A Time To Lead On FISA

Via mcjoan, the NYTimes Ed Board writes:

If Congress cannot pass a clean bill that fixes the one real problem with FISA, it should simply extend the temporary authorization. At a minimum, the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, should oppose FISA expansion and pledge to revisit it next year. If any significant changes are going to be made, they should be made under the next president. There are clear differences between the candidates. Senator John McCain, who is sounding more like Mr. Bush every day, believes the president has the power to eavesdrop on Americans without a warrant.

Senator Barack Obama opposes immunity and voted against the temporary expansion of FISA. We hope he will show strong leadership this time. He might even take time off from the campaign to vote against the disturbing deal brewing in the back rooms of Congress.

(Emphasis supplied.) The time to lead on FISA is now Senator Obama.

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    The actions of the party.... (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Alec82 on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 06:08:15 PM EST
    ...are disturbing the hell out of me on this.  

     I will be very disappointed if he does not show up and vote on this.  Actually, he should just kill this thing altogether. Quietly behind the scenes or public and defiant.  This is not something the Democrats should run from.  

    Behind the scenes works for me (none / 0) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 06:14:23 PM EST
    That's what I said (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Demi Moaned on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 06:11:36 PM EST
    In a comment on McJoan's story. The response has been good.

    On guy urged:

    Call Obama HQ at 866-675-2008

    I tried twice and was told to call back because no one could take my call. I may try again later. Also, my new Congresswoman (Jackie Speier) in the district neighboring Pelosi's has been much on my mind.

    Yes... (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Alec82 on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 06:25:12 PM EST
    ...saw that comment (and your own) and I called.  Spoke to a very friendly volunteer.  Although the poor girl had no idea what I was talking about. Had to spell FISA.  

     Hopefully they'll receive a flood of calls on this.  I might shoot out an email as well.  

     The signals on this have been absurd.  


    His Senate Office (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Ben Masel on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 08:35:27 PM EST
    (202) 224-2854
    Email Contact form: http://obama.senate.gov/contact/

    As I recall, Pelosi mentioned another vote-- (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by oculus on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 06:24:46 PM EST
    on FISA or Iraq war funding--in the past that she wanted to make sure was completed before Memorial Day weekend recess, since the Dems. didn't want to go back to their districts w/o having done their patriotic duty, which involved caving in.  

    I'll Even Give Him (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by The Maven on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 06:38:37 PM EST
    the benefit of not taking the lead in the way that Feingold or Dodd have done, but it is absolutely imperative that he speak out forcefully -- and soon -- to denounce any deal that would concede ground to the Bush Administration beyond the relatively minor technical fixes that the Democrats have been proposing all along.  As our presumptive nominee, it is vital that he make it clear that he will do whatever he can to prevent this travesty from occurring.

    Taking the lead on FISA? (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 06:45:10 PM EST
    This has been posed and answered every time FISA has come up for a vote.

    Telecoms will get their immunity in time for the Dems to take their holiday break.  

    UMMM. . . (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by GMN on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 06:51:07 PM EST
    Meet the new boss. He's the same as the old boss.

    NObama '08

    BTD (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 08:36:18 PM EST
    when has Obama shown leadership? And why would he go against the very people like Pelosi who are responsbible for him being the nominee? He had the backing of all these people and I think it's unlikely that he would go against them.

    Ohhh...wait wait (5.00 / 0) (#36)
    by DoggieDaddy on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 08:52:58 PM EST
    What would even be better.... if HRC filibustered.... Ohhh.... sneaky
    and it would one up BHO

    I don't care who... (none / 0) (#38)
    by Alec82 on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 09:27:05 PM EST
    ...stops it, as long as it is stopped. This is ridiculous.  I don't expect much from the Democrats in D.C. (or politicians in general), but this is insane.  

    No, (none / 0) (#6)
    by pie on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 06:31:07 PM EST
    you're pretty much speaking for all of us.

    Boy, it would be great to see Obama take the lead here.

    Gee. (none / 0) (#10)
    by pie on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:10:09 PM EST
    It's pretty quiet here.

    What's there to say? (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Democratic Cat on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:17:19 PM EST
    I wish they'd do the right thing on this.  But I also wish I was 5'10'' and blonde.  It's probably not going to happen in this lifetime.

    Don't see any swarming (none / 0) (#12)
    by pie on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:22:41 PM EST
    either way.

    I have a feeling everyone knows what's what.

    Obama continues to disappoint.


    Removing John Barrow by way (none / 0) (#13)
    by andgarden on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:28:03 PM EST
    of a primary challenge would be worth it. His district is just under 45% black, and his primary challenger is an African American state Senator, Regina Thomas. It might put the seat at risk, sure, but Hoyer needs to be taught a lesson.

    And you (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 08:22:09 PM EST
    guys get mad at the PUMAs? They also want to get rid of barrow. Maybe in the end Obama can truly unite the party only it might be against him and his cronies.

    Oooh, this is precious (none / 0) (#14)
    by andgarden on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:31:03 PM EST
    Guess who Obama is stumping for?:
    Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama has taped a radio commercial on behalf of U.S. Rep. John Barrow of Savannah, who faces a July 15 primary challenge.

    It's the first case of Obama involving himself in a local race in Georgia.

    [. . .]

    "Senator Obama believes that Congressman Barrow has worked hard to bring change that families in his district deserve, and we'll work hard to help John Barrow win in November," Obama spokeswoman Amy Brundage said.


