Hannity’s Convenient Flip Flop on NSA Surveillance

Like Bill O’Reilly and many others, including many liberals unfortunately, Sean Hannity’s position on government surveillance has taken a mighty swing in the other direction now that Obama is in office instead of Bush. When Bush was in office, questioning NSA data mining makes one “weak on national security.” Now that Obama is in office, NSA data mining is a tyrannical outrage. He couldn’t believe anyone would even debate such techniques then. Now he’s furious about them.


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  • Chiroptera

    Ed Brayton: …including many liberals unfortunately….

    How many is “many”? Certainly, many Democrats have flipped on the issue, but Nate Silver has a recent blog post pointing out the more liberal Democratic members of the House of Representatives have remained pretty consistent on their opposition.

    I don’t doubt that there are a few “true liberals” who may be supportive of these surveillance programs now that Obama is President, but let’s not characterize liberals as a group with the stands of prominent Democrats.

  • So, does this mean that Seanny ISN’T willing to be waterboarded to prove that it’s not torture?

    I notice that @ about 1:35 Seanny starts to sound like Vizzini during his argument with Wesley/The Dread Pirate Roberts in “The Princess Bride”.

    I also notice his “part” is, like the Overton Window, creeping ever farther to the right. Pretty soon he’s gonna have himself a Trumpover that “The Dongald” will envy!

  • lofgren

    It’s interesting that his three arguments against NSA data mining are all technicalities. They all amount to basically the same objection, “The rules say it’s wrong.” He makes no effort whatsoever to talk about why it is a good thing that the rules say it’s wrong. Given two sets of rules, one of which says that data mining is wrong and the other says that it is right, he simply supports the set of rules that is convenient for him at the moment, rather than talk about the relative virtues of the two sets of rules and explain why one is better than the other.

    Watching these two clips, you get the following arguments:

    Data mining is good because it helps us fight terrorists.

    Data mining is bad because the rules say it is wrong.

    Given these two arguments, the solution is obviously to change the rules, thus completely eliminating the second objection. After all, this is basically the same argument that prohibitionists make against pot. Sure it’s the safer than alcohol but it’s still wrong because the rules say so.Rules lawyering is not a substitute for actual debate.

  • jen

    They’re all doing a 180 on this. Suddenly, what was a great thing to fight terrorism when Bush was the president is now somehow a massive overreach and something evil. Mike Gallagher (I listen to the other side occasionally to check out the crazy) said the other day that he’s rethinking the whole thing, that he just doesn’t like this program anymore. Hypocritical for sure. They just don’t like that the guy in the White House, who doesn’t look like them, has the same power as the guy before him.

  • lofgren

    Chiroptera @1

    In fairness to conservatives, we should point out it’s not really fair to count Hannity amongst them either. That would imply he has some kind of principles.

  • That is … hilarious.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Cheney: Snowden is a ‘traitor,’ possibly Chinese spy


    It’s not too late to re-open the Valerie Plame case, and root out a real traitor.

  • Like I said before: Hannity is a shameless republican flack. His role is to take whatever position benefits the GOP and/or harms democrats. Once you view his remarks through that filter, he’s actually consistent. Data mining is good when republicans do it and bad when democrats do it.

  • harold

    Let me point out the obvious –

    If Obama had in any way lessened the amount of domestic spying, he would have been blamed for it. They would be screaming that the Boston Marathon atrocity would have been prevented except for Obama being “weak on terror”, and so on.

    It’s remarkable how people keep falling for these cheap tricks. Set up a bad policy. If the other guy reverses it, attack him for that. If he doesn’t, attack him for using the very same bad policy that you yourself initiated.