Before you ask, I know what you’re thinking. “Wait… they’re still having Nutroots Nation?” Apparently so. And as a featured speaker, they trotted out former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. Generally a crowd pleaser with the progressive universe, Pelosi wound up getting a bit cooler reception than she’s likely used to during the Q&A portion of the event.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was booed by progressive activists Saturday for defending President Obama on the NSA’s surveillance programs and suggesting that alleged leaker Edward Snowden broke the law…
As Pelosi was saying the country needs a “balance” between security and privacy, Marc Perkel, a 57-year-old activist from Gilroy, Calif., started shouting at Pelosi during her answer and was escorted out of the room.
“It’s not a balance. It’s not constitutional!” he yelled. “No secret laws!”
Others in the room began shouting as well, saying things like “Leave him alone!” or “That’s what a police state looks like right there!”
Wow. I haven’t heard the “police state” line broken out in quite a while. Seems like it must have been… oh, I don’t know. Five years or so at least. And it’s certainly not the type of hot public loving that Pelosi has grown used to when preaching to the Liberal choir. But there was at least one thing that they could all agree on. This is still nothing like life under George W. No sir. No way. No how.
Speaking in a wide-ranging Q&A session at this year’s Netroots Nation conference, Pelosi said it’s unfair to equate Obama and former President George W. Bush on the issue of surveillance.
“People on the far right are saying oh, this is the fourth term of President Bush,” the California Democrat said. “Absolutely, positively not so.”
I do find it interesting that Pelosi has found a stalking horse to test out in terms of laying blame for the entire Snowden affair. She’s citing the “vast outsourcing of government programs to contractors” as the reason that the wheels are coming off the cart. Not that the government is screwing up in any way shape or form, mind you, but that big mouth contractors are talking out of school. I’m not sure how much water that particular story holds, though, given that we’ve been using contractors at very high levels on sensitive programs for at least the majority of my adult life. (And probably before as well.)
But hey… the Democrats wanted to be in charge and now they are. And when you put on the big hat and grab the reins, things like this are going to happen. It’s a lot harder to actually do the job than to sit back in the cheap seats and kvetch about it. But on the plus side, Nancy has always been a big fan of unfettered free speech, and she got an earful of it at Netroots Nation. Enjoy.