See? Change!

Caliban sees his own face in the mirror, and it's not so bad

Above, Caliban looking in the mirror, and not raging. Just to continue the Tempest theme.

This just in:

A majority of U.S. registered voters consider Edward Snowden a whistle-blower, not a traitor, and a plurality says government anti-terrorism efforts have gone too far in restricting civil liberties, a poll released today shows.

Fifty-five percent said Snowden was a whistle-blower in leaking details about top-secret U.S. programs that collect telephone and Internet data, in the survey from Hamden, Connecticut-based Quinnipiac University. Thirty-four percent said he’s a traitor….

The poll also showed that by 45 percent to 40 percent, respondents said the government goes too far in restricting civil liberties as part of the war on terrorism. That was a reversal from January 2010, when in a similar survey 63 percent said anti-terrorism activities didn’t go far enough to protect the U.S. from attacks, compared with 25 percent who disagreed.

“The massive swing in public opinion about civil liberties and governmental anti-terrorism efforts, and the public view that Edward Snowden is more whistle-blower than traitor, are the public reaction and apparent shock at the extent to which the government has gone in trying to prevent future terrorist incidents,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of Quinnipiac’s polling institute….

“The verdict that Snowden is not a traitor goes against almost the unified view of the nation’s political establishment,” Brown said….

The poll showed both Democrats and Republicans about evenly divided on whether government counter-terrorism measures have become excessive. Independent voters view the methods as having gone too far by 49 percent to 36 percent….

“It would be naive to see these numbers as anything but evidence of a rethinking by the public about the tradeoffs between security and freedom,” Brown said.

As pollsters go, I’ve always rather admired Quinnipiac. They don’t seem to stack the deck the way a lot of other pollsters do — sneaky ways of phrasing the question, tendentious contextualizations.

Some interesting stuff here. The gender gap was fascinating. What’s that about?

And of course I love the fact that self-identified Republicans and Democrats can’t figure out whether a police state is a good thing or not, whereas those who adhere to neither of Orthrus’ heads seem to be well ahead of the duopoly zombies.

Oh, and it’s worth noting that this poll was apparently confined to registered voters, who are of course by definition more brainwashed than their non-registered counterparts.


Greenwald is being quite wonderful on all this. I unreservedly retract anything snarky I may have ever said about the guy. I even forgive him for being a lawyer.

The piece linked above mentions a couple of Democratic Party fanboi sites — including my old favorite, Daily Kos — where the souphounds are baying for Snowden’s blood:

Daily Kos

Democratic Underground

The latter, especially, makes truly hilarious reading, if you’re cruel enough to read the comments, and take a Cervantean pleasure in imbecility. Teaser: just exactly what does it mean to “drain a hard drive”? Many, many answers are offered to this poser, each more ignorant than the last.

25 thoughts on “See? Change!

      • given the media assault here
        I submit
        these results suggest
        the registered public can resist such assaults
        now and again and if the “topic” so warrants

        as to the gender bender
        ” the poll showed that men, by 54 percent to 34 percent, see the government as having gone too far in its efforts while women, by 47 percent to 36 percent, said the measures haven’t gone far enough.

        Despite this divergence, figures for the genders from Quinnipiac’s January 2010 poll exemplify the overall change in attitude on the issue. Male respondents, by 61 percent to 28 percent, said in the earlier survey that the government hadn’t gone far enough to protect the country. Among women, 64 percent said the same. ”

        no need to self loathe…too much my dickless fiends

        in a word
        successful bi-coastal establishment framing

        —gal wise that is —

        much like
        gun control

        stateless terror bombs might kill ….. our “chill-drin”

  1. Comrades, this poll reinforces my self hating woman sentiments. There are more gems than one would want to know in this poll: the blacks are evenly divided on this issue. Oh well, so much for solidarity.

    • Heh. The gender thing surprised me too. As for the responses from black folks, I suspect that’s some kind of statistical artifact.

      Voter registration among blacks has quite different patterns than among whites. For one thing, a considerable number of black men are ineligible to vote because of felony convictions, so you combine that with the gender gap and maybe that’s all you need.

      Then too, blacks historically have enlisted in the military at higher rates than whites, though this effect has diminished somewhat in recent years. I’d think a military connection might tend to make people less sympathetic to Snowden.

      And then of course black folks may just not be following the story as eagerly as some of us palefaces are.

