Governed by Cowards
Be honest - who among you was genuinely surprised to read that Bushco had authorized illegal spying on American citizens? Who among you was genuinely surprised to learn that Americans torture perceived enemies? And be honest, when further revelations of American abrogations of laws national and international on the order and the watch of George Bush reach media consciousness, will you be genuinely surprised?
One of the more perniciously successful tropes Conservatives use against Liberals is that Conservatives are "realists" and Liberals "idealists," the implication being that Liberals are so concerned with what should be that they are dopes to what is. I've written about torture here; I've asserted that one can take a moral position that torture can be justified (and be wrong, in my moral opinion). One can take a moral position that violating the civil rights of all Americans is justified if it prevents the death of other Americans (and be wrong, in my moral opinion). One can take the moral position that international treaties are breachable and void at any time the United States considers that action to be in its best interest (and be wrong, in my moral opinion). What one cannot do is take the moral position that such actions are justifiable, do them, contrive to hide those actions and then, with feigned outrage, deny that you did them when caught.
This is governance of cowards for cowards, and gives lie to the perception that Liberals are the ones misguided by idealism. Governments don't lie about their actions to thwart their opposition, they lie about their actions to keep their supporters' idealism lit. America the Exceptional is oxycotin to Conservatives. If we were to torture, it'd be justified, but we don't, they do. Or, we know we torture, but ssh, it's justified if kept quiet, because only the strong need know. It's the code of the wifebeater, the embezzler, the coward. It's the code of our conservatives and the code of our president.