What they've managed to accomplish in the face of adversity is truly remarkable. I think most sober and educated people can appreciate that.
Also, you mentioned "**** hitting the fan" over the NSA investigation - I don't agree there either. Yes, the media has talked the issue to death but, at the end of the day, the fallout has truly been minimal. I can't, off the top of my head, think of one person that has been fired over the incident, nor can I put my finger on any new legislation that's occurred as a direct result of the incident.
In other words, a lot of smoke, but no real substance. We are fundamentally the same country we were before the NSA stuff started to come out.