Friday, January 24, 2014

Obama's Surveillance Problem Is the Dems' Surveillance Problem

I think there may only be one person left in America who hasn't realized that the NSA surveillance scandal is killing the Democratic Party . . .  and he'll be giving the State of the Union address on Tuesday night.

I'm sure Barack Obama is huddled with his speechwriters at this very moment, and is crafting a wide-ranging, precise, balanced, statesmanlike address. Unfortunately, no one is interested in a wide-ranging, precise, balanced, statesmanlike address -- they want to know what he's going to do to get the NSA the hell away from them.

Poor Obama -- it's just not in his nature to recognize a BIG problem when he sees it, and to solve it.  Every problem goes into the "analysis pending" folder, and gets mixed in with a thousand other policy initiatives and projects and working groups and review panels and expert commissions.

There is no question that he will be content to let this problem fester for the rest of 2014.  (Kiss the midterms goodbye.) And beyond. I wonder when people are going to wake up to the fact that the Democratic Party may be dragged down by the NSA surveillance scandal in 2016.

What's that? The Democratic Party didn't create the problem in the first place?  I'm sorry: completely irrelevant. Politics is all about "now."

My prediction?  Republican candidates in the 2014 midterms are going to say, "Hey - I'm a 4th amendment supporter! Vote me in and I'll get the government out of your hair! Obama may be afraid of the guys at the NSA, but I'm not!" Which puts Democratic candidates in a rather awkward position. What can they say, without appearing insipid on the one hand -- or incurring the wrath of the Chief on the other?

Related posts

One issue that has a key place in the midterm elections in 2014, I believe, is surveillance.  With each passing day, I am hearing more and more people say that the surveillance issue is something that a wide spectrum of people are deeply upset about. That includes people on the right as well as people on the left -- people who don't usually talk with each other, much less work together for positive change!

(See The Surveillance Issue: The Fulcrum of the 2014 Election? 

There has been a good sign in 2013, in that many people have become outraged about government surveillance. A recent Pew poll found that Americans are now more worried about civil liberties abuses than terrorism. I believe a big question in 2014 will be whether challengers successfully address the issue of NSA surveillance in their campaigns.

(See What Will Election 2014 Boil Down To? )

Edward J. Snowden has forced us to confront what we all knew already: our government is running wild and we can't get our privacy back, short of some kind of very extreme change . . . . We have a problem with our government. It sees opportunities for power in every bit and byte of our personal data, and it's time to call it what it is: wrong.

(See Fed Up With Being Spied On)