This is not a catfight

Just read the most appalling article in the New York Times, about senators who (rightly) complain that the White House ran roughshod over Congress’s oversight capacity with the whole NSA wiretapping program. The snarky tone of the article would have been better suited to celebrities who’d destroyed a hotel room during a catfight. Here’s perhaps the most egregious example:

‘In a sense, the hearing tapped into a Congressional inferiority complex that has been particularly acute under Mr. Bush, who has taken a muscular approach to expanding the executive branch’s authority. Lawmakers like to say Congress is a “co-equal branch” of government; nothing irks them more than when the White House punctures that balloon.’

Silly Congress, thinking they have power! Honestly, they get so childish sometimes.
I was annoyed enough to write a letter to the editor, which I’ll paste here since it will otherwise disappear into the black hole of the NYT letterbox:

‘To the Editor, NYT:

The separation of powers in the American government is not (yet) some silly delusion that afflicts members of Congress, to be dismissed as a “balloon” of fantasy (“Senators Left Out of the Loop Make Their Pique Known,” Capitol Hill Memo, May 19, 2006). You describe as “testy,” “in a state of pique,” and “throwing a temper tantrum” lawmakers who express legitimate grievances about the executive branch’s despotism. Are you suggesting that the system of checks and balances is already gone, or are you hastening its demise by ridiculing those who want to revive it? Is your snide tone cynicism, in other words, or complicity?’

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