Simple is as Simple Does

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While we were all distracted by Scooter and the Shooter, bigtime conservatives tried to sweep this whole warrantless wiretapping thing under a rug of complications. First they claimed it's a matter of the president's prerogative. "He wants to bug somebody. He bugs them. That's what a commander-in-chief does."

Then they applied a legal paint job. "Congress said he could when they authorized his use of force against terrorism." Then they hammered it down with the big gun. The golden oldie. Their game-saving Hail Mary. National security. "If you disagree with listening in on Al Qaida, you're endangering the troops and giving the terrorists a back rub." Next they'll tell us he was just assuaging Democratic concerns that he never listens to them.

It's not complicated at all. He broke the law. Peed on the Constitution. Flipped off the Founding Fathers. Nobody knows why. All he had to do was notify the FISA court within three days of when he started eavesdropping. In previous trips to the court, 18,000 wiretaps were okayed and five turned down. Eighteen thousand out of 18,005. Not a bad return. We're talking a .999 batting average here. As an old baseball man, he should know they keep you in the bigs with that.

I don't know why he didn't go to the court. Maybe he worried they wouldn't buy these specific warrants. Maybe he stretched the definition of terrorist to include Michael Moore's dog walker. Maybe he suspects David Gregory has a mole in the Justice Department. Or maybe he just really believes he is above the law. I know he claims during wartime to possess special powers. Special powers: I love that. He can't even ride a bicycle without falling off. I don't want a president with special powers; I want a president to uphold the laws he swore to protect. I never knew King George III. I only read about King George III, but you sir, are no King George III.

He's starting to make less sense than a polar bear sipping a sloe gin fizz on an escalator. Said he didn't want any interval standing in the way of fighting terrorism. Hello! George! Tutor time! Go ask Condoleezza; she went to school and actually studied. Have her tell you about the whole space-time continuum deal. How what happens afterwards doesn't affect the speed of what went on before. In other words, killing a chicken does not alter how many eggs it has laid in its lifetime. Might put a slight crimp in the number to be laid in the future, but the past tense is finite. Hell, you said it yourself. "The past is over." Its a reality thing. They may not have lived in the real world at Yale, but I'm pretty sure they talked about it.

And stop with the silly charge that the person who told the press about the program is the real bad guy. That they brought the plan to the attention of Al Qaida. Any terrorist who doesn't know that talking on an open, unencrypted line is on a fast track to 72 perfumed virgins and probably not trusted by the big turbans to do anything more important than run out to get the scorched coffee and day-old baklava. Kind of what you'd be doing if your dad hadn't make his bones with Reagan. Besides, we're never going to understand the mind of Al Qaida. These guys spell their name with a "Q," it's not followed by a "U." They play by rules we don't even understand.

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