In my earlier post I suggested that the Magical Mystery Tour of Edward Snowden was a gift both to the MSM and to the Obama administration that they love. What that might seem counter intuitive it can only be explained in context.
1. It Keeps the Focus on Snowden rather than the NSA
Every day that Edward Snowden is the story is a victory for the White House, If Snowden, his quirks, his hot girlfriend, his videos & interviews and now his travels are the focus the press can keep their eyes on Snowden and the quest to catch him and avoid talking about or pressing the Obama administration about the NSA revelations within them.
2. It gives the press a reason to defend the Administration.
Right off the top when Snowden & the Guardian story broke there was a rush by some to judge Snowden a Hero but others hesitated. they didn’t like what the NSA was doing, particularly in this current environment but didn’t trust Snowden. Some left leaning media and pol were not anxious to take sides quickly and libertarians were ready to give Snowden the benefit of the doubt.
By an itinerary that reads like a who’s who of countries that hate us, oppose us or violate press & human rights Snowden give the polls and the press leave to attack him, and call him a traitor with a lot fewer questions. In short they can defend the Obama administration with a lot less guilt. One might question if David Gregory’s question was proper or no, but do you think for one minute Gregory asks a reporter, even Greg Greenwald “why shouldn’t you Mr Greenwald be charged with a crime? if the president is George W Bush?
3. It divides Libertarians and Republicans further.
When I first wrote about the Snowden case I mentioned four possibilities in the Snowden case based on one of two descriptions of Snowden (Hero or Traitor) and the NSA program (Necessary security or Troubling to civil rights) Snowden’s decision to flee to some of the worst countries out there means, if you want to keep opponents of this administration divided you have all the cards you need.
When libertarians and people worried about the government using the NSA powers against them tweet they can be quickly counted by the quite accurate description of Snowden as a Traitor & his flight plan. When people talk about Snowden as a traitor giving out US secrets they can be quickly countered by the quite understandable and given this administrations record valid fears of NSA overreach by an administration with “Chicago values” when it comes to the rights of those who oppose them.
Put simply if you want to keep the people arguing on twitter and keeping that argument away from the White House it’s a cinch.
The reality is of course the phrases “Edward Snowden is a felon & traitor to the US” and “The NSA PRISM program can’t be trusted to be kept separate from the political needs of any administration” are not mutually exclusive, but it’s hard to make that case in 140 characters when passions run deep when people want to keep you fighting.
4a. It keeps the other scandals off the front page….
Peggy Noonan wrote one of the most provocative pieces on the Tea Party IRS scandal by a mainstream journalist that has been written to this point:
More: “The bottom line is that the Tea Party movement, when properly activated, can generate a huge number of votes—more votes in 2010, in fact, than the vote advantage Obama held over Romney in 2012. The data show that had the Tea Party groups continued to grow at the pace seen in 2009 and 2010, and had their effect on the 2012 vote been similar to that seen in 2010, they would have brought the Republican Party as many as 5-8.5 million votes compared to Obama’s victory margin of 5 million.”
Think about the sheer political facts of the president’s 2012 victory. The first thing we learned, in the weeks after the voting, was that the Obama campaign was operating with a huge edge in its technological operation—its vast digital capability and sophistication. The second thing we learned, in the past month, is that while the campaign was on, the president’s fiercest foes, in the Tea Party, were being thwarted, diverted and stopped.
Technological savvy plus IRS corruption. The president’s victory now looks colder, more sordid, than it did. Which is why our editor, James Taranto, calls him “President Asterisk.”
This is about as close as anyone has come to bluntly stating what a lot of people (including me) think. That president Obama and/or his campaign used the IRS to neutralize the Tea party to secure he re-election and it’s appeared not on DaTechGuy’s Blog, or the Lonely Conservative or the Minority Report, that was written for the Wall Street Journal.
If Edward Snowden was not the headline of the week this piece would be the talk of Washington and Peggy Noonan would be a guest on at least 1 weekend talk show to discuss it. She was not and it was not.
The IRS scandal keeps progressing and there are developments on Benghazi too but as long as we are playing Where’s Waldo with Edward Snowden the media have a different “Obama Scandal” to talk about instead but it also…
4b…and give the White House Political Room
The Obama administration desperately needs a political victory the gang of eight bill right now is their best prospect for such a thing.
If Lindsey Graham, John McCain and Kelly Ayotte are hitting the White House on Benghazi, if Marco Rubio & Ted Cruz are hitting them on the IRS targeting the Tea Party and if Rand Paul is coming after them on free speech that doesn’t happen. It unites the GOP to their base anxious to support them.
But if Edward Snowden is the only scandal on the table then Graham, McCain, Ayotte, Rubio and Cruz are all hitting Snowden, heck even Rand Paul is hesitating due to his itinerary entry and that allows the subject to be changed to the gang of 8’s immigration amnesty bill which keeps these senators fighting each other and the GOP base, which is exactly what the administration wants, and if the bill does pass the press will pivot to the “leadership of Obama” and away from the scandals which they can blame on Snowden.
“Never let a scandal go to waste.” is the slogan. One might debate if Edwand Snowden’s revelations and flight are a scandal but this administration has no intention of wasting it.
Delayed Instalance Thanks Glenn and don’t forget to check back for a post and some coverage of the Markey/Gomez battle today.
I’m updating this one Tuesday as I’m behind in my current post and while Yesterday was not bad I find myself still $228 short of making a full paycheck for the first time this month and a full $589 shy of making my mortgage payment with 5 and six days to go respectively.
Care to change that? Considering hitting DaTipJar below.