William McGurn's Analogy
By David Henderson
In a piece titled “Snow(den) blind: Libertarians’ telling ‘hero’,” William McGurn, a former George W. Bush speechwriter and Wall Street Journal columnist, and currently editorial page editor of the New York Post, writes:
The libertarians who champion Snowden will claim that the secrets he published were embarrassing to the government but not damaging to our security. There’s [sic] two points to make about this addled thinking.
First, what Snowden released wasn’t about the NSA listening in on conversations about your private marijuana patch.
To the contrary [sic], much of it is about how America goes about its intelligence work, including the Congressional Budget Justification Book that includes detailed information on our intelligence priorities and operations.
Second, say you oppose the NSA program and believe it a good thing it was exposed. Does that make Snowden is [sic] a hero?
If the answer is yes, ask yourself this: Was Sammy “The Bull” Gravano — a hitman with the Gambino family — also a “hero” because he coughed up secrets that helped take down John Gotti, the “Teflon Don”?
It’s an elementary distinction, between those who honorably serve our nation and those who betray her.
The libertarian inability to make it with Ed Snowden helps explain why libertarians have a long ways [sic] to go before the American people will ever elect one president.
This comes right at the end of his op/ed. Why do I mention that? Because normally when you try to end a piece with a telling analogy or metaphor, you want it to be the crescendo that cinches the argument.
This one didn’t work.
McGurn is obviously trying to portray Edward Snowden as the bad guy. I would have thought he would want to use his analogy to portray the NSA as the good guy. But in his analogy, while he has Snowden as Sammy “The Bull” Gravano, he has the NSA as John Gotti. That’s not exactly a strong endorsement.
I reacted negatively to McGurn’s piece. But on second thought, McGurn is comparing the NSA to a famous ruthless American mobster. McGurn says that we libertarians have a long way to go. I agree with him. But his own analogy shows that we seem to be making progress with a major editorial writer by the name of–William McGurn.