It is fascinating that the Republican Party would rather allow what they believe to be a critical national security law lapse than allow it to be extended without the extension containing a rider immunizing large telecommunications firms from the consequences of prior illegal activity. It's almost as if the Republican Party exists to serve the interests of large business enterprises and very wealthy individuals, and tends to use national security and cultural anxieties as a kind of political theater aimed at securing votes so that they can better pursue their real agenda of enriching the wealthy and powerful.