President Bush is in some serious hot water over the NSA spying programs, so much so that his approval rating is down to 29-35% (depending on which poll you look at). Now I’m no fan of this lawless Administration, but it would do the President good to take the advice of a previous Oval Office occupant.
I expect a covert policy that, if Americans saw it on the front page of their newspaper, they’d say, “That makes sense.” -Ronald Reagan, March 4th, 1987
When the NSA refuses to seek a FISA warrant or an opinion from the Department of Justice about the legality of a program, that sure as hell sounds like it’s illegal. Hiding behind the “voluntary” turning over of millions of call records may mean something in court (if this ever gets to court), but what it means to me is that this Administration is willfully breaking laws that they don’t like.
Millions of Americans want to be safer from terrorism and a large majority are willing to give up their civil liberties to do so. All the President has to do is make the case for what powers he should have to fight terrorism, propose laws that allow him those powers, and get Congress to pass them. Look at the overwhelming support for the PATRIOT Act, it’s not that hard. When the President fails to do something that easy, it makes me suspect that there is no persuasive case for him having these powers, any more than there was for a previous President.
Now, instead of coming clean with America, the President has a new strategy to bring those poll numbers up: Sending thousands of national guard troops to the Mexican border, , and sending his wife out to defend him.