Since 9/11, the Bush administration has conjured many enemies for the United States: Brutal dictators ensconced in the desert with their Weapons of Mass Destruction, airplane passengers who carry on baby-food and mascara to their flights. And now salivating hordes of foreign lawyers and judges.
The general understanding -if not the universal practice-is that those on Capitol Hill answer to today's voters, but not tomorrow's. On matters such as global climate change, the consequences are evident. Today's leaders face too small a reckoning for their disregard of ethical obligations to our planet and future generations. Pushing back today's problems, they store up crises for our children.
Oversight is the rallying cry of the new Democrat Class of '06. But there's a danger that the policy area most obviously in need of real accountability- our domestic national security agenda - will get short shrift in the rush to address the Iraq debacle.