House attempt to extend the Patriot Act fails (for now)

A weird turn of events. Obama wants to extend parts of the Patriot Act that are supposed to expire at the end of this month. Despite Obama’s support, 2/3rds of Dems voted against the extension. Combined with a number of Tea Party Republicans who oppose the act as too much government intrusion, the required 2/3rds overall majority failed to be met.

Cool. Let’s hope to hell they fail to renew it.

Don’t worry, once the Republicans win the next election this will be tried again and pass(probably some context as to why it needs to be passed to better protect you all will be evident).

I’m pretty sure they just need to bring it to a vote under different rules.

I dunno, I think we can actually (gasp) thank the Tea Party for this one.

Of the Tea Party caucus, 10 Reps voted against it, or 1/5. As compared to the Democratic Party’s 122 votes, or 2/3. I haven’t done a head count for the Congressional Progressive Caucus, but I’ll go ahead and guess that a majority of its members voted against it.

Apparently it’s true: put enough monkeys in a room and sooner or later one of them will throw shit at something which deserves it.

I’d be curious to see if a significant number of Democrats switched their votes now that they’re not in charge of the House.

Apparently this is the vote for last year:

I can’t find the comparable exact 2010 rollcall, but it looks like the Republican margin this year was almost exactly the same while 60 Democrats flipped.

On Tuesday, ahead of a House vote to reauthorize the PATRIOT Act for another year, the White House did something unexpected: they asked for even more.

A prepared statement issued Tuesday afternoon said that President Obama “would strongly prefer enactment of reauthorizing legislation that would extend these authorities until December 2013.”

This despite increasing evidence that the FBI has in fact abused the power it gained under the “Patriot” act.

So, what, this makes Obama worse than about 1/5th of the congressional Tea Party?

It makes him the same as every other politician, who once they get any type of power, they dont want to give it up. Regardless of any campaign promises they might have made.

There’s also the case that a Democrat repealing the Patriot Act is political suicide.

It’s a bad day when Brettmcd says something I agree with. :-(

Except (A) 2/3 of House Democrats voted against the extension despite Obama’s support and (B) if I wanted a gutless fuckin’ apologist of the Bush era for president, I would’ve voted for McCain.

I’d guess politically they can get away with tactical voting against it because they’re not in charge of Congress anymore. How do you frame an attack ad? “Obama voted for it, but they didn’t, vote Republican?” It doesn’t work.

By contrast, Obama is the straightforward standard-bearer of the Democratic party, and the lesson learned (sadly) over the last 20 years is that if you leave any space to your right on foreign policy you’ll get killed by the GOP.

That’s a weak cop out, Jason, nor do I believe it’s true. Quite possibly the opposite actually; anecdotally liberals I know are increasingly dissatisfied with Obama. I certainly won’t vote for Obama while he backs bullshit like this.

Moreover, Obama doesn’t have to actually repeal anything – the Police State act is due to sunset unless specifically extended.

Obama is going out of his way to back it (in the face of many Democrats who don’t want it) not because he’s being cagey politically, but because he’s become an authoritarian Republican Light politician.

Really, it is sad when 1/5th of the Tea Morons can do the right thing, but you can’t.

Moreover, Obama doesn’t have to actually repeal anything – the Police State act is due to sunset unless specifically extended.

Do you really think that’s going to convince anyone come election season? Personally I think the Democrats are being far too paranoid here, but considering the behavior of the post-1980 electorate, especially in 1988 and 2002, I can’t really blame them. The public is insane.

Right, and technically letting the Bush tax cuts expire wasn’t the same thing as “voting for a tax increase”.

You know, there is one other possibility that could explain Obama’s puzzling behavior (and I agree that he did not politically have to go out and ask for an extension.)

Perhaps once he got into office he saw some things you don’t get to see until you become president that has scared him enough to decide some of these things he spoke against when running and as a Senator are needed, in spite of their negatives.

For example, I think that’s what happened with Guantanamo. Jason M., you remember us arguing before Obama coming in about how you couldn’t just close Guantanamo in a month or two, there were a lot of complications. I think Obama saw he couldn’t fulfill his promise (which I believe was sincere) to quickly close the place down because he was briefed on issues that made him realize it really was more complicated than he expected.

I could be completely wrong, but I’ve been running hypotheses through my mind for the last year, trying to figure out which one answered the most questions about Obama’s behavior. I’m not sure I believe it is simple politics: why go out of your way to extend an unpopular act that was about to expire, that even had a lot of Republicans voting against it, and certainly Democrats opposed, and Obama himself earlier opposed? If it was just to be “safe” then it is hard to explain taking the huge risk on pushing the Health Care bill, which according to some like 538 did indeed hurt a number of Democrats?

Just a wild hair idea, perhaps completely incorrect, but I do remember an interview with Clinton in which he said that, when you actually get seated in the Oval Office, you see things in reports and briefings that the average American would never suspect in terms of national security, and that it was one of the most sobering parts of his presidency.

Possibly. This doesn’t mean those things are actually correct, however.

If it was just to be “safe” then it is hard to explain taking the huge risk on pushing the Health Care bill, which according to some like 538 did indeed hurt a number of Democrats?
It was Obama’s core platform promise, there’s no way he could abandon it without committing political suicide in one way or another. If he actually gave up on it when it was that close to the finish line it would have kicked off a civil war in the Democratic party. It would have led to even bigger losses - plenty of enraged Democrats would stay home, while there’s no such thing as an angry Republican who’d calm down because we gave up on health care.