Rep. James Sensenbrenner’s behavior at yesterday’s Patriot Act hearings was truly outrageous – but hardly out of character.

This is the same Sensenbrenner who wants to give Congress the authority to ‘police the behavior’ of judges, a full-fledged assault on the separation-of-powers doctrine.

The same Sensenbrenner who negotiated the REAL ID Act in a series of secret backroom deals from which minority party members were barred. The same Sensenbrenner who led efforts to ram through that controversial act without a single hearing in either chamber of Congress.

The same Sensenbrenner who literally rewrote amendments, offered by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and others, to make them appear to have been written to help sexual predators evade the law.

The same Sensenbrenner who was so desperate to obstruct the 9/11 Commission intel legislation that he actually rejected language that he himself had submitted.

The same Sensenbrenner who actually encourages the Patriot Act to be used in cases not related to terrorism.

At some point, one wonders: when does such disregard for limits, such extreme abuse of power, become something other than democracy?