…and Snowden’s flight is a Gift to the Obama Administration & MSM

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...and Snowden's flight is a Gift to the Obama Administration & MSM

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 58.5 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.

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[olimome­ter id=3]

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.

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.

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Olimometer 2.52

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.