ACLU On Surrender Steny: "It's Chrismas Morning At The White House"

Caroline Frederickson of the ACLU:

It’s Christmas morning at the White House thanks to this vote. The House just wrapped up some expensive gifts for the administration and their buddies at the phone companies. Watching the House fall to scare tactics and political maneuvering is especially infuriating given the way it stood up to pressure from the president on this same issue just months ago. In March we thought the House leadership had finally grown a backbone by rejecting the Senate’s FISA bill. Now we know they will not stand up for the Constitution. [MORE]

No matter how often the opposition calls this bill a ‘compromise,’ it is not a meaningful compromise, except of our constitutional rights. The bill allows for mass, untargeted and unwarranted surveillance of all communications coming in to and out of the United States. The courts’ role is superficial at best, as the government can continue spying on our communications even after the FISA court has objected. Democratic leaders turned what should have been an easy FISA fix into the wholesale giveaway of our Fourth Amendment rights.

“More than two years after the president’s domestic spying was revealed in the pages of the New York Times, Congress’ fury and shock has dissipated to an obedient whimper. After scrambling for years to cover their tracks, the phone companies and the administration are almost there. This immunity provision will effectively destroy Americans’ chance to have their deserved day in court and will kill any possibility of learning the extent of the administration’s lawless actions. The House should be ashamed of itself. The fate of the Fourth Amendment is now in the Senate’s hands. We can only hope senators will show more courage than their colleagues in the House.

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    These people will stand up for nothing. (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by andgarden on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 12:16:34 PM EST
    I hope the ACLU's PAC can find some money to run some decent challengers against them.

    I will redirect my old DNC contributions (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by ruffian on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 12:23:37 PM EST
    their way. Far better use of the money.

    Now that's what I call audacious (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by ruffian on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 12:21:43 PM EST
    We can only hope senators will show more courage than their colleagues in the House.

    To see who voted for or against (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 12:23:07 PM EST
    go to http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2008/roll437.xml

    I think vote was 293-129.  

    Check your Dem reps--list by state.--NJ good-- (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by jawbone on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 12:35:41 PM EST
    Breakdown of vote by state--it's not pretty in NY--by quick count 11 Dems voted for this abomination.

    Oh my.


    Thanks (none / 0) (#24)
    by CST on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 01:16:53 PM EST
    Glad to know all the reps in MA voted against it.  Although I'm sure this will be just another excuse to paint us as "out-of-touch liberal elitists".

    I noticed some Obama supporters (none / 0) (#32)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 05:58:04 PM EST
    who voted against the bill, including Robert Wexler, FL, and Jesse Jackson, Jr. of IL.

    The D's in WA State (none / 0) (#33)
    by JavaCityPal on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 07:15:30 PM EST
    Seem to be broken down the same way they aligned for Obama v Clinton. The Clinton supporters all voted Nay.

    I think a single mailer should go to all registered voters in each state highlighting some of these decisions that have been made this year. The flier can work to the advantage or disadvantage of all representatives depending on how their districts see it.


    Thanks (none / 0) (#6)
    by andgarden on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 12:25:32 PM EST
    My Rep voted against it. Whoopie. . .

    So did mine. (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Valhalla on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 12:30:32 PM EST
    He can stay.

    Mine also. (none / 0) (#21)
    by nycstray on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 12:50:49 PM EST
    Also interesting: (none / 0) (#8)
    by andgarden on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 12:26:46 PM EST
    George Miller broke with Pelosi.

    That's interesting (none / 0) (#13)
    by votermom on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 12:37:06 PM EST
    one Republican actually voted against it, and 10 did not vote. I wonder why.

    Clyburn, (none / 0) (#15)
    by Molly Pitcher on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 12:38:00 PM EST
    I see, is still absent from the side of the angels.  Maybe hs earmarks are making him queasy.

    7 Dems (PA0 voted aye -- including Murtha and (none / 0) (#18)
    by jawbone on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 12:43:44 PM EST

    The entire South Carolina delegation voted for this thing.


    My Rep Is Not Always As Progressive As I'd Wish (none / 0) (#23)
    by daring grace on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 01:03:56 PM EST
    But today Mike McNulty stepped up to the plate and did what he should.

    YAY, Mike!


    nothing to celeberate (none / 0) (#29)
    by sancho on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 01:55:17 PM EST
    in today's vote. with the majority so big, the the "no" votes are only symbolic. they mean noting even if some reps mean well. i really dont know why people (as opposed to corporations and lobbyists) give money to the democrats. the difference between the two parties in practice is really minimal.

    Never Gave Him Money (none / 0) (#34)
    by daring grace on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:41:10 AM EST
    He was always too centrist for my taste--though he tended to vote the way I wanted him to on the important issues.

    Ever since he decided to retire after about 20-30 years in office, he's gotten increasingly vocal against Iraq. Think this was a true vote for him rather than a 'symbolic' one. He has nothing to lose.


    Has anyone talked to their Dem reps and been told (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by jawbone on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 12:24:13 PM EST
    what the House Dems have been drinking? I cannot believe they are giving in now, when it's so close to the end of BushCo's Maladministration.

    WHY? What? Who? When? Where?

    And, are they all (or enough) being blackmailed by illegally obtained information from calls, emails, whatever?

