Senate Passes FISA Bill With Telecom Immunity

Bump and Update (TL): The Senate passed the FISA bill with telecom immunity today. Firedoglake has been providing great coverage all day. It's up to the House now, where pressure will be strong to adopt the Senate bill. Sign the petition to tell them not to cave like the Senate did.

FISA: Dodd Amendment Fails
By Big Tent Democrat

This is your Democratic Party in action:


The Senate voted on the Dodd/Feingold amendment, which would have stripped retroactive immunity from the surveillance bill just now. The final tally was 31-67; crossing over to vote nay were Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Evan Bayh (D-IA), Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Herb Kohl (D-WI), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Ken Salazar (D-CO), Tom Carper (D-DE), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Jim Webb (D-VA), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Kent Conrad (D-ND), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).

Obama voted in favor. Clinton was not there. Neither has led on this issue or any other in the Senate.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Obama's lack of leadership is disturbing (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by desmoinesdem on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:33:13 AM EST
    Obama fell from second to third on my list last May, when he failed to lead on defunding the war.

    He fell from third to fourth on my list in the fall, a combination of his failure to lead on FISA and the McClurkin debacle.

    I don't understand why his supporters are not more disturbed by his lack of leadership, given how they are always touting his brave 2002 speech against the war.

    At least he was there today. (none / 0) (#11)
    by magster on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:34:15 AM EST
    Where was Clinton?

    Texas. (none / 0) (#12)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:34:52 AM EST
    In town, from reports. (none / 0) (#74)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 01:51:09 PM EST
    She didn't show up. At least Obama voted against it.

    Now when the government listens in on the know where Clinton was. And wasn't.


    And his being there meant what? (none / 0) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:37:52 AM EST
    He was campaigning in Virginia?

    Obama lives in a glass house.

    do not even try and throw any stones on this.

    This is not about Obama and clinton. This is about a failed Democratic Party. One that does not fight for ANYTHING.


    right had this been the (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Jgarza on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 12:07:28 PM EST
    reverse you would have written 15 posts condemning him.  But he shows she doesn't and in yoru mind that makes them equal.

    You have not read me on these issues (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 12:10:58 PM EST
    Otherwise you would not write that comment.

    I have condemned BOTH for their lack of leadership on the issues.

    Showing up to vote in a foregone conclusion when it is convenient to your campaign schedule is not leadership.

    they BOTH stink and have for more than a year.


    um, on telecom / internet issues... (none / 0) (#90)
    by jor on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 06:03:34 PM EST
    ... one candidate is clearly worse than the other one. FISA is just an example.

    Clinton not even bothering to show up, when there is a primary in Virgina, MD, and DC the same day -- and with her mocking all of Obama's present votes -- I guess only passes as mildly hypocritical around these parts.

    To equate both as equally bad, is pretty foolish.


    Let's be fair (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by andreww on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:50:35 PM EST
    Had Obama missed this vote and Clinton voted against it, it would have been a front page post as a headlines on TL.

    Wrong (none / 0) (#35)
    by magster on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:57:24 AM EST
    I don't dispute that both dropped the ball by not being stronger before, but her absence sends a message that she does care less about this than Obama.  He was there and he voted the right way.  He's now on the hook for right wing attacks on his being soft on the war on terror.  

    Clinton could have voted this a.m. and been in Texas this afternoon.  She has no excuse other than wanting the Bush-Dog superdelegates voting for her because she has no other way to win the nomination.  


    It is unfortunate Obama couldn't (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 12:02:58 PM EST
    persuade his endorsers to vote the same way he did.  That being sd., I would prefer Clinton had been in the Senate for the vote even if it was a foregone conclusion the measure would pass.

    Take a look at the Dems who voted (none / 0) (#77)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 01:58:59 PM EST
    the wrong way:

    Bayh (D-IN), Carper (D-DE), Conrad (D-ND), Feinstein (D-CA), Inouye (D-HI), Johnson (D-SD), Kohl (D-WI), Landrieu (D-LA), Lincoln (D-AR), McCaskill (D-MO), Mikulski (D-MD), Nelson (D-FL), Nelson (D-NE), Pryor (D-AR), Rockefeller (D-WV), Salazar (D-CO) Stabenow (D-MI), Webb (D-VA)

    I'll let someone else compare the list to see who endorsed either candidate.


