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How many DEMOCRATS actually read the Patriot Act before voting?

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Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 08:23 PM
Original message
How many DEMOCRATS actually read the Patriot Act before voting?
Edited on Fri Jun-04-04 08:26 PM by Q
- Watching the trailer for Moore's "fahrenheit 9/11" got me to thinking about the Patriot Act and the claims that few if any of our representatives actually read it before signing it into law.

- Here are two quotes from the trailer regarding the Patriot Act:

Congressman McDermott: "No one read it".

Congressman Conyers: "We don't read most of the bills".

- If these quotes reflect the state of our two-party government...why the hell do we even HAVE a congress? We already know why Republicans rubber-stamped this assault against our Constitution...but why did so many Democrats sign on to this madness?

- Does anyone have ANY information about which Democrats read the Act before voting? Can we assume that those who actually read it voted nay?
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 08:26 PM
Response to Original message
1. i think that's why they (congress) has staffers, to read and summarize n/t
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Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Summarize a Bill that would kill the Bill of Rights?
...Sounds like something Bush* would do. Are you suggesting they were too busy to read the Patriot Act before voting for it? It seems to me a summary wouldn't be enough...considering the scope of the legislation and that the GOPers were rushing it and demanding a vote.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. They had less than 24 hours
and what is worst they were denied access.

I hope that Moore will go into that as well, for the sake
of conoleteness. Why do you think the radicals were not happy
when a REAL PATRIOT leacked Patriot II who many of us forwarded
to Congress and even talked about it to staffers?
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 08:27 PM
Response to Original message
2. I hope that the movie goes a tad into why
that bill was passed so fast. It was ready to go, and they had less than 24 hours to vote on it.

Not to defend them, but the USPA was an unusual bill, and so you know...most Congressmen and Senators do not read all the bills, but have executive sumaries prepared by their staff. There is a good, if sad reason, the volume of paperwork that is put thorugh the Congress.

Personally I would like to see a severe reduction on the number of bills, to give them time to actually read the bills, and not executive summaries. For the record, the staff, nobody's staff, had time to prepare them either.
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Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #2
12. What kind of idiot would vote for something he hasn't read?
...especially something this important to Democracy? I don't have all the facts yet...but could it be that those who read it voted against it? Why would some members of congress have time to read it?

- I find it amazing that so many seem to rationalize and excuse the fact that most of OUR representatives didn't feel it was important to read this anti-Constitution legislation.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 08:56 PM
Response to Reply #12
28. I have actually talked to members of Congress on this
I wish you did the same before passing judgement

And you do not have all the facts, hence why I do
hope that the full story is told, FOR ONCE

Those who managed to get A copy of the bill
were two. The rest did not. It was held away from
them... and beleive it or not there were threats.

There is more, the way Justice presented the bill was NOT
what the bill contained.

Are they sorry they did not read it? Yes. Are they POed that
they did not have time for their staff to go through it? YES

WOULD they have done the same again? NOPE.

That is why they were so glad that ALERT citizens who
were pissed after USPA sent the second edition, which ... DOJ
was preparing and had ready to go, for a second take. Since then
they all have fought to keep the sunset provisions, which
at least Bush's DOJ reluctanctly agreed to, in the dearth of night.

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ParanoidPat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 09:10 PM
Response to Reply #12
40. This might answer your question as to why they didn't read it......
.....before voting on it. The final version put up for vote was not released until shortly before the vote took place. The main document in PDF format is 132 pages long.

You can read all of the documents in 'text' format at this link.

There were 4 versions of Bill Number H.R.3162 for the 107th Congress
1 . Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act of 2001 (Received in Senate from House)H.R.3162.RDS
2 . Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act of 2001 (Engrossed as Agreed to or Passed by House)H.R.3162.EH
3 . Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act of 2001 (Introduced in House)H.R.3162.IH
4 . Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act of 2001 (Enrolled as Agreed to or Passed by Both House and Senate)H.R.3162.ENR
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Langis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 08:27 PM
Response to Original message
3. It was durning support the president madness
Edited on Fri Jun-04-04 08:28 PM by Langis
9-11 made 75% of the country and with it 75% of congress stupid for a short period of time. Unfortunately only 25% have recovered.
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Soloflecks Donating Member (518 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Well said! n/t
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Eric J in MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 08:30 PM
Response to Original message
5. Russ Feingold read it and voted agaisnt it.
If you want to support him, go here:

http://www.russfeingold.org /
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RUMMYisFROSTED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Got that right.
No excuses.
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Cocoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 08:36 PM
Original message
yes, and Russ is up for reelection this year
another organization to support is www.aclu.org .

