New Hampshire’s John Sununu supported the filibuster of the Patriot Act last week, and got slammed for so doing by many, including me and National Review. He sent a letter to the national Review today, which folks should read. The letter concludes:
I will happily support a three-month extension of existing PATRIOT Act provisions while these differences are worked out and have introduced legislation to do so. Again, unfortunately, the only person who appears to believe that the country would be better off with no PATRIOT Act than with a short-term extension is the president, who has threatened to veto such a bill.
The president is not the “only person” who believes it is important to force this vote now, and to do so via an up-or-down vote. Senatro Sununu’s rhetoric doesn’t obscure the fact that he attempting to blocking a vote, and if he succeeds the country will blind itself to the activities of its enemies. He’d rather have everything done his way, but he has not persuaded a majority of his colleagues. Given that the choice is what it is –no Patriot Act or the one negotiated over many months of intense debate and scrutiny– Senator Sununu should join in voting for cloture and then vote against the Act if that’s what he believes. Allowing 40 senators to block national security measures from coming to a vote is as outrageous as allowing them to block SCOTUS nominees.