    If you like (none / 0) (#40)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 12:08:58 PM EST
    I think both of them stink.

    Coming over to Gravel? (none / 0) (#60)
    by Ben Masel on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 01:03:12 PM EST
    I tend to agree with you (none / 0) (#42)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 12:17:10 PM EST
    I try not to judge either candidate much on which votes they show up on and which they don't while they are running for President.  There are a lot of factors that affect which votes they make.

    But I am not sure why you are criticizing Jgarza when the original comment specifically called Obama to task on this matter but not Hillary.

    As you said neither has been particularly forceful on this matter.  I fail to see why criticizing either servers any purpose.


    I see (none / 0) (#43)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 12:18:46 PM EST
    that you see my point downthread so please disregard the above post.

    Who are the two leaders of (none / 0) (#51)
    by SFHawkguy on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 12:31:56 PM EST
    the Democratic party?  There are no two more important leaders in the Democratic party than Obama and Clinton.  They could have made a difference if they chose to.  Neither did.  Obama at least made a half-hearted attempt.  But he should get very, very, little credit for that.

    And everyone should know that Hillary is no defender of civil liberties and promotes a hawkish foreign policy.  She can't even condemn little brown babies getting blown up by cluster bombs in Lebanon.  


    Was your second paragraph (none / 0) (#56)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 12:49:57 PM EST
    necessary here?

    Necessary? I don't know. (none / 0) (#66)
    by SFHawkguy on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 01:18:30 PM EST
    The candidates are not equally bad.  Hillary is slightly worse than Obama because of her foreign policy positions.  Supporting Israel's use of cluster bombs in civilian areas is bad and exemplifies why she is bad.

    My real anger, as my comment demonstrates, is in the Democratic party not standing up against torture, war crimes, and illegal government spying.  The foreign policy issues are the next important indictment against the Democrats.  And Hillary is slightly more guilty than Obama.

    But sorry to distract you.  Neither are worthy of voting for.


    How can you drop him below (none / 0) (#16)
    by Geekesque on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:37:28 AM EST
    Clinton because of FISA?  His position has always been clearer and stronger than hers has been.

    She voted "Texohio" on the FISA measure.


    they both stink (none / 0) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:39:09 AM EST
    Frankl,y I am rather disgusted by you trying to push Obama's "leadership" on FISA as a selling point.

    Both of them have stunk up the joint in the Senate on the question of leadership.


    Depressing (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by BDB on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:42:40 AM EST
    Harry Reid is awful.  Just awful.  Jay Rockefeller no better.

    And to think that I'm going to hear a speech tonight from the democratic frontrunner promising more unity and less partisan bickering.  Because that's working so well for us.

    Awful, dark day for the Constitution, the Congress, and both parties.  They should all be ashamed of themselves.  Even the ones who voted against it - they could've backed Dodd's filibuster and pressured Reid not to cave, but they chose not to.  Traitors.

    Running on replacing Reid (none / 0) (#27)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:46:30 AM EST
    would get my vote.

    this is why we need (none / 0) (#70)
    by Tano on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 01:32:15 PM EST
    some tough, savvy, know-how-to-work-the-levers-of-power, focused leader for the Senate majority.

    How about Hillary?


    I Don't Think Presidents (none / 0) (#81)
    by BDB on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 02:55:52 PM EST
    Can also be majority leaders. ;-)

    I do agree we need a new leader.  Perhaps Dodd.  In the end he caved, but he tried to do the right thing and was simply out-numbered by his own party.

    I know I definitely won't be advocating for any of those cross-over Dems to be the VP nominee.  Not even Webb.  I'm sorry opposing Iraq does not give you the right to shred the Constitution.   I suspect we will still be learning about all the damage done by this travesty long after all the troops are home.


    And while I think that word applies to the Democrats today, it applies even more to Republicans.  They are the ones who have walked lock step with Bush and his cronies for the last eight years.  At least there were Democrats who tried to stop this.  I wouldn't be surprised if every single Republican signed on to this travesty.  

