The NSA hubbub confirms the adage that politics makes strange bedfellows
With each passing day, the controversy surrounding the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs further blurs the lines between left and right in American politics.
This must be frustrating — nay, downright confusing — for those folks who ordinarily distinguish the good guys from the bad guys by labels of liberal or conservative.
Yeah, it’s a crazy world when Michael Moore and Glenn Beck suddenly find themselves on the same side of an issue.
And then, to make matters even more confusing, the first major poll on the NSA spying “scandal” finds that majorities of Republicans and Democrats alike don’t think it’s a scandal at all. They approve of the NSA’s tracking of Americans’ phone records as a safeguard against terrorism.
Another example of the blurred lines arises from the question of whether NSA leaker Edward Snowden is a hero or a traitor. Lefty Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame says Snowden’s a hero. So does righty Glenn Beck. But Republican House Speaker John Boehner thinks Snowden’s a traitor. Do does Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Fox News analyst Ralph Peters, a right-winger, even says Snowden should be executed.
Personally, I find all this confusion a welcome, if probably also short-lived, departure from our usual left-right political battles. It prompts people to sort through issues, rather than just look for labels, before they decide which side they’re on.