When Does This Line Expire?


"Key provisions of the PATRIOT Act are set to expire next year," President Bush said in his State of the Union address last year. "The terrorist threat will not expire on that schedule."

I have to admit I thought the line was moderately clever when I first heard it, but now it just seems inane, especially when combined with Bush's insistence that the nation cannot survive "a single moment" without the PATRIOT Act (which the Republicans clearly do not believe; otherwise they would not have spurned the compromise proposed by the law's critics that would have kept it on the books as is for three months while the two sides worked out their differences). It's even worse when other politicians mindlessly parrot it.

I fully expect this increasingly moldy speechwriter's nugget to survive the New Year in slightly modified form: "The PATRIOT Act expired on December 31, but the terrorist threat did not."

NEXT: Who Won Iran-Iraq War, You So Smart?

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  1. See, the terrorists hate us for our freedom, so the PATRIOT Act helps relieve us of that for which we are hated, thereby ending the threat.

    Why can’t you namby-pambies understand this? Hell, if our Brave and Fearless Leader can, amoeba should!

  2. Wow SPD good theory? See I was thinking that the USA PATRIOT act was a sort of victory law for the terrorists.

  3. It would be pretty funny if it did just happen to expire on December 31, 2005

  4. The terrorist threat that is

  5. I want to see the headline Jan 2nd:

    and again on Jan 3rd and 4th, 5th…

  6. SPD,

    If the terrorists hate our freedom, then taking it away is spineless appeasement.

    Where the hell is our Churchill?

  7. He’s off giving Stalin a beej at Yalta. Churchill + FDR = bad!

  8. How’s this for a speechwriter’s nugget:
    The horses have all escaped, but the barn doors are still wide open.
    Fuck those doors. The time has come to adjust to a new reality?

  9. Flash! Senate passes Patriot Act extension.


    Come on you guys, wake up and let’s start debating this.

  10. Where is everyone? Ok fine, I’m gonna crash myself.

  11. Of course, it was on a voice vote, not a roll-call vote. How can legislation of this importance be allowed to pass on a VOICE VOTE? Where is accountability? Maybe too many constituents did as I did, and told their Senators that they would remember the names of officials who voted to keep USA PATRIOT on the books, and would work for their defeat in 2006 and 2008. Maybe the craven weasels were happy to temporarily stall PATRIOT on a roll-call vote so they could claim to have been against it at re-election time, even though fully planning to approve the measure in today’s anonymous voice vote.

    Everytime I say vote against incumbents simply because they are incumbents, I get patronizing cluck-clucking from some here. Yet that seems to be the ONLY sure way to remove from Washington the people who are truly guilty of letting PATRIOT continue through tricky procedural moves. They don’t want us to know their names, so what are we to do?

    Give me a Senate that will actually debate whether laws truly are effective, and who will strike down laws when there is no proof they are doing as intended, yet much proof that they are denying liberty to innocent Americans. Give me a Senate where every Senator goes on the record with his or her votes, and refuses to go along with anonymous mob voting. If you can’t give me those things, don’t patronize me when I recommend strong disinfectant tactics. Trust me: voting out incumbents, just to put the fear of the electorate into the political class in DC will do more to keep our republic safe and healthy than PATRIOT I & II ever will.

  12. Slightly OT:

    I heard Bush give a speech saying that it was “unconscionable” that someone leaked the fact that Bush authorised secret spying of US citizens, and that the knowledge of that fact was helping the terrorists win.

    And he said it with that annoying fucking smirk on his face almost the whole time.

    I hate that man…but I would never do anything to harm him, Mr Secret Service agent.

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