. Now I don’t remember if this Bush illustration was based on a single photo, or more than one. Usually, I look at several shots, when I can.

The expression I was going for with that Bush illustration was one I see on his face from time to time. It’s when he’s clueless, maybe even a little panicky, but he’s trying to cover that by projecting an air of calm and resolve. I'm always amazed that he fools anyone with it.

Thanks for commenting.