Earlier this autumn, Senator Patrick Leahy, the Democratic chair of the Senator Judiciary Committee, betrayed the trust of the progressives who have been the foundation of his campaigns for public office. Senator Leahy, who under George W. Bush had been an outspoken critic of the Patriot Act, pushed a bill through the Judiciary Committee that would extend the worst abuses of the Patriot Act. Leahy actually led a coalition of Democrats to join the Republicans in voting against amendments to place reforms on the Patriot Act’s creation of unprecedented violations of Americans’ Fourth Amendment right to protection against unreasonable search and seizure.
I’m a progressive, not a Democrat. That means that I believe in holding elected leaders accountable according to the degree that they support or oppose progressive political ideals, not simply according to which political party they belong to in name.
Senator Patrick Leahy has exposed himself as an opponent of progressive political ideals, and I believe it’s important to speak that truth out loud instead of remaining silent, acquiescent. So, in my own little amateurish way, I spoke out, making a little video of protest on YouTube – one voice of dissent that might be joined by others, to make a difference.
Only, that’s not how it’s working out. That video I made seems to be standing alone. There isn’t another single protest video against Leahy’s Patriot Act betrayal that YouTube is able to find. The only related video is one from way back in 2007, when Patrick Leahy struck a pose of opposing the Patriot Act as he was interviewing Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
It seems that, on YouTube, there are a lot more Democrats than there are progressives.