December 26, 2005

Have you noticed who's been amazingly silent lately?

Hillary Clinton. Has she said anything about the current domestic surveillance controversy? I think she had the good sense to see how this was going to play out and to leave her record clear of comments that would come back to haunt her.

38 comments:

Jake said...

This is a losing issue for the Democrats and Hillary knows it. They are getting creamed in their private polls.

For every intelligence secret revelation, the President’s approval rating goes up by 8% and the Democrat’s approval numbers go down the same amount.

Simon said...

Scarcely anyone will admit to it, but most peple are perfectly willing to sacrifice a little freedom for security. The revelation that the government is taking proactive measures against terrorism - even ones which may well be illegal, if not unconstitutional (see Orin Kerr's comments here) is reassuring. Of course, most people are also aware that there is something socially unacceptable about admitrting as much, but when you vote, it's just you and a ballot paper, and I think people get pretty honest about what they think when they vote.

boringmadedull said...

People who really, really, want to be President (and have a realistic chance of becoming so) are not very likely to come out for reductions in Presidential powers.

The serious ones realize that they might need to be able to tap suspected terrorist's phone calls, or run checks for radiation.

Ricardo said...

I got a free DVD in the mail the other day, from a group concerned about the proliferation of nuclear weapons, into the hands of terrorists. The DVD mini-movie (called "Last Best Chance") stars Fred Thompson of Law & Order, as the President of the United States. Anyone viewing this DVD (including "independents" such as I) will probably agree that surveillance (even as the result of a Presidential power grab) is necessary to protect our borders, and that arguing otherwise is a losing political position. You can get your own copy of this free DVD, by going to www.nti.org and following the prompts for the DVD.

AJD said...

What a lame post! Got nothing to say? No problem: post about Hillary *not* saying anything.

brylin said...

Anti-Sheck: This post isn't as lame as you think. Just think how smart Hillary is. By saying nothing, she keeps those with your views from criticizing her. Right?

brylin said...

Hillary: If you can't say anything nasty, don't say anything at all.

reader_iam said...

Anti-sheck: What a lame comment! Think a post's got nothing to say? Waste your time typing something snarky about it!

vbspurs said...

Hillary Clinton.

Oh she's cagey, that one.

It's commonly received wisdom that if she stays the course on her pro-Iraq stance, the anti-war crowd which are stalking her now, will actually help her, by making her look tough, and "Presidential".

No need for the abysmal Commander-in-Chief show to have helped her out, since reality is no match for artifice.

Has she said anything about the current domestic surveillance controversy?

I'm guessing she won't.

After all, if she becomes President one day, she might just have to order one on Bill.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

What a lame post! Got nothing to say? No problem: post about Hillary *not* saying anything.

A wiseman once said, silence sometimes speaks volumes.

Why not follow that good advice, and the one about playing with toasters in bathtubs?

Cheers,
Victoria

EddieP said...

Hillary doesn't need to say anything. She kinows that most of the dems positions are losers, that's why she's supported Bush in Iraq with only a few digs.

Simon

Most people aren't sacrificing any freedom. If you don't have a terror connection, NSA doesn't have time for you.

Goatwhacker said...

Hillary Clinton has been by and large a very good politician since becoming senator. She has said most of the right things and keeps quiet at the right time. She will probably be a more formidable presidential candidate than conservatives think, her main drawback being her relatively poor public speaking ability.

vbspurs said...

her main drawback being her relatively poor public speaking ability.

Her main drawback, which counts double because she's a woman (that's just how it is, folks), is that she lacks human warmth.

We can take poor public speakers and make them into presidents (Truman, LBJ, Carter), we can take policy wonks and turn them into presidents (Roosevelt, Nixon, Clinton), we can even take a man who stumbles over his words, and turn him into president (Ford, Bush Pere et Fils), but they all share one common characteristic:

People could relate to them.

Do any of you get the Biography Channel on cable? Do you watch it on Sundays, during the mysteries marathons?