    And the media, who have failed to call Republicans what they are and even now kiss John McCain's feet are just as bad as the elected officials.

    A complete failure by our institutions.

    What has happened to this country that a minority of Congress believes in the Constitution and the rule of law?  I cannot believe the amount of damage these people have done in seven years.  The Republicans need to be driven to the political wilderness and not allowed to come out until they've cured themselves of their authoritarian sickness.  And we seriously need to think about how to make the Democratic party better and cure them of their bipartisan, capitulation disease.


    How did she (none / 0) (#85)
    by BlueLakeMichigan on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:21:20 PM EST
    Work those levers today on FISA and RI?

    Neither one of these two really did anything but concede defeat today.


    Let's talk organizing (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Steve M on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:48:46 AM EST
    This strikes me as an issue where the netroots were really, really fired up, and no one else cared a whit.  What could be done to mobilize broader support on an issue like this?

    The right wing is great at getting people worked up, even over an esoteric issue like citation of foreign law in Supreme Court opinions.  What can we learn from them?

    We talk about electing better Democrats but realistically, we're never going to have 51 progressive Senators, boldly defending the Constitution whether or not the voters care.  We need a better business model.

    Except the "netroots" (none / 0) (#32)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:53:23 AM EST
    is focused on ratings now, not on content or moral purpose.

    Don't support Candidates (none / 0) (#44)
    by SFHawkguy on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 12:19:59 PM EST
    that betray the constitution.  Obama failed to lead and Clinton was subtly hostile to those of us who care about this issue.  The Democrats utterly failed on all levels.  It's a fatal flaw on their part.  The Democratic party is dead.

    Illegal government spying on it's citizens is a bright line issue for me.  As is torture, habeas, and our war crimes.  The Democrats failed us and now, unbelievably, expect our vote because the Republicans are "worse".  Both candidates failed the leadership and courage test--especially Hillary.

    These issues are huge moral issues and I for one will not compromise my morality.  It's like being the opposition party in 1938 Germany and voting for the laws that take away most of the Jews' rights ("hey, it's not like we're for exterminating them!").  

    Shame on our country.  And especially shame on those of us that care about civil liberties but chose not to fight.


    It is a binary choice (none / 0) (#54)
    by Steve M on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 12:46:44 PM EST
    Standing aside and allowing the Republicans to win does not make things any better.  You don't build a successful political movement by casting protest votes.

    If I had been in Germany in 1938, I would have cast my vote for the party that opposed the Nazis, regardless of what milquetoasts they might have been.  Would the Nazis have somehow been prevented from coming to power if people had stayed home and said "I refuse to support the milquetoast opposition party"?

    The idea that if we throw a bunch of elections, suddenly a new progressive voice will spring up out of nowhere and cruise to victory, is just silly.  What happened after Nader threw the election to the GOP in 2000?  Did the Democratic Party move sharply to the left to try and recapture his voters?  Of course not.


    I disagree wholeheartedly (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by SFHawkguy on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 01:09:50 PM EST
    Your conventional wisdom is wrong.  I understand the reasoning.  But I'm not "throwing" an election just to register my anger.  I'm punishing candidates in a very logical and calculating way.  I will not support candidates that allow the President to illegally spy on the American people.  Or torture our prisoners, take away habeas corpus, or commit war crimes.  It's that simple.  These are bright lines that we as liberals should refuse to reward.

    And yes.  The way to oppose the Nazis was to totally oppose them.  Not to support the milquetoast party.  Appeasement did not work in Germany and it is killing the Democratic party.

    So here we are.  I will not support torturers and totalitarian spying.  You will.  You will blame me for the inevitable Democratic failure.  I will blame those of you that profess to support the constitution yet continually vote for those that betray it.

    I encourage you to look at how successful the conservatives have been the last 30 years.  They didn't win by electing people to the left of them and excusing Republicans for betraying their base.  It's your strategy that is the proven failure.  Clintonian triangulation killed the Democratic party.


