Tomorrow Congress will begin doing nothing about the NSA’s online dragnet of the online activities of innocent Americans. But what if they actually did do something about it? Well, if Congress were to remove funding for the surveillance of innocent Americans, the NSA would have to designate more people as something other than innocent in order to keep their infrastructure and contracts alive. And that is the cusp on which this nascent culture of black ops and private security corporations falls apart. At some point that decision to designate innocent Americans as nearly guilty would be recognized as the beginning of two paths: the Sisyphusian trail of ever more unpopular justifications for the public-private security state, complete with mountain and boulder, always leaving the state back at the decision point; or the much easier trail around the boulder and a selloff of the Homeland Security white elephant.
Another point is that if Congress does absolutely nothing about this issue—which is exactly what I suspect will happen—this inaction will split both the Republican and Democratic caucuses into their corporate-incumbent and non-corporate-insurgent wings. This is a bit of reflected light and hope to aim at 2014.