Congress runs from Gonzales.

Notes from different corners of the world.
Feb. 6 2006 8:10 PM

Cowardly Lions

Congress talks tough to Gonzales—and then turns and runs.

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But while Republicans like Graham and Specter talk tough at times, they're not really up for the fight. And it's not entirely clear that the Democrats are, either. How should FISA be amended? Where do you draw the line to protect civil liberties while allowing all the searches that could ever snare a potential terrorist? Those are hard questions—too hard for Congress, it seems. You have to hand it to Bush and Gonzales. They don't have much to work with, legally speaking. But they're playing the politics just right.

Correction, Feb. 8, 2006: The original sentence stated that a Republican administration was in office when Congress drafted and passed FISA. President Gerald Ford, a Republican, was in office when FISA was drafted and introduced in 1976, but Democrat Jimmy Carter was president when the law passed in 1978. Return to the corrected sentence.