    I think it goes beyond individual (none / 0) (#47)
    by magster on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 12:24:36 PM EST
    candidates, and goes to leadership in the Senate and House.  Impeachment off the table, Lieberman given a committee chair, no contempt, FISA, Iraq funding.  We need an existing progressive Congress person campaigning for leadership positions.  

    final straw yet? (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by po on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:50:18 AM EST
    Forget arguing about leadership on who is doing the most to amend FISA, what about leadership on making the President and his MFin' Unitary Executive follow FISA, in its original form, in the first place.  That would have been real leadership.  The Executive, following the law, remember those days?

    Congress should not be wasting its time with this nonsense.  Its ONLY POINT is to shield the telecoms, and through them the administration, from blatantly unlawful activity.  That they originally did it to protect the nation (or their backsides or get favorable legislation passed) is immaterial.  And we elected these morons.

    And they expect you to vote for them again (none / 0) (#50)
    by SFHawkguy on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 12:26:59 PM EST
    Because liberals are suckers.  Liberals immediately compromise and self-select candidates to the right of them as a strategic choice.  Conservatives stick to their principles and demand a conservative candidate.  Therefore, liberals get wishy-washy triangulators that would betray the constitution instead of fighting for our civil liberties.

    The Democratic strategy has been to cut and run.  Impeachment is off the table.  Remember how the Democrats promised to end the rubber stamp Republican congress?  Remember?  And the Republicans couldn't get a FISA bill passed when they were in the majority.  

    Until the Democratic party is smashed into a thousand pieces liberals will lose.  I'm actually encouraged that so many Hillary and Obama supporters won't vote for the other candidate.  The sooner the Democratic party is put out of its misery the better.


    Actually seeing that many Democrats (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Florida Resident on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 12:45:42 PM EST
    cross over and vote against an amendment of another Democrat is what is called bipartisanship.  I wonder though if that's what the American People are thinking of when they ask for more cooperation between the parties.

    Instead of going all anti-Hillary... (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by kenoshaMarge on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 12:48:33 PM EST
    For not voting at all how about getting your dander up about those that did vote. And voted on the wrong side? Huh?
    Is everything that happens anywhere in the world somehow Hillary's fault? Or Obama's either for crying out loud? Get a grip people and point your rage at those that really, really deserve it!

    Vent your ire on these people!

    Jay Rockefeller D-WV Corporate stooge
    Evan Bayh  D-IA       Ditto
    Daniel Inouye D-HI    Not his 1st betrayal
    Tim Johnson D-SD      Who knew?
    Herb Kohl  D-WI       Corporate Stooge too
    Mary Landrieu D-LA    Good lord the number of times this fool has betrayed the people would fill a very large book.
    Claire McCaskill D-MO  Talks a good fight & then fizzles.
    Mark Pryor D-AR       DINO
    Blanche Lincoln D-AR  DUNNO
    Dianne Feinstein D-CA Corporate owned 100%
    Ken Salazar D-CO      Big Disappointment

    Tom Carper D-DE       Don't know him or his record so can only assume from this vote that he is a less than stellar Progressive.
    Barbara Mikulski D-MD Surprised and disappointed
    Jim Webb D-VA         Not Webb too!
    Ben Nelson D-NE       Reliably unreliable for progressive causes.
    Bill Nelson D-FL      Another turncoat    
    Kent Conrad D-ND      And another
    Debbie Stabenow D-MI  Oh Debbie, how could you?

    It is long past time the progressive people put the fear of re-election into these people. Time to make them work to win their primaries. We don't need 51 progressives to get progressive bills past; we need 51 people that are frightened of the electorate and worried about getting re-elected.  And until they are... This is what you get.

    oh i'm mad at those senators, absolutely. (none / 0) (#59)
    by VicAjax on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 12:59:15 PM EST
    i'm outraged, even.

    but clinton is running for president, and i'm incredibly disappointed that she neglected her role as a presidential candidate and as the representative of my state, even just to go on the record opposing retroactive immunity.


    Sigh... (none / 0) (#61)
    by SandyK on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 01:06:06 PM EST
    When will kids learn about REAL politics, and not just the partisan types?

    Just kill off your own, and feed them to the lions, who get fat off the legress.

    Meanwhile, ignorant of how politics works, and why votes are voted on.

    Politics is a dirty business. It's not Hollywood. Each candidate is bought and paid for by special interests -- just like any new junior senator dreamer will be. It has been like this for THOUSANDS of years, and won't change because some fire breathing 19 year-old in Timbuktu screams for, "CHANGE!".

    I'm sitting here and saying to myself, "this is how Hillary is going to lose the election. Kids running around like chickens with their heads cut off, chasing 10001 issues that have zero bearing on the campaign at all. Then they wonder why Obama has the "momentum"? They're disciplined and concentrate on what counts. Not going to get their vote on Dem issues, they got it with Obama. Have to be heard on issues that count, and what counts is winning the nomination. Nothing else matters."


    Sigh (none / 0) (#68)
    by auntmo on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 01:30:27 PM EST
    Sometimes  it's hard  to  explain to the youngsters  that  "Mr  Smith Went  to  Washington"  was  just  a movie, and  wasn't  real.  

    The  naivete   astounds me.


    Sigh (none / 0) (#69)
    by auntmo on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 01:30:33 PM EST
    Sometimes  it's hard  to  explain to the youngsters  that  "Mr  Smith Went  to  Washington"  was  just  a movie, and  wasn't  real.  

    The  naivete   astounds me.


    this is off topic (none / 0) (#88)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:43:42 PM EST
    please put your Obama support posts on appropriate threads.

    I'd ask for a little more leniency (none / 0) (#93)
    by BlueLakeMichigan on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 06:12:50 PM EST
    To those who don't agree with your viewpoint. I know it's your site, and I don't say you HAVE to do anything, that'd be silly of me, but I support Obama and obviously obamamania does and we've seen repeatedly that anti-Obama posts like the one obamamania was responding to get passes, but the ones defending Obama, even if they don't go into anti-Hillary land at all, are called out and rebuked or deleted. I am not trying to be a troll, just asking for a little more equity.

    But, But Jim Webb Is A Real Blog Hero (none / 0) (#92)
    by MO Blue on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 06:11:36 PM EST
    Votes, who cares about votes.

    He talks tough on Iraq, is a real manly man and should definitely be the VP choice of whoever is our nominee. I know this because I read it on the blogs all the time. So it must be true.


    Kohl? (none / 0) (#1)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:29:02 AM EST
    I mean, really!

    Kohl! (none / 0) (#46)
    by kenoshaMarge on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 12:24:20 PM EST
    Herb Kohl quite frequently shows his corporate bias which is why the last time he ran I voted for a very progressive Green Candidate. Only time I have ever not voted for the Democrat in a Senatorial race here in Wisconsin.

    Democrats believe that we, meaning liberals since I am not a Democrat but an Progressive/Liberal Independent, will vote for them in fear of helping to elect a Republican. Maybe someday enough of us will say what the heck's the difference when the Democrats betray us just like the Republicans do.

    If we just toddle along to the polling places and vote blindly for one party then how are we any different than the Conservatives we were all so arrogantly calling dimwitted when they voted for Bush? Yes, I do know that Bush is the worst of the worst but he makes no bones about being a very conservative Republican. Blue Dog and DINOs betray the people that vote for them with their votes for Corporate America and not the American People.

    Kohl has honked me off before but this is the end. I will never vote for him again. Emailed him just to let him know that.

    Going to go see if I can find that Green Candidates name and try to convince her to run again. And then I promise to work my butt and my keyboard off for her. Candidate right up my alley, 3rd Party, Progressive, Female, and smart. What's not to like?


    Amen (none / 0) (#52)
    by SFHawkguy on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 12:39:41 PM EST
    It's simple.  Really.  But liberals have so internalized the message that they're losers that they automatically act like losers.  They keep nominating these wishy-washy third way candidates the are absolutely killing the liberal brand.  When is the last time we had someone stand up for a liberal platform?  Clinton.  Gore.  Kerry.  Clinton.  Uggggh.  

    Let's just put these frauds out of their misery.

