Tom Vilsack Channels Admiral Akbar

Gov. Tom Vilsack (D-IA) is warning Democrats that the NSA wiretapping controversy is leading them into a political trap:

“If the president broke the law, that’s unacceptable. But I think it’s debateable whether he did,” Vilsack told Des Moines Register editors and reporters.

“And I think Democrats are falling into a very, very large political trap,” he said. “Democrats are not going to win elections until they can reassure people they are going to keep them safe.”

Vilsack is politically savvy enough to see the writing on the wall – his state switched from blue to red in 2004 largely based on Kerry’s poor marks on issues relating to national security.

The fact remains that the Democrats keep having to reach towards heights of rhetorical excess and invent increasingly outlanding scenarios to try to argue against the NSA wiretapping program. Most Americans understand the concept that this isn’t really an issue of civil liberties – the Fourth Amendment only applies to searches which are unreasonable and not supported by probable cause. The idea that this program might be used as a tool for tyranny ignores the fact that so long as the technology exists it can be used as a tool for tyranny. The police have guns that can be easily used to shoot innocent people, but that doesn’t provide an argument for disarming the police.

Vilsack is right that this whole issue is politically dangerous for the Democrats, and keeps the focus on national security where Bush is at his strongest. However, the “netroots” activists have firmly taken control of the Democratic Party, and they won’t rest until the Democrats have pushed themselves far out of the mainstream.

4 thoughts on “Tom Vilsack Channels Admiral Akbar

  1. The only way Democrats can lose this issue from a PR standpoint is to allow capitulators like Vilsack to sabotage them. There’s a very basic frame from which the Democrats should be asserting their position….”NSA warrants are a cinch to get and are only denied when the wiretap request exceeds the boundaries of legal precedent. George Bush, why are you afraid to act within the boundaries of the court?” Case closed. Dems win. If only we didn’t have so many Chicken Littles like Vilsack giving comfort to the opposition, we could be crushing Bush as badly as he should be over this issue.

  2. So you’re arguing that the Democrts should lie. Not only lie, but lie against the word of hundreds of veteran NSA case officers and the 9/11 Commission. Yeah, that’s a real brilliant strategy.

  3. Actually, the Dems could have the entire NSA court standing behind them in the press conference….that is, if they haven’t all resigned out of disgust with Bush by the time the conference occurs.

  4. With the understanding a majority of the people voted for President Bush – Governor Vilsack is correct on this issue. The issue either leaves the people that didn’t vote not wanting to vote and also leaves the people that voted for Bush feeling attacked and not they are the only ones for security of the country.

    To convert some of the above mentioned people over there are better issues to argue, such as real security, the fact that we might be creating more terrorists, the ugly mess in Iraq, a economy that was the strongest and richest in the history of mankind to one that became a country that owed the most ever in history of mankind …

    Let me know what you think at:

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