My first reaction to this news item from the White House: how cynical can you get? When it comes to the political application of cosmetic communications, the president’s team cannot seem to help itself.
My second reaction: how stupid do they think we are?
My third reaction: maybe it’ll work this time.
And then you think, my God, I am as stupid as they think I am! “The triumph of hope over experience” is an often quoted Johnsonian saying, but honestly, how can anyone think that the president’s proposal to end a surveillance program will make a difference? J. Edgar Hoover didn’t worry himself about presidents’ wishes, and NSA’s monument to 1984 has progressed a long way since J. Edgar Hoover gathered dirt on Commies, the Kennedy’s, homosexuals, civil rights activists, anti-war protesters, uppity journalists, and anyone else he didn’t like.
As for the White House, one cannot distinguish PR from actual policy intentions anymore. I don’t think they can, either.