Maybe there is hope for Congress after all. OK, probably not, but there was at least a glimmer last week with the passage of the USA Freedom Act, which better targets NSA surveillance and requires more transparency.
It’s a bill that the House, which can’t agree on the words to the national anthem, was able to pass with a fairly large bipartisan majority. After familiar contentious debate and delays, enough senators agreed indiscriminate bulk communications data collection was unnecessary, but some surveillance was needed in a world where bad people want to do horrible things to us.
Tough debate was to be expected, given the delicate balance of privacy and security. What was unusual was that it did not end in a failed vote and recrimination, leading back to square one with both sides blaming the other. There were battle scars and compromises. But that is the way tough, yet necessary, decisions are often made.