Of course they are hostile. Many establishment “leaders” have long Oked the NSA spying program. They know potentially that the public outrage associated with the scandal could affect them and their election prospects.
According to the attached article a big part of the anger toward Snowden stems from the fact that he is one of the great unwashed not worthy of tangling with the big shots in Washington. He (really the idea of Snowden) threatens their grip on power.
The system of crony capitalist privilege is deeply threatened by technology and information in the hands of the average person. Watch for renewed efforts to clamp down on the Net in coming months.
However, there is the off chance that a seismic shift is occurring in American politics. That may sound a bit over the top, and it is still early days, but it is possible that on a number of issues new allies are being found and new political coalitions being built. Mostly challenging the establishment.
In this respect, too, Snowden represents a phenomenon that strikes fear into the heart of national elites – the empowerment of once-marginal individuals to have an outsized (and in this case, apparently illegal) impact on the environments they inhabit.
Tufts professor Daniel Drezner, who blogs for Foreign Policy magazine, raised an eyebrow at the tenor of the Snowden criticism.
“It’s interesting that a lot of the reactions, especially from the D.C. community, have been along the lines of, ‘Oh, this is a high school dropout. He doesn’t match up to our academic qualifications,’” said Drezner, who expressed ambivalent feelings about Snowden.