The Dem's NSA straddle

Rich Lowry:

Democrats are both outraged by President Bush's National Security Agency surveillance program and content to see it continue. They are at this incoherent pass because their reflexive hostility to the program is tempered by the dawning suspicion that they might be on the wrong side politically of yet another national-security issue — thus, the NSA Straddle.

Asked on ABC's This Week to respond to a Karl Rove speech saying that Democrats disagree with President Bush that al Qaeda members should be monitored when they call somebody in America, Sen. John Kerry declared, "We don't disagree with him at all." But he went on to blast the NSA program as illegal. Why not, therefore, cut off funding for it? "That's premature," Kerry insisted.

Democrats are the first party ever to talk of impeaching a president for creating a program they themselves seem to support. It's as if they had denounced Watergate, but stipulated that there was nothing wrong in principle with breaking into the office of Daniel Ellsberg's psychologist. "We're prepared to eavesdrop wherever and whenever necessary," said Kerry, sounding ready to don earphones himself. Howard Dean agrees: "I support spying on al Qaeda, and I think every Democrat in America thinks we ought to attack al Qaeda, and spy on them."

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