What Obama Said About Telco Immunity

On February 26, 2008, Senator Barack Obama said:

The American people must be able to trust that their president values principle over politics, and justice over unchecked power. I’ve been proud to stand with Senator Dodd in his fight against retroactive immunity for the telecommunications industry. Secrecy and special interests must not trump accountability. We must show our citizens – and set an example to the world – that laws cannot be ignored when it is inconvenient. Because in America – no one is above the law.

(Emphasis supplied.) That was then. What about now Senator Obama? Please also note that in October 2007, Obama's spokesman said:

To be clear: Barack will support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies.

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    Well, Glenn Greenwald (5.00 / 9) (#2)
    by andgarden on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 12:39:11 PM EST

    I was just on a conference call with Obama foreign policy advisor Dennis McDonough. The Huffington Post's Scott Bellows asked about Obama's abandonment of his rhetoric vowing to defend the Constitution in order to support this bill, and McDonough adopted the Hoyer line, claiming that this bill has all sorts of great oversight protections including the requirement that the Inspector General submit a report on Bush's spying program (audio is here).

    It is, to me, the same (5.00 / 9) (#5)
    by zfran on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 12:41:43 PM EST
    as voting "present"

    actually (5.00 / 7) (#26)
    by Turkana on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:06:33 PM EST
    it's worse. that's abdication of leadership. this is complicity.

    he's the choice of pelosi (5.00 / 4) (#135)
    by sancho on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:23:52 PM EST
    and reid and dean. this is the leadership they, the dem elders, expect of him. why would anybody think he'd do any differently? the dem primary and its dreams of a "new politics" is over.

    Hardly (none / 0) (#84)
    by squeaky on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:48:16 PM EST
    Voting present is a no vote.

    Exactly, no vote..he keeps (5.00 / 4) (#93)
    by zfran on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:52:11 PM EST
    changing his mind, cannot decide, doesn't know what to do, so in essence, when he says one thing, then does another, it is playing safe and voting present, which is uncommitted!

    when I vote present (5.00 / 7) (#105)
    by Edgar08 on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:00:04 PM EST
    in November I hope that's how it will be perceived.

    You Are Either Willfully Ignorant (1.00 / 1) (#139)
    by squeaky on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:27:55 PM EST
    Or just trying to be annoying. Or maybe it is just that you bought Hillary's self serving misrepresentation when she was in the ring with Obama for the nomination. Hey I do not fault her for BSing during the fight, not a biggie. It is up to voters to do their own homework, rather than vote on blind faith.

    In Illinois, the "present" vote works as a vote against a measure during final action.

    State Sen. John Cullerton (D) calls the "present" vote "a no vote with an explanation." Legally, there's not much difference between the two votes, but practically, it can let the sponsors or other legislators know of problems with the bill that should be corrected.

    That's not how U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) characterized it in a debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C., this week.

    "In the Illinois state Senate, Senator Obama voted 130 times `present.' That's not `yes,' that's not `no.' That's `maybe,'" she said.



    On the Present Issue (5.00 / 2) (#142)
    by BDB on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:32:07 PM EST
    it was Obama who was being self-serving.  He took what is clearly designed to be a political out and then tried to paint it as something noble.  It's not that I didn't hear his explanation the first time, it's that I didn't - and don't - believe it.  I'd look up the You Tube where he fails to explain one of his votes on a morning show, but I've already done that numerous times and it never seems to stop these arguments.

    Of Course Obama (none / 0) (#163)
    by squeaky on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 03:05:37 PM EST
    Is self serving, I am certainly not arguing that, he is a politician. But it is clear that you are misinformed about the system in Illinois and how it used.

    Hillary says its maybe (5.00 / 3) (#151)
    by Edgar08 on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:37:56 PM EST
    you say its a "no" vote.

    All I'm asking you to do is apply the same consideration to my "present" vote in november.  And regard it as a "no" vote.

    With or without calling me ignorant.


    I Am Not Opining Here (5.00 / 1) (#161)
    by squeaky on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:59:51 PM EST
    I am relating a fact. Check it out for yourself. In Illinois a present vote is tantamount to a nay vote. It is a common procedure among Illinois lawmakers. If there are 59 lawmaker in all voting on a bill and 30 vote present the bill does not pass.

    Obama used this option 139 times in 4000 votes. Feel free to spin that this means that Obama cannot make up his mind. To me it says more about you than Obama.

    Hillary gets a pass, imo because she was obligated to spin it, just as Obama misrepresented things about her.


    you win that argument (5.00 / 0) (#166)
    by Edgar08 on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 03:09:27 PM EST
    by default.

    My point stands about my "present" vote come November.


    Well, if "present" is functionally a (5.00 / 1) (#198)
    by sallywally on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 04:53:00 PM EST
    "no" vote, why not just have the balls to vote "no"?

    Why did he make that choice all those times?


    Read Up On Illinois Legislative Rules (2.00 / 0) (#201)
    by squeaky on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 05:04:07 PM EST
    And practices. You will find out the answer to your question. Planned parenthood head Steve Trombley can get you started on the issue.

    How convenient an excuse for (none / 0) (#237)
    by zfran on Wed Jun 25, 2008 at 09:37:05 AM EST
    voting for something. You are not for it, not against, just don't like parts of it. That's how Obama explained those 130+ present votes in the IL Senate. I am wonderfully impressed, Squeaky, of how you can pull material to support views right out of your hat, however, just because it says so, doesn't always make it so. A present vote, no matter how you slice it, is non-committel. It's an out...

    Whatever You Say (none / 0) (#239)
    by squeaky on Wed Jun 25, 2008 at 11:02:52 AM EST
    I am sure that you are an expert on the voting practices of other state legislatures as well, based on nothing but what Hillary et al, tell you, in order to win your vote. You sound like an easy mark to me, although I guess your benefit is that it keeps things clean and simple by saving you having to think too much.

    And I am assuming that you are just repeating outdated Hillary talking points as you have not offered any indication that you know anything about how the Illinois legislature works.

    Odd that now Hillary has endorsed and is campaigning for an anti abortion candidate, don't you think?  Maybe she is anti abortion too, and it is all a vast right wing plot. Check under your bed.


    That's not good! (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Shainzona on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:50:43 PM EST
    Obama, the Master of Change, is a Blue Dog?



    So he'll abstain. (none / 0) (#27)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:07:38 PM EST
    This was sent to my email account two hours ago: (none / 0) (#184)
    by abfabdem on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 03:31:05 PM EST
    from Charles Chamberlain at Democracy for America--
    Over the last 8 months, you and I have stopped Congress from granting retroactive immunity to telecommunication companies who illegally spied on Americans for the Bush administration -- at least three times.

    On Friday, Democratic Leadership in the House of Representatives decided to stand with President Bush instead of with America. They voted for a so-called "compromise" to let AT&T, Verizon and the entire Bush administration off the hook for lying to America and illegally tapping our phone calls.

    If this bill passes the Senate, then Americans will never be able to hold President Bush accountable for warrantless wiretapping.

    We need to take action to stop this horrible bill. Last time immunity came up for a Senate vote, Senators Dodd, Feingold and Obama each said they would filibuster to stop it from passing. They will need 60 votes to keep a filibuster going and stop the Senate from caving to pressure to support this fake "compromise".

    Call your Senators right now and demand they support a filibuster of any Senate bill that will ultimately grant retroactive immunity to telecoms who spied on innocent Americans.

    Dick Durbin
    (202) 224-2152

    Barack Obama
    (202) 224-2854

    Suggested Text:
    "I calling to demand Senator (Durbin or Obama) support a filibuster of any bill that will ultimately grant immunity to telecommunications companies who spied on innocent Americans. Can I count on the Senator to stand up to President Bush and his fear mongering?"


    Let's call a spade a spade. This bill is a complete capitulation to Bush and the telecom lobby. We need all the support we can get in this fight to uphold the constitution.

    The vote is scheduled to happen this week. We need to act today. Please make your call right now.

    Thank you for everything you do,


    They do NOT need 60 votes to filibuster (5.00 / 1) (#200)
    by Ellie on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 04:58:19 PM EST
    They can, and should, do this on principle and Obama should be leading.

    The 60 votes metric is an arbitrary and false standard the Dems all too often use to excuse their cowardice, laziness and complicity.

    Repugs have no compunction about using the filibuster (or mere threat to use one) to ram pet agendas past the toothless, declawed Dem (non)opposition.

    This is yet another defining constitutional issue on which the Dems can pivot and move forward towards rebuilding deservedly lost trust and respect or continue hanging back in a trembling timorous mass "led" by fellow fauxgressive invertebrate, Obama.


