When the sunset never comes...
No surprise here:
The House voted Thursday to extend the USA Patriot Act, the nation's main anti-terrorism tool, just hours after televisions in the Capitol beamed images of a new attack in London. As similar legislation worked its way through the Senate, House Republicans generally cast the law as a valuable asset in the war on terrorism.
Most Democrats echoed that support but said they were concerned the law could allow citizens' civil liberties to be infringed. The House approved the measure 257-171, after nine hours of debate.
No guts. At all. The original Patriot Act was passed through a fog of reactionary panic, and clearly it will now be extended through a fog of that same panic. One can't possibly dignify this outcome by daring to call it the result of "thought".
Of course, you knew the majority of Republicans would support it. Yet what is truly sickening is how the Democrats -- popularly portrayed in the media as being "concerned" about civil liberties -- yet again opted to aid in cutting the Constitution. I'm sensing a pattern here: vote in favor of drastic expansions of government power with a shrug when it isn't election season, then when the campaign gets hot and heavy falsely claim to be defending our rights.
Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the top Democrat on the [House Judiciary] committee, said that while "I support the majority of the 166 provisions of the Patriot Act," the extensions could lessen accountability. "Ten years is not a sunset; 10 years is semi-permanent," he said.
Of course 10 years isn't a sunset, John. Neither is 4 years. If a new law is worrisome enough to court empty promises of "we'll consider tossing it later, honest!", then the ones supporting it just admitted that it deserves to fail.
If a "gaffe" is when a politician accidently speaks the truth, what do you call it when a politican acknowledges a truth to another person while lying to himself?