Yay for the Senate!
After the House of Representatives voted to extend many of the provisions of the dreaded Patriot Act permanently, several influential Senators insisted they’d use a filibuster to block the approval of the bill there. They’ve done so, and Bush is pretty unhappy with it. He’s lambasting Democrats, claiming they’re manipulating the situation for partisan gains– although he doesn’t seem to notice that several high-ranking Republicans have joined the fight alongside their Democratic companions.
Aside from the fact that the Patriot Act is one of the most intrusive and damaging pieces of legislation of the past decade, it’s very telling to examine how Bush and his cronies are approaching the situation.
Bush says the Senators are endangering America by “blocking a law vital to the fight against brutal killers”.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales says, “If the impasse continues, when Americans wake up on January 1, we will not be as safe.”
And Michael Chertoff, Secretary of Homeland Stupidity, chimes in with “We’re going to wake up on January 1 and we will have left some of the most important weapons against terror in the cupboard.”
Once again, we see the administration pushing their agenda by using fear. They make it sound like the Patriot Act is the only thing standing between us and certain doom at the hands of terrorists… who have undoubtably marked January 1 on their calendars with red ink, since they’ll immediately launch a barrage of attacks. Heck, without unsupervised FBI wiretaps they can win the “war”!
This trick worked in mid-September 2001, and apparently has continued to work through the intervening years, but in my mind it’s a tired song and dance that (hopefully) won’t fool people much longer. Bush sucks, and making us believe we’re screwed without him only makes him a bigger fool.