« CT-Sen: Lamont is Looking for CTers | Main | MT-Sen: Morrison Swamps Tester, Burns Way Ahead of Both »

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Vilsack Says Dems Will Lose Unless They Embrace Views of Minority of Americans

Posted by DavidNYC

A winning strategy:

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.


"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."

Compare with:

That's 56% who favor getting warrants vs. 42% who don't.

Posted at 01:31 PM in 2008 President - Democrats | Technorati

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


What a welcome from my new Governor! All the Dems need to do is point out the obvious and they start winning the PR war here. NSA wiretap warrants are so easy to get that the Bush administration's evasion of the warrant process necessarily indicates their actions are exceeding the boundaries of legal precedent.

"If you've nothing to hide, the warrants will be granted every time." Not a complicated argument....yet one that speaks volumes about Bush's motives.

Posted by: Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 31, 2006 02:07 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


Will someone finally explain to me and the
american people what exactly Bush did?

Did he do a dragnet type thing, where they
just listen in to all the calls and listen for
key words? Did they only listen to calls by
foreigners into the us that they suspected were

In other words, was every call they tapped
a terrorist suspect? If so there must be MILLIONS
of terrorist suspects out there.

What exactly are they doing?


Posted by: wellstoner [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 31, 2006 02:17 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I think the answer to that is we don't know exactly what they were doing. The administration is claiming that only calls made where there was strong evidence to indicate possible links to terrorism were monitored (which, as Mark notes above, means they easily could have gotten a warrant from any judge in this country). I think if these efforts are more-or-less limited to this, Bush will be OK, or even benefited, politically (and Gov. Vilsack is absolutely right that there is a "soft on terror" trap we can fall in here). If this eavesdropping program went beyond this, that's when things will get interesting.

Posted by: IndianaProgressive [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 31, 2006 02:31 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

But as Mark alludes, FISA allows `em to get warrants up to 72 hours after surveillance begins. In other words, you've got all the time in the world. The only reason you wouldn't get one of these retroactive warrants is if the surveillance was illegal in the first place.

Posted by: DavidNYC [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 31, 2006 02:36 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

The problem with polls is that what has really come out through research is that people identify with rehtoric that embraces their core values. Polls show that 62% of Americans want universal health care, even if it means higher taxes, 56% or so think a judge should not be nominated unless they support Roe v Wade, etc. Yet we still find Dems not winning on the specifics: a plurality felt Alito should be nominated; the Dems were swept out of power after Clinton's Health proposal (thanks in part to heavy AMA lobbying - the largest lobbying campaing spending in history). By and large people don't get specifics. The Dems need a narrative that ties these issues together into a core set of values that distinguishes us from the other side. That's why relying on polls and interest groups has not helped Dems win. Vilsack is right: we need to assure Americans we will keep them SAFE before stating our position on wire-tapping. They need to demonstrate we are the party of family values in all the things we stand for, from the v-chip in telelvisions to our (admittedly pathetic) medcical and family leave and home care for the elderly. And so forth.

I couldn't help but notice the way Barak Obama put it regarding Alito: eleventh-hour procedural moves, while he supported them, are not a strategy when we didn't convince most Americans why Alito was bad for our country. Compared to the blustering of Sen. Kerry.

Posted by: mcittone [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 31, 2006 04:59 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Wow. Vilsack's gonna have a rough time if he ever wants to post another softball diary on DailyKos ever again.

Posted by: HellofaSandwich [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 31, 2006 04:59 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Mcittone: I'd agree with you, but only up to a point. When Vilsack says it's "debateable" as to whether the president broke the law, that makes it a lot harder for us (as Dems) to frame our approach as being different from Bush's.

Posted by: DavidNYC [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 31, 2006 05:33 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

He's 100% correct. Most people want warrants when they are tapping internal calls (American-to-American), but support tapping international calls. Bush got Congress to change the law (which he said still doesn't apply in 'time of war') so the issue is somewhat moot. Only if someone can come forward and prove the government wrongly tapped their phone calls will this be a big deal. But that won't happen until Bush is so much dust. The Republicon's have done a good (no - GREAT) job of painting Dems as a bunch of cowards what would rather pander to terrorists than protect the US. Hell, they kicked our ass with it in 2002 AND 2004. The same will result unless Dems get a unified platform that INCLUDES fighting terrorism.

Posted by: Ga Liberal [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 1, 2006 09:55 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment