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Friday, May 26, 2006

Are You Bush Defenders Just Blowing Smoke, or Do You Really Not Get It? - by Andrew Bard Schmookler

Three recent public statements by defenders of the Bush regime have reminded me that one of the enduring challenges for the student of human affairs is to discover where self-deception ends and the deliberate deception of others begins.
Take for example the recent performance of President Bush's new press secretary, Tony Snow. In a recent press briefing, Snow was fielding questions about the NSA gathering of Americans' phone records.
Snow happily cited a quick poll indicating that almost two-thirds of Americans don't object to the government monitoring such records for the presumed purpose of catching terrorists. But when presented with other negative poll results, Snow declared that a president 'cannot base national security on poll numbers.'
A reasonable statement, but, as the press should immediately have asked: Mr. Snow, can a president base on poll numbers his decision whether or not to obey the law' And would you be interested in seeing what the American people would say to pollsters if asked, 'Can the president do whatever he wants, regardless of the law''
Who are you kidding, yourself or us' Do you really not get that the issue here is neither opinion polls nor national security, but rather a president who refuses to respect any legal limits to his powers'


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