Today Rep. Amash’s amendment to the 2014 Defense Appropriations Bill failed in the House on a vote of 205 in favor to 217 opposed. When it became known that the amendment would in fact come up for a vote, the powers of the status quo came together to decry its tenets as ham-fisted and irresponsible.

The White House called the amendment a “blunt approach” that is not “the product of an informed, open, or deliberative process.” Naturally, the irony of that specific complaint resonates: The intelligence programs in question were not enacted with any of those forms of debate. To ask that their rescinding be held to a higher standard then their enaction is hubris of a real sort.

Underlining how seriously those who are in favor of maintaining the phone record collection program took the amendment’s threat to yank its funding, General Alexander himself — the good general heads the NSA…

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