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Old 06-11-2013, 12:40 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Twixt Hell & Highwater
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Malik Jackson
Default NSA Leaks Mucking Up Partisan Divisions

Democrats, owing partly to the simple fact that they control the levers of executive power, are more likely to back the extensive use of that authority. Two recent surveys differed in how respondents reacted to the NSA's surveillance programs, but they found similar patterns of partisanship.

In a HuffPost/YouGov poll, Republicans and independents were most likely to say that collecting Americans' phone records is unnecessarily intrusive, by a 65 percent to 17 percent margin for Republicans and by a 62 percent to 17 percent margin for independents. But Democrats in the poll were more divided, with 39 percent saying collecting phone records is unnecessarily intrusive and 33 percent saying it is justified to combat terrorism.

In a Pew Research Center/Washington Post poll, majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and independents all supported the NSA monitoring, but Democrats were by far the most likely to do so. Sixty-four percent of Democrats called the surveillance acceptable, compared with 53 percent of independents and 52 percent of Republicans.

That wasn't the case when former President George W. Bush was in office. A similar ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted in 2006 during the Bush administration -- after similar revelations that the government was collecting Americans' phone and email data -- found that 75 percent of Republicans and just 37 percent of Democrats said it was acceptable for the NSA to "secretly[listen] in on phone calls and [read] emails without court approval."

Republicans who were then on the receiving end of Democratic criticism, particularly that dished out by then-candidate Barack Obama, are piqued to see so many now standing up for the national security state. "This so similar to the Cheney doctrine, it's not even funny, and nobody's talking about that," a former Republican leadership aide said on background. "At least Republicans are consistent. The left should be enraged. He promised something better than this. And it's ****ing the same, it's the same arrogance."
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