Former VP Al Gore and the presumptive Democratic nominee for President--Hillary Clinton--fired extremely blunt and pointed remarks at the Bush White House yesterday.
So begins the Democrat's election assault on regaining Congress.
Political Science is such riveting and ever-changing discipline that sometimes requires more couth than rambunction. Did Gore and Hillary go too far in labeling the White House as criminals?
The short answer is probably yes. By being so aggressive they risk alienating the moderate to conservative voters that they hope to woo to the their side. The legitimate question is: What if the charges are correct?
Gore said this:
At present, we still have much to learn about the NSA's domestic surveillance. What we do know about this pervasive wiretapping virtually compels the conclusion that the President of the United States has been breaking the law repeatedly and persistently.
Gore is not out of bounds with this statement. He prefaces it by detailing exactly what various publications have uncovered regarding the spying scandal. The President knowingly broke the law of the land when he ordered wiretapping of Americans under the cover of 9/11 without the knowledge of Congress or without a court order. This is blatantly illegal and if allowed will become so invasive that the very fabric of American could be destroyed. Amazingly, as Gore points out, Bush has owned up to the crime and continued to urge Americans to allow its use.
Sen. Clinton, in a surely coordinated effort with Gore's comments, compared the Bush Adminstration's aversion to dissent to that of a Southern plantation and predicted its place in American history.
"We have cronyism, we have incompetence. I predict to you that this administration will go down in history as one of the worst that has ever governed our country."
Hillary's comments seem more antagonistic than Gore's whose were more thoughtful and grounded in facts. Gore's speech sounded like an concerned American worried for the country's direction. Hillary's was far more political and portends greatly to an aggressive Democratic campaign at painting the Republicans as doing unprecedented and historic harm to the country.
It's definitely a tactic that is widely pervasive in the electorate's collective mind and littered with unbelievable examples of poor and illegal behavior. The Democrats have, again, successful drawn the lines of the conversation with the voters. If they can consistently stay on this message quite a bit of the excessive power the Bush Administration has garnered and abused will be checked.