Their IL chapter is prostesting Cheney's recent misleading comments about the Patriot Act.

http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=110-06...

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sybylla Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 08:50 PM
Response to Reply #5
21. True, and word is he tried to warn other senators but got nowhere
Too many chickenshits in suits in DC. No one apparently wanted to rock the post-9/11 boat.

The funny thing is that Feingolds puke opposition in this election think his vote against the Patriot Act is his Achille's Heel.
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Lefta Dissenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 08:32 PM
Response to Original message
9. The only NAY vote was, of course,
Edited on Fri Jun-04-04 08:34 PM by Vote_Clark_In_WI
Russ Feingold. He is currently running for re-election, and all FOUR Repugs running against him have called him unpatriotic and cowardly.

#&*(#P&%$*(@&*()%&@$^&

If you have an extra dollar in your pocket, please send it to Russ!

edited to say, I am SO SLOW! Thanks, EricInMN! :D You obviously know a what it's like to have a great Senator!
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Eric J in MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 08:36 PM
Response to Reply #9
15. The only Senate Nay vote was Russ Feingold's but Kucinich
The only Senate Nay vote was Russ Feingold's but Dennis Kucinich voted against it in the House, along with some other Congresspersons.
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greatauntoftriplets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 08:33 PM
Response to Original message
10. I remember a thread on DU....
Edited on Fri Jun-04-04 08:44 PM by greatauntoftriplets
quoting congressmen who said they didn't have time to read it before the vote -- but think that was revealed a while after that pile of crap was passed. At the time, I was outraged. I joined DU on 10/8/01, and think this post was after that because I recall responding with something along the lines of "How to hell can you vote for something that bad without reading it?"

I assume that Russ Feingold read it, and that is to his credit.

On edit: Would members of Congress sign a contract they had not read if it involved their own money? I don't think so....
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the skeptic Donating Member (14 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 08:33 PM
Response to Original message
11. to be fair, in times of "crisis" congress never.....
...reads anything! Historically, Congress has always let events dictate their actions. The Gulf of Tonkin is a prime example; there was little debate on giving LBJ full authority to escalate the war in Vietnam. Congress meekly let him do what he wanted.

Congress has never really exercised its constitutional powers in times of crisis, Democrat or Republican. Congress usually reacts in a knee-jerk fashion.
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Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 08:36 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. You're describing a dictatorship or a one-party state...
...so why even have a congress? Isn't a 'time of crisis' the exact time when they should be paying the closest attention?
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Nlighten1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 08:55 PM
Response to Reply #11
25. 95 to 3 says you might be wrong.
John Negreponte was approved by this margin. Surely our Senators know who he is and know his record. Yet a clear majority voted for this piece of shit.
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wyldwolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 08:35 PM
Response to Original message
13. Grover Norquist, of all people, said:
"A lot of good people voted for a very bad bill. They got panicked into it. The best ones are embarrassed about it. Some of them speak freely about the fact that they didn't read it and they didn't know what was in it. They were asked to vote: 'the country is under attack. Are you with us, or with them? Yes or no? It's the Patriot Act.'

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Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 08:39 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. The country wasn't 'under attack' when they signed it...
...so that's a bunch of hogwash. What the hell good are these people if they're so easily swayed into trading our liberty for a false sense of security?
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wyldwolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 08:41 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. That was just his terminology
...but, yeah, after 9/11 we had no idea what was next and the powers that be, as Al Gore said, played on our fears.

No excuse, granted, but still that was the climate at the time.

