The AP is reporting that “Fewer than half of Americans know the purpose of the Patriot Act, and the more they know about it the less they like it, according to a poll released Monday.” Interestingly, this study has been cited on all kinds of blogs this week, most pointing out that it proves that support for the Patriot Act is based on misinformation from the government.
Amazingly, a few bloggers (like Blogs for Bush and American Digest) have tried to spin it saying that the poll showed that “more than half of all Americans support the Patriot Act” while neglecting to mention that such support is qualified by ignorance!
Here are a few of my personal favorite blog responses:
A new poll on the Patriot Act has been released showing Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to some of the more controversial portions of the law, most notably the sneak & peek provision which allows law enforcement to search your home without your knowledge.
What’s infuriating about this Patriot Act poll is that only 42 percent of Americans know what the hell the law actually says. And only 23 percent of those polled support the part of the Act which says the government can enter your home… without telling you.
I’m really not that surprised about this recent poll’s findings. I was a supporter of the Patriot Act for about 60 seconds. When you realize what kind of power it gives the government, I don’t understand why anyone would support this legislation. I could support parts of the Patriot Act…but as a whole, it downright stinks.
The same people willing to give away their rights and just “trust the President” as long as he was “fighting terrorism” are having second thoughts, once the scope of the Patriot Act is spoonfed to them in understandable chunks.
<!–Others writing about the survey include:
Three-fourths said they think that law enforcement will frequently or occasionally use the law to investigate crimes other than terrorism. Almost as many, 72 percent, said they expect it will be used to investigate legitimate political and social groups. People are evenly divided on whether the law has prevented terrorist attacks.
While numerous polls have indicated widespread support for the Patriot Act, Best said his research suggests “people are pretty torn on where they stand.”