As reported in The Denver Post yesterday, at least registered voters appear to have their heads screwed on straight, and manifestly reject the NSA mass surveillance, asserting it goes too far and undermines civil liberties. In addition, 55% in the poll say Snowden is a whistleblower, not a "traitor". This is a crucial distinction because it shows registered voters at least aren't buying the media and political class' misbegotten narrative that Snowden turned against his country. NO, he exposed the lawless excesses of his country- trying to steer it back onto the constitutional straight and narrow.
The poll results disclosed that 45% said that "the government's anti-terrorism efforts go too far and infringe on civil liberties" which is a mammoth shift from a 2010 survey where 63% indicated the "government didn't go far enough". (Hmmm.....perhaps the gov't responded to this earlier finding by excess!) In the current survey, 40% found that the gov't didn't go far enough. Meanwhile, 34% of voters still believe Snowden to be a "traitor" and this indicates they've been brainwashed by the constant media drumbeat. Or their political parties' blather, if affiliated.
The poll conducted by Quinnipiac University asked 2, 014 registered voters if the government has "gone too far" in domestic surveillance and efforts and whether Edward Snowden - former NSA computing contractor- is a whistleblower or traitor. What is most interesting to me is the poll finding when one goes beneath the numbers and how in many respects the division is not by political party. Adherents of both Dems and Repubs appear to line up with their political whores.....errrrr.....reps..in being inclined to the government not going far enough and Snowden is a "traitor" trope. As the Post notes (p. 21A):
"In a country that is split sharply on virtually every political issue along Democratic and Republican lines, there is virtually no difference on this question by political party".
In other words, it is precisely those politically affiliated with the corporate parties who also echo their narratives and views. Meanwhile, a solid 49% of independents (like me) believe the government went too far in its dragnet scooping up of data. This shows in no uncertain terms that political affiliation can be hazardous to your political well being and perceptions.
I've seen this displayed in my own household as wifey (a registered Dem) has been reluctant to condemn the NSA surveillance probably because (like most Dems) she doesn't wish to "pile on" to Obama or add to his woes. (Though most Ds would have if it was Mitt Romney who'd been doing it!) No surprise that when these D-affiliateds do poll that the gov't is going too far they also poll that "it's necessary". To which I say, 'Bullshit!' It is not necessary and such a claim doesn't even pass the most basic moron laugh test.
As I pointed out to her and would to any registered Dem voter, Obama was responsible for his own (recent NSA) woes by signing on to this surveillance when he could have stood up and vetoed the extension of the misbegotten, re-crafted FISA law in 2011. That "law" was really a rewriting of the 1978 FISA law, to make it consistent with Bush's 2005-06 illegal warrantless wiretapping. In other words it made the illegal, legal. Obama, being a former constitutional law professor, has no excuse and the integrity of the nation's 4th amendment provisions must trump political interest or affiliation. But don't tell that to wifey, or the Dem political class including: Joe Biden, Dianne Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz or most of the pro-Dem media stars of MSNBC!
In like manner, Repukes (e.g. Lindsey Graham, Peter King etc.) have lined up and come to Obama's defense (most of them with few exceptions, e.g. Rand Paul) in condemning Snowden and the leaks because...DUH! ....they want $200b a year to continue to be spent on the perpetual war-surveillance state. It doesn't take a Mensa IQ to grasp that the Rs have always demanded more for war-surveillance and tax cuts in order to bleed down limited federal revenues, thereby making it easier to justify cutting social insurance programs. By no means are they truly coming to Obama's aid out of the goodness of their little hearts, they are really driving up deficits to put more pressure on him to make severe cuts in September when we'll likely face another debt ceiling increase.
Meanwhile, only a few Dems have had the courage of their convictions and stood up to this crap, including Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado, who has pushed the Obama administration to be more transparent in its domestic spying programs. As the Post notes (ibid.):
"Udall, along with Oregon Democrat Sen. Ron Wyden have called the government's interpretation of certain sections (e.g. 215) of the Patriot Act too intrusive and not necessary to protect the United States from a terrorist attack.'
Sen. Udall is also the one who recently observed that "Americans would be shocked if they found out how the federal government was interpreting the Patriot Act to infringe on law abiding Americans' constitutional privacy rights."
Look, either we are a nation that respects constitutional rights or we admit we're now lawless rogues who pursue a "war on terror" that the rest of the world calls a "war of terror". We are not earning any friends and each day the Afghan morass goes on along with indiscriminate drone kills, it's likely creating 1,000 new terrorists. Is this what we want? Americans need to break away from the droning PR wags on corporate network television and do their own thinking for a change - unaffected by propaganda. Else, they may well mutate into what I called "good Germans" in my July 4 blog post.