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    Do Spies Knock?

    spy_vs_spy.jpgQuote:  "The rule of law protects you and it protects me from the midnight fire on our roof or the three a.m. knock on our door.   It challenges abuse of authority… And so it's a matter of considerable concern to me when our legal system is assaulted by our nation’s chief law enforcement officer, the only person obliged to take care that the laws are faithfully executed."  Rep. Henry Hyde, urging impeachment of President Clinton in 1998

    Figure of Speechfable, the storytelling example.

    Aristotle said you can use three kinds of example in rhetorical logic:  fact, comparison, and "fable."  Congressman Hyde isn't remembering a specific midnight fire or three a.m. knock.  He's making his audience imagine these things happening to them—in a nation where the president flouts the laws.

    Any comparison between that quotation and the president's approval of NSA spying on Americans is entirely coincidental.

    Snappy Answer:  "Unless the prez decides we're bad guys.  Then there is no rule of law, right?"

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