Is This the New Standard?

So El Presidente said the following at a press conference earlier this week in defense of the illegal wiretapping of American citizens that he authorized:

“…the FISA law was written in 1978. We’re having this discussion in 2006. It’s a different world. And FISA is still an important tool. It’s an important tool. And we still use that tool. But also — and we — look — I said, look, is it possible to conduct this program under the old law? And people said, it doesn’t work in order to be able to do the job we expect us to do. And so that’s why I made the decision I made.”

Riiigggghhhhttttt. OK, first of all the world is different in many ways, but it’s not that different. Like there weren’t terrorists in the 70s? Good god, that was the era when planejacking was invented and there were plenty of homegrown terrorist groups thriving in the Western democracies too. The idea that terrorism is some new crazy thing that we’ve never seen before is complete bullshit.

My larger point though is that this can’t be the new standard. When strictures on the government aren’t working for the president, he can’t just wave them aside. It is simply unbelievable that Bush can publicly state that he broke the law and it isn’t considered scandalous. It’s times like this when I like to apply what I call the “Clinton Test.” Why don’t you play along with me? Imagine for a moment that it’s 1996 and it comes out that ole Bill was illegally wiretapping American citizens. What do you think the Republicans would have done? Think they would have let Bill off the hook because they felt his heart was in the right place? Hell no. There would have been impeachment proceedings faster than you can say, “She gave me a Lewinski.” But Bush, he has nothing to worry about. He’s got a majority on Congress and the so-called moderate Republicans are too gutless to stand up to the administration. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is going to be packed with conservative ideologues that will plague the country for decades. And the Democrats can’t seem to find two nuts between them.

I weep for America, I really do.

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