Yesterday Rand Paul “filibustered” the Patriot Act renewal. It is set to sunset soon. From what I understand, it wasn’t technically a filibuster, because no vote was imminent, but it was his attempt to throw off the calender and force debate. This filibuster, like his first one, rallied his troops and forced his opponents to address an issue they probably didn’t want to address. People were asking why Ted Cruz wasn’t there helping with the filibuster, so much so that it eventually made #whereisted trend. Cruz eventually showed up. He supposedly favors debate on the issue.
As I understand it, the Freedom Act was intended to modify the Patriot Act to address some civil liberty concerns, but people who initially supported it now believe it is too watered down. As I understand it, Cruz supports the Freedom Act and the Patriot Act. Paul opposes the current iteration of the Freedom Act.
The Unpatriotic Act should be opposed in toto and allowed to sunset. It is a monstrous piece of legislation that was hastily passed in the wake of 9/11. That it was ready to be voted on so quickly indicates it had already been drawn up, and the Feds were just waiting for an opportunity to rush it through. If there are parts of the Unpatriotic Act that are necessary, then those should be passed separately, rather than the whole monstrosity renewed in whole or with modifications. Remember, if the Feds can use the Unpatriotic Act against terrorists, they can also use it against domestic dissenters. So the question is, “Who do you fear more, terrorists or the Feds?” For me, it’s not even a close call. Opposition to the Unpatriotic Act should be the default conservative position, especially for any conservatives who claim to be fighting the Establishment.