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Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 08:44 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. But...we saw how the Bushies were using the fear of terrorism...
...to manipulate the public and our representatives. Why didn't THEY see it? Is this going to be the same EXCUSE for every mistake and error of judgement after 9-11? They voted to invade Iraq because they 'played on our fears'? Where does it end?
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wyldwolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 08:48 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. we look back and see it now
..but Washington, DC is a different animal all together.

The act was passed I think just six weeks after 9/11 when all but only the most bitter partisans were at least partially on board in the whole "United We Stand" frenzy.
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greatauntoftriplets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 08:56 PM
Response to Reply #20
27. For family reasons, I took Friday, September 14 as a vacation day.
Watched the numbnuts family at the National Cathedral. Nearly barfed at the smug, self-satisfied grins and smirks they were giving everyone. The photos later appeared in national magazines like Time and Newsweek. Meanwhile, the Clinton family looked suitably mournful, in keeping with the solemn occasion that it was.

Anyone who saw that should have been thoroughly chilled by the *'s demeanor. At that point, I knew that 9/11 was all they needed to go forward with their agenda.

If I could see that, why could not supposedly better-informed-than-I-am congress critters?
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wyldwolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 09:01 PM
Response to Reply #27
30. I agree with you, but many didn't feel that way then
We're actually a bit more partisan and cynical out here in the trenches than they are in DC.

Bill Clinton, for example, probably made some DU'ers gasp when he said in his speech last night that he likes Bob Dole and Bush, Sr.
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greatauntoftriplets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #30
33. Made me gasp, too, but I am extremely cynical.
Best Republican president we ever had, to quote Michael Moore.
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wyldwolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 09:05 PM
Response to Reply #33
36. yes, if you think Clinton is a republican you are cynical.
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AliceWonderland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 08:45 PM
Response to Original message
19. No excuse
Edited on Fri Jun-04-04 08:49 PM by AliceWonderland
Nothing will serve as an excuse for me. Being told "you're with us or against us" should only have made these public servants scrutinize this legislation more, not less. I don't care if the country was "gripped by fear" or whatever purple prose the columnists wanted to use; there were those of us who were appalled and pissed, not afraid. This is an issue that sickens me. Every public servant, every member of Congress that voted for this bill without even reading it or launching a debate on the current investigative/enforcement tools already existing, should be in front of his or her constituency begging forgiveness. Being regretful or "embarrassed" now isn't even enough -- they should be seeking to correct the situation and speaking up as loudly as possible.

This is all the more the true given that time and time again, it has been shown that 9/11 didn't occur for lack of sneak and peak warrants and access to library or medical records.
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Cocoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 08:50 PM
Response to Original message
22. Moore's own record on the Patriot Act is nuanced
he supported Wesley Clark in the primaries, and Clark was the only candidate who personally profited from the Patriot Act, by lobbying the government on behalf of corporations.

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Eric J in MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 08:54 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. The point of the primaries
Michael Moore didn't support the bombing of Kosvo, either.

The point of the primaries was to choose someone who could beat Bush.

Moore thought Wesley Clark could beat Bush, and if Clark were the Presidential nominee, he probably would win.
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Cocoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #24
29. I agree
that's why I'm ok with Clark. You and I and Michael Moore and John Kerry are more "nuanced" than some others.

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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #29
34. Well that is because we understand
that things are not as simple as some wish they were.
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Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 08:52 PM
Response to Original message
23. Okay...lets assume their staff read it FOR them and summarized...
...This would STILL mean they agreed with the Act and voted for it. This means they KNEW it would give Ashcroft and his gang of zealots extraordinary powers to spy on and 'detain' anyone ONE BRANCH of government felt was a 'threat'.

- The PA...along with Homeland Security and the IWR votes meant that CONGRESS was abdicating their Constitutional duties and giving up their legal power to the executive branch.
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-05-04 12:03 AM
Response to Reply #23
43. that is the crux of the matter Q, the Legislative Branch has
abdicated it's responsibilities to us (the voters/taxpayers) in a rush of fear, partisanship and greed and/or any combination of the above
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wyldwolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 08:56 PM
Response to Original message
26. One think I hate so see happening, RE: Michael Moore movie
DU has had some pretty brutal flamewars in the past over Iraq and 9/11 and the patriot act (many of them on the very topic of this thread.)

