Gore calls for special counsel on eavesdropping – Yahoo! News:
“Al Gore’s incessant need to insert himself in the headline of the day is almost as glaring as his lack of understanding of the threats facing America,” Tracey Schmitt, spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, said in a statement. “While the president works to protect Americans from terrorists, Democrats deliver no solutions of their own, only diatribes laden with inaccuracies and anger,” she said.
Talk about not getting it, the Republicans fail to understand that Americans are concerned about the power concentrated in the hands of their own government, not just foreign powers.
Gore gave a very good speech, one of the best I’ve seen him give, about the growing strength of the “unitary executive” that Republicans have made their sole policy goal: A strong-man presidency occupied by a “good man” protecting the people. But, unlike Cincinnatus who gave up power as quickly as possible, Gore accurately points out, Bush has said the war footing that justifies the diminished civil rights of citizens and lowered accountability of the executive is going to continue in perpetuity, exactly the kind of claim that launches tyrannies.
Let’s parse the Republican statement a bit more: An American, whether the former vice president or not, is “inserting himself in the headline of the day” by giving a speech. He’s not using his right to debate the direction the country is going? Freedom of speech is a right; active debate is the life blood of democracy, so are the Republicans saying people should just shut up and let them get about their plans without any debate? It appears so.
The RNC says Gore doesn’t understand the threats facing America because he isn’t talking only about terrorists. But like other periods in U.S. history, notably the first Adams presidency, the gathering of power in the hands of the executive is a more significant threat because we can beat terrorists abroad and still destroy our freedoms and democracy at home. Yes, Lincoln did something similar, but Lincoln was eager to put the power down, like Cincinnatus. George W. Bush, with his dressing up in military uniforms and other efforts to use the war to his political advantage, has demonstrated he is no Lincoln, no Cincinnatus and much more like John Adams, who nearly made the country an aristocracy.
The Republican calls for critics to be quiet are ample evidence we’re traveling that path to a one-party tyranny now.
Gore did suggest a solution, but to a different problem than fighting the terrorists: Stop concentrating power in the executive. That’s neither a diatribe nor an argument built on inaccuracy and anger, it’s simple republican virtues being expressed in the face of a defensive and angry ruling party that lashes out at rather than debates with opponents. The RNC message should frighten Republicans, because it shows just how far the party has been taken over by neocons.
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