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In theory, the whole reason those legislators are there is to insulate the country from knee-jerk reactions on the part of the citizenry (or a vocal component thereof.) The framers understood that direct democracy wouldn't be sustainable.

Instead, what we've seen since 9/11 is that the legislators themselves are the ones who are afraid of their own shadow. Just as nobody marched in the streets after 9/11, demanding that George Bush invade Iraq, nobody begged the NSA to implement ubiquitous domestic surveillance capabilities with no effective oversight. These are crimes of opportunity.

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