Jeffersonians Battle Jacksonians in GOP Civil War Over Surveillance
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  • Tom Lindmark

    The article implies that support for the measure was largely GOP based. In fact Republicans voted against it 134-94 while Democrats voted for it 111-83. Essentially the GOP defeated the measure which President Obama opposed though he spent no political capital assisting in the effort and obviously didn’t rally his own party against it.

    The Jeffersonian impulses are strong and growing but they obviously aren’t strictly confined to the GOP. Given the strong bipartisan support for the measure, I think it’s debatable as to exactly where the American public stands on this issue.

    • Andrew Allison

      It’s not debatable at all where the American public stands on this issue: a clear majority are outraged. Unfortunately, most of their reprehensitives long ago gave up actually representing them.

  • cubanbob

    Do we really want or even need a super-spy national security state? True we do need an ability to find terrorists and criminals but as recent events the government has demonstrated an amazing ability to gather information on the citizenry coupled with an equally amazing inability to use that information for its supposedly intended benefit. I’m not to fond of the Paul’s but on this they are right. Apparently it’s lost on the public that the difference between a drug and a poison is the dosage.

  • David Bennett

    Do we actually know what the American People think most of the time? What we know is that people complain about government overreach but when something bad happens the government uses it as an opportunity to overreach. Most of the governments reaction to 9/11 has been useless or worse.

  • circleglider

    Via Meadia can’t even get its own typology right. Chris Christie represents Hamiltonians, not Jacksonians.

    Plus, the public support for the national security state that you see as a sensible middle way is nothing but reflexive partisanship on the part of rank-and-file Democrats. If a Republican president’s NSA had been exposed by Edward Snowden, the debate – and the votes in Congress – would have been very different.

  • Bruce

    The American people are willing to live with some security measures. However, they are beginning to realize that government over reaches on everything it does. Even if they are willing to endure some security (although not as much as there is now), the appetite for more wars is gone. They won’t be sold another war easily. Christie has become a tiresome buffoon. His candor used to be refreshing. Now it’s just boring, inelegant and unbecoming of a public official. There is a place for tact in the world.

  • Pete

    The government is giving the American people a false choice on security.

    Instead of creating an intrusive national security system (NSA surveillance, the absurd politically correct screening policies at airports, nation building wars, etc.), all that has to be done is to closely monitor Muslims, like is done with other hate groups (KKK), and curtail Muslim entry into the U.S.

    But you see, the true objective of the State is not to protect you and me. It’s to protect itself from you and me — the citizens — as it expands its reach over us..

  • ljgude

    There is a bipartisan reaction to the NSA’s perfidious behaviour. I find myself agreeing with both libertarians and self proclaimed bleeding heart liberals. Personally as a tech aware guy I have not been at all shocked by the revelations except that the fat lazy bureaucrats combined with political correctness made it possible to not tap the Tsaranev brothers after the Russkies fingered them. It is good to see bipartisan disgust with disgustingly degenerate government.

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