Patriot Act Extension Doesn’t Get Enough Votes

Yesterday House Republicans were not able to get the seven votes needed to extend the Patriot Act. The failure is being chalked up to resistence from the new so-called Tea Party Republicans.

As we all know, the Patriot Act has been used as a catchall justification for abuses of power and the stripping of many of our basic rights, including photographer’s rights. (How many times have we heard authorities throwing it around and around when faced with a “dangerous” photographer?) It’s expected if Democrats don’t like it (as Rep. Dennis Kucinich said, “it represents the undermining of civil liberties”), but with the Republicans’ opposition, could this mean our leaders in Washington actually recognize what a dangerous law this is?

The Washington Post reports:

Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.), a freshman who voted yes, said the measure is “going to need some examination going forward, so all I did today is just, hey, instead of making a wrong decision, we’re just going to do a little more due diligence to make the very right decision to both protect our security as well as protect the civil liberties of the American people.”

It’s not like I want to come down in favor of any of our political parties because I think they’re all self-serving and corrupt. But one thing I can say for the Tea Party movement is that if it is really for less government intrusion and a more faithful following of our founding documents, then I agree that the Patriot Act does not fit into either concept.

Source: Washington Post

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