I started writing a response to several of the comments from my Thursday post and realized that I may as well just turn it into a new post.
First, it was interesting to note that CharlieABQ (CABQ) was rather selective in the focus of his response. My original post, and my follow-up comment were primarily about the principled way in which Congresswoman Wilson conducts herself. Whereas, CABQ – an interesting name selection – chose to center his comments around the actions of the NSA.
I stand by the historical reference I added as a means to put the current debate in the proper context. Moreover, I think it was particularly relevant to remember it in a time so soon after the passing of Coretta Scott King. The Kings were the heroes of my reference, and the federal government the villain. How anyone could see this as a slight to the memory of Coretta is beyond me.
CABQ makes the point that “Robert F. Kennedy authorized the wiretapping of the Kings after he was badgered into it by J. Edgar Hoover.” This only serves to reinforce the strength of Congresswoman Wilson with respect to her principles. Think about it, you have the brother of the President caving under the pressure of the FBI, yet a Congresswoman from New Mexico, in an election year no less, will draw a line in the sand based on her principles.
By writing, ” Most of the incidents in the past that Repub spin cites took place BEFORE the FISA was passed,” Barb is grudgingly admitting that the acts of the current administration are not without post-FISA precedent. As to Heather voting with the administration 85% of the time, I would expect no less. We are talking about a republican administration and a republican congresswoman. Of course, they are in agreement the vast majority of the time. The important thing is that when it comes down to a difference in fundamental principle Heather is willing to go out on a limb for her principles. There are not enough politicians on either side of the aisle willing to do this.
Now despite the practices of other administrations going back to at least the 1960’s, I am, as I stated before, not necessarily in agreement with the actions of the NSA. The only reason I don’t come out 100% against them is I don’t know all of the facts, and I probably never will. However, select members of Congress should know and Heather’s background and present position makes her one of those that should know.
I support our President 100% and worked hard to get him re-elected. However, support does not require blind obedience. We have three branches of government for a reason, and yes Barb, expansion of power by one of those branches gives me reason for concern, and when it occurs, I expect the other branches to step up and meet their check and balance obligation – just like Congresswoman Wilson did. When the obligation is not met, you end up with a rubber stamping legislature like the one we have experienced in New Mexico for the last few years.
As to Tim’s question, there is a simple reason for Heather’s delay in going to the press. Unlike some other New Mexico politicians, Heather does not conduct a press conference every time she does what the people elected her to do. By all reports, she first attempted to work through normal channels. It was only when that didn’t work that she took the issue to the press.
Finally, I’ll let Chris in on my secret. When it comes to politics and policy, there is nothing I value more than open debate. Very few issues are as black and white as either side would like them to be.