ONE RING TO RULE THEM ALL: A reader who requests anonymity emails:

The NSA scandal has become The One Ring, focusing all Americans on the potential of the other scandals.

Those other scandals were of two kinds: frivolous waste or targeting specific groups. As a people, we are mostly inured to government frivolous waste. The targeting specific groups by a small part of the government apparatus was of more concern. But, hey, those groups are Somebody Else, and they do weird things and have abnormal beliefs. And even if the targeting was deliberate rather than accidental, even if it wasn’t just a couple of rogue apparatchiks, it wasn’t targeting us, the
majority of Americans. And, plausibly, that Somebody Else “had it coming”.

But the NSA scandal has made it clear that the government apparatus may very well be coming for You: whoever You are, wherever You are, whatever You believe. To mix metaphors, this one action by the NSA, arguably the most secret government apparatus on the face of the planet, has pulled back the curtain just enough to give us all a glimpse of a nascent Orwellian Ministry of Love.

With all those other scandals–the ATF’s gun running to cartels, the EPA’s privacy leaks and fake email accounts, the Benghazi crew left to die, the DOJ’s AP phone harvesting, the Attorney General’s lying to three separate federal judges about Rosen, the IRS’s targeting tea party and Christian groups, etc.–the president’s approval rating was holding firm. But now that the public has seen the One Ring, they are beginning to understand that the entire apparatus might very well intend to rule them all.

Yes, it does put things in a different perspective.