Stop Making Sensenbrenner: House Stabs Senate Compromise in the Heart with Trident

sensenbrenner.jpgWe first came to know Representative James Sensenbrenner during those halcyon days of the Clinton impeachment hearings. The legendary House Managers were captivating the world with their combovers and their tenuous grasp of legal specifics, and Sensenbrenner was the group's Brick Tamland character -- loud and loyal, never permitted to get too close to anyone's pet bunny. Now, as a result of a series of badly played bets and poorly executed dares, Sensenbrenner is somehow the chair of the House Judiciary Committee.

And just as Washington was settling in for a long winter's nap secure in the knowledge that we wouldn't be bitching about the Patriot Act for another six months, Sensenbrenner arrived on the scene, shouting, "Loud noises!" The end result is that the House has rejected the previous six-month extension deal that was knitted up in the Senate this week, putting the Patriot Act back on the clock with a mere five-week extension.

The basis of Sensenbrenner's decision was quite simple. "They came pretty close to wrecking everybody's Christmas. I didn't want to put the entire Congress in the position of them wrecking everybody's Independence Day." So there you have it: the paramount concern when it comes to protecting America is ensuring that there are safeguards in place to preserve Congress' holidays. Same as it ever was.

Patriot Act Extension Is Reduced To a Month [Washington Post]


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