Big brother in politics

It’s all about privacy and whether you have any. Strategy Page mentions amnesia and the effort to prevent terrorism.

It’s not just that a lot more people have been hired to seek out terrorists. The big change is the technology. More and more, its robots that are looking for the terrorists. This approach has raised some interesting legal questions. … Privacy rights have become a growing issue since World War II. But, since September 11, 2001, it’s become obvious that protecting those rights can get people killed. … Privacy in the modern world is a misunderstood concept.

Then Michael Laprarie wonders about the response to the heated response Congressional representatives are receiving in their August vacations.

Am I just waking up from a bad dream? Because I distinctly remember dissent being the highest form of patriotism. I remember liberals flipping out over the Patriot Act, to the extent that they tried to kill it. I remember liberals going nuts when President Bush suggested that Americans report suspicious activity in the wake of 9/11. [Wizbang: Protest-loving liberals now advocate snitch campaigns and investigations of protesters – and I’m loving it!]

Mary Katherine Ham takes a look at the tactics that are involved in the propaganda campaign to discredit the public expression in Think Progress, MSNBC ‘Manufacture’ a Story With Putative Smoking Gun ‘Mob’ Memo.

When the “manufactured” outrage the Left is trying to demonize lines up so inconveniently with public polling, it’s sometimes necessary to create evidence for the “manufactured” storyline.

This effort to minimize and demonize the opposition can also be seen in the Speaker’s claim that the opposition displayed prominent Nazi symbolism and in the efforts to elevate the Birthers fringe to the maintstream. Following that tactic is a White House effort to ‘correct’ false information, such as a recently republished interview of the President as a Senator, by asking citizens to report “fishy” behavior. Byron York has more on that program and its issues in Obama’s dissident database could be secret — and permanent at the Washington Examiner.

On Monday, White House director of new media Macon Phillips posted a note on the White House web site complaining of “disinformation about health insurance reform.” “These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation,” Phillips wrote. “Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to”

In a letter to Obama Tuesday, Republican Sen. John Cornyn wrote that, given Phillips’ request, “it is inevitable that the names, email address, IP addresses, and private speech of U.S. citizens will be reported to the White House.” Cornyn warned the president that “these actions taken by your White House staff raise the specter of a data collection program.”

As with many administration actions taken these days, there is a clear comparison and contrast to immediate precedent available. That often means that there is also a scramble to rationalize something now that was protested vehemently then. That rationalization is of interest in itself but it is what follows that is also important. When people paint themselves into a corner and then find they are trapped, they tend to escalate irrational behavior. In politics that can be dangerous when it is the behavior of those in charge of governance.

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