Friday, June 10, 2005

The Rabid Badger

Representative Sensenbrenner (he of HR 1528, the bill that requires jail sentences for people, including parents and siblings, who observe drug usage and fail to report the crime to the police) showed his contempt for the Congressional hearing process yesterday.

Sensenbrenner is Chair of the panel holding hearings on the Patriot Act. Apparently he was unhappy with the witnesses and the Democrats on the panel and showed his disdain by simply walking out:

WASHINGTON Jun 10, 2005 — The Republican chairman walked off with the gavel, leaving Democrats shouting into turned-off microphones at a raucous hearing Friday on the Patriot Act.

His excuse?

Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., chairman of the panel, abruptly gaveled the meeting to an end and walked out, followed by other Republicans. Sensenbrenner declared that much of the testimony, which veered into debate over the detainees at Guantanamo Bay, was irrelevant.

The Patriot Act, much of which is due to sunset this year, contains some of the most egregious violations of due process and civil liberties imaginable. That Democrats might want to take another look at a bill that was passed so quickly after 9/11 is certainly understandable, well, understandable to those of us who are concerned about freedom and civil liberty. Apparently Mr. Sensenbrenner is not in our camp.

He left, taking his fellow Republicans and the gavel with him, leaving the Democrats on the panel and the witnesses in the room, the microphones turned off until someone figured out how to get them back on.

To see this travesty of democracy in action, I urge you to go here. Click on the videos (both of them). I believe you will find Mr. Sensenbrenner's behavior both appalling and dangerous.

As I reminded someone today, Wisconsin gave us Robert LaFollette, but it also gave us Joseph McCarthy.

1 Comments:

Blogger rkrider said...

The Rabid Badger....Ha LOL!

9:12 PM  

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