Wednesday, December 28, 2005
A little bit of sanity: It looks like some Democrats "get" it, but it looks as though they don't have any pull.
Some centrist Democrats say attacks by their party leaders on the Bush administration's eavesdropping on suspected terrorist conversations will further weaken the party's credibility on national security.
That concern arises from recent moves by liberal Democrats to block the extension of parts of the USA Patriot Act in the Senate and denunciations of President Bush amid concerns that these initiatives could violate the civil liberties of innocent Americans.
"I think when you suggest that civil liberties are just as much at risk today as the country is from terrorism, you've gone too far if you leave that impression. I don't believe that's true," said Michael O'Hanlon, a national-security analyst at the Brookings Institution who advises Democrats on defense issues.
"I get nervous when I see the Democrats playing this [civil liberties] issue out too far. They had better be careful about the politics of it," said Mr. O'Hanlon, who says the Patriot Act is "good legislation."
Tellingly, the report doesn't quote any elected Democrats. Sen. Joe Lieberman, of course, comes to mind as someone on the right side of these issues, but he's about it. If others in the Democratic Party feel similarly, they're keeping it to themselves.