  2. See, I would answer that the proverbial Snowden* is a traitor, not a whistle-blower. He did betray the government, whether for good or for evil. “Whistle-blowers” are traitors; the former term is Newspeak, designed to subliminally cue the verbally- or critically-deficient to discerning the difference between a pejorative action (“betrayal”) and a laudative one (“whistleblowing”). How many registered American voters are aware of the difference; are aware that the same word can mean things both good, bad, and in-between, depending on when and how it is used? Probably very few.

    How many of those who were polled answered “traitor” out of a stubborn insistence in the value of a rich, nuanced language, rather than because they meant to indicate support for punishing the proverbial Snowden? How many of those resigned themselves to answering “whistle-blower” because they were aware of the simplistic structuring of the question, and wanted to translate into the local dialect their desire that Snowden not be punished, but rewarded?

    This is why polls are no more than trivia. In reality, any form of the action “failure to revolt” is a vote of confidence in the system, which is why–as drunkpundit has hinted–we’re all part of the big show.

    * “The proverbial Snowden” because his “leak” story is as unrealistic a narrative as Tonkin Gulf or Nineleven Day.

  3. As the Chomper’s fond of pointing out; people being fucked over tend to know they’re being fucked over–it’s their liberal champions, the Doctors sans borders; the union coordinators; the counselors and teachers who are under illusions. The main problem is a) not recognizing the situation generalizes and b) not choosing to resist in an organized way.

    For example, I have a Nuyerican friend who’s never touched political book in his life yet who by virtue of the experience he relates and being a sharp whit has taught me infinitely more than any Marxist or, for that matter, anarchist textbook about politics. Pointing out, among other things, Puerto Rican’s got the Holy Grail of U.S. citizenship in exchange for letting the island become a bombing range.

  4. If I were running a poll about Snowden, I’d ask the following questions:

    1. If you could do so with impunity, would you hide Snowden if he were on the run?

    2. Would you hide Snowden if he were on the run?

    That leaves the whole issue of labels alone, and speaks only of solidarity.

  5. “Greenwald is being quite wonderful on all this. I unreservedly retract anything snarky I may have ever said about the guy. I even forgive him for being a lawyer.”

    Anyone who can piss off so many smug, self righteous bourgeoisie and make the US government look like the incompetent nincompoops we always suspected they were gets some credit. More than I ever managed to do. I’ve only managed to piss off a few smug assholes in my lifetime. Sigh… we do we can.

  6. (Spoiler warning)

    Greenwald and Snowden are being used to bring you back into the fold. A rose by any other name.

    Take out your long-term bullshit detectors. The corporate media that shuts out almost all other tangible dissent suddenly lets, beginning a few years ago, a single white, loudly homosexual, resigned Democratic voting, upper middle class lawyer promulgate lists of various atrocities that we’ve already known about for decades.

    What are the chances that the corporate media have given in to this particular rich white gay male? He’s against war, but he encourages people to vote for Obama to resist the Tea Party. He’s against drone strikes, but he suddenly celebrates the pointless presidential remarks about gay marriage, scripted to be released a few months before the Supreme Court’s scripted blow to DOMA. Various government spooks (including retiring NSA guys) have been giving “revelations” about spying since the Patriot Act–when Glenn Greenwald becomes the exclusive source for some of them, though, the corporate media abruptly puts it on the front page of everything. Out of nowhere, it’s like the exact same people who brought you the Iraq WMD story have rediscovered decency.

    These are the signs of a major operation. The number of people believing in the legitimacy of the government is dropping–thanks, in small part, to people like our host–so you are being presented with a storybook tale of heroes and villains. It’s happening during the Bradley Manning trial; there’s nothing actually new in the revelation that the government has a massive domestic and foreign spying program…etc.

    The alliteratively named operative Glenn Greenwald’s abrupt rise to white-gay-male-lawyer prominence is targeted at people like Stop Me…! readers. This is what it feels like to be manipulated–and jobs this well done are what it takes to get people like you to fall for it.

  7. I’d love to be heartened by this poll —- and faintly am, I suppose — but I suspect that in the wake of a Catastrophic Terror Attack ™, and the relentless onslaught of propganda there following, those numbers would shift to 99.999999% “Take my freedoms — please!!”

    • Perhaps, but so many bad things are actually happening that I can’t worry too much about hypothetical ones. And yes, the apparent shift in opinion isn’t a big thing, but it’s positive, I’d say, to the extent that it’s anything. Good news, however slight, is rare, so one tends to pounce on it.

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