    Well, you said it yourself BTD, a pol is a pol (5.00 / 7) (#3)
    by zfran on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 12:39:33 PM EST
    and Obama has over-proven himself here. It doesn't seem to matter what he said before, what he says now and what he will say. If it benefits him and apparently on him, he's for it (or against it). He is very power hungry...what's gonna happen if he gets the power, how long will it take to be bored, what's next, all imo?

    Yes, but then Dodd endorsed him (5.00 / 8) (#6)
    by ineedalife on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 12:43:07 PM EST
    Obama got what he wanted, and now has changed his position. Anyone surprised?

    Used, then abused. Join the line.

    How (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by zfran on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 12:45:31 PM EST
    will we hold his feet to the fire!!!

    Anyone surprised? These people... (5.00 / 1) (#191)
    by zyx on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 03:56:51 PM EST
    OMG (5.00 / 1) (#194)
    by ineedalife on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 04:25:58 PM EST
    But notice how he skipped the last "Lightworker" in American politics, Ronald Reagan. Reagan and the intuitive reaction to him fits this bimbo's description to a tee. I personally know liberal people that voted for, and loved, Reagan. But pesky little facts shouldn't get in the way of deification.

    For the record, I never got Reagan either.


    ROFLMAO (5.00 / 2) (#214)
    by Valhalla on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 07:20:28 PM EST
    Obama has
    a sort of powerful luminosity, a unique high-vibration integrity

    and is

    that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet, of relating and connecting and engaging with this bizarre earthly experiment.

    Ok, no one can say we can't make fun of Obama supporters for drinking the Kool-Aid now.  C'mon, a unique high-vibration integrity?  Bwahaha.

    Alright, alright, I know some people are flipping out about that last paragraph already.  But some Obama supporters are both frightening (in a moving-to-Guyana sort of way) and a few ice cubes short.


    It seems to me that BTD wants ... (1.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Tortmaster on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 12:54:52 PM EST
    ... to hold Barack Obama's feet to the fire on this issue.

    You, however, go much further, wanting to smear Obama's character.

    And you do it before he votes on the FISA compromise and with no real knowledge of what he has planned for the issue.


    Please realize that Obama is (5.00 / 6) (#18)
    by zfran on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 12:58:19 PM EST
    human, flesh and blood, no more, no less, just like you. We can read, interpret, understand, opine and suggest what he has said, what he now says, what he will say. I always tell my children, it is important to study the past to live throught today, and have knowledge about tomorrow. He always changes positions!!!

    now that's what I was trying to get at (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by Edgar08 on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:03:15 PM EST
    in the other thread.

    The difference between holding someone's feet to the fire and attacking someone's character.


    You can also laugh at the guy too. (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:04:26 PM EST
    Yes it's okay to laugh at Obama.

    I would think that ... (1.66 / 3) (#29)
    by Tortmaster on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:09:55 PM EST
    ... calling someone a backstabber or a person who accepts shady telecom campaign contributions goes a little farther than "laughing" at that person.

    Rationalize it if you must, Salo, but please don't insult our intelligence.  

    BTD is doing what he thinks is important as a Progressive Democrat. He is NOT smearing the presumptive nominee's character.


    heh (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:16:45 PM EST
    Obama got what he wanted, and now has changed his position. Anyone surprised?
    Used, then abused. Join the line.

    backstab?  where's that coming from? word's in mouths?

    Frankly I don't care a great deal about being spied on.  I assume I am being recorded by either the NSA or GCHQ whenever I make a call and the two cross tab it all. What i do wonder about is the lengths to which the left delude itself about a sharp pragmatic fellow like Obama when all the warning signs were there months ago that he's no idealist.

    Smear?  Hell, Obama'd be avoiding the smearing by voting for more spying. He'd be accused of undermining national security and working for the enemy if he did vote against the bill.


    insulting our intelligence? please speak (5.00 / 7) (#86)
    by hellothere on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:48:49 PM EST
    for yourself. i find the giving in to the telecoms while they are sponoring the convention way too much. i find that insulting. i find the fact that obama never even held an important committee meeting on his plum assignment insulting. i find the way he treated hillary insulting. i find his lack of a real substantial health care bill insulting. i find race baiting insulting. i could go on with what i find insulting and i am not insulting anyone's intelligence. thanks ever so much!

    But, he is questioning his character (none / 0) (#96)
    by zfran on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:54:04 PM EST
    We all want to hold his feet to the fire - (5.00 / 4) (#83)
    by Anne on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:48:08 PM EST
    there are very few of us who believe it is enough for the candidate to be a registered Democrat; standing by while the candidate, or the office-holder - does whatever he or she wants is not acceptable for most of us.

    Obama has a record.  He is on the record with a number of positions on a number of issues.  If he says he will support a filibuster, or that he is opposed to this or that, should we expect him to hold to his word, or take actions consistent with them?  And if he does not, isn't it at all fair to draw some conclusions about his character?

    You seem to want to separate Obama the man from Obama the politician, but I think at some point the two converge - and I think it's where words meet actions; if someone is not a person of his or her word, they lose my respect and my trust.  

    You really, really need to stop making excuses for him if you want more from him than you're getting.


    How powerful (5.00 / 0) (#9)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 12:51:01 PM EST
    contributionwise are the Telco's?  10s of millions or 100s of millions?

    This is campaign finance time bomb for Democrats.

    they are sponsoring the dem convention. (none / 0) (#80)
    by hellothere on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:44:26 PM EST
    You've made this statement... (none / 0) (#106)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:00:16 PM EST
    ...at least 3 times here without providing much detail.  Who, exactly, is "they'?  A single telecom, a group of them, a telcom PAC?

    go check obama wire. they have the list. (5.00 / 0) (#109)
    by hellothere on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:01:21 PM EST
    go to the dnc and ask them. geez!

    list of dem sponsors for democratic convention (5.00 / 4) (#113)
    by hellothere on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:06:02 PM EST
    att, dewey digital, level3, mircosoft, qwest, vertical response. all are connected with telecoms or computers/telecoms. let's not forget general motors and all their holdings either.

    Thank you. (none / 0) (#116)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:08:42 PM EST
    Qwest will be a big player (none / 0) (#208)
    by DFLer on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 06:49:24 PM EST
    at both conventions, providing services etc. They are headquartered in Denver, and have a big presence in the upper midwest and MN.

    They were as you all may recall, the only telecom to resist the government's "request" for data, without a warrant.


    Really, what's with the Clueless Pestilence anyway (5.00 / 2) (#197)
    by Ellie on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 04:46:35 PM EST
    I demand that you re-re-re-re post the link that was posted here a dozen times and discussed repeatedly in many threads that I didden read and didden click.

    Um, no.

    Oh come on. You better. Oh you're mean.

    [Annnnnnnd scene!]


    smile. i want popcorn when the (none / 0) (#233)
    by hellothere on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 10:35:53 PM EST
    movie comes out.

    If you can't answer a simple question... (none / 0) (#115)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:07:22 PM EST
    ...just say so.  I'm sure as heck not going to that crackpot website for any "information".

    go where you will. (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by hellothere on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:11:18 PM EST
    not speaking for you here but i find that asking and asking folks to give this and that a way of diverting the conversation. which is not to say that a request for a source or information about an important situation such as this is not relevant.

    As a hard working white... (4.00 / 2) (#125)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:18:27 PM EST
    ...it is not always practical for me to surf the net while I work.  I was generally curious as to whether Qwest was included.  

    They are the one provider that I don't mind having a sponorship as they were one of the only ones to say "wait a minute, this isn't right" and they are generally a positive civic-minded member of the Denver business community--regardless of what Nacchio did or didn't do.  


    When You Are Free To Surf (none / 0) (#148)
    by daring grace on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:36:42 PM EST
    if you want to see a list, the Rocky Mountain News has an annotated one from May 12, 2008.

    Obviously, it may have expanded or changed since then, but it is a pretty impressive list of all kinds of corporate interests with reasons to cozy up to politicians.


    That doesn't surprise me... (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:49:25 PM EST
    ...one little bit anymore.  It is always interesting to see who contributes to a candidates campaign.  The big corporate interests tend to cover both sides of the fence pretty well.  Hence, it is not surprising that the Telecoms will most likely get immunity.

    It is maddening that the "little people" can't have the same kind of influence.


    agree 100% with that sentiment! (5.00 / 1) (#186)
    by hellothere on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 03:45:32 PM EST
    Yes,,,and the GOP convention as well (none / 0) (#199)
    by DFLer on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 04:57:53 PM EST
    Even if he can't stop the FISA bill (5.00 / 4) (#11)
    by myiq2xu on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 12:52:54 PM EST
    He could oppose it and vote against it.

