Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The New York Times finds a spine?

It won't last, but today the shrunken residue of a once great newspaper shows a tiny hint of a vertebral column:
Spies, Lies and Wiretaps - New York Times

... Mr. Bush made himself the judge of the proper balance between national security and Americans' rights, between the law and presidential power. He wants Americans to accept, on faith, that he is doing it right. But even if the United States had a government based on the good character of elected officials rather than law, Mr. Bush would not have earned that kind of trust. The domestic spying program is part of a well-established pattern: when Mr. Bush doesn't like the rules, he just changes them, as he has done for the detention and treatment of prisoners and has threatened to do in other areas, like the confirmation of his judicial nominees. He has consistently shown a lack of regard for privacy, civil liberties and judicial due process in claiming his sweeping powers. The founders of our country created the system of checks and balances to avert just this sort of imperial arrogance.
They've done this before -- threatened to show some courage. In each case they've collapsed into equivocation.

If the NYT dedicates itself to exposing Bush/Cheney, and limiting the damage they're doing, and if they pound home time and again the fundamental issues without being misdirected -- then I'll say they have a spine. Until then, they're spineless.

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