There's a spot advertising the channel, which highlights the various interviews given to the Biog Channel.

One of them is a short, short clip of Hillary Clinton going:

"I was beside myself with anger and disappointment at what Bill had done"

It has to be heard to be believed.

There's not one iota of emotion present when she says that.

It's actually rather creepy, and can't be dismissed as so much WASPy reticence.

When your prize is the Presidency, there's a special ingredient X that each successful candidate has.

One of them, to my mind, is undoubtedly being able to likeable to a great number of people, because likeability in our American society is short-hand for sincerity and down-to-earthness.

She just doesn't have it.

Cheers,
Victoria

SMGalbraith said...

Re Senator Clinton's silence, I found former Clinton Asst. A.G. John Schmidt's column interesting in this regard. He came out and stated that the Clinton J.D. argued that the executive has this inherent power (to conduct warrantless monitoring for foreign intel) as did Gorelick in 1994 during Congress. hearing on FISA changes.

I'll wager that we will discover that the Clinton Administration did some of the same types of things that Bush authorized. To a smaller degree; but without warrants (in addition to the known cases - Ames and the Kenyan embassy bombings).

Hillary's not walking into that trap by coming out against it only to be revealed later that she was co-President for an Administration that engaged in the practice.

SMG

Michael Farris said...

"Most people aren't sacrificing any freedom. If you don't have a terror connection, NSA doesn't have time for you."

It would be very comforting to really be able to believe that. I can't quite manage it though. Nonetheless, I congratulate you on your faith.

Ann Althouse said...

Anti-Sheck: Your real problem with this post is that it pains you to realize that HC is not on your side on this issue. You thought all the good people would denounce the surveillance, but you weren't noticing the people who were keeping silent. Sorry to burst your bubble!

Goatwhacker said...

We can take poor public speakers and make them into presidents (Truman, LBJ, Carter), we can take policy wonks and turn them into presidents (Roosevelt, Nixon, Clinton), we can even take a man who stumbles over his words, and turn him into president (Ford, Bush Pere et Fils)

Well, technically Ford was never elected, and WJC was an excellent speaker. Your point is well taken though, Hillary often sounds like someone saying what she thinks she should say, instead of someone saying what they mean. Whether she actually possesses warmth is debatable but she certainly has trouble conveying it.

Ann Althouse said...

I think that in every single presidential election since 1960, when debates started on TV, the warmer of the two candidates has won. Strange that more Democrats haven't won, but it's true. Think about it!

Gahrie said...

We already know that the Clinton administration authorized spying on foriegn business calls to help American business. We already know that the Clinton administration made full use of ECHELON. We already know that the Clinton administration used the powers of the Executive Branch to gather and disseminate information on their enemies.

Of course she's staying silent. (notice slick Willy himself and al "bore" Gore have been silent also.)

EddieP said...

Michael, during the last five years, how many folks have come forward with claims of some injury or other because of illegal intercepts of their calls. Only the terrorists have noticed. So it's easy to have faith that it works pretty well. It's also been used against drug dealers, but no one seems to mind that.

I understand there is a possibility for abuse in warrantless intercepts, but I also have faith that the ambulance chasers in the USA would parade around the first one they discover like raw meat.

There is more likely to be civil liberties trashed from your local sheriff at a drug arrest fest than from the NSA. Regards

PatCA said...

Michael,
No reasonable person is saying that mistakes won't be made, but the beneifts outweigh those mistakes. "Civil rights" is not an absolute, and with borders pretty much open we don't have many protective strategies available.

Do you really think the government is using this as some sort of pretense to spy on Americans for the purpose of...what is the purpose again, anyway? Better yet, tell George Clooney--he'll make a movie or three about it.

TWM said...

Okay,the technology exists to capture millions of phone calls. And the technology exists to cull those millions down to thousands or even hundreds based on patterns, phone numbers, keywords. But in the end it takes people to listen to the calls and determine their importance.