    Don't vote for them and we will eventually get a real liberal.  The DLC third wayers gave us Bush II and they will give us McCain.  It's time to punish them and stop supporting this loser strategy.


    That was Rae Vogeler. (none / 0) (#62)
    by Ben Masel on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 01:07:53 PM EST
    She drew 10,000 less votes in the General Election than I had running against Herb in the Primary.

    Hey Ben (none / 0) (#72)
    by kenoshaMarge on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 01:34:48 PM EST
    Thanks for Rae Vogler's name. I then went to your website. If I had known more about you then I might have voted for you. Especially the War Power's Act. And being Pro-Everything. Good luck!

    This may explain why D. Feinstin is not (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:29:21 AM EST
    responding to my e mails.  Her vote disappoints but does not surprise me.  

    Feinstein is disappointing on many issues (none / 0) (#4)
    by desmoinesdem on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:30:53 AM EST
    and she has no excuse, coming from a state like CA.

    She's a corporatist (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 02:06:50 PM EST
    She's not a liberal Democrat.

    I lived in SF when Milk and Moscone were gunned down by yet another reactionary lone nut thug and she was named mayor (she was head of the Board of Supervisors). I voted for Jello Biafra, lead singer of the Dead Kennedys, over her in the election. Best vote I've ever made.

    Feinstein never disappoints me. I know exactly what she'll do in crunch time--move to the right.


    For some reason I can't fathom, (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:33:22 AM EST
    she is "present" when she could make such a differenct on issues I care about.

    Dianne (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by BDB on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:38:34 AM EST
    never met an authoritarian measure she did not like.

    She's not caving to political pressure, she really believes in this crap.


    Whatever happened (none / 0) (#3)
    by Steve M on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:30:19 AM EST
    to Barbara Mikulski?

    I seem to recall we used to have a very good liberal Senator by that name.

    I think Clinton and Obama are leading (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:31:44 AM EST
    one one issue:  sponsoring bill to preclude Bush admin. from entering into a long term agreement with Iraq re U.S. military involvement there.  

    One of the votes (none / 0) (#8)
    by magster on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:33:28 AM EST
    would have been a poison pill, and failed by only 3 votes. Clinton's absence is inexcusable!  Sure Obama could have done more, but had Clinto been there, both Democratic nominees would have sent a statement to the House about where the future president stood on this issue, and would have sent a statement to Bush Dogs in the Senate that they are on the wrong side of the issue.  Clinton's absence dilutes this message.

    Which one was that? (none / 0) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:36:37 AM EST
    The poison pill BTW, is in the bill already - Wyden's amendment in the intelligence committee.

    Exclusivity amendment (none / 0) (#22)
    by magster on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:41:15 AM EST
    I'm unaware of Wyden amendment.  That might calm me down (a little) if you point me to some info.

    I wrote about it at this site (none / 0) (#24)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:42:52 AM EST
    months ago.

    Exclusivity was a posion pill? I thought it was a sideshow frankly and completely unnecessary.

    I did not see that as a poison pill at all.


    Clinton didn't even vote 'present.' (none / 0) (#9)
    by Geekesque on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:34:07 AM EST
    I wonder what Russ Feingold will have to say about this.

    Oh, she probably didn't get the word (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:35:53 AM EST
    teh vote was today.  That works, doesn't it?

    We'll see (none / 0) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:35:43 AM EST
    Perhaps Clinton can announce from a campaign event that she favors the Dodd amendment, of course she said so before.

    Unfortunately for you, Obama can not make hay on this. Glass house.


    No, but this provides a salient (none / 0) (#18)
    by Geekesque on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:38:06 AM EST
    rebuttal point.

    Why is it always about the candidates (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:40:12 AM EST
    for you people? we have a crisis in the Democratic Party.

    Neither Clinton or Obama have offered any leadership.

    They both stink too.


    Yes (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by BDB on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:43:59 AM EST
    This issue has been an example of the complete vacuum at the top of the Democratic party.



    Disgraceful (none / 0) (#71)
    by auntmo on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 01:34:32 PM EST
    Yes.  And  THIS  was the  "new"  Congress we  were  so  proud of  electing in  2006.  Look  at  the  names on that  list.  

