I find that it can sometimes be useful to find out where the centrists are falling on controversial issues. Sometimes they split. But when commentators with a natural lean to the left break with the hard left or commentators with a natural lean to the right break with the hard right, it’s often reliable marker of a sensible position.
Few journalists have stronger centrist credentials than Joe Klein. And he thinks that, on the NSA/privacy conversation “liberal Democrats are about as far from the American mainstream on these issues as Republicans were when they invaded the privacy of Terri Schiavo’s family in the right-to-die case last year.”