Do you really think they have enough time to worry about what Auntie Em is talking about? Even if they wanted to, do you really think the government that is infamous for not being able to do anything efficiently can manage to listen to the average person's phone calls efficiently?

lawtakingguy said...

Most Americans long ago accepted McNealy's Law, "you have no privacy, get over it." Amazon knows what books we like; so do our libraries -- and the teens working for minimum wage at Blockbuster know our viewing habits.

Commerical institutions know our credit ratings. Credit card companies know our spending patterns. Friends and co-workers know so much about us. The IT guys at work can see what websites we visit. Our doctors and insurers know all about our habits, bodies, medical histories, and so on.

We have no privacy, thank you very much, and things have never, ever been better.

If the NSA wants to data-mine commuications that cross international borders, god bless them. Thank goodness they are doing that. I was very happy to read the NYT article. (And I hate Bush, by the way.)

BigDirigible said...

I think that in every single presidential election since 1960, when debates started on TV, the warmer of the two candidates has won.

Nixon v. Humphrey?

Ric Locke said...

It occurs to me that the VWRC needs to take up a collection.

The NYT has been having financial problems, yes? Declining circulation, newsroom layoffs... bad times.

But every time they start spreading one of these flaps, Bush goes up three, maybe five points. Just think! If they'd do one a week, by Easter he'd be the first President since Washington to break 90%!

We really ought to subsidize that. A couple million would be good, but just covering Sulzberger's bar bill would be better than nothing.

Regards,
Ric

Seven Machos said...

Okay, Althouse. That's weasel. The clear implication is that Democrats are "warmer" on the whole than Republicans. I thought you got out more than to generalize like that.

It's especially galling that your generalization is false, and probably demonstrably so in your experience. Who is more typical of the Democrats you PERSONALLY KNOW: Bill Clinton or Hillary Clinton? Who is more typical of the Republicans you PERSONALLY KNOW: Ronald Reagan or Tom Delay?

vbspurs said...

Well, technically Ford was never elected, and WJC was an excellent speaker.

Yes, I diluted my points by including Ford, as I noticed later, although I didn't claim President Clinton (Male ;) was not an excellent speaker.

...albeit, I don't think I can remember one memorable address he made in the whole of the 8 years he was in office.

The only easily-remembered phrase, for me, was his brilliant, "There's nothing that's wrong with America, that can't be fixed with what's right in America".

Contrast this with JFK's 2 years in office, whose every syllable has been enshrined by a misty halo of heroism, or the 8 of Ronald Reagan, and you can see, it is WJC's projection of excellence in speech-making that made its mark.

Your point is well taken though, Hillary often sounds like someone saying what she thinks she should say, instead of someone saying what they mean. Whether she actually possesses warmth is debatable but she certainly has trouble conveying it.

Yes, I'd go along with that characterisation.

Most of us contemporaries, can never truly penetrate the heart and mind of any illustrious person of our time.

It takes the distance of history to get a good handle on a person, and even then it's often wrong.

But I think that most people will own that Bill Clinton is more "knowable" than his wife, and that of course, takes us back to our combined points.

Cheers,
Victoria

Kev said...

"There's a spot advertising the channel, which highlights the various interviews given to the Biog Channel."

Did anyone else read that and think--for just a second--that it said "the Blog Channel"? I thought maybe I'd blinked and missed something really cool starting up over the holidays--blogs on TV!

Ann Altmouse said...

I think Bush will get FIFTY POINTS every time someone says he can't disobey any law he doesn't like. By 2007 his approval rating should be eight hundred percent.

Matt Brown said...

I think Ann Altmouse is a person DESPERATE for attention, if he/she has to create a blog persona based upon someone else.

Ann Althouse said...

Big Dirigible: Hmmm.... well, what can I say? Nixon is the exception to the rule. Inexplicable. How did he ever make it? Or I could say: but remember when Nixon turned on the charm? What a sweetheart! Or, let's just have the rule start in 1976.

Seven Machos: Good point.