    Not  another  dime  to the  DNC.  


    Please don't play hometown referee. (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Geekesque on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:50:24 AM EST
    If people are going to say "Obama sucks, I prefer  Hillary" over stuff like this, I should be able to rebut them.

    To put it another way, perhaps you should object to people making it about candidates in all instances, as opposed to confining your objections to pro-Obama comments as opposed to pro-Clinton or anti-Obama comments.


    Fair point (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:53:37 AM EST
    You are right.

    I retract.


    If I am obnoxious, feel free to (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Geekesque on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:58:33 AM EST
    tell me so, btw.  

    This is an extremely disappointing development--and what's even more disturbing is that it happened despite intense lobbying.  One can only imagine what the final vote would have been like if they thought no one was watching.


    Who was really watching, except mcjoan? (none / 0) (#38)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 12:04:55 PM EST
    Glass house (none / 0) (#26)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:45:34 AM EST
    Don't forget, Glass house == Obama rule.

    He's all ready been coyly Obama prone. (none / 0) (#49)
    by kenoshaMarge on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 12:25:52 PM EST
    Once Again My New So Called Democratic (none / 0) (#10)
    by MO Blue on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:34:08 AM EST
    Senator is on the list of those supporting Bush. McCaskill is so proud of her shiny bipartisanship badge and I'm sure I will receive another e-mail soon on how well she works across the aisle with Republicans. Color me so impressed that it will be a cold day in h*ll before I vote for her again.

    Primary McCaskill (none / 0) (#48)
    by notableabsence on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 12:25:02 PM EST
    I've already called her office and burned someone's ear off.  I want someone to primary her, and if you have any ideas who might be a good challenger, I'm all ears.  If she loses the primary we get, hopefully, a Democrat-through and through.  If she wins, we support her because even a Bush dog Dem is better than a republican.

    Don't Know Who Would Be Willing To (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by MO Blue on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 12:51:52 PM EST
    run a primary challenge.

    Please don't include me in your "We" support her because she is better than a Republican. On the issues I care the most about she is the same as a Republican. 08 is the last year that I'm willing to vote for a candidate just because they have a "D" after their name. After that I will look at the total picture and decide whether or not a candidate gets my vote. Nothing will ever change if the Dems feel that they will automatically get my vote regardless of their performance.


    Since I'm not a "progressive" (none / 0) (#28)
    by SandyK on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:46:44 AM EST
    Well, you can count on Israel and it's surrogates to sink this issue, especially it's USA mouthpiece, AIPAC. No politician will vote on an issue that can affect Israel's security over our own freedom -- they'll be looking at an ADL backlash if they did.

    I said it, but please don't call me an anti-semitic for doing so, as it's patently false. I dislike any foreign country dictating USA policies.

    Americans terribly dislike this provision on both sides of the aisle, so it's not the conservatives itself to blame here -- I don't support it, either.

    Hmm? (none / 0) (#34)
    by Steve M on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:56:27 AM EST
    Is telecom immunity actually a big deal to AIPAC for some reason?  I hadn't heard that.  You didn't see folks like Chuck Schumer crossing the aisle on this vote.

    Security is... (none / 0) (#58)
    by SandyK on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 12:57:38 PM EST
    if it's anything to do with security, be it gathering/storing/exchanging it, AIPAC is v-e-r-y interested in legislation to preserve it -- especially if it concerns international security, when it can aide Israel (as the this isn't about mom and pop pot grower/seller).

    I'm not surprised by the vote, and I'm not surprised Clinton didn't touch it with a 10 foot pole.

    Special interest politics.


    Telecom Immunity is a HUGE issue... (none / 0) (#45)
    by VicAjax on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 12:21:59 PM EST
    and Clinton totally missed the boat on this.  I think it's pathetic that she skipped the vote on a bill that could have set the stage for holding the administration accountable for illegal domestic spying.

