Monday, January 28, 2008

Defeat of Cloture Vote is a Victory for the Bill of Rights

Today the senate cloture vote on the FISA reauthorization failed. That means the FISA bill which contained immunity for the Telecoms did not pass, at least not today. This is a victory for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

However, it seems the Republicans are going to try and use the expiration of the Protect America Act on February 1st as an example of how the Democrats are weak on Terror. To remind you the primary purpose of the Protect America Act, which was passed with no deliberation or public notice last August, was to legalize the spying on American citizens telecommunications without a court order, or warrant. In my opinion it is a bill which is completely unconstitutional and never of should have been passed in the first place.

So letting this misbegotten bill expire is the best thing that can happen for people who still believe in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Please contact your Congress persons and tell them it is time they stopped playing political football with the Constitution. Furthermore, it would be better if they actually lived up to their oath to defend the Constitution and therefore made it their goal to defeat the extension of the Protect America Act with or without immunity for the Telecoms.

They should make the case that it is their obligation as patriotic Americans to defend the Constitution, and that is why they want to defeat this unconstitutional bill. The American people have a very deep and profound allegiance to the Constitution and I believe they would support Congress persons who stood up proudly in it's defense.

If they do not try to sell their actions as defense of the Constitution it is only a matter of time before the capitulate and give the Bush Administration exactly what it wants and look weak in the process. To date, far too few Democrats have even tried to frame this issue in this way. Perhaps if they hear from enough of us on this matter they will see that the defense of the Constitution message might resonate with the electorate and will give it a shot.

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