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Thursday, October 21, 2004

Bush and the Patriot Act 

During the second debate, Bush was asked a question about the Patriot Act. The exchange went as follows:
NY Times Transcript
Q. President Bush, 45 days after - excuse me - 45 days after 9/11, Congress passed the Patriot Act, which takes away checks on law enforcement and weakens American citizens' rights and freedoms, especially Fourth Amendment rights. With expansion to the Patriot Act and Patriot Act II, my question to you is why are my rights being watered down and my citizens around me, and what is the specific justifications for these reforms?

Mr. Bush: I appreciate that. I really don't think your rights are being watered down. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't support it if I thought that.


In light of what we have recently learned about Bush's decision-making process and relationship to reality, I found myself rethinking this statement. This is pure speculation on my part, but I have to wonder if what he really thinks is that there is nothing wrong with the Patriot Act because he supports it. We know that he is incapable of admitting mistakes. We also know that this administration has a very flexible relationship to the truth, namely that it is whatever they want it to be. With that in mind, I really have to wonder if Bush simply believes that no piece of legislation he signed could infringe on civil rights, and therefore the Patriot Act does not infringe civil rights.

This is the group who, after all, tossed three Oregon schoolteachers out of their rally for wearing shirts that said a seditious and un-American thing like "Protect our civil liberties."
Three Medford school teachers were threatened with arrest and escorted from the event after they showed up wearing T-shirts with the slogan "Protect our civil liberties." All three said they applied for and received valid tickets from Republican headquarters in Medford.

The women said they did not intend to protest. "I wanted to see if I would be able to make a statement that I feel is important, but not offensive, in a rally for my president," said Janet Voorhies, 48, a teacher in training.

These three women need to be on a DNC commercial running across the nation.

And finally, Al Gore made a great speech. Read the transcript.

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