Still Unthinkable, more or less

It's been called "thinking the unthinkable" in cautious liberal media speak, but the wiretapping-email-snatching fiasco may just be important enough for Americans to get the President ousted (at least in public opinion).

TomPaine reports the numbers:

First there was the Dec. 28 Rasmussen poll, which found that 64 percent of Americans "believe the National Security Agency (NSA) should be allowed to intercept telephone conversations between terrorism suspects in other countries and people living in the United States." Just 23 percent of Americans, it claimed, disagree.

A Dec. 29 Zogby poll found that "49 percent of U.S. voters believe President George Bush has authority to order wiretaps without court approval."

A second Rasmussen poll, released Jan. 3, claims that 50 percent of Americans "say the president did not break the law" in authorizing the taps. And an ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 51 percent of Americans think the information gathering is "acceptable in investigating terrorism."
Hovering at around 50 percent, these results aren't exactly convincing one way or the other...

An AP-Ipsos poll... asked the following question: "Should the Bush administration be required to get a warrant from a judge before monitoring phone and internet communications between American citizens in the United States and suspected terrorists, or should the government be allowed to monitor such communications without a warrant?" The results of this survey were dramatically different: 56 percent of respondents said the administration should be required to get a warrant; only 42 percent of those polled said it should proceed without one.

Or, er, maybe not.

I must add, you've really got to hand it up with Americans. Talk about a nation of private people with a pechant for tolerance: I mean, where is de Tocqueville when you really need him? We will tolerate every other kind of scandal--from torture allegations to fraud charges, from inept invasions to national disaster mismanagement--but cross the line on our privacy and suddenly the poll meter considers tipping into a perilous direction for the president. And yet it's still all too radical to talk about rinsing this stain of a President off the national fabric.

A moment of silence, please, to honor the memory of American political society, which lacks even a proper tombstone to mark its demise and so instead wanders half-headed through zombie-like elections .