Quotes, actually, as there are two from his latest post at NRO’s The Corner blog. Both, I think, reflect the way I’m leaning in the uproar over the NSA’s telephone record and Internet data collection program:
How are Americans supposed to rely on congressional oversight to keep the administration in check if the administration misleads Congress about what it is doing?
Which is a huge part of the problem the administration has defending these programs: having been shown repeatedly to be idiots at best and bald-faced liars at worst in scandal after scandal, how are Congress and the general public supposed to trust them now, even though they might actually be telling the truth about how the data is collected and used?
The fable of the boy who cried wolf endures for a reason, you know.
If politics were logical, we would say: “It is necessary to have awesome national security powers but they can only be trusted in the hands of honorable officials; since the officials we have cannot be trusted, we need to get new officials.” But politics is not logical: It is a lot easier to slash the powers we need than the officials we don’t. That is where this is headed, and I fear we’ll regret it.
As I’ve been saying, “baby, bathwater.” This is my fear, too.
PS: McCarthy is a writer you
should must have in your news reader. Even if you disagree with him, his arguments are always edifying and thought-provoking.