In Which Joe Biden Brags About Having Written the Patriot Act

Imagine being a progressive forced to vote for Joe Biden. There aren’t enough clothespins in the world to hold your nose. Biden has lately tried to make inroads with the left, jumping onboard the post-George Floyd campaign for racial justice and releasing an economic plan that encompasses many progressive priorities. But even that can’t mask the smell of his support for the Iraq war, his authoring of the 1994 crime bill, his backing of 1996 welfare reform legislation.

Oh, and he essentially wrote the Patriot Act too. Here he is bragging about that during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in 2002, featuring, natch, a smirking Robert Mueller:

The bill Biden is boasting about was called the Omnibus Counterterrorism Act of 1995, which itself contained two subsidiary bills dedicated to fighting domestic terrorism. Biden introduced the legislation in the Senate, while then-congressman Chuck Schumer introduced it in the House, with the Clinton administration in full support. The package was backed by other Democrats too, including Senator Dianne Feinstein, and opposed by civil libertarians and many Republicans who were worried it would be used to, as Biden said, target conservative groups.

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Matt Purple is a senior editor at The American Conservative.