Kick the Ankle Biters

One Howard Kurtz appears to be employed by The Washington Post to read the web and regurgitate it with perspective. Must be nice. A while back, in evaluating whether Hillary Clinton had any hope against the swell of support behind Barack Obama, he wrote:

Here’s another example [of how Obama has not faced tough criticism from the press], from the conservative side. How many stories even took note of Obama’s vote on a Bush-backed bill to expand the government’s surveillance powers?

“As good of a campaign as Obama has run,” says Bull Dog Pundit, “you do wonder if he’s really given any thought to the fact that he actually might become the president. How else to explain his ‘No’ vote on a bill that was overwhelmingly supported 67-31.”

Perhaps he voted that way because the bill is wrong and unnecessary.

But why does Mr. Kurtz assume that Senator Obama would be pilloried for not giving the Executive everything it wants? Perhaps this vote appeals, not, as the ankle biter suggests, to “his far-left base,” but to his far-right base, and to innocent Americans world-wide.

Against the Dragnet

Dear Senator Clinton:

You should be ashamed.


Dear Senator Schumer:

Thank you for voting to remove the telecom immunity provision from the contemptible bill recently before the Senate.


Dear Representative Hall:

I am very concerned about the direction this country is taking under President Bush and a Congress which seems willing to abandon our essential liberties at the slightest shadow. We are not small children scared of the wind in the trees at night.

In 2006, I voted for you to replace Sue Kelly because she had abandoned us. Will you stand for the citizens of this great nation against invasive searches? Will you allow the citizens to sue if they are somehow caught in an overly aggressive dragnet?

I am not only a citizen of the United States, but also an employee of AT&T. I am ashamed of my employer. Do not let them escape justice.

I am not only a citizen of the United States, but a Republican. I am ashamed of my party. Do not let them destroy our liberties for the illusion of security.

Do not allow the Congress to grant immunity, either retroactive or otherwise, to the telecommunications firms assisting the Executive in illegal searches. Do not let the Executive search or seize our private communications without a warrant. Follow the demands not only of your heart, but of our Constitution, and do not let this wonderful country become a police state.

I trust you will do what is right.