Wednesday, June 12, 2013


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.


Danp said...

And what's with the anagram PRISM? It sounds so new age.

Victor said...

You'd prefer an anagram like CRYSTALS?

I'd have called it "The Founding Fathers Finding Filthy-terrorists Protecting 'We the people,' Program."

BillyWitchDoctor said...

Maybe Obama just felt it was okay because Junior Bush and President Cheney made formerly illegal things legal?

Now that people are questioning why this was opened up right before a big confab with China over cybersecurity issues, and why Freedom Warrior Snowden chose Hong Kong to hole up in, the air is starting to leak out of the outrage tires.

(Plus they're realizing it doesn't really matter who's in office on this; in the preposterous event that Nader was president, the NSA would've briefed Ralphie on the program and told him to just sit there quietly and color his books while they went about it. And he would comply because he enjoys being an alive person with an intact skull.)

Sure, neoconservatives, teabaggers, and pseudoprogressives are still hand-in-hand howling for Obama's head...but what's new?