    If Barrow wins, (none / 0) (#15)
    by pie on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:39:55 PM EST
    what kind of actual republican challenge is he going to have?



    Nada (none / 0) (#17)
    by andgarden on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:42:09 PM EST
    None of the Republicans have any money this year.

    The ones (none / 0) (#27)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 08:24:20 PM EST
    in GA have money.

    Where's the substance (none / 0) (#19)
    by JavaCityPal on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:47:28 PM EST
    Obama hasn't spent enough time in WA to know who much work anyone does and any issues. I find it difficult to believe the people of GA will find Obama a qualified reference.

    Racial politics (none / 0) (#23)
    by andgarden on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:53:59 PM EST
    Heh (none / 0) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:48:37 PM EST
    Well that is interesting. I am surprised Obama has involved himself. Maybe he should ask Barrow to back off on FISA as a quid pro quo.

    Think we're gonna read about this (none / 0) (#22)
    by andgarden on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:52:12 PM EST
    at dkos? Me either.

    But Matt Stoller (none / 0) (#24)
    by andgarden on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 08:08:27 PM EST
    has figured it out sorta. . .

    "Obama's Rightward Drift" (5.00 / 0) (#40)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 09:54:17 PM EST
    is the title of Stoller's post.  Obama has been running to the right during the entire primary season and now Stoller thinks he may be drifting right ward? Nice that he is kinda almost noticing this about Obama.

     The progressive community asked for nothing for the major commitment they made to get Obama the nomination and that is exactly what they will get for their effort. Obama is running to the right and getting the votes. Bottom line if he wins, he is getting a right of center mandate and that is probably how he will govern.


    WSJ Reporting Telecom Immunity Deal (none / 0) (#45)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:13:29 AM EST
    worked out among Dems & Republicans in Congress.
    DOes this mean Senate, too?
    Where are the progressive leaders -- this is outrageous.

    He could (none / 0) (#39)
    by mmc9431 on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 09:42:07 PM EST
    Ask the same of McCaskill too.

    IMO McCaskill Loves The Bipartisan Creds (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:27:03 AM EST
    she gets from voting with Republicans on Iraq, FISA and immigration even more than she loves Obama.

    Exactly how strong Obama's real support for not giving the telecoms immunity is open to speculation. Strong enough to lead the opposition. I doubt it. This just might be a case where sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified (see NAFTA) and what he said during the primary is not what he really means.


    Barrow (none / 0) (#26)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 08:23:38 PM EST
    must be in trouble in the primary here then. This has become a lose/lose situation. If Barrow loses the primary he still might win the general. However, if he loses the primary, the GOP candidate is likely to win.

    The Republican candidates have bupkis (none / 0) (#28)
    by andgarden on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 08:25:34 PM EST
    You can check the FEC.

    State party (none / 0) (#30)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 08:26:09 PM EST
    here in GA rolling in the bucks.

    Fair enough (none / 0) (#31)
    by andgarden on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 08:27:48 PM EST
    I guess (none / 0) (#16)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:39:59 PM EST
    Obama doesn't think Hoyer needs to be taught a lesson.

    I disagree (none / 0) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:46:53 PM EST
    Barrow's district is impossible. He won by 2,000 votes on 2006.

    Barrow would love to be attacked by the Netroots. A badge of honor.


    It's a district that proves (none / 0) (#21)
    by andgarden on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:49:56 PM EST
    how impossible Georgia is in general. The district has a black VAP of around 40%, and yet Barrow still barely won in 2006.

    You are right that he would wear being attacked by the netroots as a badge of honor in November, but if 70% of the primary voters are black, he might not make it to November.

    BTW, the Republican challenger will have no money this year, so Ms. Thomas might stand a chance in November.


    The problem (none / 0) (#29)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 08:25:46 PM EST
    is that he'll need to throw Obama under the bus to win the general election. It's a sticky wicket.

    Barrow will have to thread the needle (none / 0) (#32)
    by andgarden on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 08:28:38 PM EST
    that's for sure. His polling for the primary must be crap, otherwise he probably wouldn't need this ad.

    Obama votes... (none / 0) (#35)
    by lentinel on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 08:42:13 PM EST
    "He might even take time off from the campaign to vote".

    What a concept.

    Hey, maybe Obama will listen! (none / 0) (#37)
    by lilburro on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 09:16:38 PM EST
    It's not in a blog, it's in the Times!  We know he actually reads the Times.  Any rationalization he has for not standing up against this capitulation will be accepted by many bloggers anyway.  

    This is one of many issues on the road ahead.  Gay marriage will no doubt be another.

    We'll see...

    Obama AND Clinton (none / 0) (#41)
    by Ben Masel on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 11:06:17 PM EST
    have a joint fundraiser in DC a week from Friday, with the votes on this thing looking likely to come either then or the day before.

    Did he really vote against FISA? (none / 0) (#42)
    by Radix on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 11:22:17 PM EST
    I thought he voted for an amendment which would have removed the immunity clause from the bill and made the immunity portion a separate bill all on it's own. As for the vote which took place on 2/12/08, for FISA, he didn't cast a vote at all.

    June 20th - 4th Amendment Day (none / 0) (#44)
    by BDB on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:43:25 AM EST
    A proposal by lambert at Corrente, which is a good one I think - to make Friday, June 20th a national day of action in support of the 4th Amendment.  It's expected the FISA bill could reach the floor on Friday in an attempt to move it before opposition can mobilize.

    I post it here as an effort to try to gain wider support.  Calling bought and paid for Congressmen like Hoyer is only going to get you so far.