Monday, March 13, 2006

Wrong and the right

As E&P and many others have reported, the new bill put forth by Mike DeWine, which moves the curve of FISA to fit the points arrogantly drawn by George Bush, would also go where no law has gone beofre: it would criminalize press reporting of government illegality.

Attacking this insane and flagrantly unconstitutional bill should be a top priority. But Democrats have done a dismal job of framing issues. The Administration has done little else right, but they have generally been pretty successful in framing their scandals. As Glenn Greenwald and others have pointed out, the Administration has been branding opponents as opposing eavesdropping in general, and thus cowardly, traitorous fools. The framing is absurd and unfair, but the press has done little to counter it. Even more amazing, most of the Democrats seem to be acquiescing as well.

What the DeWine bill is really doing is compensating for one illegal act (like a FISA violation) with another (the muzzling of the watchdogs) . The frame with which to attack this absurdity should be obvious:

Two wrongs don't make a right.


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