Byron, these guys should all-out resist the 3-month extension for the same reason that the Oct 15, 2006 line is funny. Right before an election, a lot of people feeling their oats right now would not have the nerve to go on record as against critical national security tools needed to battle an enemy that is trying desperately to kill as many Americans as it can.
Almost all of these Democrats and Republicans voted for the Patriot Act. A lot of what is in it was favored by the sensible people in the Clinton administration. If a Democrat was president, this thing would be about to pass 80-20. This opposition is politics plain and simple — it is about trying to damage Bush by showing he can’t get his priorities enacted even with a 55-45 majority.
So, fine, make them stand up and vote against it. No extensions, no deals. In fact, I would start thinking about stripping out of it some of the accommodations that were made to try to win the votes of people like Sen. Leahy. It’s not worth compromising with people who won’t even allow a vote.
What a fine congress this is. Constitutional Rights for al Qaeda? Done. Security for Americans? Probably don’t have time for that …