Andrew Sullivan suggests that conservative bloggers are being hypocritical for savaging the Obama administration's alarmist though unverifiable statements about right-wing extremism while ignoring reports that during the Bush administration the NSA may have broken the law by collecting too much electronic data.
I'm all for political ironies, but this one doesn't wash. There's no question that some in the Bush administration lost perspective after Sept. 11. We need thorough investigations by journalists and historians of how we ended up in Iraq and probably by a government commission of the administration's dalliance with torture. But I never felt threatened by electronic eavesdropping, because I never had the remotest suspicion that Bush was interested in anything besides possible terrorist connections. If Bush and his team overreached, it was to protect the interests of the United States and the lives of innocent Americans.
I do feel threatened (offended is a better word) by the Obama administration's suggestion that if I want lower federal income taxes, I'm a potential Timothy McVeigh. President Obama and his advocates might say that it somehow helps the country to stigmatize the right, but it really has to do with the appropriations debates and the 2010 elections. So in the end, when comparing memes, motives may matter most.
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