White Noise

Rightie apologists for the Bush Administration today are churning out copious amounts of verbiage to cover Bush’s ass. Here’s a good example at The Volokh Conspiracy. The writer, Orrin Kerr, piles on nouns, verbs, prepositional phrases, parenthetical citations — enough rhetorical fog to hide Cleveland — to present the appearance of an argument that spying on Americans without a warrant is perfectly legal.

This sort of argument by volume works nicely on righties, I’ve noticed. And they’ll all link to this shit and repeat it, even if they don’t quite understand it. There must be a pony in there somewhere.

And I say that if what Bush is doing is perfectly legal, then the Bill of Rights ain’t worth the paper it’s written on. As John Aravosis noted yesterday, if we applied the same hairsplitting analysis to the Second Amendment, some future President could arbitrarily cancel the Second Amendment and start confiscating firearms without due process of law. In the name of national security, of course.

End of argument. If you aren’t persuaded, several of the links below will lead you to more detailed explanations of the law.

Eugene Robinson, “Imperial Assumptions”

E.J. Dionne, “Their Own Patriot Act”

George Will, “Why Didn’t He Ask Congress?”

Richard Cohen, “Enough. Let’s Try ‘Accountability'”

WaPo editorial, “Unauthorized Snooping

NY Times editorial, “The Fog of False Choices

David Cole, “Bush’s Illegal Spying

Boston Globe editorial, “Taking Liberties

Charlie Savage, “Bush Bypassed Compliant Court on Wiretapping

H.D.S. Greenway, “Fear Distorting the Rule of Law

6 thoughts on “White Noise

  1. I followed your link from a Washington Post online article. Glad somebody’s keeping tabs on the idiot in the oval office. My personal feelings is that if Bush wants unauthorized wiretapping, let him try it out first on all of his own phones and those of Congress. If they like it, go for it:-) (I could say the same about government following the same health plans and retirement they allow for the rest of us, but that would take a book)

    The above link is my blog. I have a poetry website elsewhere. Link is on the blog.

  2. Bush claims that he has these extra powers as long as terrorism is a threat. Yet, terrorism is, by definition a threat, and will always be. The idea of using sudden, unexpected violence to strike fear into a group of people is a concept that will never disappear. It’s been proven throughout history that an idea cannot be defeated. So, the result is that this president will claim special powers and authority forever.

    Bush says, “The constitution gives me the authority.” Yet he was recently quoted saying, “Quit throwing the consitution in my face. It’s just a God-Damned piece of paper.”

    The current group in Washington is on a course which could very well lead them to claim in 2008, “For the sake of national security, we must indefinitely suspend national elections,” thus making Bush the “permanent president.”

  3. This is OT re the wiretapping scandal, but it’s an example of the overall sea change against Bush, I believe. I work in the insurance industry, traditionally a Republican lapdog. This morning I read the following in the Dec. 2005 issue of Claims magazine, by the editor, Phil Schreiner:

    “[T]he lack of FEMA response to the New Orleans crisis following Katrina was spectacularly insensitive, and showed a lack of integrity in the obvious slow response of the federal government agencies. The situation was compounded by the behavior of the executive branch, after the fact.”

    Yeah, I know, the rest of us are saying “Well, duh!” to Phil’s comments. But again, this is what opinion makers in the insurance industry are saying. He did specify “federal government” and “executive branch,” after all.

    maha, you might give the old I Ching a toss. I give Bush 8-9 months, then he’s gonna be wavin’ bye-bye from the chopper door, just like Nixon.

  4. It truly is amazing to see the wingnuts twisting logic to defend the patently illegal and unconstitutional actions of their Beloved Leader. As I said in a post today on my own site, it nakedly exposes the rabid partisanship and rank hypocrisy of the Republicans, that they are willing to come out not for the American people, not for the rule of law, not for the Constitution, but solely for their president and their party, no matter how misguided or mendacious or criminal he or they may be.

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