Monday, December 26, 2005

Letter to the editor

Herewith a letter I wrote to the SB News-Press. I've had passable luck getting them published, so long as I adhere to the 250-word limit, as--by 2 words--I've done in this piece. A muted statement, I agree, but what the hell.

Many Americans are in despair, having given up on the political system that twice (maybe) elected Bush/Cheney, resulting in a growing chasm between rich and poor, between ideology and humanity, between truth and lies, between war and peace. But now Bush has gone too far, uniting in outrage both liberals and true conservatives (not, however, their evil cousins, the cabal of neo-cons that have Bush’s ear).

The straw that broke Bush's back?: His secret order authorizing warrantless surveillance by the National Security Agency of Americans’ private communications; and, once revealed, his unfounded assertion that the “war on terror” grants him that unprecedented power, followed by his obdurate insistence that he’s entitled to maintain the surveillance, unchecked by courts or Congress.

The Liberals' outrage is predictable, but no less so than that of true conservatives because of their innate distrust of federal power, particularly executive power, power that’s expressly limited by the Constitution’s reservation of lawmaking to Congress and oversight by the federal courts.

To be sure, the Bush/Cheney administration is in for a rough 2006. “Plame-gate” will expand; DeLay and other scandals will ripen; the occupation of Iraq will become even more poisonous; and the economy, now that the real estate bubble has popped and interest rates are rising, will slide into mediocrity.

But Bush’s Achilles heel is his arrogant assertion of executive (read dictatorial) power to intrude, unchecked, into the private communications of Americans. All sensate Americans know where this leads, and they won’t be led there.

No comments: