No Cheney Stories On The Right Side Of The Blogosphere
In the interest of a degree of fairness we can never expect from the left, let's look this morning at the shoe that's suddenly on the other foot. The story is a significant one -- the Senate's issuance of subpoenas to Bush and Cheney for NSA surveillance materials (with three Republicans on board with the vote), and the refusal of the Administration to comply.
I'll use the same measuring standard I used last time, which admittedly is hardly scientific: The "Discussion" posts attached to the articles picked up by Memeorandum on the story. It's not a balanced sight:
The first story, Impeach Cheney from Slate, tacks on these Discussion blogs: The Impolitic, At-Largely, Danger Room, Democrats.com and State of the Day. A Lefty bunch.
Next comes Salon's The Imperial Vice Presidency, tagged with the blogs BartBlog, The Washington Note and Prairie Weather, another group of "Dick Cheney is the Devil" types.
That's followed by Harper's Cheney and the National Security Secrets Fraud, with just a tag from The Moderate Voice, who's opinion is, well, moderately anti-Cheney.
Finally, there's NYT's White House Drops Vice President's Dual Role Argument as Moot, with tag-alongs The Carpetbagger Report and TPMmuckraker.
Not a Power Line or Malkin or Hewitt or LGF among them. Suspicious, I checked each, and the story's not there. As usual, Memeorandum is scrupulously objective.
This is the weakness of the blogosphere: We tend to feed only in the cafeteria line that pleases us, and if we don't broaden our data gathering beyond our favorite blogs, we will be at risk of becoming like Germans limited to the one-sided outpourings of Goebbels. We're seeing this already on the left side of the blogosphere, where if you don't toe the party line, you're drubbed out in shame.
The story merits the attention of conservative blogs more familiar with the matter than C-SM. For my part, I stand by the NSA program as completely defensible despite the shots fired against it, and believe that therefore a vigorous defense is necessary. But I also feel the program is vitally important, so questions regarding its proper use need to be resolved -- hopefully without public squabbling.
I am deeply troubled by Cheney's recent behavior. I see no justification for his "dual role" argument and see it as dangerous to the principles of the Republic. I'm therefore gratified that the White House has charted a separate defense, and decided not to support Cheney's attempt to carve out a new definition of the vice presidency.
We would all be well-served to remember that Al Gore was once a vice president, and the current definition of the office served us all quite well then.
I despise the Congressional subpoena-fired witch hunts because they look backwards for blame when we should be looking forward for victory in the war on terror. While the NSA programs must be well-defined so presidents can be free to use them without fear of scandal, the course the Congress has taken is appallingly cavalier about national security.
Subpoenas and grandstanding Congressional hearings are the worst way to accomplish clarifying the use of electronic surveillance internationally and nationally in the war on terror. It would be far better to hammer out the process through the Intelligence committees, the Attorney General's office and the White House.
That will not happen, however, not because Bush is Imperial, but because the Dems have so poisoned the water with their Bush Derangement Syndrome that such solutions are impossible.
And if I were linked up to Memeorandum, that's what I'd say.