Bush Should Heed Reagan’s Advice

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

That sums up everything that’s wrong with these NSA programs. You can write thousands of words debating the legality of the program, and Orin Kerr has done just that, but it still won’t make sense.

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, waving a magic wand and declaring Libya to no longer be a state sponsor of terrorism (not like bad old Iran), and sending his wife out to defend him.

Nicholas Sarwark

Mr. Sarwark lives in Colorado and keeps poor people out of cages for a living. His views are his own, not his employer's, his wife's, or his dog's. They are also awesome and always right.

  1. Stephen — don’t forget; he can also agree to any number of concessions to get the laws he wants passed, and then sign the concessions themselves out of existance.

    Like nigh-unto every single change in the law that was made to the PATRIOT act in renewing it, to restrict its application? That is to say, Congress passed a slightly tamed version of the PATRIOT Act. And Mr. Bush “signed” it back into the original beastie. Supervisory and restrictive elements abolished out of hand.

  2. Carp. I’m not awake yet. That should read Nicholas, not Stephen.


  3. Difficulty with this non-conservative is that he has no flippin’ attention span, thus is not capable of adhering to lofty principles. Push-button president. Take away his buttons.