The line has been drawn. Either you are for America's ideals, or you are against them. I invite Republicans of conscience to join us, the true Patriots, and defend what this nation truly represents. If you defend Bush in any capacity, I condemn you as history will condemn you: collaborationists who refused to answer the call and stood with the real enemy.Peter Daou has a post up that suggests how this whole thing will play out and it is not encouraging.
7. A few reliable Dems, Conyers, Boxer, et al, take a stand on principle, giving momentary hope to the progressive grassroots/netroots community. The rest of the Dem leadership is temporarily outraged (adding to that hope), but is chronically incapable of maintaining the sense of high indignation and focus required to reach critical mass and create a wholesale shift in public opinion. For example, just as this mother of all scandals hits Washington, Democrats are still putting out press releases on Iraq, ANWR and a range of other topics, diluting the story and signaling that they have little intention of following through. This allows Bush to use his three favorite weapons: time, America's political apathy, and make-believe 'journalists' who yuck it up with him and ask fluff questions at his frat-boy pressers.
8. Reporters and media outlets obfuscate and equivocate, pretending to ask tough questions but essentially pushing the same narratives they've developed and perfected over the past five years, namely, some variation of "Bush firm, Dems soft." A range of Bush-protecting tactics are put into play, one being to ask ridiculously misleading questions such as "Should Bush have the right to protect Americans or should he cave in to Democratic political pressure?" All the while, the right assaults the "liberal" media for daring to tell anything resembling the truth.
9. Polls will emerge with 'proof' that half the public agrees that Bush should have the right to "protect Americans against terrorists." Again, the issue will be framed to mask the true nature of the malfeasance. The media will use these polls to create a self-fulfilling loop and convince the public that it isn't that bad after all. The president breaks the law. Life goes on.
10. The story starts blending into a long string of administration scandals, and through skillful use of scandal fatigue, Bush weathers the storm and moves on, further demoralizing his opponents and cementing the press narrative about his 'resolve' and toughness.
Peter Daou may be right and this may be how it all plays out but I am going to invest my soul with NTodd. There is no middle ground when it comes to allowing civil liberties to be compromised. None. This is another example of the extreme right nibbling away at our hard won freedoms under the guise of protecting us from "the terrorists". It has to stop here and now. If you want to cower in your closet and let Bush and Cheney and the rest take away your liberty then you cannot claim to be a patriot. You are a coward. A life lived in fear at the expense of freedom is not worth living and I sure as hell don't want any part of it. Patriotism means standing up for what America is supposed to stand for and "Give me liberty or give me death" is our marching song. Bush and his cronies are a cancer on all that makes America great and are mocking all that have died to preserve the ideals we so cherish. You are a coward and a traitor if you excuse their treason.
Update: Mustang Bobby and I are thinking alike today. He makes a call for "Raising the Shire" on this.