Mapping the Vote to Limit the NSA via Amash-Conyers Amendment


Over at Conservative Intel, David Freddoso has mapped yesterday's vote by district on legislation sponsored by Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and John Conyers (D-Mich.). "Aye" votes would have limited the NSA's ability to collect data on Americans in America. Those votes are coded white, "Nay" votes are black, and non-votes are pink.

From the writeup:

In Wisconsin, just two members voted against — Republican Paul Ryan and Democrat Ron Kind.  Colorado's entire bipartisan delegation supported it (it was cosponsored by their Democratic colleague, Jared Polis). In Tennessee, all members voted to limit NSA spying except one — Democrat Jim Cooper. In neighboring Alabama, whose congressional delegation is also dominated by Republicans, the only Democrat voted no along with all Republicans but one.

Another thing that should impress you if you know a bit about members of Congress is how there aren't too many common threads. The issue split each party down the middle, split members of the Black and Hispanic caucuses, and pitted both conservatives and liberals against one another. The vote is also likely to spur more conversations during primaries in the 2014 election cycle. For example, in Georgia, Reps. Phil Gingrey, Paul Broun and Jack Kingston are all running for Senate next year. Gingrey voted against the amendment, whereas Kingston and Broun voted for it. 

Read more.

Freddoso is giving the GOP too much credit here. The final vote count was 205-217, with 94 Republicans and 111 Democrats voting for the amendment to limit the NSA. A majority of GOP members—134 all told—voted against the amendment and were joined by 83 Democrats.

But still the map is fascinating and Freddoso's large point regarding a lack of "common threads" explaining the vote patterns is well-taken.

For comparison, he includes a map of congressional districts by party affiliation, with red meaning Republican and blue meaning Democratic:

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  1. Amusing that SC, home of Lindsey Graham, was 100% in favor of the Amash-Conyers Amendment, across parties. Colorado was another fairly big state unanimous.

    1. Can we get Deputy Dog primaried then?

      1. Graham and McCain are number 1 and 2 (literally, they are both number 2) on my list for primary challenges. I can’t vote against either one of them, but I sure can donate to their challengers campaigns.

        1. Except that in McCain’s case, he had an incredible idiot in JD Hayworth running against him in the primary last time. I’d hold my nose and vote for McCain over Hayworth.

          1. I remember that. But even Hayworth couldn’t be worse than McCain. Nobody can. McCain is the worst Senator of all time.

            1. “McCain is the worst Senator of all time.”

              Maybe. But there is good competition from Harry Reid & Chuck Schumer.

            2. Until computers are capable of multi-kilobit floats, I don’t believe this contest can be accurately concluded.

              1. How about this: they’re all equally shit unless they prove otherwise.

          2. Not coming from an excathedra position, but, on the surface, JD is far, far more likeable than the “war hero”.

            1. Kim Jong Un is more likeable that McCain.

              You know why? Because he’s not in the US Senate fucking up my country!

        2. I can’t vote against…

          THIS is what is missing from our electoral system.

          Every vote “against” cancels a vote “for”. Then those of us who can’t be bothered to show up to the polls to waste our time writing in someone who will never win because our souls can’t stand the burden of voting “for” any of the candidates, can at least still have some influence in the process.

          Congress gets to vote yay/nay on our behalf, why can’t we vote the same way on their behalf? (And on the President’s, and every other direct election, in accordance with State Law, sld applies, offer not valid under any Federal Jurisdiction, YMMV, do not attempt at home, objects in mirror are more tyrannical than they appear.)

          1. Undergirding your prescription is the assumption that the votes are counted honestly.

            1. YMMV

            2. Work that tinfoil hat, mike.

              1. Yeah, its better to just play the ostrich cause if one questions the integrity of democratic elections one must be kooky.

                That’s the crux of your point, slaver, right?

          2. Preferential voting would go some way to helping.

            1. great, now I have to interrupt my wiki’ing about the evolution of protists between prokaryotes and metazoans per the endosymbiont theory to learn what preferential voting means.

              1. Short version: if you have more than 2 candidates and no candidate gets 50% of the vote, you throw out the lowest count and allocate their second-place votes to whomever is left in the race.

                It actually works well for third-party candidates. Say their is s R, D & Libertarian. Right now a lot of people won’t vote L b/c of the “wasted vote” theory. BUT, if you knew that your second preference would count you would be more likely to vote L. In places like Australia, third (& fourth) parties can have influence b/c they allocate preferences based on how the major parties vote on certain issues.

                1. I still like the idea of “Thunderdome” for US elections. Bonus: one poltiician is eliminated from each race from ever pursuing a political position – or any other position – ever.


                  1. Bonus: one poltiician is eliminated from each race from ever pursuing a political position – or any other position – ever.

                    Like loser-pays litigation, sort-of.

          3. This is on my wishlist. I’d love to see politicians claim a mandate with a popular vote tally in the negative millions.

  2. I was surprised that it even got 205 votes.

    1. The one good thing to come out of this, that I haven’t heard many talk about, is the fact it appears that the wack-o birds can reach across the aisle and get help on civil liberties issues. That is huge, and I am sure it has the cronies in both parties freaking out a little.

      1. The only thing to watch is how many of the Yea votes would have succumbed to leadership whipping if their votes would have been needed to defeat it. The polls (and constituent passions) were strong on this one.

        1. The teams now just ignore the public. They don’t care, because they know that no matter what they do, the dummies will keep electing them.

          The history books will read, America, killed by stupid voters.

  3. TN and SC are looking better all the time. Although my rep here in MD voted yes, there is nothing that can save MD, at this point, from becoming NJ and Cali combined, at this point, at least on the economic freedom side.

    1. Maryland is vastly improving in personal freedom — from dead last to next to last.

      1. Yeah! I’ll just hang around for a couple more decades, and maybe we’ll be up to 55th of the 57!

    2. I’m actually shocked my rep voted for it. He’s the freshman from SC-7 and generally dumb as dog shit so I’m just assuming he didn’t actually know what the hell the amendment was for.

      1. I’m wondering if that’s why my rep voted for it also. My former rep, was Elijah Cummings, lol, I am sure that’s why he voted for it. He couldn’t possibly understand what it meant.

  4. I’ll be giving GA rep Phil Gingrey some well deserved grief when he runs for that senate seat.

  5. Surprise, my xenophobic Congressman Ed Royce voted No.

    1. at least your Rep isn’t Pete King…

  6. This is probably an awesome map of which politicians the NSA has dirt on…

    1. For comparison, he includes a map of congressional districts by party affiliation, with red meaning Republican and blue meaning Democratic:

      Damn Blue Messicans and Coastal Progtards …

      There MUST be something in the water …

  7. I dont think Jack Frapp is going to liek that at all man.


  8. My Rep voted for it, and she’s technically part of the GOP leadership. Granted, she’s of a more Western bend politically and breaks reasonably often.

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