Monday, October 02, 2006

What a Democrat.

Unbelievable. If voting to allow torture wasn't enough, Harold Ford has now voted yes on HR 5825 (Text here), also known as the Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act.

For those unfamiliar with HR 5825, here is the single most important thing to know about it.

The FISA Act of 1978 already allowed the NSA to run surveillance on a target for up to 72 hours without a warrant, but after that 72 hours, they had to justify it to the FISA court or drop the surveillance. Section 9 of HR 5825 allows warrantless surveillance and searches of American citizens for up to 60 days, 90 days for a foreign national, as long as the president certifies that there is an imminent threat of attack. If the original 60 or 90 days yields nothing, it's okay--- As long as the president still says there's an imminent threat, it's all good.

This particular president tends to say that we're under constant threat--- So it's entirely possible (Perhaps even likely) that there will never come a time when our government under current leadership will feel the need to ever submit a warrant to the FISA court.

This, simply put, is yet another power grab by a White House that has proven time and again that if they are given power, they not only abuse it but fail miserably in the process.

Once a congressman surrenders the power of his office, he doesn't get it back. And by agreeing to HR 5825, Harold Ford Jr. surrendered the power of his office and your right to privacy.

A few months ago, we were all discussing the illegal surveillance program run by this White House. The House of Representatives just legitimized it, and Harold Ford helped them out with it.

This is where he does the greatest damage to the nation and his party. There are Democrats out there willing to stand tall, defend the Constitution, and defend the rights of the American people to live their lives without government intrusion. With votes such as this one, he undermines their efforts.

Frankly, I'm beginning (Okay, maybe not quite beginning) to wonder if Bob Corker actually stands to the left of our hometown Democrat. With this vote, Harold Ford Jr. positioned himself to the right of thirteen House Republicans.

*Special hat tip to my friend Wintermute for forwarding the roll call to me and inspiring this one.

2 comments:

Glen Wellington said...

Have you seen the article in this week's Economist? Here's an excerpt:

The national image of the Democratic Party does not sell well in the South.” So [Ford] is running as far from his party as he credibly can. At the Kiwanis Club nearby, where several members are boycotting his speech simply because he is a Democrat, Mr Ford boasts that he has never voted for an unbalanced budget, that he would never hire an illegal immigrant and that he gets “jumped on” a little by his own party because he goes to church a lot and loves Jesus.

This audience is not predisposed to like him, but they do. He says George Bush should have greater powers to thwart terrorists. He proposes to shut the borders to new immigrants for 45 days, to find out who's here and what they're up to. He wants to eliminate the tax code's bias against marriage—between a man and a woman, that is. The only strike against him, with this audience, is that he would not criminalise abortion.

Timewalker said...

Jeebus, even my Representative (Tanner) voted against this. Tanner, fer chrissakes!
Jeebus.