AEIdeas

The public policy blog of the American Enterprise Institute

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Discussion: (10 comments)

  1. What you need is a list of Republicans and Democrats that voted yet again to diminish American liberty and privacy and increase the power of the state over the citizen.

    1. Absolutely. NSA is running a really scary program with the clear potential for misuse.

  2. Robert Panzenbeck

    Just so I’m clear here, the NSA Chair lied to the Congressional Oversight Committee about this program, and the author thinks there should be no repercussions? I feel like context is important here. This wasn’t just any old NSA vote. This was a vote weeks after it was discovered that several administrative agencies violated the public trust.

  3. Could be cynical, finger-in-the-wind politics. Or it could be that they know more about the program, and have less blind faith in it, than they did two years ago. I suspect it’s the latter for most.

    1. Robert Panzenbeck

      What I find so galling about this piece is that many of these votes are from reliable conservatives with absolutely no stake in this. To call a coauthor of the bill who asserts that this is never what was intended a “flip flopper” is absurd. The comparison to Kerry, who became an Anti War activist to advance his political ambitions, is a gross mischaracterization that disregards the facts. Very few, if any, of these men had anything to gain by taking this position. I suspect many of their constituents support a strong national defense. They stood up because they knew those constituents deserve an accountable government and when information arose that suggested they weren’t getting that, these men stood up for the public.

      1. Sadly, the GOP has as little credibility as the Democratic Party in all this. Neither side complains when it is their man who is subverting the constitution but cries about liberty lost when it is the other guy. That is why independents are rising in number and the two parties are dying. Get rid of their natural monopoly on power and both will go the way of the Whigs or Federalists.

  4. Yo hippies, sit down.

    1. Rob Kirchoff

      The unconstrained power of the state to treat its citizens as it wishes, regardless of constitutional constraints, is a truly leftist notion. The American Constitution is the ultimate conservative document, extolling the virtues of limited government and firm constraints on the scope and breadth of action the state may take.

      If you’re declaring the other commenters–people who are defending the Bill of Rights against a gross violation by an shadowy, unaccountable government organ–hippies, then so be it. If I have to cast my lot with unclean, lefty stoners so that I may stand against the rising tide of the all-encompassing police state, I for one will happily do so.

  5. Benjamin Cole

    Gee, how much do we spend every year on intelligence and back ops? Is that figure even public? Oh, excuse me, I am only a taxpayer.

    Shut it all down, and start fresh, I say.

    Worse: Much of this work, ala Snowden, is done by private contractors. That means money flows into political campaigns from the spy contractors…a nice cycle, no?

    And if Snowden is a such a rat—then that means here are other rats who will sell data for money. Snowden evidently coughed up data for a moral reason. But given how easily Snowden did it, does anyone really believe others haven’t just sold data to all buyers?

    Snowden only got caught as he went public. Had he quietly sold the data somewhere….

    What a mess. Indefensible.

  6. chris whited

    true is true, but with 40% reps voting against it, that leaves a pretty sizeable amount of democrats that voted with the 60% republicans. This really isn’t a tick for tack by me, it’s just a wondering as to why the entire list of people that voted against removing it (which would include folks openly wanting to do this both reps and dems).

    Also the problem with things like this is this. What happens if anything happens, and I mean anything, even 15 years from now? One side will use that against the other side politically. So when Christie yaps those jaws about some conspiracy of the “strain” of libertarians (on an issue that is one of the core of libertarian thought, state police/state power) as it applies to looking folks in the face, that’s what he’s really talking about.

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