A few freshmen Congressmen, including a handful of Tea Party candidates, joined with a number of Republicans and a lot of Democrats to defeat an attempt to rubber stamp an extension of the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act, legislation drafted in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attack on America, was designed to give our government enhanced ability to spy on people they considered a terrorist threat.
The Act allowed the government to invade America’s privacy in ways that had previously been illegal, such as roving wiretaps without strong probable cause or even requiring a judge’s consent.
Those were desperate times and the government felt it needed such tools to get the information they wanted quickly in order to prevent the possibility of additional terrorists attacks.
Congressmen, concerned for their constituents and wanting to demonstrate their patriotism, supported the bill, even though many had grave misgivings that once this Act was passed, it might be difficult to restore Americans’ right of privacy.
While this vote is seen as a defeat for the Republicans leadership who expected their rank and file colleagues to do as they were told, it is actually a victory for the nation in that it shows our Congressmen are listening to their constituents, not their party’s arm-twisters, when it comes to the right of privacy and the ever-expanding power of the federal government.
I consider those Congressman who voted against the extension to be heroes. The list of Republicans who voted against the bill and their party’s leadership are security-conscious and patriotic members of Congress. Their ratings on border and immigration policy are excellent.
They voted against passage because they put principle ahead of party politics. They believe that the Patriot Act needs to be improved, both in its effectiveness as a deterrent to terrorism and refined to protect the rights and freedoms of law-abiding citizens.
Most likely, the Republican leadership will intimidate the freshmen into voting for it and they will pass under a less-stringent rule later this year.
But, in the meantime, the Congress has some time to think about why American grandmothers are being patted down and strip-searched at airports while our borders are wide open and terrorists are waltzing through whenever they choose.
The Patriot Act that I would love to see would bring our troops home and deploy them on our borders where they kill or capture all the drug smugglers; restore American sovereignty; and scare the Hell out of would-be illegal aliens!
more information on the vote can be found
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