Patriot Act meets its match this time around

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Last night on the Senate floor, [1] Sen. Rand Paul successfully pushed off the reauthorization of the NSA spying program and its bulk collection of phone records. Thanks to Paul’s courageous stance, Congress will finally be forced to reconcile Americans’ right to privacy and freedom from government intrusion, and big brother spying programs in the of name of national security.

Even if the delay is only temporary, it’s a worthy first step toward forcing a larger conversation about big government spying. What’s more, last night’s display of total unity in favor of big government over individual liberty by the GOP establishment was deplorable, if typical.

On Friday, as Congressional debate heated up, Tea Party Patriots co-founder published a joint op-ed in the Los Angeles Times with American Civil Liberties Union attorney Alex Abdo. Write Martin and Abdo:

Today, however, no senator can claim ignorance of how NSA surveillance treads on our privacy. They can’t say, “It’s only metadata,” when even the NSA’s former top lawyer has said: “Metadata absolutely tells you everything about somebody’s life. If you have enough metadata, you don’t really need content.”

Senators have a historic opportunity to uphold, or resuscitate, the basic American belief that liberty cannot survive when government flouts its limits. On Sunday, those who represent us must either vote for Big Brother or vote for the Bill of Rights. They can’t have it both ways.

Paul was right. Americans have had it with NSA spying. They don’t want it both ways, and neither should the Senate. Read the whole thing here.