Saturday, February 18, 2006

Republicans: We Don't Care About Democracy

Certainly seems to be the message with regards to Bush's illegal NSA wiretapping. Ohio Senator Mike DeWine has introduced a proposal to exclude Bush's illegal NSA wiretapping program from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Last night on Fox News, DeWine explained his motivations:

You know, there's been some controversy about whether or not this program is legal or is not legal. I think we need to get beyond that. And the vast majority of American people believe these calls need to be listened to. But we don' want to have any kind of debate about whether it's constitutional or not constitutional. So I think we need to put that beyond us.
DeWine says, and the White House agrees, there should be NO debate on whether the illegal wiretapping program is or is not constitutional. There should be no debate on whether the illegal wiretapping program is or is not illegal. (It is.) Doesn't sound terribly democratic, does it? President Bush and company keep insisting the program is legal and constitutional. And yet they are resisting any efforts to have a debate on the issue. If they're so confident, why not have a debate? Yesterday, after an intense lobbying campaign by Vice President Cheney, the Senate intelligence committee voted to adjourn without even considering a motion by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) to start an investigation. The motion to adjourn passed on a party-line vote. According to committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS), the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act will be "fixed" to accommodate BushCo's illegal wiretapping.

The Republican message is "The spying is legal, but we don't want any debate about whether it is legal, so let's pass a law to to exempt it from the law that makes it illegal and then it will be legal just as we have always said it was."

The Constitution specifically provides checks and balances on all three branches of government. Republicans seem determined to eliminate any such checks on the Presidency. I fully expect them to introduce legislation to eliminate presidential elections any day now.