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The Patriot Act: Who Really Won?


A number of Democrats seem to believe they have won by forcing a six-month extension of the Patriot Act. The American Civil Liberties Union sent out a statement last night hailing the agreement as an “important temporary extension [that] will give Congress more time to make meaningful changes called for by bipartisan members in both chambers of Congress.” But this deal postpones debate on the Act until June 2006 — and isn’t there an unwritten political rule that the closer one gets to an election, the more difficult it is to filibuster the Patriot Act? Do Democrats — and the four Republicans in the Senate who went along with them — really believe they can filibuster the Act less than five months away from an election as easily as they did eleven months away from an election?


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