I think that alot of people here are forgetting something.
Our government is a 3 part system of which only one part has employees that are appointed, the rest is voted on. (except in special cases)
Executive: President, elected every 4 years by the majority of people in the US. They elect the person that they believe reflects their desires the most.
Legislative: Senate, House, elected every 2 years by the majority of the people in each state that they come from. They elect the person that they believe reflects their desires the most.
Judicial: Judges of SCOTUS appointed. Serves for a life time unless they retire or are retired forcefully due to misconduct on their part. They are appointed by the very people that are elected by the citizens of the US.
The whole point what what I just said should be evident by now. But incase it isn't...
It is the PEOPLE that rule this country. It is the PEOPLE who guides this country in the direction that it goes. It is the PEOPLE that enable things like the Patriot Act. If we the people do not think that the person that we elect is doing the job that we want them to do then we have a right to elect someone else that does do what we want. And the new person that is elected has the right to try to get rid of any act accomplished by the previous occupant of <insert government seat here>.
So when things don't go the direction that you thought that they would go when you elected that person then you only have yourself to blame. You're the one that put that person in office that allowed things like the Patriot Act. While yes that person is to be held accountable for their actions so do you. You let it happen. Remember that there are ways to get your voice heard without being directly in the government. And you can bet that when enough people get together something will happen.