A letter from my Congressman

About three weeks ago I posted a letter I world-wide-webbed (not sure if it’s really email or not) to my congressman and yesterday I got a response:

I am very concerned about the operations of the NSA and strive to uphold the Constitutional rights of my constituents. I believe it is crucial that law enforcement officials along with the intelligence community have all necessary resources to help prevent terrorism and protect American citizens. However, we must ensure those resources do not fringe on the protections within the Constitution.

Please be assured I have read your comments and share your concerns regarding these issues and am looking into this matter.  I will continue to monitor this situation and keep your thoughts in mind over the next few months as congressional inquires take place on this important issue.
Okay, so I’m glad he’s concerned and I’m glad he has read, shares, and is keeping in mind my concerns. I’m glad he’s looking into the matter and monitoring the situation, but I was really looking for something a little less passive.
In the bigger picture, this is a fascinating look at the multiple personality disorder of the modern Republican/Tea Party. On the one hand, ever since 9/11, the GOP has been about protecting the homeland and there has long been a strong national security focus in the party. So he can’t risk angering those voters. But recently, there’s been this resurgence of Constitutional ardor especially amongst the Tea Partiers, not to mention the distrust/fear/hatred of Barack Obama as a person that bring a big tapestry of “what the hell is this government spying all about?” (I am so frustrated that no one in this crowd worried about this during the Bush Administration’s warrantless wiretapping adventure). My largely-rural Texas district, deeply red, hotbed of the most extreme forms of modern conservative thought, must be a difficult puzzle for the congressman who has to represent it. How does he thread this needle? By being wishy-washy, of course.
He really has no good options here. I almost wish he would come down firmly on the side of National Security. At least that would give his campaign a handle I could grab and shake during the primaries.

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