Politiblogs

Political news with a strong Liberal slant.

12.19.2005

Leaders a) Work Around the Law, or b) Work to Change It?

As Political Animal points out, there is a 'single thread' emerging from Bush and AG Gonzalez's talking points. While Kevin's idea is correct, I see a different pattern.

The latest talking point imply that, somehow, FISA was unable to gather the information they were seeking and were thus forced to pursue an NSA wire-tap. At no point have they provided any example of how an NSA wire-tap would accomplish whatever it is a FISA couldn't. If this is the case, a leader would work to change the rules.

If Bush and Gonzalez had found a flaw in FISA which would leave our country vulnerable, as leaders they should have worked to fix this 'loophole'- not broken the rules.

Bush sold a war on 9/11 and, for all intensive purposes, was re-elected through his manipulation of it. If Bush cried 9/11, with the concurrent Senate and House, he could have easily used some of his 'political capital' to change the law. He could have been seen as a leader in doing so- he would be 'making the country safer'.

But he didn't.

Rather than choosing the more difficult way and work to 'correct' the laws, he chose the easy path and tried to go around them and got caught. Gonzalez said:
"We've had discussions with members of Congress, certain members of Congress, about whether or not we could get an amendment to FISA, and we were advised that that was not likely to be — that was not something we could likely get..."
Well, sorry buddy- you and Bush could have worked to convince your sympathetic buddies in the Congress to see the same flaws you see. You could have all 'fixed' it together and been heroes for protecting the country. We could have all said, "Yay! The Republicans are making me safer!"

This line of thought is all well and good, unless of course, there wasn't anything actually wrong with the law in the first place and they just didn't want to play by the rules. Which seems to be the case. If not, we as U.S. Citizens should expect them to make the case why a FISA would not have sufficed and explain how they plan to fix it. Until that is done, they just broke the rules for the hell of it.