You know those Democratic members who are encouraging citizens to forget about warrantless surveillance (with the help of media allies who are calling for the country to simply “move on”). They seem to be struggling to find ways to change the story as President Obama proposes a facially meaningless set of “reforms” to lull the public back to a comfortable sleep. For civil libertarians, it seemed like Sen. Charles Schmuer was adding this week to the effort to get citizens to stop thinking about government bugs and start thinking about nature’s ticks. Schumer is calling on New Yorkers to check themselves and be vigilant in the face of the threat of ticks.
While I agree with the danger of ticks (my wife often relates how I am over-protective with my kids on such issues), I found Schumer’s effort notably in light of his virtual silence on surveillance (beyond supporting, of course, Obama entirely against privacy rights). Rather than encourage the same vigilance on surveillance, Schumer wants to talk about actual bugs. In other words, move on America. These are bugs that you can actually do something about.
Ticks are a great subject for a politicians. There are not advocates for ticks or two sides. It is like rickets. Who is in favor of rickets? So it is a perfect subject for a politicians to take a bold and uncompromising stand — even if such issues are generally state not federal matters. Schumer tied in the Center of Disease Control and stepped forward to oppose ticks no matter how the tick lobby might react. Notably, the Senator was able to get away with press conferences where he talks ticks but not the massive erosion of civil liberties and privacy. Not Clapper’s perjury. Not past false statements of Congress. That is what ticks me off.