    I'm actually beginning to give up on the Democratic Party.  The DNC chose to give votes to a person who wasn't on the ballot, and then add to indignity by giving this candidate 4 delegates actually won by Hillary Clinton. That was crazy bad enough, but now the House Dems (and, of course, Jay Rockefeller, early Senate endorser of Obama, will make this fly to a vote) undertake to assist and collaborate with Bush and the Repubs to take away our civil liberties????

    What is going on in DC? Are they afraid Obama will move the capitol to Chicago if they don't go along with some secret desire of his to have the right to spy on American citizens?

    I don't get it!

    There's no need to do this, other than to suck up to the telcos and grant the unitary executive even more power! Or, they're being blackmailed. Told they give in or Bush will create a group which looks like Al Q and he will nuke DC....

    What have complicit Dems or fighting Dems told any of you?

    Close to Godwin's law (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by wurman on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 12:26:18 PM EST
    It is difficult to decide whether we have Vichy Democrats, in general, or Quisling leadership, specifically.

    But, what the hey, collaboration by any other name still smells like the House chamber full of merde or drek.

    But don't ya know (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Jim J on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 12:29:54 PM EST
    every Democrat counts! Especially those "Bush Dogs" and "Fighting Dems!"

    Every Democratic seat counts, regardless of how the occupant votes on important issues!

    Howard Dean! 50 states!

    </Obamaniac blogger>

    Fighting Dems? (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 12:37:24 PM EST
    I think they've been thrown under the bus by the unity pony.

    They gagged her before tossing her under. (none / 0) (#16)
    by nycstray on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 12:39:17 PM EST
    disgusting (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by noholib on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 12:30:10 PM EST
    Yes.  And to think of the hundreds of millions of dollars that have been spent --wasted? -- on the election campaign so far when we can't even get a decent vote out of the Democrats in Congress.  Why bother?  What is OUR money getting us?  Look what the real money in Washington gets.

    And the fearless jr. senator from IL--he said...?? (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by jawbone on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 12:39:40 PM EST
    Crickets. (Well, don't want to slam crickets, whic chirp at least. So, silence. Think he'll make some kind of stand in the senate? Nah--too busy ginning up donations, probably. And getting the DNC moved to Chicago.)

    (Have any details come out about how that is being done, the move to Chicago?)

    The Repubs interviewed on NPR about this sounded (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by jawbone on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 12:47:27 PM EST
    like kids on Christmas morning who had been everything they'd even thought about asking for.

    Why, again, do we have an opposition party?

    What are the values and principles of that party>

    We knew where Bill Clinton wanted to take the Dem Party--he was open and upfront about it.

    Where does Obama want to take it?? Where is it, as of now?

    Is it true (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by pie on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 12:50:37 PM EST
    that they thought they could push this through now because they thought no one was paying attention?  Don't they see how ineffective they are and how angry we are?  the majority of the voters say this country is headed in the wrong direction, and they refuse to turn the wheel!!

    Are they really that clueless?

    Truly stunning.

    Rep. Jane Harman (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by vigkat on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 12:59:16 PM EST
    Acknowledged that she had received a massive number of phone calls, the majority of which were opposed to the bill; she voted in favor of it anyway. She knew; she didn't care.  She seemed almost pleased about it.  Quite chipper, in fact.  I had earlier observed her waiting her turn to speak.  She was laughing and having a grand time. Clueless?  I don't know.

    I heard her say that (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by nycstray on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 01:20:58 PM EST
    phone lines are burning up and where does that get us?  Geeze.

    they are not clueless (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by sancho on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 01:57:58 PM EST
    they expect to be re-elected and over 90% of them will be. i fear that expecting them to do the right thing is clueless.

    Fascism 101 (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Lora on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 01:22:46 PM EST
    Criminals and their enablers run this country.  Here's more proof if it is even needed.

    Nobody wants to see the obvious? (5.00 / 4) (#28)
    by Prabhata on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 01:42:04 PM EST
    It's clear to me that the Democrats did not want the courts to look into the the telecom companies breaking the law for the Bush administration.  It's clear to me that from the beginning, the Democrats knew and were part of the crime and now are simply covering their tracks.  Why would any person vote for these people, it's beyond me.  I'd rather vote for those who tell me that they will throw away the US Constitution to my face, than to vote for a hypocritical undemocratic Democrat who tells me stories and stabs me in the back every step of the way.

    Accountability Phase II (none / 0) (#27)
    by Joseph Burns on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 01:28:14 PM EST
    This is a huge blow to all of those who have demanded for years now that this administration and its private sector accomplices be held accountable for their violations of law, and that the radical notions of executive power they've embraced be challenged and countered with the intended mechanisms provided for in the Constitution.

    We now will have to hope that the report that will work its way into the next President's hands will tell us the extent of the intel activity of which the TSP was a part; a slim hope at best. Doubtless by then President Bush's final rash of clemency will have placed even more beyond reach.

    So the remaining task for us is not to pressure the Dems we know are not with us. We tried that. The task is to work for their removal.
    If you are so inclined, give to the "Blue America PAC vs Retroactive Immunity" ActBlue fund. This money will be spent on Ads against the supporters of telecom amnesty and the overall FISA capitulation. It will be a long road.