Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, who once thought he'd challenge Howard Dean for the DNC Chair and whose wife was instrumental in handing the Iowa caucuses to John Kerry AND who thinks he might be presidential material, warned Democrats today not to make too big a deal out of President Bush's (probably) illegal domestic spying program.
From his homestate Des Moines Register:
Gov. Tom Vilsack said Monday that Democrats risk
political backlash if they object to the Bush
administration's wiretapping but cannot show that
Americans' civil liberties are at risk.
The Democratic governor, who is weighing a 2008
presidential bid, said the party will suffer if it continues
to be perceived as weaker than Republicans on
Under a directive signed by President Bush, the
National Security Agency can monitor the international
communications of people inside the country, when
one party to the call or e-mail is believed to be
involved with the terrorist network al-Qaida. The
practice is done without a court order, normally
required to monitor such communications.
"If the president broke the law, that's unacceptable.
But I think it's debateable whether he did," Vilsack told
Des Moines Register editors and reporters.
"And I think Democrats are falling into a very, very
large political trap," he said. "Democrats are not going
to win elections until they can reassure people they are
going to keep them safe."
Now here's a guy who's so tapped into the Washington establishment that he can parrot their talking points all the way in Des Moines. He's perfect as the 2008 nominee.
Here again is his advice - unless you know you can make a case that you're right, it's better that you don't challenge the Republicans. This is the reason Democrats have lost in 2000, 2002 and 2004 - and the opposite is the reason for the Republican landslide of 1994. They had an argument, they were the minority. They said, "this Congress is corrupt, this President is corrupt" and they won.
But here comes another fauxhawk, nervous-nellie who doesn't want Dems to take a position on the wiretapping scandal because it might be a political loser. Never mind if it's the right thing to do. Forget it if the public is honestly split on the issue (although depending on the wording of the question, they move 55-45 for or against the program - clearly they are waiting for arguments from both sides).
The president spent a full week telling the American people that what he's doing is legal and necessary. The Democrats said little. The media continually parroted the GOP line that "the White House is convinced that this is a winning issue for them". Despite all this, the president's approval rating is at 39%, more Americans want Democrats to take charge of Congress and the public remains nearly split on the wire tapping issue.
But hey, don't challenge the man. He's like, God, or something.
Tom Vilsack, Democratic Dumbass of the Day.