Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Subtle stab-in-the-backery

I think President has been getting coaching from those semioticians in the righty blogosphere:

BUSH: ...In spite of the bad news on television -- and there is bad news; you brought it up. You said, How do I react to a bombing that took place yesterday? It's precisely what the enemy understands is possible to do. I'm not suggesting you shouldn't talk about it. I'm certainly not being -- please don't take that as criticism. But it also is a realistic assessment of the enemy's capability to affect the debate, and they know that.

They're capable of blowing up innocent life so it ends up on your TV show. And, therefore, it affects the woman in Cleveland you were talking to.

That's almost complete incoherence.

I don't think Bush even knew what was going on in Iraq today. This was an allusion to a daring prison break led by 100 insurgents which wound up killing 18 people and releasing dozens of -- well, how to put it? -- terrorists who are hellbent on blowing up innocent life. Bush believes that reporting on this and discussing this somehow erodes our resolve to fight and gives succor to our enemies.

I'm sure the rightie blogosphere will rejoice.

AND, how could we miss this with regard to the Feingold-censure resolution:

I think during these difficult times -- and they are difficult when we are at war -- the American people expect there to be an honest and open debate without needless partisanship. And that's how I view it. I did notice that nobody from the Democratic Party has actually stood up and called for the getting rid of the terrorist surveillance program. You know, if that's what they believe, if people in the party believe that, then they ought to stand up and say it. They ought to stand up and say, The tools we're using to protect the American people shouldn't be used. They ought to take their message to the people and say, Vote for me. I promise we're not going to have a terrorist surveillance program. That's what they ought to be doing. That's part of what is an open and honest debate.

Uh, that answer is dripping with rank dishonesty. Feingold himself, on the floor of the Senate said that he supported wiretapping, but that he did not support the President's apparent illegal swerve around the law.

No one questions whether the government should wiretap suspected terrorists. Of course we should, and we can under current law. If there were a demonstrated need to change that law, Congress could consider that step. But instead the President is refusing to follow that law while offering the flimsiest of arguments to justify his misconduct.

That is what every single critic has said. It's sickening that the President would completely mischaracterize Feingold by saying that he is calling for the abolition of the program. Par for the course, though.

UPDATE: I should add that it's fairly obvious what Bush is doing here, throwing down the gauntlet in an election year and trying to define the type of debate that will dominate the lead-up to November: questioning the legality of the spy program means you don't want to win the war. It'll be interesting to see if the Democrats back down in the face of this.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 12:48 PM

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