The sound we're not hearing is the tonsil-shredding shriek of outrage from civil libertarians and leftists following the House of Representatives' resounding reauthorization Thursday of the Patriot Act. Why the calm?
Is it because proponents of the Ashcroft is Satan school of political discourse realize that in the wake of 7/7 the American people are likely to look upon their protests as the outbursts of a mentally impaired child? Is it because it has become obvious even to its detractors that none of the horrors so stridently predicted to attend the Act have come to pass? Is it that the left cannot concentrate on more than one thing at a time, and their minds are already at maximum capacity with the Karl Rove contretemps and the John Roberts nomination?
Whatever the reason, the silence following this 257 - 171 vote is remarkable given the passionate outpouring of contempt for the measure when the Ashcroft justice department first implemented it in the wake of 9/11. Maybe it's beginning to dawn on some critics of the Act that the Islamists really are serious about wanting to destroy us, that the threat is imminent, and that the law has helped to stave them off.