The Patriot Act

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MSNBC informs us that the House voted “overwhelmingly” (257-171) to reauthorize the Patriot Act. Who could have expected any other outcome, given the frenzy with which so many voices told of the dangers of allowing people to live their lives without the continuing supervision of a more empowered police-state?

Ron Paul and a few others tried to interject some rationality and sensitivity to individual liberty into the sordid mess, but to no avail. The mob mentality had taken over the House which, like any collective body on a self-righteous crusade, wanted to hear nothing of reason.

My only familiarity with lynch mobs derives from Hollywood films. I suspect, however, that the wrongdoing of such vicious hordes was carried out without their cohorts referring to one another as “the distinguished gentleman from Mucho Loma.” Give me a House of Commons grilling any day!

As the votes were being counted, C-SPAN invited viewers to call in with their opinions of the Act. While the “overwhelming” vote in the House was for the Patriot Act, the overwhelming responses I heard from callers was in opposition to it, many of them engaging in reasoning that far surpassed what I heard from all but Ron Paul. To the extent the callers represented public opinion, it is clear that most members of the House were representing the interests of other forces. I wonder who those interests might be!

9:26 pm on July 21, 2005