Conservatives tend to have two bad habits. First, they’re prone to viewing the past through a nostalgic lens. Second, they tend to instinctively give law enforcement the benefit of the doubt.
These tendencies help explain why conservatives for decades have been able to overlook the many abuses—constitutional, legal, and moral—of US intelligence agencies.
Unlike some more seasoned media, conservatives have appeared genuinely shocked by revelations of the Trump-Russia saga: abuse of FISA warrants, classified leaks from top FBI brass, corruption, campaign moles, and an apparent plot to remove an elected president through undemocratic (and likely extra-constitutional) means.
These revelations are unique in that they have become highly public and involve a sitting president. However, an examination of the history of US intelligence agencies reveals government bureaucrats were out of control long before the 2016 presidential election.