Not a game. Chaos.
When I was a kid, there were two card games that corresponded to politics. One civilized and one rowdy. The civilized one was War. The rowdy one was Spit. We’ve been playing Spit since the 2000 election. It’s not about gentlemen and ladies playing seriously across a table. It’s about being faster, more ruthless, more physical, and yes, more violent with your cards than your opponent. War doesn’t have an equivalent of the race card. Spit has nothing but. The so-called play is just short of fisticuffs. Which it sometimes leads to.
But there was a whole other game nobody really played. 52 Pickup. It wasn’t a game at all. It was a damnation of games. It consisted of simply throwing the whole deck up in the air and challenging anyone to make sense of the result.
Where we are with the NSA revelations. Left and right no longer entirely matter, and they are not predictive. Time to figure out where you really stand. This is a juggling of first principles, and I’m thinking it’s a litmus test it’s possible to fail utterly.
The contradictions and reversals are so huge that I feared I couldn’t find a way to illustrate them. But then I saw Fox News Channel’s show The Five this evening. Enough to start the discussion.
Bob Beckel. The crusty reliable lefty. Outraged. To the max. He referenced the Patriot Act, but he didn’t content himself with blaming Bush. He blamed Obama more for extending the surveillance to all Americans.
Dana Perino. She was inclined to trust the NSA. Huh? She wondered why the whistleblower ran away to Hong Kong and asked why he didn’t come to Washington, DC, to make his revelations. Really? He wouldn’t have been swarmed by 8000 federal agents and disappeared from view? Really?
Greg Gutfeld. Total sellout. Ultimate libertarian announces he has an End Of the World clause that justifies the end of liberty if it prevents a nuclear terrorist attack. He seemed, I’m sorry to say, in a state of near panic.
Kimberly Guilfoyle. Thought she was raising the central issue when she said, “if we’re talking the ends justifying the means…” But I forgot that she’s a former federal prosecutor. The only ends vs. means issue she saw was the whistleblower. He’s a boastful would-be hero who has to be prosecuted. In her red dress and corpse makeup, she had only one objective: prosecuting the accused who had broken the law. Unmindful of her own double irony. First that the moral question of whether ends justify the means applies only to the whistleblower and NOT to the federal government. Second, that she wanted the whistleblower taken into federal custody ASAP because al Qaeda would certainly want to capture him and torture his secrets from him. So, he’s doing this for fame and glory when you regard him as a beheading victim in waiting? Really?
Eric Bolling. I thought he would buy the Republican defense. He didn’t. Doesn’t. He’s right. He agreed with Beckel. It’s outrageous and utterly unacceptable. You know. A little thing called the Fourth Amendment that half or more of putative conservatives have cravenly forgotten about.
A few additional points.
It’s been at least a decade that critics of U.S. intelligence have been decrying the decline of human intelligence in favor of high-tech intelligence. The NSA programs we’ve been learning about are the ultimate proof. The FBI was unable to translate a human intelligence tip from the Russians about the Boston bombers. Interestingly, since the U.K. Became the most surveilled society on earth, that country’s crime solution rate has plummeted. Too much data and too little, uh, intelligence applied.
I once wrote a post about death. More than 6000 Americans die every day. Terrorism? Less than 2500 victims in the last dozen years. There are 300 million Americans. No, I won’t ask you to do the math. I know most of you can’t, and I AM talking about you, Gutfeld. Your fright is disgusting. Not even losing a city is worth abandoning the freedoms you have spent so much time proclaiming. 30,000 Americans die every year just bashing into each other in their cars. Maybe the government should monitor the new GPS apps in motor vehicles to find road rage and texting teens and slurring daddies. Screw the constitution if one life can be saved by hounding them to paralyzed paranoia.
Finally, I’m fascinated by the brand new Iron Curtain righties have discovered between the predatory Obama administration and the benign nexus of CIA/NSA/FBI and all the companies that funnel our private communications to them. I’m stupefied by the lack of imagination involved in assuming that “if you haven’t done anything wrong, you have nothing to fear.” Who decides what is wrong? Can’t envision people who think some phrase in a casual email is grounds to destroy your life? If somebody in the government decides you’re a threat or a pest. Ever heard of the recent media concept called the “narrative”?
Oh, just think. For once. Think of every google search you’ve ever done. If I wanted to cast you as a villain, what STORY could I concoct of who you are based on all those searches?
Then come back at me sounding like Dana Perino, Greg Gutfeld, or even Kimberley Guilfoyle.
Actually, don’t. I don’t feel the need to respond to idiots anymore. They bore me so.
How does he always know what I’m up to?