September 10, 2003

Commemorate no, manipulate yes

Always the political opportunist, on Wednesday Mr. Bush proposed expanding the Patriot Act to include the death penalty for terror-related activities, subpoena power without judicial approval, and suspension of bail for terror suspects.

It is unclear how the proposals will fare in a Congress where Democrats and some Republicans have raised questions that the Patriot Act went too far, but the administration is counting on the second anniversary of the terrorist attacks to generate support (My emphasis).

Mr. Bush also called for expanding the death penalty to include terror-related crimes like sabotaging nuclear centers using methods that result in deaths. Mr. Bush also said Congress had to let judges deny bail for terror suspects. Judges have that power with some drug offenses.

Over 160 cities and towns and three states have voted against fully complying with aspects of Patriot Act I, so it's obviously sensible to think those places will fall all over themselves agreeing to an expanded version of it now. Fortunately, it doesn't look like it will be as easy to get approval this time around. Unless you're this guy's boss, of course:

"This is the president talking and not John Ashcroft," said a Republican Congressional aide, "and the fact is that we have to be as supportive as we can of the president and his efforts to combat terrorism."

And to hell with civil liberties and the Constitution of the United States? Does your boss represent the Republican party and its President, or all the constituents in his/her district/state? This thinking is what gave the country Patriot I, with all its flaws; is it a good idea to enhance it? Not on my behalf, thank you.

Posted by Linkmeister at September 10, 2003 10:01 PM

I'm sure there will be a huge grassroots effort this time around to shut it down. Expect MoveOn to do its share.

Posted by: Scott at September 11, 2003 01:51 AM