Hey, guess what? Congress almost grew a pair yesterday. True story. Yesterday, the most lazy-ass, do-nothing legislative body in the history of the republic voted on a law that would have stopped the NSA's blanket phone-tapping program.
And (Fuck Yeah, America!) it almost passed. South Florida's legislators doomed the bill. Up and down U.S. 1, Repub and Dem, the folks repping you in D.C. failed to keep Uncle Sam off your phone.
Which is pretty incredible, considering the legislation nearly passed thanks to strange bedfellows. Some liberals who pay attention to things like citizen's rights and due process and conservatives looking to mindfuck the Obama administration at every opportunity, took the final vote to 205 to 217 -- seven votes shy.
And if you count the number of South Florida reps who failed to do the right thing, constitutionally speaking, yup, seven votes.
The weird part is how little attention the vote is getting, drowned out mostly by the hot topics of the moment: immigration reform and women's rights. And yes, those are important issues, but they're also knee-jerk partisan positions. But throw something at a member of Congress that's not spelled out phonetically in the party platform and they'll duck.
Let's run down the ignominious list:
Joe Garcia (Dem) -- No
disappointed with @JoeGarcia voting in favor of NSA surveillance yesterday. Big Pine Key does not want Big Brother. Please reconsider.— Christopher Shepherd (@belgo) July 25, 2013
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Rep) -- No
Frederica Wilson (Dem) -- No
Mario Diaz-Balart (Rep) -- No
Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Dem) -- No
Debbie Wasserman Schultz @DWStweets voted against defunding NSA's domestic phone spying. Your constituents are watching, & you lost my vote.— Jonathan Corbett (@tsaoutourpants) July 26, 2013
Lois Frankel (Dem) -- No
Patrick Murphy (Dem) -- No.
Only two members of Congress from the region -- Alcee Hastings (Dem) and Ted Deutch (Dem) -- threw support behind the bill. That cut -- two to seven -- somehow inspired the brainpower over at the Sun Sentinel to run a headline stating "Vote on NSA spying shows South Florida split," an intellectually dishonest statement suggesting the region was more closely divided on the issue.
But the region isn't closely divided on the issue; there's no "split" here. The consensus among the jelly-spined South Florida caucus was to stand down, despite the fact that the NSA's info-gathering is the largest intrusion into The Way We Live Now since the Patriot Act. But not for our folks. Regardless of party, they're too worried about getting booted from the White House Christmas card list. Anti-kudos for all.