Feb 14 2008

Can The Dems Lose Voters? On National Security They Do

Published by at 9:24 am under 2008 Elections,All General Discussions

Nothing has been predicted in 2008, and nothing can be predicted – except the year will go down as the one which was completely unpredictable. The reason? The war on terror. When making their prognostications pollsters and political talking heads are used to a level of broad and slow momentum in the culture that includes an undercurrent of unwillingness to make major adjustments. The kind of slow-go attitude you see in peace time, where rocking the boat is not considered sane.

In war time sitting still is akin to suicide. People are looking for bold, but they grasp the difference between a “reckless” bold act and a “courageously” bold act. There are conservative democrats who are bullish on national security and the war in Iraq. The obvious example from two years ago is Joe Lieberman AND the state of Connecticut. Both stood firm against a wave of surrender madness on the left.

In 2008 there are signs that these conservative Democrats have limits on what they will support in terms of suicidal rashness in the face of a real terror threat from Islamo Fascists like al-Qaeda. The Senate just passed making the changes to FISA – that have been in place via Presidential fiat and temporary legislation since 9-11 – permanent for 6 years. In this battle the suicidal rashness of the left has been tested and found severely wanting. They lost the Senate votes by large numbers. The battle moved to the House and the conservative “Blue Dog” democrats have once again decided that it is insane to give the terrorists openings to attack us here in America because of some fantasy threats that have never once been proven to exist:

House Democrats were unable to hold together their caucus on a key intelligence vote Wednesday, as a coalition of Republicans, Blue Dog Democrats and liberals helped defeat a temporary extension of the updated Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act as its expiration deadline neared.

The measure, which failed 191 to 229, would have extended FISA three weeks to work out differences with the Senate on granting immunity to telecom companies that aided the federal government in sweeping federal surveillance program.

The Democratic bill was undone by strong opposition from Republicans and 34 Democrats, including members of the moderate Blue Dog Coalition who want to see a bill passed, and liberal members who oppose many other aspects of the program.

The vote was a personal defeat for House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), who worked furiously behind the scenes for an extension, charging the president was trying to “foment fear” by claiming that another extension would harm intelligence gathering capabilities.

Here is where the liberal purists run the risk of opening a schism in their own party – Bush is not the only supporter of the bill. Many, many democrats support it and Hoyer is either saying they are also fear mongers (though they tend to sit on the intelligence committees and see the detailed national threat assessments) or dupes. Either way he is making a serious charge on a serious matter. These people who want bold action to protect America, not insane actions to appease paranoid delusions about the second coming of Nixon, will hold together and pass this law that makes permanent the rules we have lived under for 6+ years now without any violations or attacks.

But that is not the only sign of where the people are. One GOP house member who has been in the Congress for almost two decades lost his seat in the primary because he was willing to Surrender Iraq:

A longtime GOP congressman who initially voted for the Iraq war but later accused the Bush administration of bungling it was defeated by a state senator, joining a Democratic House member in becoming the first incumbents to fall this primary season.
Republican Rep. Wayne Gilchrest was seeking his 10th term representing Maryland’s 1st Congressional District, which includes the state’s Eastern Shore and parts of the Baltimore suburbs.

Gilchrest was one of two Republicans to vote last year for a timeline for withdrawal from Iraq, which became a cornerstone of Harris’ challenge. Democrats slightly outnumber Republicans in the 1st District, but Gilchrest’s moderate views have enabled the GOP to hold the seat for nearly two decades.

I would bet that this is not actually a vote over the cliff for the GOP. MD is blue, but it is not insanely blue. It is more like CT, democrat blue because of cultural attachment over many decades. MD doesn’t buy the far left vision of America – probably because it is home to the dreaded NSA!

Interestingly enough, Hillary was the tougher candidate on the Iraq war because she was more pragmatic and she understood the risks of a precipitous withdrawal. This is were her and Bill’s time in the WH actually worked because she was not willing to make insanely bold promises like Barack Obama is doing. Barack Obama voted against making the rules that have kept us safe since 9-11, so it is clear where he is heading. BTW, America does want change but it saw what unspecified change wrought in 2006 when it handed Congress to the Dems – it was a disaster. And if you don’t think the Dems are in big trouble look at the other race in MD where a long term incumbent lost (in the link above) – he was a democrat.

