Ya Think?

The first reference to the Patriot Act that I can find on this blog comes from September 2007. (I started blogging in the middle of 04). At that time it was my view that “the Patriot Act would have had Patrick Henry running to his gun cabinet.”

The next March I wrote about why patriots don’t like the Patriot Act. You can read that here.

Some thought legislation called the “Patriot Act” held out great promise for the future defense of America. I thought it was an ugly baby the day we brought it home from the hospital.

Now that said, I do hope all this hubristic spying business gets wrapped around Obama’s neck three or four times, and it looks like that is happening. Great, and yay. I confess that all these scandals plopping out of the sky have made his second term a much more pleasant prospect than I thought it was going to be.

But we must not forget to hold accountable all the Republicans who voted to leave all these doors unlocked in the first place — and who then called their criminal negligence patriotism. Those who saw the whole bad-idea-ness of the entire enterprise were apparently not patriots. Shame on them!

So as a point of personal privilege, if I may return to the old proverbial chestnut about the fox and the henhouse, I would like to ask every Republican who voted for the Patriot Act to stop going on television in order to tell us they think the fox is guilty of “over-reach.” Ya think?

  • T. Ashley

    I couldn’t agree more. The Patriot Act has all the earmarks of Lettres de Cachet. These Lettres allowed the French Monarchy to imprison people on whim, bribe, or personal indulgence for hundreds of years. They were one of the vital grievances that led to the French Revolution. We know how well that went.
    The terrorist attack of 2001 did not inhibit my safety or freedoms, the Federal Government did that. Since I live in a “Constitution Free Zone” , I have been subject to Border Patrol harassment. I have been asked if I possess “Papers” on several occasions . I can only assume because I have the audacity to look Hispanic or Arabic (depending on the lighting). Truth be told I have a Scottish- English heritage, but I fail to see why it only became an issue after 9/11. (note– when you are asked if you have “papers” at the age of 31 for the first time and you innocently answer that you don’t smoke marijuana, Border Patrol officers WILL NOT see the humor)
    Romans suggest that we follow the “Law of land” , but the law has to follow that of God. Does the Patriot Act even come close to this creed?? Is giving up such a large portion of our rights really going to protect us from any foreign opposition when we are chiseling away the foundation of our own freedoms? Who will protect us from ourselves??

  • http://www.twitter.com/benjaminbowman Ben Bowman

    I remember having a conversation with my Dad a few days after the first time Obama was elected. Essentially, I told him that “we” may just have elected a the most powerful president our country has ever seen. How could this be so? Well, as it turns out there was this little thing that got passed during the Bush administration called “The Patriot Act.” You may remember it, it seems so long ago. It was passed as a sort of emergency powers clause that the government could use to infringe on all sorts of rights, privacy being the main one. Now at the time the left was all up in arms, not literally mind you because they are the left after all.

    But I remember the liberals being very upset about this whole Patriot Act thing. Now it’s not that hard to think back to that time. This was after 9/11 and everyone was scared, or at least concerned that a terrorist attack of that magnitude could happen again. To many, the Patriot Act seemed like the most logical step to prevent another 9/11.

    The left would quote things like “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety” And the left felt very good about this sort of lambasting of the Bush Administration. Everyone on the right said “we can’t let the terrorists win!” Everyone on the left said “we can’t give up our freedoms to do so!”

    Now we learn of the current administration doing what the previous administration really wanted to do. Now each side has flipped positions in a way on this. It’s actually very interesting to watch. Yet, in all of this I have hope that as a nation we can learn from this chapter. Maybe we can realize that this isn’t a problem to be solved with one way or the other. Maybe each side has always had something to bring to the table in terms of how to govern. Maybe the liberal and conservative views have become cartoon characters of what they really meant in the first place.

    As disheartening as this all is I think it was clear from the beginning. Reactionary, fear based governing leads to really bad decisions. Fear pushes us to one side or the other and we fall in the ditch. It’s that way in any form of leadership and all of society has contributed to this factor. The media feeds off it, we can’t stop watching it. Our system is run off it. Fear is the unspoken motto of the times.

    Yes, the buck stops somewhere, but it started with us.

  • Jonathan

    Well put Pastor Doug. Though I would suggest that they could still attack Obama on the issue, if they would first honestly repent and admit that they got it wrong themselves in the first place, and that President Bush was also guilty of the overreach which they enabled.