The Democrats only seem to make our government more complicated. Their latest shenanigans make it nearly impossible for the United States to monitor electronic transmissions to and from foreign sources for intelligence purposes, creating a huge vulnerability in our national security.

You may think this is an excuse for the Bush administration to continue butting into our lives through wiretapping, invading our privacy and slowly chipping away at our civil rights. Our terrible president has devised some evil scheme to turn our nation into something out of George Orwell’s 1984, where America is devoid of all rights to privacy. While the administration may have bent the rules a little through the National Security Agency’s wiretapping of American citizens, let’s not forget where we were several years ago. The United States witnessed one of the most horrendous tragedies in our nation’s history. The threat of terrorism came alive in 2001, and our president was forced to respond in drastic ways. In order to compile relevant information for intelligence purposes, the Bush administration authorized the NSA to monitor all e-mail and phone transmissions when one party resided outside of the U.S. President Bush did what was necessary to secure our nation and protect it from terrorist activity. He did the right thing in bypassing the outdated Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, which required the NSA to obtain a warrant before monitoring could proceed – an arduous task, to say the least. In our rapidly changing world, we learned the penalty of inefficient and ineffective surveillance. Our government did, and continues to do, what is necessary in order to protect Americans from international threats.

And before the bleeding-heart liberals begin touting how their party would never allow such atrocities if a Democrat held the White House, I would like to point their attention to the Protect America Act of 2007. Passed last August by Congress – with a Democratic majority, mind you – this act allowed the NSA to continue tapping electronic communications just as President Bush had been doing. Seems the Democrats realized just how crucial this was for national security. While I applaud them for finally seeing the light, the one drawback is the bill had a sunset provision, allowing it to remain in effect only until this past Sunday. While the expiration of the Protect America Act does not completely forbid the NSA from tapping electronic communication, previous provisions of FISA from 1978 are now back in effect, meaning more warrants and more wasted time. Chances are, President Bush will continue to tap lines the way he has in the past – with or without congressional permission. However, congressional recognition is more than just a symbolic green light. Bush has unfairly earned a bad reputation for doing what is necessary. Congress should extend the Protect America Act to prove Bush’s actions are completely appropriate.

The threat of terrorism requires swift, complete action. While some may find it unfair, it’s essential for our government to have more access to information regarding activities that could threaten Americans. By making it difficult for the NSA to monitor international transmissions, Congress and the Democrats are only inhibiting the gathering of intelligence to prevent future attacks against American people. The legislature has ignored the push from President Bush to extend the bill, instead choosing to do nothing and allow archaic laws to rule our nation. If Democrats are claiming to be a party of change this election year, allowing outdated regulations to clog up the workings of our government doesn’t bode well for their credibility. Relaxing laws for this form of monitoring has worked for our nation thus far to prevent any new instances of terrorist activity, and there’s no reason the provisions should not be extended immediately.

It doesn’t make sense that Americans are so worked up over tapping lines of international transmissions. If we have nothing to hide, then there’s no reason to worry. Times have changed and we need to deal with it accordingly.