Obama has moved so far liberal he makes KoS and Democrat Underground look like his cousins. And that is Obama’s big mistake. He is starting to actually believe the Kool Aid hype he has spewed. He is getting carried away with his own rhetoric. He is beginning to believe in his own divine Nirvana. He is heading down a path of dismal failure because most voters know TV-Land, as espoused by “Big Bird” Obama and his Sesame Street world view, is a fantasy for children to protect them from the real challenges and evils in the world. Obama is going to lose the middle of America.

26 responses so far

26 Responses to “Can The Dems Lose Voters? On National Security They Do”

  1. Terrye says:

    I remember back in the 90’s when the Echelon program was first made public we heard the same kind of complaints, big brother is watching and listening. The idea of privacy is illusory in this world.

  2. Terrye says:

    I do not always agree with the guys at Powerline, but they are right on this post:

    In the House today, the Democratic leadership refused to take up the FISA reform bill, preferring instead to allow the Protect America Act to expire. The Senate has passed a version of the act that includes immunity from lawsuits for telecom companies that have cooperated with the government in intercepting international terrorist communications. It appears that the main sticking point with Nancy Pelosi and her Democratic colleagues is that they want telecoms to be sued for helping the government to identify terrorists. John Cornyn speculates as to the House Democrats’ motivation in refusing to follow the Senate’s lead on immunity:

    [O]ne important part of the Senate legislation was to provide protection for the telecommunications carriers who may have cooperated with the United States government shortly after September 11, 2001, in providing the means to listen in to al Qaeda and other terrorists, foreign terrorists who are plotting and planning attacks against the United States of America and its citizens. It is a terrible message for the House of Representatives to say that they’re not going to act in a way that provides protection for those citizens — whether they be individual citizens or whether they be corporate citizens — who were asked by their country to come to the aid of the American people and provide the means to protect them from terrorist attacks….What kind of message does that send that we are going to basically leave them out twisting slowly in the wind and being left to the litigation, some 40 different lawsuits that have been filed against the telecommunications industry that may have cooperated with the federal government in protecting the American people.

    I would say finally…there are substantial news reports that indicate a group of trial lawyers who stand to make considerable amounts of money in terms of legal fees off this litigation are substantial contributors to members of Congress. I hope the evidence does not develop that there are decisions being made in the House of Representatives on the basis of the interests of special interest groups like trial lawyers who stand to gain financially from continuing to block this litigation.

    That speculation is reasonable, since the Democrats have been shameless in promoting the interests of the plaintiffs’ bar, their biggest source of revenue. Today was a day of infamy in the House of Representatives, one of many since Nancy Pelosi and her accomplices took control of that body.

    It is deeply ironic that instead of debating legislation that would protect the physical security of Americans, Pelosi and the Democratic leadership spent their time today voting to approve contempt citations against Harriet Miers and Josh Bolten for failing to cooperate with their absurd “investigation” into whether the Bush administration’s appointment of U.S. Attorneys was “politically motivated.”

    Hmm, let’s see: the post of U.S. Attorney is, by definition, a political appointment. U.S. Attorneys are always, or virtually always, members of the President’s party. No one has suggested that the U.S. Attorneys appointed by the Bush administration were not fully competent. Some “investigation”!

    Now, here is an investigation that would actually be worth pursuing: why did Nancy Pelosi and her House leadership refuse to take up the FISA reform bill? Did they deliberately sacrifice the security of Americans to placate their far-left base? Or was there a corrupt bargain with major Democratic Party contributors, who hope to make millions by suing telecoms? Did Nancy Pelosi politicize our national security by subordinating the security interests of all Americans to the financial interests of the Democratic Party’s biggest contributors?

    Circumstantially, the answer to the last question would appear to be “Yes.” Perhaps that explains why Pelosi and her confederates are so eager to focus newspaper headlines on ridiculous “investigations” of the Bush administration.

  3. conman says:


    I’m glad that you fisked the whistleblowers and declared them incompetent – I feel better. Just like I felt better in December when you declared the economy strong and all of those talks of recession bogus. I’m also glad that you shared with the rest of us your insider information on what is really going on at these facilities. What is it like to be privy to all of the secret NSA inter-governemental workings?

    Bottomline is you have no idea what is going on at these facilities. It could be legal or it could be illegal, but unless you claim to have a secret clearance and firsthand knowledge of the NSA survellience system you can only speculate. AJ, you are an everyday ordinary software engineer with no more access to this information than the rest of us – quite pretending like you KNOW about all of these secret programs.

    The only thing we know for sure is that for several years Bush ignored FISA under the theory that the constitution grants the President the authority to ignore laws if national security requires it. It wasn’t until this program was leaked in 2005 that Bush agreed to work with Congress to amend the program and FISA to make it legal. Now Bush won’t tell Congress about the scope of the other NSA programs. But I’m sure that all of those other programs comply with the law. Silly me for thinking otherwise.

