FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Ashcroft’s Traveling Patriot Show Not Winning Many Converts

According to a report in The Washington Post, support for the Patriot Act is waning in the country, including Idaho, where Ashcroft’s summer revival tour traveled this week. Idaho’s Rep. C.L. “Butch” Otter (R), is leading an effort in Congress to curtail the centerpiece of Ashcroft’s anti-terrorism strategy, the USA Patriot Act. Otter sponsored an amendment approved 309 to 118 by the House in July, which would cut off funding for “sneak-and-peek” warrants. Ashcroft calls this a “mistake,” and says that those who voted for the amendment “did not know what they were voting for.” Also voting yea was Sen. Larry E. Craig (R-Idaho), a former singing mate of Ashcroft’s in the senate quartet, who now is singing dissident chords about the law.

State representatives and city counsels in Idaho are making discordant noises, no doubt a reflection of a state in which people value their privacy and liked the Constitution the way it was before Ashcroft started playing it in another key.

New Harris Poll numbers indicate that less than 50 percent of those polled like the show’s star, and 40 percent disapprove of his performance. And as long as Ashcroft continues to hum the tune that those who would curtail the Patriot Act and not grant Ashcroft new powers are traitors, his popularity is likely to drop.

This is a country that, save for the Rove’s, Falwell’s, Robertson’s, and Ashcroft’s in it, believe in the right to dissent and debate. Ashcroft’s words that he “values debate” and does not want to silence it, is belied by his deputizing his US Attorneys to speak personally with dissident Congressional members and report back to him. Report what? They they disagree? To what end? That they can be prosecuted as national security risks?

“It’s pretty reckless to say that 309 members of Congress want to tip off terrorists,” said Otter, who noted that more than a third of the votes cast for his amendment came from Republicans. “Instead of hitting the campaign trail, the attorney general should be listening to the concerns that many Americans have about some portions of the act.”

ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero, whose group has helped organize many of the anti-Patriot Act resolutions approved in recent months by more than 150 municipalities and states, said Ashcroft is now “clearly on the defensive. He and the Justice Department have finally understood that there are large portions of the public raising questions about their policies on terrorism and the Patriot Act. The opposition is springing up all across the country.”

Some suggest that Bush’s handlers sent Ashcroft on the road to test the country’s tone about him and curtailment of civil liberties. If it flops in New Haven (or Idaho), Bush’s producers and directors can tweak the show and maybe even replace its star before it opens at the Republican convention next summer.

Ashcroft fancies himself a martyr and does not mind the criticism or low poll numbers. Rather, they are proof positive that “for every crucifixion, a resurrection is waiting to follow,” in the words he used to assuage himself after his loss to a dead man in the Missouri 2000 senate race. Father Bush, though, is not into self-sacrifice. He may sacrifice Brother John to the cross of political convenience in order to save his presidency from the tomb.

ELAINE CASSEL practices law in Virginia and the District of Columbia, teachers law and psychology, and follows the Bush regime’s dismantling of the Constitution at Civil Liberties Watch. She can be reached at: ecassel1@cox.net

More articles by:
bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
July 22, 2019
Michael Hudson
U.S. Economic Warfare and Likely Foreign Defenses
Evaggelos Vallianatos
If Japan Continues Slaughtering Whales, Boycott the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
Mike Garrity
Emergency Alert For the Wild Rockies
Dean Baker
The U.S.-China Trade War: Will Workers Lose?
Jonah Raskin
Paul Krassner, 1932-2019: American Satirist 
David Swanson
U.S. Troops Back in Saudi Arabia: What Could Go Wrong?
Robert Fisk
American Visitors to the Gestapo Museum Draw Their Own Conclusions
John Feffer
Trump’s Send-Them-Back Doctrine
Kenn Orphan – Phil Rockstroh
Landscape of Anguish and Palliatives: Predation, Addiction and LOL Emoticons in the Age of Late Stage Capitalism
Karl Grossman
A Farmworkers Bill of Rights
Gary Leupp
Omar and Trump
Robert Koehler
Fighting Climate Change Means Ending War
Susie Day
Mexicans Invade US, Trump Forced to Go Without Toothbrush
Elliot Sperber
Hey Diddle Diddle, Like Nero We Fiddle
Weekend Edition
July 19, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Rob Urie
The Blob Fought the Squad, and the Squad Won
Miguel A. Cruz-Díaz
It Was Never Just About the Chat: Ruminations on a Puerto Rican Revolution.
Anthony DiMaggio
System Capture 2020: The Role of the Upper-Class in Shaping Democratic Primary Politics
Andrew Levine
South Carolina Speaks for Whom?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Big Man, Pig Man
Bruce E. Levine
The Groundbreaking Public Health Study That Should Change U.S. Society—But Won’t
Evaggelos Vallianatos
How the Trump Administration is Eviscerating the Federal Government
Pete Dolack
All Seemed Possible When the Sandinistas Took Power 40 years Ago
Ramzy Baroud
Who Killed Oscar and Valeria: The Inconvenient History of the Refugee Crisis
Ron Jacobs
Dancing with Dr. Benway
Joseph Natoli
Gaming the Climate
Marshall Auerback
The Numbers are In, and Trump’s Tax Cuts are a Bust
Louisa Willcox
Wild Thoughts About the Wild Gallatin
Kenn Orphan
Stranger Things, Stranger Times
Mike Garrity
Environmentalists and Wilderness are Not the Timber Industry’s Big Problem
Helen Yaffe
Cuban Workers Celebrate Salary Rise From New Economic Measures
Brian Cloughley
What You Don’t Want to be in Trump’s America
David Underhill
The Inequality of Equal Pay
David Macaray
Adventures in Script-Writing
David Rosen
Say Goodbye to MAD, But Remember the Fight for Free Expression
Nick Pemberton
This Is Heaven!: A Journey to the Pearly Gates with Chuck Mertz
Dan Bacher
Chevron’s Oil Spill Endangers Kern County
J.P. Linstroth
A Racist President and Racial Trauma
Binoy Kampmark
Spying on Julian Assange
Rose Ramirez – Dedrick Asante-Mohammad
A Trump Plan to Throw 50,000 Kids Out of Their Schools
David Bravo
Precinct or Neighborhood? How Barcelona Keeps Rolling Out the Red Carpet for Global Capital
Ralph Nader
Will Any Disgusted Republicans Challenge Trump in the Primaries?
Dave Lindorff
The BS about Medicare-for-All Has to Stop!
Arnold August
Why the Canadian Government is Bullying Venezuela
Tom Clifford
China and the Swine Flu Outbreak
Missy Comley Beattie
Highest Anxiety
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail