House votes to renew the Patriot Act

House Democrats voted 162-87 last night to renew the Patriot Act. (Yes, that’s the right link, despite the profoundly misleading title.) The Senate already voted to do so, so the measure now goes to President Obama, who is expected to sign it.

So what became of all the Democratic opposition to the Patriot Act? Ed Morrissey explains:

Republicans have mostly supported this bill because they believe it a necessary tool for counterintelligence and counterterrorism. Democrats mainly opposed it as a way to rally political opposition to Bush and the Republicans. Now that they’re in charge and responsible for preventing attacks, that Patriot Act looks pretty darned good to most of them.

We can now measure how much of the Democratic opposition to the Patriot Act during the Bush years was demagoguery and how much was honest. The ratio is about 2:1.

It’s unfortunate that the majority of congressional Democrats believe that national security is the sole province of the majority party, but there you are.

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