    Looking "strong on defense" is a bogus excuse, and there is no Democratic constituency in favor of the bill.

    I smell lobbyist money.

    and your evidence for this ... (1.50 / 4) (#16)
    by Tortmaster on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 12:57:31 PM EST
    ... evidence-less accusation is?

    My evidence is a flip-flop (5.00 / 7) (#21)
    by myiq2xu on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:03:11 PM EST
    and no rational explanation for it.

    The most obvious explanation... (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by Jerrymcl89 on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:11:19 PM EST
    ... for anything Obama does in the next five months is that he thinks it will help get him elected. I would expect him to virtually never make decisions on any other grounds. And I think that's always been true of pretty much any candidate who makes it to this stage of the race.

    It's possible his judgement about what gives him the best chance of winning is wrong. But that's far more likely than that he would intentionally hurt his own chances because of money.


    He has not flip flopped (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:13:00 PM EST

    did you hear (5.00 / 0) (#37)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:18:44 PM EST
    about the conference call?  he can't go into an election and be seen to be undermining spying operations and expect to survive the patriot games the GOP will play.

    How does he expect to survive (none / 0) (#53)
    by ruffian on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:30:39 PM EST
    his term in office then?

    A potential change of position (5.00 / 3) (#25)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:06:03 PM EST
    against a multi billion dollar industry?  One so wealthy that they can contribute 10s of millions of dollars to 527s or bundle 1os of millions against a disfavoured candidate?

    isnt it possible (none / 0) (#19)
    by Edgar08 on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 12:59:53 PM EST
    there are enough dems (the usual dems of course) who will not support a filibuster and will vote for the bill?

    I'll be consistent.  Lobbyist money is a lame thing to consider and I'll say that even when it would please me immensely to see dems I do not like attacked just so.


    If we're not sure (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:19:22 PM EST
    Of where Obama really stands on this and what action he's going to take. Shame on us We have been through 6 months of dabates and primaries. His latest press release wasn't very encouraging. In addition, the Democratic Illinois members of the House voted yes. I don't think they would be going against his wishes.

    I just can't understand how so many of his progressive supporters can dismiss this so easily. When someone is wrong, they're wrong.

    it's called cognitive dissonance (5.00 / 6) (#134)
    by dws3665 on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:22:33 PM EST
    They have spent so much time building him up into a progressive hero to slay the Evil Hil-monster that, when confronted with his feet of clay, they have two options:

    1. Admit they were wrong about Obama and suffer the recriminations over demonizing their opposition and the loss of self-assuredness that logically must follow;


    2. Claim that feet of clay are not that negative a feature in a politician, and that this issue isn't that big a deal.

    Neither options maintains their credibility.

    And science tells us they will choose the one less emotionally costly to themselves (#2).


    Wow (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Steve M on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:24:01 PM EST
    I can see you're going to require more than one fainting couch before we're through.

    Tell me, do you find it equally outrageous when progressive websites call Joe Biden the Senator from MBNA, for example?

    If you seek to enforce a standard where we all pretend to be naive and not understand how bad laws get made, you probably won't find any takers.

    Heh (5.00 / 0) (#73)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:41:48 PM EST
    Well, I never cared for it that muhc myself but I am not going to waste much energy defending Joe Biden. I am not a bog fan of his. He;s all right but what the hell, I think all pols should get guff myself, including Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Barack Obama, Ted Kennedy etc.

    Don't forget... (5.00 / 4) (#45)
    by OrangeFur on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:24:19 PM EST
    ... that the Military Commissions Act passed with well over 60 votes in the Senate. I suspect this will go the same way.

    Will Feingold try to filibuster? I'm not sure. It's possible that he won't, to spare the Democrats the embarrassment of voting to break it.

    Then again, the whole idea that Democrats have to filibuster in a Democratic Senate is embarrassing enough already.

    Feingold has said he will filibuster (none / 0) (#56)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:31:29 PM EST
    So has Ron Wyden.

    So has Dodd.


    But will Obama (5.00 / 0) (#61)
    by lilburro on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:34:24 PM EST
    make the time committment?

    His statement suggests he isn't that serious about his opposition.  And I'm sure he can convince many with "I have some campaigning to do."


    Well, I'm sure (5.00 / 3) (#75)
    by dk on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:42:09 PM EST
    he'll filibuster once he is sure that the filibuster won't hold up.

    And then what?  The A-list bloggers will fall in love with him all over again until he fails to bring about any real change on some other issue.


    Well (none / 0) (#181)
    by Steve M on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 03:26:50 PM EST
    A filibuster does not really have a time commitment.  It's not like in the movies.  Basically, there's just a cloture vote and nothing more.  It's a given that if the Democratic nominee were to tell Harry Reid, "I'd really like to be there for the cloture vote," they will rearrange the schedule to make it possible.

    and reid? where is he? (5.00 / 0) (#76)
    by hellothere on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:42:36 PM EST
    look under the desk maybe!

    Ron Wyden (none / 0) (#192)
    by zyx on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 03:59:05 PM EST
    ...he is pretty okay. I like the guy.

    good luck with the feet and fire thing. (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:30:12 PM EST
    Personally, I tend to feel that Obama is playing a power game that is beyond our own personal squabbles about the issue at hand.  He can go either way as far as i am concerned. he doesn't need the antipathy of AT&T and other telco firms if he hopes to win in November.  he's going to get clobbered by the media after the conventionand he really doesn't require more enemies than he already has.

    i agree that obama (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by sancho on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:31:05 PM EST
    need not offend the corporations if he wants to get elected. but isnt the logic here ultimately that the elections themselves are just parades to conceal or ratify corporate power? why whould we think any prez of any party could stay in office if s/he does not keep the promises made to corporations?

    there's a reason that the biggest political party in this country is that of the non-voters.  


    Does he have courage and honesty or not????? (5.00 / 4) (#62)
    by sallywally on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:35:05 PM EST
    This drivel about his not letting anyone know where he stands on anything in order to get elected is complete absurdity, and the Obama supporters who parrot it have taken leave of every reason he gave beforehand for why he should be elected.

    This is straight politics, nothing new and nothing hopeful about it. If he really believes he has to tilt right and/or take no stands to win, he should have stayed in the Senate and exercised courage and leadership there.

    And by the way, though he has said he stands against this bill, in fact he has tilted to the right wing on this and every other thing that has come up, including the FISA bill, since Clinton suspended her campaign.

    He has capitulated to the right already. Actions speak louder than words. How much farther will he go?

    With the vast majority of Americans hating the provisions in this bill, there was no real courage required if he had spoken out honestly on it; but he chose not to. Yes, lobbyist money does seem to make sense.

    He continues to prove he is not trustworthy. The buyers' remorse about his nomination is becoming palpable among his (now former) supporters since he has taken this craven stand on FISA.

    He isn't getting more support from these right-wing stances, he's losing it. Had he shown leadership and courage, he would be gaining much more support, especially among Clinton voters and independents.

    He is either the courageous, honest, progressive leader he said he would be (apparently not) or he is and has been a fraud. Fallible humans can also be courageous - but Obama is not.

    Very disappointing. Half the Dems were not for him in the primaries. Now many of the half who were with him are bailing out. No comparison to someone like Bobby Kennedy, who was straightforward and honest in his campaign. Everyone knew where he stood. Ambition did not stand it the way of his convictions, and he would have been elected anyway. Obama is taking the exact opposite course.

    Not a good sign for either the general election or  if he wins the presidency and continues his rightward motion.

    you didn't answer my question - (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by Josey on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:40:54 PM EST
    why should we have to beg and plead with a Constitutional lawyer to uphold the Constitution and our rights??
    Most likely the answer is because Hillary is eeeevil.

    go check closely to see who is (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by hellothere on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:41:57 PM EST
    sponoring the democratic convention. that's right, the telecoms. and we wonder why the dems caved? we assume many things but maybe we need to do some real research on where the money comes from and where it goes. then correlate it to votes.

    Oh SNORT (4.00 / 1) (#193)
    by zyx on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 04:03:05 PM EST
    Gimme a effing break. Obama is such a holy messiah that he turns down lobbiest money, and he's going to vote for telecom retroactive immunity because they are putting up money for the convention?

    That seems very sordid for petty calf-excrement.


    ok i read your comment and (none / 0) (#235)
    by hellothere on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 11:21:17 PM EST
    am wondering. maybe it is a reading comprehension problem or something. obama is taking lobbiest money through bundlers, etc. no surprise there! and the dems are caving on telecom immunity. i point out that many of them (telecom/connected companies) are backing the convention. i also recommend tracking the money and then looking at votes.

