Peering Under the Patriot Act Vote Scam

Posted on February 9, 2011

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There’s been a hub ub around the apparently principled and surprisingly un-hypocritical stand taken by some Tea Party members in helping Democrats quash the Patriot Act renewal yesterday in the House. I think that this phenomenon is being misunderstood as a principled stand of Tea Party freshman and over-blown as to the possibility that it can germinate into a cross-party check on the government.

Tea Party Patriots won’t actually take a stand against the Patriot Act, merely saying that:

“There has been much discussion and debate in the organization and most believe that Congress needs to do the same: open debate and discussion before renewing,” said Mark Meckler, a co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, whose group has not taken a position on the issue.

At Slate, there’s a handy list of the Republican Freshman that voted against the act. Only eight of them were “incoming” Freshman, and thus eligible for the Tea Party label. Here’s one of them on a questionnaire on their positions, Chris Gibson, who voted no, on the Patriot Act:

No opinion on topic 14:

The Patriot Act harms civil liberties

(0 points on Social scale) (No votes on which to base response)

Here’s Justin Amash:

No opinion on topic 14:

The Patriot Act harms civil liberties

(0 points on Social scale) (No votes on which to base response)

Here’s Randy Hultgren:

No opinion on topic 14:

The Patriot Act harms civil liberties

(0 points on Social scale) (No votes on which to base response)

Here’s Rob Woodall:

No opinion on topic 14:

The Patriot Act harms civil liberties

(0 points on Social scale) (No votes on which to base response)

And on and on. At the Plum Line, Greg Sargent proposes that this is part of a Republican strategy to have the Patriot Act fight during the Presidential Election cycle, the better for chest thumping boasts of Patriotism by such Tea Party Liberty Fanatics as Michelle Bachman.

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