It is called going against the grain because it is difficult and most times unsuccessful. This is not to say that there are not times, for the sake of doing the right thing, that we should not go against the grain. But this lack of success and difficulty does mean that our expectations should not be high. When we go against the grain, we should expect that we are going to be misunderstood. People who oppose us will make up lies and distort our motives. This has begun to happen with Senator Rand Paul.
The Washington Post reports
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) vowed that he would force the Patriot Act to expire Sunday when the Senate reconvenes after not taking action last week to extend or replace a controversial surveillance program.
The new bill that would make legal NSA and FBI spying on Americans and American businesses in the name of the war on terror has stalled in the Senate. One of the main reasons is that Paul has opposed the bill.
The Libertarian-minded Paul led a filibuster-like effort over the Memorial Day weekend that helped block legislation to extend federal surveillance efforts but suggested upon leaving the Senate chambers that he might reconsider.
The question has been settled concerning legality, and now the politicians are seeking to catch the law up to the phone-tapping. As I reported, an appellate court ruled that the record keeping was not legal but allowed it to continue since it was set to expire. Paul wants to see the activity remain illegal and made to cease.
“I have fought for several years now to end the illegal spying of the NSA on ordinary Americans,” Paul also said in a statement released Saturday. “Let me be clear: I acknowledge the need for a robust intelligence agency and for a vigilant national security. I believe we must fight terrorism. … But we do not need to give up who we are to defeat them.”
Paul is not making friends in either party, as he is standing where he has for years.
Fox further reports
Lynch said it would mean “a serious lapse in our ability to protect the American people.” Clapper said in a statement Friday that prompt passage by the Senate of the House bill “is the best way to minimize any possible disruption of our ability to protect the American people.”
And President Obama used his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday to accuse opponents of hijacking the debate for political reasons. “Terrorists like al Qaeda and ISIL aren’t suddenly going to stop plotting against us at midnight tomorrow, and we shouldn’t surrender the tools that help keep us safe,” he said, using an acronym for the Islamic State group.
It seems that the oppressors are using fear and name calling to fight Paul. It would seem a simple thing to show how Americans can keep their same liberties while at the same time having all their phone conversations and business deals open to our intelligence and investigative arms. It would be easy to show if it were in the remotest amount possible, but it is not.
Paul will likely not win this fight. Our freedoms will continue to be taken in the name of safety. But, hopefully, the stupid things our president and Republican leaders are saying will not be the only thing used to pry these liberties from us.