Being a career politician usually means doing what the party leadership says, but as the NSA surveillance schemes continue to be defended by the power brokers on both sides, the rank and file that have gone along for the ride are finding themselves in a bad place.
The narrow defeat in the House of Representatives of an amendment to end the surveillance last month reflected a lot of vigorous opposition from both parties’ leadership and the Obama Administration.
But voting how the party wants has left a lot of those Congressmen on the wrong side of the argument, and facing growing opposition from voters in their districts. The complaints are loud, and that’s concern enough for them, but for many of them there is a palpable risk that this vote is going to cost them direly in next year’s elections.
Polls continue to show overwhelming concern about the NSA’s privacy violations among voters in both parties and it gets even worse with independent voters. Those polls underscore a big vulnerability for those incumbent NSA supporters, and that has to be forcing a lot of them to consider jumping ship before the voters kick them out.