Saturday, June 11, 2005


GOP House Turns Off The Mics On "Patriot Act" Debate

Republicans made sure they pulled off this stunt during the Friday Afternoon/Evening News Hole. While your "fair and balanced" press corps was still busy looking for Democrats willing to stab Howard Dean in the back, this little tidbit gets barely a whisper outside of the liberal blogosphere. Take it away, John:

The House Republicans just shut down the Patriot Act hearings while the Democrats were still talking. It was absolutely amazing. Then they shut the mics off on the Dems. Even more amazing is that the House Republicans have the nerve to do this during a hearing on, what?, the Patriot Act! A hearing about our concerns about shutting down free speech and civil rights and the Constitution. So what do they do, they simply shut down open debate in the US Congress. Horrifying. I've been so busy today I didn't have time to watch this video until now. Now I have. It's downright chilling. But also inspiring. The Democrats just kept going, the witnesses just kept going. It really was quite wonderful that even after the Republicans tried to literally shut down our democracy, the Democrats and the witnesses - in the best Grinch tradition - showed the Republicans that, Republicans present or not, microphone shut down or not, even House Judiciary Chairman "Tex" Sensenbrenner can't stop democracy from coming. This story is 100 times as important as anything Howard Dean did or didn't say. We need to take what happened today and run with it. I can only imagine the protests - members of the House with gags on. Imagine all the Dems walking around for one day next week with gags on, on the House floor, in hearings. Come on guys, let's do it :-) Make sure you watch both videos on this page. AP has picked up on the story now too.

I used to live in northern New York, where I wished that Jerry Nadler was my Representative (it was reeking bad Gerald Solomon for me back then.)

I've always liked Nadler, and it's good to see his name coming up. He will fight.
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