  4. Dc says:

    Us citizen calls overseas to known terroists locations/numbers….require “notification” to a FISA court. What they “surveill” is documented because of the technology being used. It can be reviewed. It is simply not the case that such surviellence happens without anybody knowing about it. Nor does anybody really know (YET) the true nature of the survellience tools being used or how it works.

    If a US citizen were arrested as the result of such surveillience, they could challenge it. A judge could review the sealed record…and even possibly throw it out if such court determines that the surveillence was not done properly. There “are” protections built into it. And the reason for updating it was to take into account some of the new technology methods we have AND based on the context of the threats we face for possible attacks.

    Everyone is sensitive to the issue of civil liberties and understands concerns. There is a balance, between that and protecting ourselves against terroists attacks on our homeland and infrastructure that, as delecate and hard as it is, has to be maintained for the time being. We have always had such things during times of danger and war. They will be with us as long as they are needed, and not a day longer.

    I would also just say…When you are sitting holding your family members guts in your hands, your home destroyed, your city gone and saying “why”….you would NOT accept as an answer from your gov…that they were protecting your civil liberties by not survielling someone they knew to be inovlved in and plotting a terroist attack. I won’t even mention…nobody should even “know” the details of this program to start with. And what it would be like if terroists KNOW their communications are safe so long as one person is in the US and here legally.

    I feel the same about “torture”…or what people here call “torture” (which I guess I was a victim of from the time I was old enough to get my ass whippings on). I drank more water in swim class.
    Anyway, it should not be “policy” of the US to torture people. But, I applaud the president for making the decision to waterboard those 3 people (the only 3 who have been used on) because in all 3 cases, information revealled broke up attacks against us. Perhaps it’s because I spent 9/11 pulling somebodies guts out of my hair? Nothing much matters at that point. Your rights go right out the window. Because everything in your world has just been taken from you. It is within THAT context that these things happen or come into view. And of course…in that context…people understand. In fact..they would demand it of you if they thought it would prevent a repeat of what they just went through (or worse). But, the problem is…when you prevent such things….the context can become lost. It’s not enough for the president to explain to you the plots that were broken up. You didn’t see the arms and legs of your co-workers scattered in front of you. You didn’t see the faces or hear the screams or smell their blood cooking. So, …to some people…in the light of not having an actual victim or proof of any abuses…it’s all a possible, theoretical violation of some unknown persons rights. BULLSHIT.

    I would gladly….pull the eyes, one at a time, out of someones head with my bare hands if I thought it would stop the next 9/11. Because the scar on my soul from doing “that” would be NOTHING compared to what I carry everyday from 9/11. You have to put things in context if you even want to begin to start to talk about such things. The people in our gov who are on the front lines of this war…know things you don’t. Their requests for such tools are done in the context of fighting this war…and having been through what we have already, and for what they need to protect us. In stricking a balance….I just think some people have their priorities screwed up if their thinking is the civil liberty of making a phone call to known terroist location is a higher priority than saving thousands of lives or stopping another 9/11 (or worse).

    They work to put in as many safeguards as possible to protect against abuses of that system while it’s working in the context of terroist surveillance. I would also say, nobody actually does know the full extent of the system or how it works. Nor do they know other tools that are used in context with the hardware (not yet anyway…give the NYT time). Nor would it be prudent to reveal such things to the public. Which is why we have secret courts/judges who hear and deal with such issues. So these theoretical victims that do not actually exist save in the realm of possibility…are impossible to know given nobody outside the NSA and FISA courts and a very small number of other people actually know the full capabilties of or how the monitoring works.

    Your civil liberties “Begin” with being alive. That would the be the highest priority of our gov in protecting your civil liberties.

  5. Dc says:

    The POTUS, acting after a major attack on a US city killing thousands of people…does not have to go to a court to get permission to do anything in regards to whatever is necessary to secure the safety of the american people. His power, at that point, is constitutionally the strongest.

    This is also recognzied in the language of FISA…which acknowledges that nothing in the act…can be construed to supercede such constitutional authority the POTUS office has under such circumstances. FISA would not be constitutional if it’s purpose was to usurp and take over the power of the presidents office to put it under congressional and judicial branch control.

  6. Dc says:

    I would also mention…technically and theoretially, since we are speaking about legal issues in those terms, the US is still in a state of congressionally authorized war…giveing the president all authority to do what is necessary to conduct those operations.