NSA

Bush Republicans Condemn the RNC's Anti-Surveillance Resolution

Bush Republicans vs. Paul Republicans.

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They say the longer a political party is out of power, the more libertarian its rhetoric gets. The Republican National Committee followed that pattern last week when it passed a resolution that "calls upon Republican lawmakers to immediately take action to halt current unconstitutional surveillance programs and provide a full public accounting of the NSA's data collection programs." The resolution isn't perfect—it conflates two different NSA programs—but it's a bracing document that harshly (and rightly) rejects policies embraced not just by Barack Obama but by George W. Bush.

The Bush Republicans are still around, though, and over the weekend they fired back. In a letter sent on Saturday (and published on Sunday in The Daily Beast), Rep. Mike Pompeo and seven Bush-era officials, including former attorney general Michael Mukasey and former Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff, offered this judgement:

This is not a Democratic or a Republican program. Protecting Americans from terrorism should not be a partisan issue. The program was first launched under President George W. Bush. It was approved by Congressional leaders of both parties. And for good reason. It helps to keep Americans safe.

Evidence is scarce that the program has helped keep Americans safe, but the Bush octet is right about the politics: When the members of the Republican National Committee condemned unconstitutional NSA surveillance, they were condemning their own party's record. Good.

The Democrats went through something like this in the last decade, when an insurgency within their ranks found that battling Bush's foreign policy meant fighting their party's complicity with his wars. It's good to see similar stirrings on the right today—though I can't help recalling that the Dems' aversion to meddling in the Middle East faded pretty quickly once they retook the White House. Power has ways to absorb opposition.

NEXT: Bush Era Republicans Denounce RNC's NSA Resolution

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  1. Hey, their guy is in his 4th term! What do you expect?

  2. Protecting Americans from terrorism should not be a partisan issue.

    While this is true, the NSA program does not accomplish this goal.

    1. Like O-care, the result is irrelevant. The intent is all that matters.

      1. now, about those materials for paving the road of good intentions.

  3. Even if they are right that these programs are effective (which they are not), they have only themselves to blame for the programs’ hopefully impending demise. If these programs are so necessary and important, they should have been open with the public about them and made the case for them when they had the chance. Instead, they kept them secret and the public had to be told via leak. That makes their post hoc justifications ring a bit hallow. They expect us to believe they were doing all of this great work and didn’t bother to tell the public because they were just that selfless. Doubtful.

    1. They didn’t tell the public because there’s no way to tell the public without also telling the terrorists.

      1. Because no terrorist ever thought that the government might be reading their emails.

        1. Now they don’t need to suspect. They know.

          1. Of course. So I guess that means they will stop using that dot jihadist email domain and sending out group emails on the latest plans to fight the great Satan.

            It is a national security disaster.

  4. Doesn’t the 4th Amendment realize just how necessary warrantless searches and seizures are?

  5. The Democrats went through something like this in the last decade, when an insurgency within their ranks found that battling Bush’s foreign policy meant fighting their party’s complicity with his wars.

    And they totally stopped fighting Bush’s wars when they got into power. Really Jesse, you actually think they cared about any of that stuff? You need to get out more and stop listening to your Prog friends’ post hoc rationalizations so much.

    1. Psst. John. Read the next sentence.

      1. My apologies Jesse

  6. Chertoff is the perfect example of revolving door policies in DC. I won’t be missing him whenever it is he departs from this earth.

  7. every now and again, these folks reveal their natures and it is never attractive.

  8. Speaking of Chertoff, I saw his Meet the Press bit.

    If anybody should be hanged for treason and crimes against the Constitution, that guy is about as good of a candidate as anybody.

  9. When does somebody get to put the Socons and the 3 remaining Bush Republicans in a room and tell them to shut their trap and fall in line behind Rand?
    They had their day in the sun and it resulted in the Iraq War, Medicare D, NCLB, TARP, gross violations of civil liberties. It also indirectly led to Obamacare since the country was so fed up with them they elected a Democratic Tsunami in 06/08.

    1. Last I looked Paul was pretty popular with the SOCONS. And Ted Cruz, who is not that different from Paul is very popular.

      But don’t let their support of Paul stop you from hating them.

  10. This is not a Democratic or a Republican program. Protecting Americans from terrorism should not be a partisan issue. The program was first launched under President George W. Bush. It was approved by Congressional leaders of both parties. And for good reason. It helps to keep Americans safe.

    But who was surveilling Sonoma-Williams when the Tsarnaev Bros. got their pressure cooker?

    There goes that surveillance, keeping us all safe from unauthorized usage of home goods and appliances.

  11. Mukasey and Chertoff make me embarrassed of my faith-heritage.

    Once more, with gusto: Fuck off, Slavers!

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