I don’t mean to be too harsh with Politico, because it is actually a worthy, if depressing, story. But it is a case where the lead should be re-written to fit the evidence:
“He is the toast of the libertarian left and the libertarian right. But for most of the political establishment, across the ideological spectrum, it has taken only a few days to conclude that Edward Snowden is nothing less than a dangerous villain.”
This is a dodge. Up until today “libertarian left” has referred to people who were libertarians but whose personal morality and beliefs about society were more products of the sexual revolution and less influenced by traditional Christian and semi-Christian society. People like Glenn Greenwald and others are not “libertarian left”; they’re just modern liberals. When candidate Obama campaigned against warrantless wiretapping in 2008, no one called him “libertarian left.” They simply considered him a modern liberal or “progressive.”
By posing Edward Snowden’s defenders as fringe, they writer attempts to salvage the idea of a “spectrum.” But, again, that is all a dodge. What this story reveals is that there is no spectrum of opinion at all. When it comes to crucifying the Fourth Amendment and spying on the American people in secret so they can’t legally complain about it, “Democrat” and “Republican” are simply labels designed to confuse you. There is one party, with one foreign policy and one domestic “security” policy: “the establishment.” And they know their enemy. Their enemy is anyone who takes away their power:
“Peter Beinart, the former editor of The New Republic, likened the backlash against Snowden to the 1990s-vintage concern over mainstream political forces losing ground to actors on the ideological margins. ‘On the one hand, the ideological division amongst elites is not so great, and they share some basic assumptions about the potential benevolence of the federal government,’ Beinart said. ‘And there’s this sense that there’s a motley crew of outsiders – Ross Perot, Pat Buchanan, Ralph Nader – all being fueled by the sense that the government was predatory, and what seemed to elites like a paranoid set of fears.’”
Kudos to Politico to getting this quotation from Beinart. I was never a fan of Perot or Nader. But I remember how much effort was spent squelching and marginalizing Pat Buchanan on the basis of grotesque deceptions. That same establishment is still trying to make sure no one opposes its consolidation and maintenance of power.
I’m not saying the differences, on legal abortion or same sex marriage, etc, are unimportant. They are tremendously important. But I suspect that most Establishment Republicans take the conservative side simply to hold our votes hostage while they collude with the Democrats in building an unconstitutional totalitarian surveillance state and perpetual war machine.
Naturally, as the establishment, they act as if the worse thing they can do to Snowden is point out that he hasn’t fit into the establishment:
“Tufts professor Daniel Drezner, who blogs for Foreign Policy magazine, raised an eyebrow at the tenor of the Snowden criticism. ‘It’s interesting that a lot of the reactions, especially from the D.C. community, have been along the lines of, “Oh, this is a high school dropout. He doesn’t match up to our academic qualifications,”’ said Drezner, who expressed ambivalent feelings about Snowden.’”
I can only hope that the American people will wake up and realize that these people have killed our Constitution and are now, after Snowden has publicly exposed them, trying to manipulate us into approving of their crime.