First, the 'technical' explanation:
How the Fight for Vast New Spying Powers Was Won
Joby Warrick and Walter Pincus report in Sunday's (8/12/07) Washington Post about the jockeying between the Bush administration and Congress that led the White House to use the threat of a terrorist attack to resurrect Cold War-era wiretap powers over Democrat objections
But leave it to Helen Thomas to get to the truth behind the artifice:
Helen Thomas | Yet Again, the Democrats Roll Over
Longtime White House reporter Helen Thomas writes in her most recent syndicated Hearst Newspapers column that "President Bush has the Democrats' number on Capitol Hill. All he has to do is play the fear card and invoke the war on terror and they will cave."Unfortunately, what is true of the SCUM (SoCalledUnbiasedMedia) is also likely true for the rest of the media-soaked country too. Even absent Rove, the GOPs won't play just the fear card; they'll deal the whole paralyzing deck. Whosoever it is the Pubes run as candidate, that person and the whole Party will run on a platform the central and all subsequent planks of which will prominently feature fear, terror, war, muslims, mexicans, god, gays, and guns.
And if that's what the campaign's about, the Dems are 'losers'; they simply cannot win, if the Pukes control the agenda. Because 'what bleeds--even if only in prospect--leads,' the Pukes talking points will always have top-of-the-page headlines.
So, because the Pukes DO own the Press and the presses; DO own the media and the channels over which they are transmitted; DO own--in point of fact--ALL the means of (information) production (cf., Neil Poster, e.g.), they DO control the agenda: in the Corporate State, corporate media are State Media.
So, I'm not sanguine about the prospects of 'turning the country around' and overturning the last 7 and eventually 8 years of authoritarian control accreting to the ShiteHouse like barnacles. The Pukes likely will 'get elected'--by which, of course, I mean they and their trained hunds in the Press will deal the every fucking card in the 'terror/fear' deck to create enough uncertainty and ambiguity in the electorate--agitate, and exaggerate every possible pseudo-threat--to enable the Pukes' now-long-perfected, practiced, election-theaving technologies to prevail unchallenged and, if previous patterns hold, even unacknowledged, but for the crinkling of tinfoil being wound into hats.
(Revised, 2:51 pm, mst)