Labels Are Hard

U.S. News and World Report recently published an article titled Lights Out for NSA? Maryland Lawmakers Push to Cut Water, Electricity to Spy Agency Headquarters.

Eight Republicans in the 141-member Maryland House of Delegates introduced legislation Thursday that would deny the electronic spy agency “material support, participation or assistance in any form” from the state, its political subdivisions or companies with state contracts.

The bill would deprive NSA facilities water and electricity carried over public utilities, ban the use of NSA-derived evidence in state courts and prevent state universities from partnering with the NSA on research.

NSA HQ at night

The madness behind this is a far right-wing knee-jerk reaction (emphasis on “jerk”) to headlines combined with astounding ignorance.  Conservatives and their Libertarian cousins think they’re attacking President Obama by attacking NSA.  They are not.  They are attacking our troops and doing so to the advantage of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

NSA is a component of the Department of Defense and is a combat support agency.  More than half of NSA’s population are military persons working to provide tactical data to commanders both in headquarters around the world and troops in battle zones.  But these are immaterial details to opportunists and fools who refuse to read or understand beyond sensational headlines.

A friend, a Navy veteran and now a contractor at NSA sent the following:

I e-mailed Delegate Smigiel, the leader of this legislation to try and see what his understanding was of the situation and try and see if I could correct some misconceptions. It was to no avail. The man is unfortunately what I see of many of the TEA party members.  He’s an intellectual lightweight with a Twitter attention span.

His case was that “General Clapper lied and NSA is spying on Americans.”  You and I, 70,000 of our employees and colleagues, three branches of government under several administrations know this isn’t true, but he is so compelled by sound bites and his own righteousness that he thinks this is the best thing for him to do.

This is not to say that this is an isolated attitude. We see it from pols of all ilk but most prevalent in the far right and the far left.   To be fair, I think that is many politicians.

I’m an odd mix, as you know.  I’m a fiscal conservative, but want the DoD to have all the tools they need to do the job.  I am a social libertarian in that I figure what you do on your own is your own business but I then have an exception when it comes to stoned people at work on our roads.

See, labels are hard!

If the TEA Party is to become relevant they need to pick some very core topics,  Taxes and Social Freedom is, in my mind the best, and then press on that. 

The next thing we as conservatives need to deal with is illegal immigrants. They are not going away, we are not going to send them back. We need to get ahead of this, embrace them and make them conservatives. How do we do that? Do not let the libs drive this we need to brand it. 



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