I think one question that needs to be asked about all the defenders of Bush's recently revealed warrantless taps is a simple one:
If Clinton had done it under the exact same circumstances, would they have complained?
Call me cynical, but I can see many of them short-circuiting their microphones from all the spittle they would have emitted. They would have whipped up enough froth to furnish all of Starbucks's cappuchinos worldwide for six months. Special Reports with titles like "Democratic Nixon" and "Traitor or Madman?" would have been splashed across the TV screens with near orgasmic frenzy and enjoyment. And in the midst of this all, Bill Bennet would have stated "Well, if you bugged all the black people, you could really get a lot of drug arrests."
Dispensing with the near certain hypocrisy shown by many talking mouths and empty brains, let's ask some other questions.
Was it neccesary to circumvent the law? For how long? Once you knew there was a problem, why was there never an attempt to fix the problem instead of dodging the issue? Did Bush have that little confidence that the Republican controlled Congress would agree with him? Does this mean they're off his Christmas card list?
If, as claimed, Bush did brief Congress, why has no Republicans come forward and confirmed this? I've seen many Democrats say it was a fiat accompli at best and little information was given anyway, but I can't recall any Republicans coming forward and stating that they were told fully and completely what was going on. Was there a super-duper double pinky swear of silence?
DID it help? Or was it something that may help someday? Or was it just something really cool to do?
Is this act and others from the President (i.e. stating he doesn't feel he needs to follow the McCain Amendment) a statement that he feels the Presidency is above the law? And has he gotten fitted for a crown yet if so? Do we need to exorcise the ghost of Nixon from the White House?
Was he within his right to do this? Why doesn't the Congressional Research Service think so? Does the CRS matter to Bush? Would it have mattered had they agreed with him?