Thursday, July 07, 2005

What's Next? Beware.

Despite the curious fact that early reports indicate that an Al Qaeda group no Western intelligence agency has heard of has claimed responsibility (the kind of thing that makes you go...hmmmmm) it's still too soon to determine exactly who was responsible for today's London bombings. Of one detail, however, you can be sure: we'll be affected in the United States.

Bush has already gloried in the spotlight today, strutting and marching to the microphones to tell the assembled press, "I was most impressed by the resolve of all the leaders in the room. Their resolve is as strong as my resolve."

As usual, it's all about him.

No mention, of course, of the "we're fighting them there so they won't fight us here" rhetoric. I suppose we can scratch that new reason for the war in Iraq.

The timing of this attack happens to coincide with the newly-emerging Rove scandal, public support for the war and for Bush plummeting, the public dismissal of his little war chat at Ft. Bragg, and the latest Halliburton outrage. Bush's political handlers must be breathing a sigh of relief to get the public focus back on terra, terra, terra.

How Bush will react here is the concern. On Tuesday's Hardball, former Bush speechwriter David Frum - still an insider in this administration - made a number of statements with an odd emphasis that caught my attention.

FRUM: I'm sure he would love to be the—to appoint the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice. But I think it's really quite unlikely that he would choose Gonzales, and not for the reasons that people have been talking about earlier, but for this point.

One of the things that this administration has been very concerned about, especially since 9/11, is restoring executive power, that they see the executive powers worn away in the 1970s and '80s, and they want to bring it back. And that's going to come up in a lot of war issues.

...MITCHELL: David Frum, are there other issues that are more important to conservatives than Roe?

FRUM: ... So, there are property rights issues. There are the same-sex marriage issues. And there are going to be all of these war powers issues that are going to be very important, especially to the president.

MITCHELL: During a period of war and the war on terror.

...FRUM: I think it is a serious point and not just a neat one.

The president—the war on terror threw up, has created a lot of unprecedented legal questions. And we've had a lot of them come before the court. How do you treat these detainees? What if they're an American citizen? What if they're an American citizen captured on a foreign battlefield? And those have been—I think, if you were to look back over the last four years and say, inside the White House, what were the decisions they were most unhappy about, that affect the—made it most difficult for them to do their job, it was those kinds of decisions. And that also is going to be very much on the president's mind

These comments make one curious if the upcoming Supreme Court nomination will have anything at all to do with Roe, or if that will be a mere diversion. It looks more likely that Bush is going to appoint someone who will swing the court to allow for a very broad expansion of Bush's "war powers". This should concern us all.

How Bush responds to this London attack, therefore, will be instructive. Rather than doing the sensible thing - which to date he hasn't done, namely, spending money on security for our own transportation systems rather than handing the treasury over to Halliburton and spending $300 billion dollars in Iraq - Bush may well indeed use the attack to stoke fear in this country and attempt to push through an even more draconian version of Patriot Act II. We know - boy, do we know! - that he'll use any tragedy for political gain and expanded executive powers, and in the days to come the administration response will have to be watched carefully.


Blogger Flippy said...

Blech, we saw Bush on the news when we were at my parents', setting up their TiVo. I was teaching my mom how to pause/fast forward live tv...and horrors, I had to listen to Bush. I literally LOL'd when he said that we'd get them dadgummed terrorists. Yeah, like we got Osama bin Laden? That's very very reassuring to the British, I'm sure.

8:09 PM  
Blogger juliana said...

I had a bizarre dream where I asked V. Putin where Bush was and he answered "Oh, he's off killing people somewhere..." (More details on my blog)

I like your point of view and I'll definately come back in the future.

8:24 PM  

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