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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

 

Political tin ears

The Bush administration can't really get anything right lately. Look at two important issues, one where they have the right answer but seem helpless to deliver the message cogently, and the other completely incomprehensible.

On the first, The Bushies have this whole nonsense about "domestic spying" right but for some reason, haven't been able to clearly convey the constitutional issues. Of course, this is not domestic spying- these communications are international and even if they weren't, utilize the airways and the internet, neither of which is constitutionally protected from the point of view of privacy. So the 4th Amendment does not even apply, but rather Article 2 giving the President the executive command to take this and similar actions. Perhaps the ACLU would like to compare the 'wiretaps" to Lincoln's suspension of habeus corpus, or Congress' own Alien and Sedition act from the war of 1812.

In fact, the real fault lies with President Carter, who, in trying to remedy the excesses of the Nixon gang, signed the FISA bill in the first place, allowing Congress and the Courts to usurp power constitutionally provided to the President. FISA was unconstitutional in the first place and the Bushies should be challenging it, not claiming that their actions are an allowable exception to it.

The second issue is the business (probably blown out of proportion) of selling port management for six cities to an Arab owned company out of Dubai. Given that port traffic is considered perhaps our most vulnerable entry point to terrorists, this is political stupidity whether it makes any sense on any other grounds. Frankly, I don't see why anyone would even suggest it. Of course, Congress is on its high horse, never missing a political opportunity, but who will be supporting the Administration on this? Not me.

That having been said, the most laughable comment is that of Arab American groups, claiming that the popular indignation with this development represents anti-Arab discrimination.

They're damn right, and they might as well get used to it. The "American Street" is totally disgusted with the reaction by Islamists in America and around the world to continuing Islamic terrorist atrocities. Where is their indignation, where is their disgust, even a little shame? When will American Arab groups come out strongly and solidly against the hateful statements by Iran's new leader about Israel, the holocaust and Iran's developing weapons program? When will American and European Islamists take back their Mosques from the extremists inciting MIDDLE CLASS followers to terrorism? When will they join the world in revulsion at the ridiculous overreaction by Islamists around the world to the offensive cartoons (some of which were never published!)

I have friends who are Islamic and they are frankly embarrassed, but even they rationalize. American Arabs, and others around the world will need to rejoin civilization if they expect to be treated as citizens of that civilization.

Of course, this issue should never have come up. Look for the Administration to quietly prohibit this transaction after a suitable cooling off period.

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