Seth Masket defends partisans against claims of flip-flopping in their opinions on NSA surveillance:
In my view, it’s hard for poll respondents to evaluate NSA surveillance, or any powerful government tool, without considering who’s in charge of it. When people are asked what they think about the government having this power, they’re implicitly being asked what they think about President Obama having this power. Is it really hackish for people to be more comfortable with a governmental power if they know someone they more or less trust is going to be in charge of it? Is it hypocritical to think that police state tactics are necessary when someone who shares your values is deploying them but excessive when someone hostile to your values is deploying them? Democrats are basically saying, “Yes, this is potentially problematic, but we trust Obama to do it right,” and Republicans said the same thing about Bush.