I hate so see that happen again.

I would rather concentrate on how much the film could damage Bush, not see it used as a tool to bash democrats for something they've already been bashed over again and again.

I think we get it.

Don't get over it - - - - but it's done. I'm channeling my energy to defeat the real threat.
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Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #26
31. It's not 'done' because...
Edited on Fri Jun-04-04 09:02 PM by Q
...congress is actually considering extending the Patriot Act(s) instead of allowing them to 'sunset'.

- Indeed...Bush* is THE threat...but remember that he's only a puppet who takes orders from others. While we go forward in our effort to defeat this evildoer president*...we MUST keep in mind that Republicans and Democrats alike were willing to sell out our Constitution in some perverted contest to appear the most 'patriotic'.
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wyldwolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 09:04 PM
Response to Reply #31
35. Yes, it is done
The vote on the original Patriot Act is done.

Lobby your congressman to vote against any extension. Make that your goal instead of dwelling on the past.
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weedthesmoke Donating Member (73 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 09:02 PM
Response to Original message
32. Moore would never take anyones words out of context would he?
We can trust every bit of film splicing and audio editing he does because he is the editor of sound bites. Just like BFC was not an anti-gun splice job.
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Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 09:05 PM
Response to Reply #32
37. No...the quotes were not taken out of context...
...as the context WAS the Patriot Act.

- As a matter of fact...the GOPer fascists were doing everything they could to rush the bill through while the fear factor was in full dread. They printed the damn thing in the middle of the night and before the people knew what was going on.
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napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 09:07 PM
Response to Original message
38. Second poster is right. Most bills are only read by staffers.
I personally think that's WRONG but I believe it's true. Those fools claim they don't have time to read them all. Well, as my boss always used to tell me, TAKE TIME! He didn't care if I had to take the work home, or work till midnight, it was my job.

Too bad that ethic didn't make it's way to Capitol Hill!
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Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #38
41. This wasn't a bill about naming an airport...
Edited on Fri Jun-04-04 09:14 PM by Q
...or some other bullshit legislation. They KNEW or should have known how this bill would change EVERYTHING about concepts of the rule of law, due process and innocent until proven guilty.

- I'd like to know how Democrats would respond if this Act is made permanent?

- Further...does this mean they didn't read the Iraq War Resolution before voting?
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wyldwolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #41
42. Beside the point
They KNEW or should have known how this bill would change EVERYTHING about concepts of the rule of law, due process and innocent until proven guilty.

Hindsite if 20/20. Read post #40.


I'd like to know how Democrats would respond if this Act is made permanent?

Ask them.
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ibegurpard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-05-04 12:21 AM
Response to Reply #41
45. I don't hold voting for the Patriot Act against any congresspeople
However, there's no excuse for allowing it to not sunset nor an excuse for any further legislation like this.
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Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-04-04 09:08 PM
Response to Original message
39. USA Patriot Act Sunset: Provisions That Expire on December 31, 2005


The sunset provisions of the Patriot Act that President Bush now wishes to override were designed to give Congress an opportunity in 2005 to see if the law was keeping America both safe and free," ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero said.

January 20, 2004 - ACLU Urges Congress to Reject Bush Call to Make Patriot Act Permanent

April 19, 2004 - Bush: Renew Patriot Act or Else -- "To abandon the Patriot Act would deprive law enforcement and intelligence officers of needed tools in the war on terror, and demonstrate willful blindness to a continuing threat," says George W. Bush.
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ibegurpard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-05-04 12:19 AM
Response to Original message
44. Not a defense
But it is NOT uncommon at all for legislators to not read bills. They have hundreds of bills that they have to consider and if they read every one of them they would have time for nothing else. That's why they have staff. I worked for a state legislature and the legislators I worked for used to joke about this one woman who read every bill and then they would say it sure was a good thing because she caught things that others missed at times. I don't know the answer to this. I agree that something like the Patriot Act should have gotten people's hackles up but it's kind of hard to cast blame on anyone when just about EVERYONE voted for it. It's a shame that we seem fearful of electing courageous people.
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