Thumbs down

A big thumbs down on the votes cast by Stephanie Herseth and Tim Johnson this week on the renewal of the so-called Patriot Act. Herseth voted Wednesday to reauthorize and extend various controversial provisions. Johnson was one of two Democrats to vote today to end a filibuster on the measure in the U.S. Senate. Not surprisingly, John Thune voted to end the filibuster. We should expect better from our Democrat representatives, though.

It is a sad irony that Herseth’s and Johnson’s votes frame the anniversary of the Bill of Rights becoming law on Dec. 15, 1791.

He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.

Thomas Paine, Dissertation on First Principles of Government (1795)

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