I think Podhoretz is basically right on the politics of the PATRIOT Act. While it faced some opposition in the House, especially on the Right, it passed the Senate 99-1, and the various amendments proposed by Senator Feingold (the lone opponent) all failed by similar margins. So, if Kerry or Edwards is on the ticket, they’ll be criticizing a law they voted for — and opposed amending. My one caveat is that I am not sure how an uncritical defense of the PATRIOT Act plays with the base. While the anti-PATRIOT howlings are generally overblown, it’s not a perfect law.