DC Puppet Theater
By: Mark W Adams

Better hall monitors than I have been weighing in on sudden switch in Washington yesterday.

From time-wasting hearings for druged-up ball-players on Wednesday, to presidential fantasies of existential threats from abroad and all out rhetorical warfare on Constitutional principles in the House -- complete with a GOP staged walkout in the name of rejecting any such grandstanding by the Dems -- all coming to a head on Thursday.

Something changed yesterday. The wind is now blowing from a different direction. There's still fear in the air, but it's coming more from the right than the left now.

I will duly note Olbermann coming right out and calling Bush a fascist last night on national television had to be some kind of first. It's also no surprise that Glenn Greenwald has one of the best takes on all of this:
This is the kind of pure, unadulterated idiocy -- childish, cartoonish and creepy -- that Democrats for years have been allowing to bully them into submission, govern our country, and dismantle our Constitution. Outside of Andy McCarthy, Mark Steyn and their roving band of paranoid right-wing bloggers who can't sleep at night because they think (and hope) that there are dark, primitive "jihadi" super-villains hiding under their beds -- along with the Very Serious pundit class which proves their Seriousness by placing blind faith in the fear-mongering pronouncements and demands of our military and intelligence officials for more unchecked power -- nobody cares about adolescent Terrorist game-playing like this any longer. In the real world, it doesn't work, and it hasn't worked for some time.

Americans are worried and even angry about many things. Whether Osama bin Laden is throwing a party because AT&T and Verizon might have to defend themselves in court isn't one of them. Outside of National Review, K Street, and the fear-paralyzed imagination of our shrinking faux-warrior class, there is no constituency in America demanding warrantless eavesdropping or amnesty for lawbreaking telecoms.

Ah, the Drama. Bravo! Author! Author! Coming as it did after deliberate disruption of a memorial for one of their fallen colleagues, Shakespeare would have set the whole scene at a graveyard. "Alas poor Lantos, I knew him Horatio..."

The conservative noise machine's Regurgitators are playing their appointed role, but without the usual enthusiasm the zeitgeist demanded just a few months ago. Noting John Boehner's stunt was indeed "staged," but all in the name of principle, that any disrespect to the dead was the fault of those damn Democrats for mourning too long and interfearing with their scheduled snit-fit, all over serious stuff of course -- like their dad is bigger than ours or something like that -- they just seem preoccupied, depressed.

Serious?! You want me to be serious? Fine, I will when they stop using fear for fear's sake and recognize the facts. The games and demagoguery are old.
Now, the president asserts that the expiration of the protect America act will pose a danger to our country.
  • The former National Security Council advisor on terrorism says that's not true.
  • Former assistant attorney general says that's not true. Numerous others, and the chairman, has asserted that's not true.
Why is that not true?
  • Because FISA will remain in effect.
  • The authority given under the protect America act remains in effect.
  • And if there are new targets, the FISA court has full authority to give every authority to the administration to act.
So I tell my friends, we are pursuing the politics of fear. Unfounded fear. 435 members of this house and every one of us, every one of us wants to keep America and Americans safe. Not one of us -- not one of us wants to subject America or Americans to danger.
  • The president's assertion is wrong. I say it categorically.

  • The president's assertion is wrong.
Honestly, it's nearly impossible to keep track of all the wingnut temper tantrums that hit the fan all at once. While duly reciting the party line on FISA and the contempt citations for Harriet Meirs and the rest of the goon squad who purged all but "loyal Bushy"
US Attorneys, the spontaneous eruptions of shock, somber resignation and real outrage over Mitt Romney's endorsement of John McCain (or anything else to do with McCain) contrasted sharply with the dull, paint-by-numbers faux indignation being spoon-fed to the remaining dead-enders of the right's true believers, all 16% of them.

[Interesting side note: the rabble at Wizbang's comment section are speculating that McCain would do better asking John Kerry to be his running mate instead of the usual suspects like Huckabee or Lieberman. They are an amusing bunch, and starved for anything that will distract from their depressing future.]