Thursday, February 16, 2006

This IS the vote for ending debate on Patriot Act

I was so aghast at what I was seeing, namely almost all of the democrats voting YES with the republicans, to end debate on the Patriot Act. I thought perhaps I misunderstood what this vote was for, but after double checking with my senator's office, I was assured that this vote WILL end debate and then send the bill up for a yes or no vote.

So much to my dismay, and unfortunately for America, the democrats are voting to cut off debate. And at this point I have no sense whether or not many democrats will vote YES or NO in the final vote.

It really bothers me to see a good man like Feingold, left all to himself to argue passionately for a chance to modify this horrible Patriot Act. The changes that were made to the Patriot Act were insubstantial in terms of its final version and how it will adversely affect civil rights in America. I just do not understand why the democrats do not want to argue for more substantial changes. Where is the third party when you need one?


Randwolfe said...

The final vote on ending debate on the Patriot Act had only three NO votes. I am beginning to get some clarity on this issue. (I was out of touch with the news for several days, so I am catching up). But what has taken place is some typical strong-arm tactics by the majority party. They simply denied any further amendments, which is, according to the rules, their right. But is is just pure meanness. Feingold and Leahy wanted to make two amendments, which would have substantially protected Americans from abuse of power. But the republicans exerted their majority power and said no. So, that explains why most of the democrats voted for cloture; because they were not going to be allowed to amend the bill no matter what.

The three NO votes were clearly meant to make a statement. But this is how the republican majority has set things up so that they can exert control over legislation that they are against. They have written the rules to favor them. There is something very wrong with this picture. The proverbial cards are stacked against the democrats.

Randwolfe said...
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Randwolfe said...

CORRECTION: Feingold has four, not two, amendments. After the cloture vote, he spoke once again, explaining in very reasonable detail what his amendments offered, and also pointed out that some of his amendments - not clear on whether it was all or just a few - were already included in the bill after it first came out of conference. There were no major objections to them at that time, so during the intervening time, while the Patriot Act was given two extensions, the republicans decided to disallow the amendments. I'm still researching the facts on that, and will report here when I am fully clear on the details. Suffice to say that between late December and now, the republicans did a little work. One thing they did was to amend the Patriot Act with some very unimportant changes, which Bush signed off on. This gave the impression that they were willing to change the provisions in the act. Also during that intervening period, they got together to plan a way to use their self-serving senate rules to make sure the democrats did not further amend the act. I've only touched the tip of this iceberg, but I'm am convinced that there is a lot of pachyderm patronizing by some of our favorite Vichy dems. I will endeavor to find out who is helping the majority party in their attempt to keep the Patriot Act unchanged, meaning Americans will continue to have their privacy and civil rights trampled on. I think it is just a handful of Vichys, but that is all the republicans need. Just a few turncoats to allow them to claim non-partianship. Stay tuned.