This weekend, the Democrats in Congress passed legislation legalizing the Administration's previous grab for new wiretapping powers. Further proving that the minority party in the US government does not really object to power grabs, they just get in a huff that the other party thought of it first. Other examples of such behavior include the Patriot act, currently supported by Republicans and opposed by many Democrats, but most of whose provisions were originally proposed by Bill Clinton and opposed by a Republican Congress (opposition led by John Ashcroft!)
I really don't want the president, of either party, listening to my phone calls without a warrant, and that answer does not change if I am talking to my friends in Arizona or my friends in London.
John Scalzi has a great post reacting to the line in the article above where Democrats vow to, at some time in the future, "fix" the flaws in the law they just passed.
They wouldn't have to "fix" it if they hadn't have passed it.
Once again I am entirely flummoxed how it is that the Democrats, faced
with the president more chronically unpopular than Nixon, and so
politically weakened that the GOP candidates for president can barely
bring themselves to acknowledge that he exists, yet manage to get played by the man again and again.
If the Democrats honestly did not feel this version of the bill
should have been passed, they shouldn't have passed it. I don't see why
this is terribly complicated. And don't tell me that at least it has a
six-month "sunset" clause; all it means at this point is that in six
months, the Democrats are going to allow themselves to get played once
more, and this time they'll have given Bush the talking point of "well,
they passed it before."
My only objection to this statement is the implication the this is just a matter of the Democrats getting played. I actually think it's exactly what the Democrats want -- they want to retain a reputation for caring about government intrusiveness without actually reducing government powers (just like Republicans want a reputation for reducing economic regulations without actually doing do when they were in power). After all, the Dems expect to control the administration in 2 years, and they really don't want to take away any of the President's toys before that time.