John Feehery: Speaking Engagements

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Russian Roulette

Posted on June 20, 2008

 


            The House Democrats folded twice this week in the face of an aggressive White House and a determined Republican minority. 


 


            Bowing to reality, they cut a deal to continue funding the war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan.  While their left wing might not like it, our troops really needed the money.  My sources tell me that without this legislation, some of our soldiers weren’t going to get paid next month.  Yes, it was getting that bad.


 


            They also crumbled on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, legislation that allows the feds to listen in on Osama Bin Laden’s phone calls should he decide to call anybody here in the United States.  It also gave the telephone companies some liability protection should the feds make a mistake and listen to the wrong conversation.  Should be a no-brainer, but for the Democrats, giving any liability protection is a hard sell.  They love the trial lawyers too much for that.


 


            FISA should have gotten done months ago.  The Senate was ready to move on it and Jay Rockefeller, the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, was very critical of his House colleagues for not moving it.


 


            House Democrats decided that they had chanced fate enough and decided to give the President back some of the power he needs to keep the country safe.  They did the same with the war spending bill.


 


            But that didn’t come without a price.  And that price demanded by the Democrats was more domestic spending on things completely unrelated to the war effort.


 


            For the House Democrats, the cost of freedom is not just counted in blood, sweat and tears.  It is also counted in pork and other spending that will add money to the deficit, to be paid for by future generations of taxpayers.


 


            How will Barack Obama deal with the recalcitrant Congress if he were do be President?  Would he push his colleagues to allow for better surveillance of terrorists?  Probably not.  Would he push his colleagues to cut the pork and support our troops?  Probably not.  In fact, he would probably push the other way, to shut down the surveillance and slow down the funding for our troops. 


 


            But that approach is playing Russian roulette with our national security.  We might have escaped a bullet this time around, but can we continue to take chances with the national security of our nation?