Heh: Democratic Senate Overwhelmingly Advances PATRIOT Act Extension

Posted: May 26, 2011 2:31 PM

My, how attitudes can shift based entirely on the president's party affiliation.  Remember when Senate Minority leader Harry Reid triumphantly declared this in 2005, when an evil Republican occupied the Oval Office?

"We killed the PATRIOT Act! [applause]"

Breaking news from the Democrat-controlled US Senate:

By a cloture vote of 79 to 18, the Senate today, as expected, moved a four-year extension of key provisions of the PATRIOT Act closer to a final vote.

This overwhelming invocation of cloture all but assures final passage of the extension -- which, by the way, is vocally supported by the White House.  (Hey, what did Barack Obama used to think of this law, again?)  The same Democratic leader who prematurely bragged about "killing" the pernicious, invasive PATRIOT Act during the Bush administration (to loud applause) is now not only supporting its extension; he's accusing a Republican Senator of aiding and abetting terrorism merely for seeking an amendment to the law:

Key provisions of that law – the Patriot Act - are due to expire Friday, and the dispute between the two senators threatens to cause a brief lapse of the law. If that happens "it could have dire consequences for out national security," warned Reid, D-Nevada.  "The national security of the United States is at stake, and the junior senator from Kentucky is complaining that he has not been able to offer amendments," said Reid, who supports extending the Patriot Act provisions.

"When the clock strikes midnight tomorrow, we would be giving terrorists the opportunity to plot attacks against our country, undetected," Reid added.  A furious Paul raced to the floor to respond to what he called a "scurrilous accusation."

In summary:

2005: Democrats despise the PATRIOT Act and accuse Republicans of questioning their patriotism for opposing or raising questions about it.

2011: Democrats extend the PATRIOT Act for four years -- at the behest of a Democratic White House -- and question the patriotism of a Republican who raises questions about it.


UPDATE (5:30 pm) - The PATRIOT Act has been renewed for four more years by the United States Senate.