What do Senator Menendez and nine Republican and Democratic New Jersey members of the House of Representatives have in common? They voted to extend the Patriot Act the other day.
To put it another way, bipartisanship is alive and well on Capitol Hill…to deprive the American people of their Fourth Amendment rights to be secure in their homes and papers. In other words, they violated their oath to defend the U.S. Constitution.
The latest dishonor roll of New Jersey House members include in alphabetic order, Rodney Frelinghuysen (R), Scott Garrett (R), Leonard Lance (R), Frank A. LoBiondo (R), Bill Pascrell Jr. (D), Steven R. Rothman (D), Jon Runyan (R), Albio Sires (D), and Christopher H. Smith (R). Voting no were Democrats Senator Lautenberg and Representatives Andrew, Holt, Payne and Pallone. In short, every New Jersey House Republican would rather be an enemy of the people than “look weak” on the “war on terrorism.”
Republicans, especially the ones who were elected with “Tea Party” support, were sent to the Congress to defend the U.S. Constitution. Instead, no sooner had they decorated their offices, Tea Party candidates then turned their back on the people who voted for them to honor their commitment to the rule of law in Washington DC.
As Susan Lindauer, author of Extreme Prejudice: The Terrifying Story of the Patriot Act and the Cover Ups of 9/11 and Iraq, recently wrote: “Some things are unforgivable in a democracy. The Patriot Act would be right at the top of that list. Nobody who has supported that wretched law should ever be allowed to brag of defending liberty again. That goes for the Tea Party. By voting to extend surveillance of American citizens, they have abandoned the principles of freedom that brought about their rise to power. They have shown their true face.”
Voters in New Jersey will have to decide in 2012 if they want our state’s false patriots to return to Congress and continue to trample on their constitutional rights.
Murray Sabrin is professor of finance at Ramapo College and blogs at www.MurraySabrin.com