Last night, as a result of the debate that was going on in the U.S. Senate over renewing provisions of the Patriot Act, Representative Bob Goodlatte (VA-6) posted the following message on Facebook:
“Pleased that the Senate acted wisely to proceed with debate on the USA Freedom Act. This decision is long overdue. However, I’m disappointed that the Senate has stalled and will not vote on it tonight. Because of Senate’s irresponsible inaction, three national security provisions will expire at midnight. I urge the Senate to act as expeditiously as possible to approve the USA Freedom Act, without amendment and without delay, so that we protect Americans’ civil liberties and our national security.”
Although 52 people indicate that they “like” what Representative Goodlatte wrote (at this time of the writing of this piece), a greater number of individuals offer comments, and a vast majority of these are in opposition to the representative’s stance. Let me offer a few examples:
Some are statements of support for Senator Rand Paul’s efforts to stop or delay renewal.
“I stand with Rand. Sic semper tyrannis.”
Others compare Representative Goodlatte to Representatives Justin Amash and/or Thomas Massie, generally regarded as the most pro-liberty members of the House of Representatives.
“You, sir, are a hypocrite — you read the Constitution once a session out loud, and ignore it the rest of the time. The USA Freedom Act is almost as dangerous to liberty as the Patriot Act was. Have even read the whole thing? The 6th District deserves a Massie or an Amash — perhaps you should learn from them.”
“Maybe you should adopt Congressman Thomas Massie‘s position on it. His is much more in line with the Constitution and the 4th Amendment.”
A handful call for Goodlatte’s removal from office or express hopes that he is not re-elected.
“You sir should resign. You DO NOT represent the people.”
“I cannot wait for a tea party candidate to run against you. You John McCain and Lindsey Graham are all cut from the same cloth.”
However, the top three “liked” responses to Representative Goodlatte’s post are as follows:
3. “I cannot possibly disagree with you more. The Patriot Act has destroyed Americans’ civil liberties. We should hail the expiration of the three unconstitutional provisions of the Patriot Act as a renewal of the Fourth Amendment.”
2. “You urge them to expeditiously vote to violate our 4th amendment rights? What about that oath you took??”
1. “A good Virginian would follow the foot steps of those before him and stand hand and hand with that great Senator. Freedom does not spy on ‘we the people’ that is tyranny.“
I suppose the question is, do these 71 comments accurately express the will of the people in the 6th congressional district of Virginia? Is Representative Goodlatte out of step with his constituents on this matter? And, if so, will this issue be the tipping point and give rise for an opponent to challenge Bob Goodlatte in 2016?