It was a thought that caused me to wake up in a sweat… could it be? Could it be that Rand Paul and I share the same policy on the misnamed “Patriot Act”?
I was rightfully considered more of a Libertarian than Democrat when I ran for Governor, but that was in a time when people who claimed to be Libertarians weren’t simple shills for the Coch brothers. No true patriot could support the Patriot Act (as Ben Franklin famously said “anyone who forfeits liberty for security, deserve neither”) and I have always felt that it was a mistake. When the Act was used to get bank records of my employees when the Bush Administration was investigating me for a violation of Campaign Finance Laws, my worst suspicions were realized. The Patriot Act is used by law enforcement to spy on every citizen for any reason.
So imagine my surprise when the lone man holding up the vote on the Patriot Act was Rand Paul. Does the phrase “existential crisis” come to mind? Not really. It turns out that Paul was not objecting to the Patriot Act because it violated the U.S. Constitution with routine and random warrantless searches of all citizens. No, he objected to a provision of the Act which required registration of arms purchases. Rand Paul wanted anyone, including potential terrorists, to be able to purchase weapons anonymously.
Fear was the motivation that caused Congress to take away our rights – fear of the terrorist boogey-man. Paul simply wanted to weaken the one part of the Act that did make sense…