Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Maybe they like being radioactive

GOP Senators Move to Advance Patriot Act

Much has been made of the alleged desire of wobbly Republicans to put some distance between themselves and the increasingly toxic Preznit in light of the NSA spying scandal, the port scandal, etc.

Real world evidence to support the hypothesis?

Not so much.

Senate Republicans moved Wednesday to prevent Democrats from trying to add more civil liberties safeguards to a renewal of the 2001 Patriot Act due to expire next week.

In a pair of votes orchestrated by Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., the Senate effectively shut off amendments to a compromise between the White House and libertarian-leaning Republicans allowing some court challenges to government demands for people's records in terrorism investigations.

Democrats complained that the negotiated limits would be virtually meaningless in practice.
"No one has the right to turn this body into a rubber stamp," said Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis., the act's chief opponent. "The White House played hardball and the decision was made by some to capitulate."

The procedural wrangling in the Senate prompted House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., to pull the measure off his chamber's schedule for the day. The House was not expected to vote on the matter until next week.
The war on terror can't wait for more debate, Republicans said.

"Civil liberties do not mean much when you are dead," Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., told the Senate.

These locksteppers sure do love them some fearmongering. And I'm sure they really wish that Patrick Henry dude had just STFU way back when.


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