What is it about people named Barbara and Dean?

John Fund has a note on Barbara Boxer’s Bush obsession in today’s Political Diary.

Some Democrats have become so obsessed with President Bush’s National Security Agency surveillance activities that they are putting the most rabid of the anti-Clinton Republicans of the 1990s to shame. Take Senator Barbara Boxer, the California Democrat who serves as her party’s Chief Deputy Whip. Last month, during the holiday season, she sent a letter to legal scholars asking their opinions as to whether the Bush NSA program should compel Congress to start impeachment hearings.
With the 2006 midterm elections now upon us, if the Democrats want the American public to take them seriously on matters of national security, perhaps they should quietly decide to make someone else the Chief Deputy Whip.
Ms. Boxer’s letter had been prompted by a December 16 appearance she made at Temple Emanuel in Los Angeles with former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean, who has since become a sort of understudy to former Attorney General Ramsey Clark in his willingness to ascribe all manner of evil intent to conservative presidents. Mr. Dean, who declared the Bush record on civil liberties “worse than Watergate,” told the Temple Emanuel audience that Mr. Bush is “the first president to admit to an impeachable offense.” Ms. Boxer called that “a startling assertion” worthy of Congressional attention. During her duet with Mr. Dean, she made her own startling statement, blurting out that she feared Mr. Bush “would prefer to do away with Congress,” calling for the House and Senate to be disbanded during wartime.
The “worse than Watergate” assertion would be one of the funniest things I’ve read today if it weren’t for Boxer’s own comment about Bush wanting to disband Congress. One has to wonder if she’s truly serious when she utters such nonsense, or is she simply playing to the anti-war radical left? Either way, I think it shows that Boxer isn’t fit for such a high position in one of this country’s two major political parties.
Democrats such as Ms. Boxer are in danger of being viewed as overheated and irrational in their reaction to the NSA story.
Ya think? I think we’re well past the “in danger of” stage.
A new Rasmussen poll finds that 32% of voters think our legal system worries too much about individual rights at the expense of national security. Another 27% say the current balance is about right. Only 29% say there is too much concern for national security at the expense of individual liberties and only one-third of Americans believe that Mr. Bush broke the law by authorizing the NSA to monitor phone calls between terrorist suspects. Only 26% believe that President Bush is the first to authorize a program allowing the NSA to intercept such calls.

If Ms. Boxer and Mr. Dean continue to urge Democrats down the impeachment route, they should recall how much the issue flopped for Republicans in the 1998 mid-term elections. Mr. Clinton became the first president since FDR to see his party gain seats during a mid-term election, in part because voters felt Republicans were spending too much time attacking him rather than addressing other issues.