I really want to talk about Dead-Eye Dick Cheney shooting his hunting partner. I really do. But I've come to the reluctant conclusion that the story itself it enough. There is no need for sarcasm or wit or reflection here. The Vice-President shot a guy and tried to get away without releasing the story. And if anyone says "Alexander Hamilton" to me as a kind of defense of this behavior, I will truly have to laugh.
No, the meatier story today is Dennis Hastert. He is, I'm sorry to report, my Congressional representative. His political niche has been to be a staunch defender of the President. The President wants a war in Iraq? Denny is there by his side, supporting it. The President wants tax cuts for the wealthy? Count on Denny. The President wants privatized Social Security? Denny's your man, and it's just a damn shame we couldn't pull that one off, Mr. President.
So now no one's surprised that he's defending warrantless wire-tapping. His argument? Abraham Lincoln did it too. I'm not kidding. He appeared at a local Republican Party dinner last Friday and that was his claim -or so I hear. Mysteriously, I wasn't invited ;) Apparently there was no reference to an actual historical event. But we're supposed to believe that these "extraordinary actions" taken by our current president are paralleled in Lincoln's actions during the Civil War.
There's more. Brace yourself. Intellectual snobs laughed at Ronald Reagan too (well, yeah... we did) and just look at all the good he accomplished, argues Mr. Hastert. OK, I'm looking. Because of President Reagan, argues Hastert, the Berlin Wall came down and communism ended. How many people are going to take credit for this? It was one of Pope John Paul II's favorite things to take credit for, too. Don't the Germans get any credit here? But say for the sake of argument that all the credit belongs to Reagan. How does it parallel what we're doing in Iraq and Afghanistan? The wall came down fairly peacably. We weren't there shooting people, demanding that it come down come hell or high water.
No... we're spying on Americans without warrants. And defending it with the weakest logic imaginable. And still only half the people in the country think this is a bad idea. I wonder if Denny's running for President. I shudder to think.