Civil Liberties Become A Lower Priority

This is depressing news:

LibertyThe Pew Research Center poll shows 50 percent of Americans say the government has not gone far enough to protect the country, while 35 percent are more concerned about the government going too far to restrict civil liberties. That’s the most pro-security posture Americans have had on this question since 2009 and one of the highest on record since Sept. 11, 2001.

In contrast, 10 months ago, in the midst of several big Snowden leaks, significantly more Americans favored the civil liberties emphasis (47 percent) over taking additional steps to secure the homeland (35 percent).

The reason for the shift? People are scared.

And Gallup found that “Republican Party has expanded its historical edge over the Democratic Party in Americans’ minds as being better able to protect the U.S. from international terrorism and military threats.” Allahpundit digests that fact:

Incredible though it may seem, the GOP’s lead is wider on that question now than it was a year after 9/11, when Bush’s popularity was still stratospheric and Republicans ended up gaining seats in the midterms because of his terror-fighting cred. Looking at that and the Pew data above, I wonder how Rand Paul’s campaign will deal with the already building pressure for the GOP nominee to run as a member of the loud-and-proud party of hawks again. Maybe, as the fight against ISIS drags on, a new round of war fatigue will take the edge off these numbers or even reverse the trend. I don’t know, though: Republican voters stuck with Bush a long time on Iraq. As recently as last month, with 71 percent of the broader public saying that the Iraq war wasn’t worth it, more GOPers still said that it was worth it than that it wasn’t (46/44). Rand’s got a lot of work to do on the way to 2016.