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Patriots

We have a weird political system in America. And without a doubt, the US Senate is the strangest of the bunch. One particular issue is the fact that each issue gets two votes. The first is the procedural vote. Basically this is the vote that allows the bill to come to a vote. The second is the “real vote”. This allows weasely politicians to allow something to become law while still claiming that they voted against it.

So it’s the case with things like the Patriot Act that Republicans and Democrats alike can come together and vote to allow the worst provisions to endure for another 4 years. Of course, this was the procedural vote that paves the way for this to go on and become law. And damn near every Democrat voted for it.

When the time comes for the final vote, many good “progressive” Senators will vote no, then release a carefully worded statement to the press about the necessity of protecting civil liberties.

It’s all part of the game. But it doesn’t get any less upsetting seeing it happen.

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