Republicans Resorting to Spitwads on Domestic Spying Issue

Republicans, once again, are trying to turn the recent domestic spying issue into another front of the Blame-each-other War (dare we call it an Orwellian-sounding War on Lies) in some sort of effort to convince people that there really is a difference between the two subsets of jackyderms. The latest round was fired at Al Gore by Scott McClellan. From the AP:

The White House accused former Vice President Al Gore of hypocrisy Tuesday for his assertion that President Bush broke the law by eavesdropping on Americans without court approval.

“If Al Gore is going to be the voice of the Democrats on national security matters, we welcome it,” White House press secretary Scott McClellan said in a swipe at the Democrat, who lost the 2000 election to Bush only after the Supreme Court intervened.

Gore, in a speech Monday, called for an independent investigation of the administration program that he says broke the law by listening in – without warrants – on Americans suspected of talking with terrorists abroad.

Gore called the program, authorized by President Bush, “a threat to the very structure of our government” and charged that the administration acted without congressional authority and made a “direct assault” on a federal court set up to authorize requests to eavesdrop on Americans.

McClellan’s salvo missed the mark for two reasons. The first is that Gore isn’t the only spokesperson on the issue. Former Republican Congressman Bob Barr was scheduled to speak with Gore. Human Events Online billed it this way:

Former Vice President Al Gore will attack President Bush’s domestic eavesdropping program at a Washington, D.C., speech on Martin Luther King Day — with a Republican by his side.

Gore is teaming up with former Rep. Bob Barr, a Republican, for the policy address, which is endorsed by and sponsored by the American Constitution Society and Liberty Coalition. Barr is an outspoken critic of Bush on issues of national security. He led the drive to impeach President Bill Clinton, Gore’s partner in the White House for eight years.

The LA Times explains a bit more:

Gore was scheduled to be introduced via a satellite feed by former Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.), one of the managers of the House impeachment case against Clinton. But problems with a satellite link prevented Barr from speaking.

McClellan almost hit on one issue. Had he had not started on unlevel ground with the insinuation that this is a Democrat v. Republican issue, this barrage might have found a target:

McClellan said the Clinton-Gore administration had engaged in warrantless physical searches, and he cited an FBI search of the home of CIA turncoat Aldrich Ames without permission from a judge. He said Clinton’s deputy attorney general, Jamie Gorelick, had testified before Congress that the president had the inherent authority to engage in physical searches without warrants.

“I think his hypocrisy knows no bounds,” McClellan said of Gore.

In the end, it is obvious that the GOP is merely shooting spitwads, as they have never gone after the Clinton administration about the Ames search — that is until it suddenly became convenient for them. Those with inside-the-beltway mentality may not get it, but most of America sees McClellan calling Gore a hypocrite yet the latest jackyderm example of pot-calling-the-kettle-blackism.

Stephen Gordon

I like tasteful cigars, private property, American whiskey, fast cars, hot women, pre-bailout Jeeps, fine dining, worthwhile literature, low taxes, original music, personal privacy and self-defense rights -- but not necessarily in this order.

  1. It’s Scott McClellan. You were expecting something intelligent to come out of his mouth?!?

  2. No fan of Gore am I, but there is a fundamental difference between physical searches and wiretaps. McClellan is 100% off base here — and he knows it.

    You can’t text message a bomb or a vial of nerve toxin.

  3. LOL, MH.

    Kip, that is a very valid point and I considered moving the story in that direction. However, the fact that the GOP hasn’t said [fecal material] about the Ames search until now smacked me even harder in the face.

    As an attorney, I’d naturally expect you to pick up the legal distinctions. As a political consultant, I picked up on the hypocricy.

    One hypocricy led to another, and I found myself promoting the recent neologism of Artus: jackyderm.

  4. Christopher Hitchens has a new article on — get this — the Huffington Post!

    “Although I am named in this suit in my own behalf, I am motivated to join it by concerns well beyond my own. I have been frankly appalled by the discrepant and contradictory positions taken by the Administration in this matter. First, the entire existence of the NSA’s monitoring was a secret, and its very disclosure denounced as a threat to national security.”

  5. The reason the administration has not gone after the Clinton administration for the Ames search is because they don’t believe it is illegal. The only ones that are claiming the president doesn’t have the authority to issue warrantless searches and/or wiretaps are the democrats. OF COURSE the administration is not going to attack Clinton for doing the exact same thing that Bush is doing. That is the very reason that they are bringing it up. To show the hypocrisy of Gore in criticizing Bush. If the Bush administration were to attack Clinton for the Ames search, then the Bush administration would be the hypocrites, rather than it clearly being Gore and all the other democrats who have said NOTHING about Clinton’s use of warrantless searches.

  6. The only ones that are claiming the president doesn’t have the authority to issue warrantless searches and/or wiretaps are the democrats

    All of the writers on this site are libertarian (not democrat) and oppose warrantless searches.

    Both parties are filled with hypocrites, today’s article merely exposed the example du jour.

  7. Democrat, libertarian…what is the difference?

    Very good then though…I shall visit this site more often seeing as how you are not democrat. :)

    Question: someone said that libertarians were only ‘economic creatures’. Do you find this accurate? Do you libertarians only address economic issues or social issues as well?

  8. I’ll assume you weren’t seriously inquiring about the difference between Democrats and libertarians.
    On the second question: even a casual perusal of this site will show that social issues are written about and discussed constantly. In general, libertarians are quite concerned with both.