If anyone should be thanking Edward Snowden right now, it's Hillary Clinton. PRISM may have just won her the White House. Far before Snowden's leaks, many speculated Hilldog was well on her way to become our 45th. (Warren Buffett sure does.) But it looks like the Republicans might just hand her the seat. The Party of No is split on national security. The Patriot Act is so Bush-era drama. PRISM is here to stay and here to split the Republican vote in 2016.
Obama and the Democrats are keeping unsurprisingly quiet about the recent hacking scandals. The administration probably won't make a statement until formal charges are brought against Snowden. And the congressional Democrats — well don't count on them for anything. In theory, the left is against Orwellianesque creeping. But in practice, they're just as lazy and silent today as they have been since 2004.
Conservatives are debating aloud though. And the divide — it seems — is between government-affiliated leaders and right-winged media giants. It is therefore no surprise that Speaker of the House John Boehner called Edward Snowden a "traitor" on Good Morning America this Tuesday. John McCain, the current congressional grump, hasn't come out with a full statement yet, though his commitment to "national security" means he is will likely side with Boehner as well ... as will Lindsay Graham, the South Carolina senator who probably won't take a nuanced view either.
Yet two days ago, Glenn Beck, the conservative media mogul, had the exact opposite opinion about PRISM. On his Twitter account, Beck praised Snowden, calling him a "real hero." He tweeted more than once actually, saying that Snowden has given America "yet another chance to regain her moral compass." Here are two more tweets from that day:
Bill O'Reilly is standing with Snowden as well. On the O'Reilly Factor he called for the federal government to close the program all together. "You can't just seize everything and say you're doing so and try to root out terrorism ... This PRISM program should be shut down immediately."
Well that's not going to happen. And that's exactly the problem. In an attempt to protect America's national security, officials have been running wild and loose with civilian surveillance. But don't be afraid, says Boehner. He told Good Morning America:
"There's no American who's gonna be snooped on in any way — unless they're in contact — with some terrorists somewhere around the world."
One congressional Republican who isn't falling for the rhetoric is Rand Paul, the maverick from Kentucky. For a while now, he's been forging himself as the face of the new and soon-to-arrive Republican party, and he thinks Obama owes Snowden a little gratitude.
Paul told Piers Morgan, "I think the president ought to send him a thank you letter, because the president ran on transparency, and we're getting a lot of transparency now. So, finally we're getting the president to fulfill his promise about transparency."
So Paul is a cynic, O'Reilly is a critic, and Boehner is a supporter. And jointly they represent just how factioned the Republican Party has become. Let's not even mention how immigration or marriage equality or women's rights are all issues still dividing the party.
So 2016 just might be an easy race for the Democrats. Hillary, I now crown you Queen of America. Paint the White House pink.