    Of course it's before he's voted. . . (5.00 / 2) (#85)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:48:29 PM EST
    kind of late to influence the vote (by ginning up blogosphere outrage) afterwards, isn't it?

    Dude (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:57:08 PM EST
    Why do you think there's even a frigging bill giving these corporations immunity for illegal cooperation with the CIA NSA and FBI?

    the bill is itsel;f a conspiracy of pols and telcos to avoid prosecution.  Nebulous?  OMFG.

    Here is your "jump" for all the ... (1.00 / 0) (#124)
    by Tortmaster on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:15:47 PM EST
    ... world to see, Salo:

    A potential change of position against a multi billion dollar industry? One so wealthy that they can contribute 10s of millions of dollars to 527s or bundle 1os of millions against a disfavoured candidate?

    by Salo on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:06:03 PM EST

    Note: this comment was in support of another commentator's implication that Obama had taken telecom campaign contributions. Moreover, the other commentator had indicated there was no "rational" reason for what he/she thought Obama might do vis-a-vis FISA. Now, here's the Jump!:

    Hell, Obama'd be avoiding the smearing by voting for more spying. He'd be accused of undermining national security and working for the enemy if he did vote against the bill.

    by Salo on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:16:45 PM EST

    Note: Now, it isn't a big Obama/Telecom conspiracy, it's something Obama has to do! Note the timing of the comments, too. Here's more jumping:

    he can't go into an election and be seen to be undermining spying operations and expect to survive the patriot games the GOP will play.

    by Salo on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:18:44 PM EST


    Do you know where he stands? (5.00 / 0) (#167)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 03:09:36 PM EST
    No you don't.  

    obama is a public figure. he has made (5.00 / 0) (#100)
    by hellothere on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:58:01 PM EST
    enough comments regarding these issues to see where he is going. bloggers will interpret what he said and does and make some assumptions based on these very things. they have always done this. so i don't see making a special exception for obama. that is so pc it makes my eyes cross thinking about it.

    Tortmaster....what is really too much is your (5.00 / 2) (#103)
    by PssttCmere08 on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:59:22 PM EST
    fake outrage and you spending all your time on here shilling for obama, which I believe is a violation of the rules Jeralyn posted again yesterday.  If you can't take anything negative being said about your boy, then maybe this isn't the place for you.  We are holding obama accountable; are you?

    that the government reads my emails hears (5.00 / 2) (#118)
    by thereyougo on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:10:58 PM EST
    my phone conversations is the point.  I don't want to hear people start defending it, because they're not terraists.

    Either the USA is a country  run by the rule of law or it isn't. Simple.

    this law and the way the bush admin. has been trashing the country's laws, violating their oath of office is going to encourage future presidents to do the same. I don't look forward to it at all.

    the corruption will then be complete. Whose going to stand up to that president? A caved in Democrat party?

    it's not run by the spirit of the (none / 0) (#168)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 03:10:47 PM EST
    law---or by the technical interpretations of the law. it's more of a Fiat.

    As I've said. . . (5.00 / 2) (#120)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:12:00 PM EST
    there's a fair amount of ODS around here (perhaps a mutated strain of CDS -- these things have the tendency to do that once they escape from the lab).

    This has been a season notable for various folks in the blogosphere launching nasty attacks on the candidates -- 90% of which have been from Obama supporters against Clinton.  That doesn't justify the same happening back to Obama from Clinton supporters, but it goes some way towards explaining it.

    You claim to be disturbed by people casting unsupported aspersions on Obama's motives and integrity -- and that does happen.  But since your response so often (at least in the comments to this thread) does exactly the same thing against the people you seek to criticize you can't expect to escape censure for doing exactly what you accuse the other folks of doing.

    Hmmm (none / 0) (#146)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:35:29 PM EST
    Not addressed to me I hope.

    That was for someone else. (none / 0) (#171)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 03:12:12 PM EST
    Not at all. (none / 0) (#185)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 03:36:22 PM EST
    The original comment, as well as the commenter, her other comments, and her ratings, seems to have left the building.

    To you I say only "Bloomberg, Bloomberg, Bloomberg".  Heh.


    yes (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by Edgar08 on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:19:44 PM EST
    watching obama get treated the same way Clinton has been treated is no less enjoyable in spite of how predictable this all is.

    One of the reasons why I have some respect for Clinton is because I have NEVER seen her do what feingold did yesterday.  She may disagree but she has not ever, as far as I can remember, recontextualized another politician's position as capitulation.

    The continual questioning (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:37:25 PM EST
    Of what will Hilary do or the suggestions that she will cave too is pointless. She's not the leader. The only point that I am sure of is that if she were the leader and had back pedaled on these key issues, neither the progressive blogs or the media would cut her any slack. That was the one primary reason I supported her. I was convinced she would have been held accountable. (something that has been sorely lacking for 7 years).

    Hillary needs to do what's right (none / 0) (#187)
    by Newt on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 03:50:36 PM EST
    regardless of whether she's the Dem leader.

    She should filibuster.


    Stay on topic (5.00 / 1) (#195)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 04:28:55 PM EST
    and stop the gratuitous slams against Obama. And the rating of comments based on the point of view expressed.

    I don't know where BTD is and I am not going to spend the time reading each comment here. Those I see that violate the rules will be deleted and the commenter suspended or banned.

    Just curious. (5.00 / 2) (#205)
    by Radix on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 06:10:47 PM EST
    How is anyone who says Obama's got my vote, despite his actions, holding his "feet to the fire"? Those sorts of statements are just silly on their face. Also, can we drop this utter non-sense about this election being to important? After all, can anyone point to a single elections in our history when that statement wouldn't have been true?

    A challenge (2.16 / 6) (#8)
    by Newt on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 12:50:59 PM EST
    May I suggest that anyone wanting to post an anti-Obama comment on this topic take a temporary hiatus from the seething anger over Hillary's loss in the primary, and instead, add to the suggestions on what can be done quickly to get our senators to stop this bill.
    From my last "take action" post here:
    Obama's senate office 866-675-2008
    Hillary's and other senate offices 800-828-0498, 800-614-2803 or 877-851-6437  
    Submit this action form to your members of congress & your local paper.

    Here's another link to use from the True Majority site.

    I also think it would help to post to Christian sites and mailing lists to get them to call/email, especially since Obama is currently reaching out to evangelicals.

    The God of the Panopticon? (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 12:52:43 PM EST
    THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO (5.00 / 7) (#12)
    by zfran on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 12:53:35 PM EST
    WITH HILLARY. This has to do with the change of positions of the dem. preemptive nominee and only him.

    Have You Lost Your Mind? q (2.00 / 0) (#90)
    by squeaky on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:50:53 PM EST
    This has everything to do with Hillary, Schumer and any other Democratic senator that can be persuaded to vote no on the FISA bill.

    They, the Shumer's, even (5.00 / 0) (#101)
    by zfran on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:58:07 PM EST
    the Hillary's (who does listen to the people at times) do not care what you think. They only care and only justify what they've done or are about to do around election time. They are bad, we are good, vote for us, look at all we've done or couldn't do because of them!! "They" will do whatever they please, that's what our gov't "of the people, by the people and for the people" now means. I have written letters, I have made phone calls, I have talked to many citizens, no one cares enough anymore and so they are out of control in wash. and Obama wants power, just like them!!!!

    Disagree (none / 0) (#123)
    by squeaky on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:14:43 PM EST
    I am sure that Hillary believed that her vote for AUMF would be a plus, she was wrong for this constituent. I am sure that her vote against the last FISA bill would make her constituents happy, it did. I am sure that Obama's and Hillary's vote against Roberts was done because they believed that it represented their constituents.

    Their vote is a permanent record. They do care about what we think because we put them in office, and can put them out of office.


    Would you have said the same thing (5.00 / 0) (#126)
    by zfran on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:18:50 PM EST
    has Obama voted "yea" on the Roberts nom before voting "nay"? Didn't he realize the difference between one vote or the other of the potential consequences?

    Huh? (none / 0) (#144)
    by squeaky on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:32:12 PM EST
    Obama vote yea and then nay during the same vote? You seem confused. Maybe I am missing something, but if he voted nay I would have held it against him.

    OK (none / 0) (#153)
    by squeaky on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:38:38 PM EST
    Now you have me confused, I am happy that Obama voted Nay for Roberts' conformation. Had he voted yea I would have held it against him.