    Sure, this spineless congress is cowardly and sad, and i hope spineless Reid is replaced by a leader with principles.  But this was a chance for Clinton to go on the record on a crucial issue, and she skipped it.  

    full disclosure: I'm an Obama supporter, but I think Clinton would make a fine president if she gets the nod.  At least, I felt that way until recently.  Today's absence has certainly knocked her down a notch or three.

    rule by whim (none / 0) (#64)
    by thereyougo on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 01:12:10 PM EST
    KagroX explained it us, like a banana republic.

    We are no longer a country based on laws,this sets bad precendent. Sad day for Democracy and the Democratic party.Why vote? It doesn't matter.

    The Congress have been left to their own devices too long and this is the result. A Congress insulated by politics. Its not about the Constitution its about getting along to get along and its us vs. them (the American people)

    Sixty-seven votes... (none / 0) (#80)
    by desertswine on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 02:21:20 PM EST
    against democracy and rule by law is quite a lot.



    Shameful (none / 0) (#82)
    by auntmo on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 02:58:24 PM EST
    And  the  MOST  shameful  is  that  a  great many    Democrats   enabled  it,  abandoning  the courage  of  Sen. Dodd.  

    Rockefeller has 2 Primary challengers this year. (none / 0) (#65)
    by Ben Masel on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 01:14:30 PM EST
    What's the skinny on them/

    Senate Dem leadership is pathetic (none / 0) (#67)
    by tworivers on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 01:25:40 PM EST
    Harry Reid has no business leading the Dems.  Weak, spineless and capitulating.

    I don't blame him exclusively, mind you, but as Senate Majority leader he deserves a large portion of the blame.

    Reid... (none / 0) (#91)
    by jor on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 06:08:29 PM EST
    .. is a douche. The democratic majority in the house and senate  are a f'ng joke.

    No surprise (none / 0) (#76)
    by Florida Resident on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 01:54:34 PM EST
    For those of us that have been around a while.  If you had read G. William Domhoff and others you would know that this kind of behavior by party leaders is common and expected.  Just follow the money and you can an idea of why they vote like they do.  I would had hope that presidential candidates would have been more vocal on this issue like BTD has said.  But as far as the leaders of either party are concerned the money usually leads to same source.

    Follow the money (none / 0) (#83)
    by auntmo on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 03:00:22 PM EST
    I  think you're  right.    Telecoms  donate  lots of  money.  So  does  the nuclear  energy  industry.  

    Thus,    legislation gets  watered  down just  the  way  those   industries   ask for.    

    And  our   Senators  play  like it's otherwise.    


    I received the Email today (none / 0) (#84)
    by PlayInPeoria on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 03:01:25 PM EST
    Call Senator Reid right now and demand

    No new FISA reforms while President Bush is still in office.

    Democratic Majority Leader
    Senator Harry Reid
    (202) 224-3542

    Suggested Script:
    "Take telecom immunity off the table. Pull the FISA reform bill and extend current law until President Bush leaves office. The U.S. Senate has more important work to get done than figure out how to let AT&T get away with spying on Americans."

    Looks like that failed (none / 0) (#86)
    by BlueLakeMichigan on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:30:15 PM EST
    I actually believed Reid was in it to fight this time, too...

    Yes - I think (none / 0) (#87)
    by PlayInPeoria on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:40:40 PM EST
    he really wanted this postponed for a better day to fight.

    Obama voted, huh? (none / 0) (#94)
    by child on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 06:25:54 PM EST
    Actually, according to this Senator Roll Call, Obama didn't vote either.  What gives?

    Everytime (none / 0) (#95)
    by Edger on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 09:11:58 PM EST
    an important bill has come up for a vote since November 2006, Democrats have made all the right noises, (well, enough right noises anyway) to keep the message flooding the media and beaming into peoples living rooms when they get home from work too tired to think past superficialities about how much different and better they are than republicans.

    And everytime they've quietly slipped the knife in while the country is sleeping.


    Every. Single. Time.

    But... but... but... they're better, goddammit!

    Not quite better enough to support Dodd right down to the wire and do what it takes to help him defund this capitulation... sorry, I mean complicity...

    ...but better.

    If only the peasants had enough brains to understand that real politics are too complicated for them to understand, they'd understand that.

    Better, goddammit.