ORWELLIAN PROGRAMS REQUIRE ORWELLIAN PROPAGANDA
When I saw Monday's Pew poll on NSA surveillance, I thought maybe Americans were shrugging off the program the way they shrugged off the Bush administration's spying regime. But polls from CBS, the Huffington Post/YouGov, and now Gallup all show significant levels of disapproval. So, for what it's worth, did a Rasmussen poll taken over the weekend.
The Obama administration's problem is that it didn't immediately sell these programs with an Orwellian name like "terrorist surveillance program." It never made the argument underlying that Orwellian name, expressly or implicitly -- namely that no decent person had anything to fear from the surveillance because the surveillance was directly only at bad people. Obama's team never wrapped the programs in an overarching argument that any opposition to what the White House does to combat Evildoers is unpatriotic and disloyal.
If you want to get away with Big Brothery stuff like this, you have to sell it with Big Brothery propaganda. So, yeah, surveillance was regarded as acceptable under Bush and apparently won't be regarded as acceptable under Obama. Lesson for presidential wannabes: You've got to give them the whole Orwellian package.