What Did You Do During the War on Terror, Daddy?

Reps. Justin Amash and John Conyers tried to protect the Constitution. Barack Obama, not so much.

Nick Gillespie
Reason Magazine

This is what bipartisanship looks like—and it looks pretty damn fresh.

Yesterday, a bill co-sponsored by Reps. Justin Amash (R-MI) and John Conyers (D-MI) that would have brought NSA domestic surveillance of U.S. citizens into rough compliance with the Constitution nearly passed the House of Representatives in a razor-thin loss. Ninety-four Republicans and 111 Democrats broke ranks with their party’s leadership in the losing 205–217 effort (a dozen members didn’t vote).

Amash—singled out by name by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) as a “wacko bird” after Sen. Rand Paul’s epic filibuster over the Obama administration’s drone policy—has emerged as the leader of a pack of unapologetically libertarian-leaning Republicans who vote their principles rather than their party. Like Rand Paul—who has worked with liberal Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and other Democrats on specific issues related to civil liberties—Amash shows that bipartisanship is not only possible but that it doesn’t have to be an exercise in mushy, centrist, logrolling compromise. For Amash, it’s not about splitting the difference between a turd sandwich and a giant douche, it’s about bringing votes to your side by standing up for core beliefs. No wonder GOP leaders have taken to calling Amash and others like him “assholes.”

The Amash-Conyers Amendment was attached to a $598 billion defense-spending bill that passed easily and would have, writes Amash, ended the “NSA’s blanket collection of Americans’ telephone records. It does this by requiring the FISA court under Sec. 215 [of the Patriot Act] to order the production of records that pertain only to a person under investigation.”…


The article continues at Reason.com



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