    Heh (5.00 / 9) (#14)
    by Steve M on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 12:55:59 PM EST
    Because the only reason anyone could ever be concerned by the stance of the Democratic nominee on this bill is "seething anger," right?

    In the progressive community, the only people who need to justify their stance on this are the ones inclined to give Obama a free pass.


    Reaching out to (5.00 / 5) (#15)
    by pie on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 12:56:24 PM EST
    Evangelicals who voted for Bush?

    I swear some of you have gone off the deep end.  


    It has nothing to do with Hillary; (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by magnetics on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 12:57:48 PM EST
    and I have no idea how she will/would/might react in situations real or hypothesized.

    It is about whether Obama is willing to lead on this issue.  We're waiting to see.


    If Hillary supports this bill (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by myiq2xu on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:01:20 PM EST
    she'll be wrong too.

    That Is A Great Question (5.00 / 4) (#32)
    by talex on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:12:12 PM EST
    What will she do. She has come out against immunity before. She voted against cloture in the past if I recall correctly.

    Her dilemma here is that if Obama votes yes on the bill, which he will, and she votes against the bill, she will make Obama look bad as she stands on the stage campaigning with him.

    And of course for her to vote yes on the bill would be the wrong thing to do. Politics is tricky.

    What will happen is Obama will vote to strip immunity when it comes up and it won't pass. Total CYA. Then he will vote to pass the bill itself.

    I'm not going to try to predict what Clinton does - but I want her to do the right thing and vote against the bill. Screw Obama.


    If she votes for cloture (5.00 / 5) (#42)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:22:05 PM EST
    I will rip her and call her on breaking her commitment on this issue.

    Too bad you don't (5.00 / 1) (#210)
    by talex on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 07:10:42 PM EST
    make that threat against Obama.

    There is still time to be fair and balanced.


    Just do likewise for Obama (none / 0) (#170)
    by magnetics on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 03:11:59 PM EST
    if he does likewise.  If he does right and she does wrong, so much the better for him.  I am a strong Hillary partisan, but  wouldn't be shocked (unfortunately) to see her go wrong here.

    But... pols are pols (5.00 / 1) (#216)
    by shoephone on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 07:33:23 PM EST
    and Obama is a pol.

    I really like this "holding his feet to the fire" stuff. The phrase seems to have different definitions, depending on which "pol" we are talking about.

    Today's statement from Obama's spokesman told me everything I need to know. There will be no pushback on the FISA bill from Obama because there are, apparently, so many nifty oversight protections included in it. If only I surmised the same thing from reading through the particulars.

    Now, where did I leave those eyeglasses...


    Hillary is back in the senate....let's see (5.00 / 1) (#204)
    by PssttCmere08 on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 05:47:09 PM EST

    It was a triumphant return and I hope she flipped off the appropriate people.... :)


    She can write her own ticket from now on (5.00 / 1) (#207)
    by Ellie on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 06:45:49 PM EST
    The Democratic senator from New York brushed off questions about the possibility of being Obama's vice presidential running mate.

    "I'm not seeking any other position," Clinton told reporters. "This is totally Senator Obama's decision."

    Clinton, who conceded defeat and endorsed Obama on June 7, will campaign with him for the first time on Friday in Unity, New Hampshire, where each received 107 votes in the first-in-the-nation presidential primary in January.

    "This is going to be a symbolic event that I hope will rally the Democratic Party behind our nominee," Clinton said.

    Asked what's next for her, Clinton said, "My role is to be the very best senator I can be."

    And in the Oh Sit Your Stupid @ss Down department:

    Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, the Democrats' failed 2004 presidential nominee, said Clinton must shift gears.

    "The hardest thing to do is to sort of adjust your pace from speaking to the nation and sometimes even to the world about what you want to get done, and then to come back and settle  into the pace of the Senate," Kerry told reporters.

    Who could ever forget what a firecracker Kerry was!?

    I keep seeing that Grampaw Simpson (retirement home) sign on Kerry's Senate table:

    "Thank You for Not Discussing the Outside World."


    Firecracker!!! (5.00 / 1) (#209)
    by talex on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 07:08:46 PM EST
    That says it all. LOL.

    Must have been quite a shift for Kerry to (5.00 / 1) (#211)
    by PssttCmere08 on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 07:17:26 PM EST
    go from average presidential nominee to average, or less than senator.

    The funny thing is he's doing no such thing (5.00 / 2) (#217)
    by Valhalla on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 07:34:46 PM EST
    He's been trying to elbow onto Obama's national stage ever since Iowa.

    Great line (5.00 / 2) (#224)
    by mkevinf on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 08:01:13 PM EST
    "The Oh Sit Your Stupid @ss Down Department"


    I felt the same thing as I read "Senator John Kerry of Massacusetts, the Democrats' failed 2004 presidential candidate..."

    I've written this before, but in 2004, I attended a rally in downtown Philly, 10s of thousands of people there...to see Bill Clinton, in his first appearance following his heart surgery, campaigning with Kerry.

    "They smile in your face, all the while they wanna take your place..."


    the backstabbers... Don't forget that (5.00 / 1) (#232)
    by PssttCmere08 on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 10:28:13 PM EST
    great song...."Smiling Faces" sometimes pretend to be your friend....

    Is it now impossible for Senator (5.00 / 2) (#212)
    by oculus on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 07:17:51 PM EST
    Kerry to keep quiet?

    Apparently...guess he was saving not (5.00 / 3) (#213)
    by PssttCmere08 on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 07:20:00 PM EST
    speaking up about the vote fraud in Ohio so he could dazzle us with his sage advice today....things that make you go hmmmmmmmm?

    Thanks Gabriel....didn't know it was your (5.00 / 3) (#215)
    by PssttCmere08 on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 07:23:06 PM EST

    Good luck with that. (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by dk on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:05:12 PM EST
    I have news for you.  The Democratic leadership, including Obama are for Telecom Immunity.  They will not listen to you, because they disagree with you.

    We tried to tell you, but you wouldn't listen.


    Seething anger over Hillary's loss in the primary (5.00 / 7) (#30)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:10:50 PM EST
    is not the motivating factor with me. The motivating factor is that I do not see where Obama or the Dems have any intention of responding to their constituents. They have very publicly taken the attitude that "We will all come home in the end because we have NO PLACE ElSE TO GO." They firmly believe this and are acting from that premise. So its a big f@ck you to the voters and if you don't like it, just remember McCain is worse.

    Dismantling the Constitution with the advise and consent of a Democratic majority is evidently a small price to pay if it is the alternative to a McCain presidency. We can now chose between a Democratic President who is above the law or a Republican one. We can now chose between Republicans who do not quibble about accumulating and abusing power or Democrats who do a little dance before they take the same action. The results are the same. It just depends on how much you enjoy the theater first.


    we are so mad about hillary we can't see, feel (5.00 / 3) (#91)
    by hellothere on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:50:57 PM EST
    or think about anything else. that appears to be the new theme and a not so subtle way to defame demean and flame those who disagree. gee!

    I guess (5.00 / 3) (#114)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:06:19 PM EST
    it is the new Obama campaign talking point. I've seen it numerous times today. Hillary is STILL responsible for Obama's problems I guess. We heard this stuff over and over during the primary. I guess lots of this goes back to those previously discussed "transition issues."

    when it's the only thing you have, then i guess (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by hellothere on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:12:20 PM EST
    running into the ground till we hold our hears and yell stop that makes some sort of sense.

    New? not so much (none / 0) (#218)
    by Valhalla on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 07:37:30 PM EST
    It's a retread.  Not so creative, that creative class.

    rage (5.00 / 3) (#122)
    by dws3665 on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:13:15 PM EST
    yes, it's all because women are so irrational and emotional!

    how bizarre is it when the progressive blogosphere starts channeling Dennis Prager?!?!


    I feel like you're (none / 0) (#226)
    by weltec2 on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 08:55:13 PM EST
    purposefully misreading MO Blue to do a little flame throwing yourself. I thought MO Blue was being very civil under the circumstances.

    Seething anger? I know IACF...it is total (5.00 / 2) (#97)
    by PssttCmere08 on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:55:53 PM EST
    disgust for the b.s. going on, lack of leadership by the DNC, their new supposed leader, the party elders, the fork tongued house reps and senators...no progressives to be seen...

    I don't get your point - (5.00 / 6) (#46)
    by Josey on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:24:33 PM EST
    why should we have to beg and plead with a Constitutional lawyer to uphold the Constitution and our rights??
    The problem with Obama's flip flops and developing positions is that they change within days, weeks and months and his explanations are designed for young children.
    Heck! his glorious presidential seal didn't last a week - with Obama now backtracking and claiming it was only designed for one speech - a blatant lie and explanation that offends our intelligence. Similar to his flip flop on public financing and opting to buy an election.
    A year ago, imho Obama seemed to be a con. A year later, it's a certainty.

