Sunday, April 24, 2011

Remembering The Patriot Act



I started reading Nazi Hydra In America by Glen Yeadon and John Hawkins the other day and the very first page of the intro of the 700-plus page book went right at Bush and his penchant for fascism and dual and visceral disdain for civil liberties and the Constitution. Yeadon and Hawkins get right into the Patriot Act, the "ill-named" Patriot Act, which, they emphasize, "passed without a single congressman reading the bill."
[T]he printing of the bill had been deliberately delayed by the Bush administration to ensure passage. Written largely by Attorney General John Ashcroft, it was a full-scale assault on our rights and freedoms. This act eliminated our rights to unwarranted searches, the right to legal counsel, the right to a trial. It greatly expanded the government's ability to spy on citizens without a warrant.

Many people believed-- or at least entertained HOPE, a word that will soon come into play-- that Bush was an anomaly and a "normal" president would follow and get rid of this assault. CHANGE and HOPE elected Barack Obama in 2008. It's hard to imagine what could reelect him next year other than fear of something even worse than Bush as the alternative.

Obama was an Illinois state senator on October 25, 2001, the day the Senate took up the bill, so he didn't have to vote on it. Conservative Democrat Mary Landrieu was away from the Senate that day so she didn't vote. 98 other senators voted YEA, including then-Senator Joe Biden, and liberal stalwarts Barbara Boxer, Dick Durbin, Tom Harkin, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Patrick Leahy, Chuck Schumer... and Paul Wellstone. as well as less liberal Democrats, from Hillary Clinton and Blanche Lincoln to Ben Nelson and John Breaux and every single Republican, obviously. "Mr. Constitution," Robert Byrd, voted for it as well. One senator voted NAY: Russ Feingold, who was recently defeated by delusional Wisconsin voters, brain-washed by millions of dollars worth of advertising financed by the Koch Brothers and China. Wisconsin went from being able to boast having the Giant of The Senate to being represented by a clueless backbencher pip-squeak, nervous all the highly unpopular commotion being made by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Congressman Paul Ryan could have a negative impact on his cush new life in the country's most exclusive club.

The day before the Senate gave Bush the thumbs up to make a mockery of the Constitution and basically rule as a tyrant, the House had already passed the bill 357-77. Three Republican constitutionalists-- of whom only one, Ron Paul, is still in Congress-- joined Bernie Sanders, then an Independent congressman from Vermont and 62 Democrats in opposition. Aside from Paul, the only Members of Congress still serving who voted against the Patriot Act were
Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)
Sherrod Brown (D-OH), currently in the Senate
Mike Capuano (D-MA)
John Conyers (D-MI)
Elijah Cummings (D-MD)
Danny Davis (D-IL)
Pete DeFazio (D-OR)
Diana DeGette (D-CO)
John Dingell (D-MI)
Sam Farr (D-CA)
Bob Filner (D-CA)
Barney Frank (D-MA)
Alcee Hastings (D-FL)
Mike Honda (D-CA)
Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL)
Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX)
Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)
Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)
Barbara Lee (D-CA)
John Lewis (D-GA)
Jim McDermott (D-WA)
Jim McGovern (D-MA)
George Miller (D-CA)
Jerry Nadler (D-NY)
John Olver (D-MA)
Ed Pastor (D-AZ)
Donald Payne (D-NJ)
Collin Peterson (D-MN)
Nick Rahall (D-WV)
Bobby Rush (D-IL)
Jan Scakowsky (D-IL)
Jose Serrano (D-NY)
Pete Stark (D-CA)
Bennie Thompson (D-MS)
John Tierney (D-MA)
Mark Udall (D-CO), currently in the Senate
Tom Udall (D-NM), currently in the Senate
Nydia Velazquez (D-NY)
Maxine Waters (D-CA)
Mel Watt (D-NC)
Lynn Woolsey (D-CA)
David Wu (D-OR)

Among the Democrats joining the GOP to vote for the act were Nancy Pelosi, Anthony Weiner, Steny Hoyer, now-NJ Senator Bob Menendez, Marcy Kaptur, Henry Waxman, current DCCC-Chair Steve Israel, Charlie Rangel... and other Beltway Democrats we had a right to expect would step up. Needless to say, self-proclaimed strict constructionists like then-Congressmen Jim DeMint, Roy Blunt, David Vitter, Mark Kirk, Johnny Isakson, Richard Burr and Rob Portman, now Tea Party string puller Dick Armey, John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Darrell Issa, Paul Ryan, Mike Pence, and wannabe senators Denny Rehberg and Jeff Flake were as happy to shred the Constitution then as they always are.

Nice to know who's who in these matters after the passions of the moment die down a little.



At 11:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Patriot Act is a disgusting document and should have never been passed. Also disgusting is a "Little Shit" that thinks bomb threats are something "neat". The kid finally pled guilty and got out with time served leaving one to wonder whether he should have pled before 22 months went by. Unfortunately it won't be so easy to dispose of the Patriot Act.


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