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.