Monday, June 10, 2013

Should Jim Tracy Really Be Pulling for Edward Snowden?

Posted By on Mon, Jun 10, 2013 at 11:32 AM

This morning, state Sen. Jim Tracy tweeted:

I find this odd and alarming. Yes, we have a long, proud history of civil disobedience in this country — people breaking laws they felt were unjust. And those people went to jail in this country — abolitionists, suffragettes, civil rights activists, AIDS activists and, shoot, even that guy who hauled his gun around Radnor Lake faced the legal consequences of their actions.

Edward Snowden, with all our state secrets, is hiding under the protection of China. This doesn't make Tracy a bit nervous? I know it makes me wary of declaring him a hero — and I'm about as leftist as they come in this state. There's too much we don't know — why, for instance, he ran to China, and what China got out of him for letting him stay under its protection. Ask yourself this: Would there be anything the U.S. could be doing that is so vile you think letting China know about it before the U.S. public knows about it is worth it?

Don't get me wrong: I do think there are moments like that in a country's history. And I've been alarmed by the widespread monitoring of our private information; it's been obvious since the passage of the PATRIOT Act that this is what the government is up to. And I welcome not only a public discussion, but pressure by folks on both the left and right to end this nonsense. Still, I also don't think U.S. citizens should be giving state secrets to China, and I'd like to know that's not been the case before I decide I'm on Snowden's side. I can't honestly believe that Tracy feels differently.

And I also wish Republicans would just pick a worldview and stick with it. This week, Jim Tracy is essentially saying, "We must pray for this guy who's hiding behind China's skirts" — and last week, Glen Casada was complaining about how much we in Tennessee praise socialists and foreign despots. So are socialists and foreign despots OK or not?

Can we just get a Tennessee Republican consensus on that?

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