Edward Snowden has changed the conversation about surveillance, but Obama has done little to change his tune. (Public domain) As cracks are beginning to show in the previously impervious walls protecting the National Intelligence Agency's panopticon of domestic and global surveillance, a survey of recent editorials and reporting indicates that the political legacy of President Obama—once-vaunted as a "constitutional law" professor and defender of civil liberties—is now deeply enmeshed with controversial nature of the agency's programs.
The pundits have already declared that 2014 will be “unproductive” for Congress. Well, the last couple of weeks have been the most productive for congressional action in some time. And the hearings and debate about Obamacare over the last few months have been extremely productive in educating the public and setting the political agenda. “Productive,” contrary to liberal orthodoxy, does not necessarily mean passing a bunch of bills.