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Congress in Fear

Last week I wondered whether Congress would have the courage to pursue the question of impeachment. This week we received the unequivocal answer: no. In fact, not only will the Congress not pursue the national inquiry the framers envisioned, but they passed legislation to grant further powers to an executive branch with a long history of abuse of power.
The issues surrounding the updating of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act are complicated. For a thoughtful analysis of the process that led to the bill signed into law this week expanding the government’s power to eavesdrop without warrants, see Patrick Radden Keefe’s article in Slate Magazine, entitled “Wiretap at Will.”
I was happy to see that Hilary Clinton and Barak Obama both voted against this legislation, disappointed that both of our senators from Pennsylvania lacked the insight and courage to vote nay. Of particular concern, of course, is the use of that ancient strategy of tyrants to appeal to fear in attempting to appropriate ever expanding authority.

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