Friday, February 15, 2008

Today is the day

By Carol Gee

Today is the first day of the rest of your life. It is also the day after Valentine's Day, and the day after Josh Marshall's 39th birthday. It is also the day after a new Declaration of Independence came from U.S. House Democrats.

Do you suppose this old ship of state can sail a new course? The key seems to be to call the bully's bluff. Do you remember how kids did that on the Junior High School playground? Our current president (OCP), has the level of development of an adolescent, so that must account for his decision to go ahead and go on his African trip. It clearly leaves us "unprotected from Those Who Want To Kill Us," as Glenn Greenwald puts it at his blog post today: Jihadis throw a wild bash over the Protect America Act — To quote:

When Democrats actually engage the debate and make their case unapologetically and with some passion, as they remarkably did yesterday, then journalists can and -- at least to some extent -- will convey the message. It's when they run away and hide and act defensively that their message does not get across. One can only hope, even while harboring substantial doubt, that having a taste of this success will drive them to crave more. Our country really can't afford to be bullied any longer by Ted Poe's fantasy jihadi parties and George W. Bush's "you're-all-going-to-die-unless- I-get-everything-I-want" threats.

What expires, if the law is not extended past tomorrow, according to the Washington Post, is the government's ability to compel the telecom companies to continue their snooping operations, protected from liability. However, the FISA court has the authority to compel them to continue, as I understand it. And any new targets popping up can be surveiled temporarily without a warrant from the FISA court. OCP has every tool required to keep us safe, according to House Intel Committee Chairman Sylvestre Reyes's letter to OCP sent yesterday.

The Age of Fear, as I characterize it, may be coming to an end. That does not mean that jihadi extremists are going away, or that we need not be appropriately on guard against attack. But we need not be afraid of the bullying tactics of Adolescent-OCP any more. He cannot back up his bluff as long as the Constitution prevails.

(Cross-posted at South by Southwest.)

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