The New York Times has a smashing editorial this morning attacking the Democrats for caving in to Bush’s fear mongering and his grab for even more power. Here’s the first paragraph. Read the whole thing.
It was appalling to watch over the last few days as Congress — now led by Democrats — caved in to yet another unnecessary and dangerous expansion of President Bush’s powers, this time to spy on Americans in violation of basic constitutional rights. Many of the 16 Democrats in the Senate and 41 in the House who voted for the bill said that they had acted in the name of national security, but the only security at play was their job security.
OK, and here’s the next to last paragraph:
Mr. Bush’s incessant fear-mongering — and the Democrats’ refusal to challenge him — has had one notable success. The only issue on which Americans say that they trust Republicans more than Democrats is terrorism. At least those Americans are afraid of terrorists. The Democrats who voted for this bill, and others like it over the last few years, show only fear of Republicans.
While I’m on a roll here, here’s Juan Cole this morning on the surge of phony spin on Iraq:
The troop escalation was intended to calm down Baghdad and to give the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki breathing room to pursue a political reconciliation, especially with the Sunni Arab population. But the political goals of the surge are simply not being accomplished — and indeed, the political situation has deteriorated substantially. Maliki has lost even the few Sunni Arab allies he began with . . .
And what of the supposed “good news” on the military side of the equation? Before July ended, a spate of wire service and newspaper reports began appearing, saying that only 74 U.S. troops had been killed by Iraqi guerrillas that month, the lowest total since November and a sign that the surge was working. But the reporters and editors who gave us headlines such as “U.S. Death Toll in Iraq in July Expected to Be Lowest in ’07” (New York Times) were being assiduously spun. Bush officials were undoubtedly pushing the information that produced these headlines in an attempt to give Republicans in Congress some good news to take back to their constituents during the August recess. . .
The above two paragraphs are excerpts from a longer article he published in Salon. Read the whole thing, but maybe it requires a membership in Salon. Maybe not. Give it a try?