    When the people lead, the leaders will follow. (1.50 / 2) (#28)
    by Newt on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:08:51 PM EST
    Our Dems can't show spine and fight FISA telecom immunity if they'll get called weak on terrorism and voted out of office for it.  

    This is an area where we have to show we've got their backs.  


    You are wrong. (5.00 / 4) (#41)
    by dk on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:21:43 PM EST
    Bush's approval ratings are in the toilet.  There is no public approval for the war on terror.

    The Democratic leadership (those who propelled Obama to power) are not doing this because they are scared to appear soft.  They are doing it because they want immunity for Telecoms.  You so want to read Obama and company as progressives, but they are not.  Sometimes the simplest explanations are the correct ones.


    I don't think any of us knows if Obama (none / 0) (#51)
    by Newt on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:29:21 PM EST
    is a real progressive or if he's actually the anti-christ, as smears have attempted to paint him.  He's a politician, and we have to treat him as such.  

    That said, I'd rather try getting him to support my issues than just give up on FISA.


    First of all, anyone who (5.00 / 6) (#67)
    by dk on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:38:24 PM EST
    thinks that Obama is a "real progressive" is delusional.  The man gay-baited to win a primary, for pete's sake!  

    Now, back to the politics.  The "real progressives" did themselves a disservice by deciding they would be Obama's base.  "Real progressives" are now the equivalent of Bush's 25% base who still show support for him in polls.  Obama knows he's got you, partly because you admit he does, and partly because he knows what buttons to push in you to get you to swear loyalty to him even if he does something you diametrically oppose.

    So, now Obama can do what he has said all along he can do.  Torpedo universal healthcare, privatize social security (since it's in a crisis), condone misogyny, legitimize the homophobia of organized religion, build on "faith based" programs and school vouchers.

    He's said and shown in his actions all along he would do that, but you didn't listen.

    To be honest, I think writing and calling the "real progressives" and trying to get a few of them to realize this fact would be more effective then writing to the Democratic leadership, who clearly support immunity for Telecoms.


    It's the commitment of the... (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:52:39 PM EST
    ...antiwar crowd that literally blow me away. Just because he didn't have his name on the IWR they will lay down their critical faculties for him.  It's that simple.

    Very true. (5.00 / 2) (#102)
    by dk on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:58:37 PM EST
    Of course, the irony is that they hated Hillary because they felt betrayed by her vote.  So, what do they do?  They flock to a guy whose own stated positions and actions clearly indicate that he will betray them on a whole host of issues, not just the war.  

    Not every antiwar Democrat was so delusional, though.  I certainly wasn't.


    try telling the A blogs that Obama (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by thereyougo on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:53:33 PM EST
    is not a progressive. Although this moment will allow them to open their eyes. He was a different kind of pol, the populist, yada yada.

    Heh, did the Big Orange Kos himself express outrage? The silence
    is deafening. Hunter and the rest have spoken, but has it changed their vision of him?

    No, they still flock over there marching lockstep with move-on to their stale cookie fund raisers for Obama.


    Yup, they are the equivalent (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by dk on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:01:53 PM EST
    of the Bush 25%.  My prediction:  They are still telling themselves the Obama will suddenly transform into Progressive Man if he wins the election.

    Newsflash...Obama is in his late 40s.  He is not going to transform into anything.  He is what he is, and that is definitely not a progressive.  School vouchers, here we come.


    Obama is (none / 0) (#227)
    by weltec2 on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 09:08:51 PM EST
    46. Quibbling, I know, but just to set the record straight.

    Stop this 'none of us knows' BS; he's not a mystic (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by Ellie on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:31:02 PM EST
    Who are we to question him? Really? Really?

    We're his freakin' boss.

    He's not running for the office of First Mystic or The Inscrutable Guru in Chief or The Oracle Who Will Speak To Us At Some Point On His Web Page.

    The onus is on him to say what he means and mean what he says.

    Gaaah, the stuff Obama fans post in his defense is just bizarre.



    Gosh (5.00 / 6) (#50)
    by Steve M on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:28:33 PM EST
    The netroots have been fighting hard on this issue for months and months.  After all that effort, blaming ourselves if the Democrats sell us out at the end of the day strikes me as a particularly sad type of excuse-making.

    If it makes you feel better about our elected Democrats to believe that they desperately wanted to do the right thing, but just didn't feel confident enough that you and I would have their backs, I don't think I can go along with you on that.


    I gotta tell ya Steve M (5.00 / 4) (#66)
    by vicndabx on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:35:45 PM EST
    you've been expressing my feeling all day.

    you know what i'd like (none / 0) (#65)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:35:43 PM EST
    a national healthservice and not so much focus on this stuff.  It's so bloody boutique.

    Well (5.00 / 0) (#130)
    by Steve M on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:20:41 PM EST
    It does make me feel a little weird to see how exercised the netroots get over pet issues like telecom immunity.  I mean, I feel it's an issue where there's a clear right and wrong, but I get tired of reading comments like "the Constitution died today" every 5 minutes.

    That said, it's not as though there are a host of politicians who are passionate in their support for UHC but are nonetheless pilloried by the netroots for supporting telecom immunity, so I don't think it's really a question of having one or the other.  I doubt that we'd be any further towards UHC in this country if the netroots were singlemindedly focused on that issue as opposed to, say, telecom immunity or impeachment.


    For me it's so much more (none / 0) (#219)
    by shoephone on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 07:39:58 PM EST
    than telecom immunity. The basket warrants and the power of the executive to keep all information a frigging secret and constrain the courts from fulfilling their role is most disagreeable.

    Don't put words in my mouth (none / 0) (#77)
    by Newt on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:43:49 PM EST
    I don't believe our elected Democrats "desperately wanted to do the right thing."

    I'm not naïve.  I call it like I see it.  They make decisions based on politics and the impact on their careers.  Even so, I won't give up trying to get them to do what's right.

    If you want to give up, fine.  But don't put me down for continuing to fight.


    But you said that you (5.00 / 5) (#87)
    by dk on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:49:22 PM EST
    thought there was a chance they would do the right thing if they knew we had their backs.

    But, you see, they do not want to do the right thing.  Why?  Is it just the money they get from telecom lobbyists?  Maybe (oh, and even though Obama doesn't get it directly from the Lobbyists, he's allowed to get it from their spouses under his rules).  Is it because they like the idea of spying in other Americans?  Maybe.  Is it because they agree with George W. Bush that the terrorists are out to get us and this is an acceptable compromise on civil liberties?  Maybe.

    The point is that they want Telecom immunity.  Yes, there are one or two people in Congress who are iconoclastic enough to actually disagree with it, but certain not Obama and the current Democratic leadership.  They will not vote for this no matter how much we show we have their backs, because they do not agree with us.


    If it's all so hopeless, why bother trying to (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by Newt on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:57:00 PM EST
    convince me not to keep fighting.

    If you want to give up, fine.  If you don't want to vote for Obama, then don't.  But to continue posting comments about how bad Obama is just wastes our time.  I'd rather have a discussion about what more can be done to effect positive change.


    Well, why don't you try (5.00 / 0) (#127)
    by dk on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:19:13 PM EST
    organizing to take the party back from Obama?  There are those who want to do that.  He's not officially the nominee yet.

    Hmm (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by Steve M on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:22:32 PM EST
    I'm not suggesting you should give up.  What I found objectionable about your comment was the implication that somehow, if we don't all make a round of further calls to our Senators at this point, they'd be justified in concluding that we don't have their backs and that they have no choice but to go along.

    the thing is if you and others are so busy (none / 0) (#234)
    by hellothere on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 10:46:23 PM EST
    having their backs just how can you build a fire under the backsides to look after our welfare and not corporations? huh?

    I happen to believe that this is a good time (2.00 / 0) (#44)
    by Newt on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:24:03 PM EST
    to hold their feet to the fire.  We don't know how Hillary is going to help Obama win and whether or not they've made an agreement that will help her politically or if he's just agreed to help pay off her debt.  (Did you notice that Obama dumped the media and went to talk to her in person?  No phone calls.  The Repubs must have been disappointed to not have the chance to record their conversation.)  If they haven't agreed to something like VP or another position, Hillary has a chance to show leadership in the Senate by blocking the FISA bill.  This is one of our biggest issues, and  she should take a stand on it.  We all know the nomination still isn't in the bag.  PUMAs can demand Hillary be given a position of power and authority that allows her to work on our issues, like FISA.  If she filibusters this week, she shows she's willing to represent all of us, not just her NY constituents.  That puts her in the arena of Senate Majority Leader, replacing the spineless Harry Reid.  I know lots of people here trust her, but plenty of older Obama supporters chose him over her because we didn't trust her.  This is her chance to show she's got what it takes to lead our country.  

