Do What is Right, Not Popular

…and in this case I don’t mean Right politically, though there was a time when the political Right would agree with me on this issue, but “right” as in “morally correct.”

Patriot II was passed. What? You didn’t know this? OK, not all of it, but some key parts of it were slipped into an unrelated bill in an odius practice of amendment-making that I believe ought to be banned or at least severely curtailed, perhaps requiring a roll-call vote on every amendment. But I digress.

Most Democrats voted against the bill in toto, which is not surprising given the current atmosphere and the fact that it was primarily an intelligence bill, for which they don’t have a great constituency. What was heartening was that 15 Republicans balked even in the face of a much more defense-friendly constituency and a Republican leadership that doth not brook dissent.

So my ex-colleague Jason Lefkowitz has decided to take his Netroots strategy and put it to practice to encourage this sort of independent thinking: $15 for 15 proposes that if a lot of people give $15 dollars, $1 per Republican who actually cares about less intrusive government, this can add up to a lot and help make up for whatever funding the GOP machine tries to take away.

Normally I’d link to all sorts of things to explain this, but Jason’s done it for me. As a programmer, I like to maximize reuse. Which is a polite way of saying I’m lazy. Which is a rude way of saying I like to maximize orthogonality.

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