June 12, 2013
For David Brooks, again, keeping to the niceties of our social contract is a one-sided deal. Ordinary folk must be nice to their bones, but those who pull the big levers must only be nice when everyone’s looking. Underneath they are, as Jesus once said of the meticulously religious, ravening wolves.
Ravening wolves may ignore constitutional protections intended to keep them out of our private business except by due process, while those with individual senses of responsibility, especially those un-ordained by the ravening wolves must just shut up.
Brooks writes in the NYT:
“For society to function well, there have to be basic levels of trust and cooperation, a respect for institutions and deference to common procedures. By deciding to unilaterally leak secret N.S.A. documents, Snowden has betrayed all of these things.”
—as if the NSA was not betraying levels of trust itself.
It seems Snowden (to Brooks a whistle-blowing underling) saw a crime being committed by the cops and didn’t go to the cops to report it —not a completely irrational decision. Now the cops and Brooks are whining.
Whether, as Brooks psychoanalyzes, Snowden was predisposed by personality to report the crime or not, it needed reporting. Brooks seems to trust people in power way too much which makes him an unreliable pundit —one not to be trusted himself.
Given what Snowden revealed, Brooks can only be being disingenuous in suggesting that unconstitutional policies would eventually become more constitutional by continuing in the dark.
That would be a stupid conclusion.
But whether Brooks’ column was written out of stupidity or craftiness, it indicates he’s part of the problem —a cog in the juggernaut crushing the bill of rights under its wheels.
And then there’s Peter King, troglodyte extraordinaire, saying we should ditch that part of the Bill of Rights that protects the press from government suppression (not that the press has been doing a fabulous job in the near recollectable past).