    The time is now (5.00 / 0) (#58)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:32:30 PM EST
    This issue strikes at the heart of Senator Obama's promise of change.  

    The time is now for Senator Obama to lead Congress  away from this precipice.

    He must demonstrate leadership now.

    He must prove that he can walk a path independent of his campaign managers and manipulators and David Axelrod.


    he won't! has he shown any indication (5.00 / 0) (#78)
    by hellothere on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:44:06 PM EST
    that he will do any of those things. and please don't answer with what obama says he'll do. been there and not impressed!

    it's time for him to (none / 0) (#81)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:45:59 PM EST
    get in like Flynt you say?

    I say no.  He ought to avoid this stand.  It's a pity though because he could have made a stand on UHC or something much more productive.


    UHC (5.00 / 2) (#136)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:25:00 PM EST
    Isn't going to happen either. Kerry was on the Sunday circuit a couple of weeks ago and said as much. (Republican's will block it)

    Corrente follows the issue (none / 0) (#176)
    by waldenpond on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 03:14:02 PM EST
    of healthcare.

    It was many weeks ago when a post provided quotes listing more than one Dem who was very specific that this isn't an issue they were going to be focusing on.  Corrente follows healthcare in depth.

    If you are interested in what real public servants are doing and the fight around this issue, check out Corrente.

    Corrente is a great site for this topic.  You won't notice many comments in the posts, but it is a great read and the people at Corrente committed to the subject (my personal favorite actually and why I supported Clinton) are to be highly commended.


    Shorter Newt: (5.00 / 5) (#112)
    by Anne on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:05:06 PM EST
    "Look - look over there!  See the shiny object?  Why, it's Hillary?  Look at her!  Look at her!"

    For the love of God, please stop making this about Hillary.  Yes, as a Senator, she has a role to play, and I expect her to vote against cloture, and if that fails, to vote against the bill.  That being said, Hillary is not running for any higher office - Obama is.

    This is a test of Obama's leadership skills and his commitment to his prior stated position and to core Democratic principles.  He can choose to lead, he can choose to hide and weasel and waffle and have a scheduling conflict that prevents him from even being present.  His choice - pass or fail.


    I don't point to Hillary to distract from Obama. (4.00 / 1) (#143)
    by Newt on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:32:10 PM EST
    I want Obama to take a lead as the presumptive candidate, and I want Hillary to take a lead given that she's asked me to vote for her for president, and given that she has suspended her campaign, not conceded.

    PUMA is alive and well.  If Hillary's supporters won't vote for Obama, my country, my agenda and my children's lives suffer.  

    Hillary is my senator from NY.  She should be filibustering FISA.  As a still viable candidate for the presidency, she should stand up and protect the Constitution.

    I personally want Hillary to jump over senior senators in a bid for Senate Majority Leader.  I've posted that on TL before and been put down for suggesting it.  If she takes a stand and leads a filibuster on FISA, and if PUMAs make it impossible for Obama to win the GE, Hillary will be in a good position do demand that Dem senators and party leadership give her a platform from which to stand up for our issues.

    I don't point to Hillary as a shiny object to distract her supporters.  I point to opportunity for her, and for us.


    Newt, that may be your endgame, (5.00 / 3) (#158)
    by Anne on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:53:22 PM EST
    but Hillary is no longer driving this process.  She is no longer fighting to be president, and given that she is starting to actively campaign for Obama, she is not going to act in a way that undermines him.

    Yes, she can and should vote against cloture, and if that fails, she should vote against the bill - both actions should be acceptable to her NY consituents and those who supported her in her bid for the nomination.

    The spotlight is on Obama, as the de facto leader of the party.  It is a test of his commitment to what is right, and of his leadership skills.  I would submit that Friday's remarks were the thesis statement in an essay entitled "I Do Not Have the Courage of My Convictions," which is one more in a series on "Failed Leadership."

    As for Hillary making a bid for Majority Leader, I don't think that's going to happen, either, unless Obama loses big in November - if he wins, that plum is far more likely to go to someone like Dodd, who will not threaten Obama's power.


    Here! Here! (5.00 / 1) (#228)
    by weltec2 on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 09:17:46 PM EST
    Very nicely stated.

    does her vote not count? (none / 0) (#138)
    by Jlvngstn on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:27:46 PM EST
    or am I missing something.  It seems to me that Feingold once again is leading....

    Gimme a break, already! (5.00 / 1) (#225)
    by mkevinf on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 08:24:29 PM EST
    You chose him over Hillary because you didn't trust her, and now you've deigned to give her a chance to prove you wrong?

    This is not about Hillary, this is about the Democratic leadership and the presumptive head of the Democratic party.  When she casts her vote, it will be her vote and she'll be accountable for it; he's got to be held accountable for another of his  reversals.

    Senate Majority leader is a seniority-based position, as are most of the leadership positions in the Senate.  Harry Reid's not giving up his role anytime soon, and I think the rest of the Democratic leadership is not inclined to upset the order of things, as it will not benefit their ambitions.


    I respectfully disagree. (none / 0) (#236)
    by Newt on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 11:23:51 PM EST
    Yes, Harry Reid will not be willing to give up power, and he's said so already this spring.  But FISA and other important issues are where we need someone to stand firm and draw a line.  The Senate Majority Leader should lead this fight.  I believe Hillary could and would do so, especially on an issue that both sides of the fence believe in:  The Constitution and the right to privacy.  This issue does not have the power to take down Dems that fight for it because conservatives actually agree with us on the value of the Constitution and have a healthy distrust of the government.

    I want Hillary to be in a position of power, especially now that she's garnered support of half of the Democratic party.  I don't want her in the White House, and I don't want Bill Clinton any where near the WH, especially given his short sighted antics in the Oval Office and his unethical pardons that furthered Hillary's career and brought them money.  I can respect that many people on this list like the Clintons, but I do not trust her in that position.  

    Finally, do not discount the power of PUMA.  Leadership positions in the Senate, but there are plenty of exceptions and I think her supporters have a lot of sway right now.  Half the Democrats voted for Hillary.  If enough of them demand it, she will end up with a more powerful platform to work for our issues.  That would be a good thing even for people like me who don't want to see her as president, because I actually support the same issues that Hillary supporters care about.


    Once again (none / 0) (#221)
    by shoephone on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 07:42:09 PM EST
    it all comes down to "but what is Hillary going to do?"

    Hillary is not going to become majority leader. Ain't no way, no how.


    Question. (none / 0) (#1)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 12:38:14 PM EST
    Has Dodd spoken on the "compromise" bill?

    Feingold has (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 12:39:43 PM EST
    and I believe Dodd has as well I think. I'll look for it.

    I'd like to know. . . (none / 0) (#68)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:38:55 PM EST
    where Dodd is on it -- and if he's for it, or only lukewarm in opposing it (that is, he's not going to filibuster) I think it gives Obama some cover and calls into question either Dodd's sincerity in his original position or else how bad the bill really is.

    Do you know Dodd's father? (none / 0) (#72)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:41:43 PM EST
    and his record during the Kennedy years?  It's colorful to say the least. Dodd is a chip off the old block.

    Not an invention. (none / 0) (#39)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:20:32 PM EST
    Hoyer and the House party apear ready to vote for the bill. The pressure on them is two promged. Campaign cash and accusations that they are stymying spying operations and leave the US vulnerable to terrorism and espionage.

    Personally I think Obama ought to vote yeah and get it over with.

    You know, if the Dems were smart (none / 0) (#223)
    by Valhalla on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 07:53:07 PM EST
    they'd really see about diversifying all the lobbyist money they get, so when the telcos try to hold them up they can pass much less offensive legislation for some other groups that buy them off.

    Strategy people, strategy.


    I just don't care about domestic spying. (none / 0) (#57)
    by Salo on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 01:32:18 PM EST
    Either way. It doesn't make a hell of a lot of difference to me. In a way the feet hold to fire stuff seems a bit naive.  If the telco's don't forward info to the CIA and FBI and NSA GCHQ will do it for them.

    Do you have a firewall on your computer? (none / 0) (#229)
    by weltec2 on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 09:41:58 PM EST
    Of course you do. And why? Because information is power, not just in politics but in business, and a multitude of other areas. But to say that you don't care who has that power or that there shouldn't be controls to keep people from having that info-power is just scary to me.