Pogo said...

It remains a mystery to me that someone would think it scandalous for the federal government to be spying during a war. Does the conversation go like this:
"Spying? During a war?? But... but that would be cheating!!

Perhaps those finding scandal in spying think we are not, in fact, at war, and that therefore we mustn't be spying. The naivete' exposed by decrying government spying during peacetime should be shameful, but seems to be a label worn with pride.

Lastly, those rejecting such spying might be reliving the adolescent and leftist rebellion of the late sixties. Except they are "young turks" no longer, and the rehashed arguments smell of mothballs.

As for Hillary's silence, well, it does speak volumes when a potentially potent political scandal goes unmentioned. I think the three choices above, plus the fact of Bill's domestic spying, have kept her in Elmer Fudd mode: vewy, vewy quiet.

Word verification: yucqcuch
Is it just me, or are the "words" getting longer, and harder to type? My word must be from Uzbekistan, meaning "Avoid the matzo balls; they're stale.".

Simon said...

"Most people aren't sacrificing any freedom. If you don't have a terror connection, NSA doesn't have time for you."

Well, I tend to agree with you - but I think our liberal friends, justifiably or not, have a genuine sense of anxiety that their activities are being looked at as being suspect. There is a peculiar sense that people who are opposed to the war in Iraq are somehow being "unamerican," and there rally are calls from certain corners of the right to have people like Michael Moore strung up for treason. Now, I don't worry about the NSA reading my e-mail, because they will swiftly discover two things: firstly, I'm incredibly boring, and secondly, despite maintaining a blog called "I respectfully dissent," I hold very few opinions which would be seriously objectionable to the present government (and in any instance, I'm more of a "sit-down-and-write-about-it" dissenter than a "go-down-to-DC-and-protest" sort of chap). So I think that even if it's entirely unjustified, there is this genuine anxiety on the left, which pushes them even further beyond the boundaries of where they need to be to engage in constructive debate. I read some liberal blogs, and I occaisionally try to engage them in the comments section, but it's almost impossible, because they're so highly-strung right now that you can't talk to a lot of them (which isn't the case with a lot of them IRL, funnily enough - I have several liberal friends with whom I get along just fine).

37383938393839383938383 said...

Hillary Clinton is a crazy pro-war extremist. She is an imperialist. I don't know why people keep thinking otherwise. Has she disapproved of any U.S. intervention in any armed conflict since 1990? No.

Simon Kenton said...

well, what can I say? Nixon is the exception to the rule. Inexplicable. How did he ever make it?

There is another rule. See the Anchoress' trenchant neighbor: http://theanchoressonline.com/2005/12/23/not-the-effect-the-dems-or-press-intended/

Humphrey was a wimp, and that plays badly here. As it should. Big in Europe, though.

I was a a party of academics right after the last election and asked if they was a bunch a democrats. All nodded, in unison. I told 'em John Kerry had announced he was the front-runner for their nomination in 2008, and then gushed enquiringly, "How do you feel about that?" It was sort of like zapping the Borg - they all twitched around trying to see what everyone else held as an opinion before offering theirs, but at last one sad woman said, "Well, I gave him money, and I worked for him, and I REALLY wanted him to be elected, but he wasn't ...really... a very attractive candidate." And then she looked nervously at the rest of them. Was she out of line? Would they agree? Had we consensus here?

I told them, "Not very attractive? God! You have to go back past Gore, past Mondale, even past Carter (!), you have to get back to NIXON, to find a less attractive candidate."

The marketers call it the Q factor.

Mark Buehner said...

Think about Hillary's background. She's a lawyer, she worked on the Watergate Committee, her husband was a state AG, she spent 8 years as a major player in the White House. You arent going to find many Senators with a better knowledge of Executive power. Hillary knows Bush is ok on this, politically and legally. If her colleagues werent so thick they would take note.

brylin said...

Simon Kenton: What a great link to the Anchoress! It made me laugh several times. Thanks!

sdRay said...
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