    Obama's recent statement on the (none / 0) (#111)
    by oculus on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:01:55 PM EST
    "compromise" bill, which contains telecomm immunity, is not encouraging.  But, we'll see what happens.

    Why are you still supporting Obama? (none / 0) (#132)
    by Andreas on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:21:03 PM EST

    Because the other option is McCain (none / 0) (#137)
    by CST on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:27:09 PM EST
    If Obama flips on this issue, McCain has always been wrong.

    If Obama doesn't fight hard enough for our values, McCain fights for the opposite values.

    There are only two legitimate choices for president (sorry kdog) and one is significantly better than the other.  That doesn't make him perfect.  And we should criticize him where it's due.  Criticizing him where he is wrong doesn't mean he isn't waaaay better than the alternate.


    Which Is Worse (5.00 / 2) (#152)
    by BDB on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:38:36 PM EST
    The person who recognizes evil but doesn't oppose it or the person who believes evil is good?

    They both seem fairly dangerous to me.  And I don't just mean Obama and McCain, this quesion could be asked of a large swath of the Dems and GOP.


    To me? (3.00 / 0) (#156)
    by CST on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:45:20 PM EST
    No question, the person who believes evil is good is worse.  Obama does "oppose evil" on a lot of issues.  This one he is wavering on it is still too early to judge though.  Also, I think that after he is elected he will have more freedom to "oppose evil"; he is walking very carefully now in an election.  That doesn't make me think better of him, but it is what it is and I wouldn't really expect anything else from a politician.

    But does he believe it's evil anymore? (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by davnee on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:53:40 PM EST
    His press release the other day made noises about how great it would be for him, as a wise president, to have this awesome terrorist-fighting power.  There were some scary implications there.  Power is an addictive drug.  Rare is the one that will turn it away when it is in their grasp.

    It's not just about FISA (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by CST on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 03:07:56 PM EST
    That is my point.  FISA is part of it.  But even if Obama votes the wrong way McCain was already on that side so there is no distinction.

    My point is, I would rather have a president who is wrong some of the time than one who is wrong most of the time.  Even when Obama is wrong McCain is wronger.  I can't think of a single issue outside of campaign finance where I agree with McCain and not Obama.  That is an issue that I don't care much about and frankly I think McCain is only on the right side of this for personal interest since it didn't bother him much in the primary.


    So McCain functions as Obama's (5.00 / 2) (#202)
    by hookfan on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 05:13:04 PM EST
    get out of responsibility free card. after all McCain will be worse than Obama by definition. Obama is in effect given a carte blanc to do whatever he pleases. You are given the right to protest loudly, if it makes you feel better, and subsequently be ignored. Seems like a great way to train politicians to not listen to us. Just tell them do whatever you want, though we might scream and shout, cause our only operative criteria for our vote is don't be as bad as McCain.

    The problem is that (none / 0) (#230)
    by weltec2 on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 09:47:39 PM EST
    when you compromise with evil, as I believe he is doing with FISA, and you compromise a little here and a little there... after a while you lose your perspective and lose the ability to draw any lines in the sand and say my integrity starts here and I will be pushed back no further.

    better, maybe... (none / 0) (#189)
    by lentinel on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 03:53:38 PM EST
    but "significantly better"? "Waaaay" better?

    Prove it.


    Yes significantly (none / 0) (#196)
    by CST on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 04:29:48 PM EST

    Habeus Corpus
    Fair Pay Act
    Tax Cuts
    Health Care
    Off Shore Drilling
    Iraq War

    These two aren't even close.

    I'm not gonna prove it since we will just argue over what constitutes proof.  But I know where the candidates stand on those issues and to me there is no question who is better.


    Proof (5.00 / 4) (#203)
    by lentinel on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 05:19:02 PM EST
    I don't want to argue.
    I want to be convinced.

    So far my concerns are: Iraq

    McCain envisions that by 2013, the Iraq war will be won.
    Obama cannot guarantee that we will be out of there by the end of his first term - in 2012.

    Civil liberties
    Habeus Corpus - both voted for the Patriot Act.

    Civil rights
    Both oppose the right of gay people to marry.

    Foreign policy
    Both have sabre rattled regarding Iran.
    Both want to keep the Cuban embargo going.

    Health Care
    I'm unconvinced that either of them want to provide anything close to universal health care.

    This is the way it looks to me.

    I am willing to be convinced otherwise.


    Read Jeralyn's excellent post (none / 0) (#231)
    by weltec2 on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 10:02:46 PM EST
    on the healthcare issue here:


    The redirects to Jerome Armstrong at MyDD will also be worth your time.


    Sorry I left for the day before seeing this (none / 0) (#238)
    by CST on Wed Jun 25, 2008 at 09:40:01 AM EST
    Iraq -

    Obama envisions pulling out our troops to end the war.  McCain envisions ending the war and then pulling out the troops.  I think our troops are causing the war - so I think Obama's plan is better.  As for the no guarantees, no one can predict the future, not McCain, not Obama.  As for  McCain's "vision" he also says he might not run for a second term so being out of Iraq by 2013 won't be up to him and he is essentially passing it on to the next one.

    Civil Liberties -

    Obama voted to ban torture in the CIA, McCain voted against the ban.

    When the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Habeus Corpus Obama applauded the decision McCain called it the worst decision in history.

    Civil Rights -

    Obama supports civil unioins for all, McCain wants to leave it up to the states.  Except when California legalized it McCain denounced and Obama applauded the decision.  In actuality I don't think they will be much different here, since I think it will stay in the states' hands either way.

    Additionally, Obama co-sponsored the fair pay act which protects the right to sue for discrimination.  McCain has come out against the bill.

    Foreign Policy -

    Obama has said he is open to reviewing the Cuba embargo - no promises, but McCain promises not to.
    Obama indicates a much greater willingness to talk to our traditional enemies.  He has a completely different approach to foreign policy and already receives a great deal of respect worldwide for that approach.

    Health Care -

    See the other post.


    Right, one quibble (none / 0) (#206)
    by dmk47 on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 06:29:07 PM EST

    I'm not disagreeing with you. Let's see what happens when the bill comes to the Senate (and in the meantime, let's do everything we can to apply screws to the Obama campaign so that he does the right thing here). If he folds like a cheap tent, I'm totally ready to be every bit as pissed about this as you are.

    Thing is, he hasn't exactly done that yet. What he's done is give a very lawyerly statement where he proclaims support for the bill as a good compromise and then proclaims disagreement with the provision on which everything turns.

    What if --- not saying it will happen --- but what if he can put together a coalition to stall the bill unless retroactive immunity is dropped, and then succeeds in framing his position as the sensible, middle-of-the-road, non-ideological position, and the Republicans as crazy extremists who want their way or nothing? If that does happen, can you agree that there's something to Obama's approach of pushing the liberal line with soft-spoken, conciliatory rhetoric, that it has some advantages over the angrier tack you and I prefer?

    These are tactical questions, and I can imagine your response to the effect that, "even if it works out in this case, it's still bad practice because it shifts the whole debate rightward." I see something to that. But by the same token, there's a benefit to reframing things so that retroactive immunity becomes the position not of angry civil libertarian extremists but of the non-ideological center. Beyond that, ultimately, I care much more about substantive results, so I really can't regret any tactic (within broad ethical constraints) that succeeds in killing this thing.

    A couple of other things. We both know what sort of a clubby setting the Senate is, and that many, and maybe most of the decisions are made way off the floor. What if Obama tried to put together a filibuster within the Democratic caucus and the support wasn't there? If he can't stop the bill from passing, I can't really blame him all that much if he casts a meaningless vote to cover his right flank in an election. (My deep, deep worry is that he might actually quash a filibuster in the cloak room; which we probably wouldn't find out about for a long time.)

    Anyway, where is Dodd on this? Shouldn't he be promising a filibuster? If his will to fight is crushed (Countrywide etc.?) I think the cause is already lost. (Where's Hillary for that matter? I don't bring this up as an excuse for Obama; I bring it up because any Democrat who caves on this gets a share of the blame --- and if his is the biggest share, hers is still pretty big.)

    And finally, if Obama behaves in the worst way on this, it'll sour me quite a bit on him, but won't deter me for a second from voting for him. An Obama (or Clinton, Edwards, Dodd, Biden) administration would never push such a bill on Congress in the first place, even if Obama the candidate doesn't have the guts to stand up to it. That's a world of difference between him and McCain already. (Also, can we give him credit for his stand on habeas? That was unforced, and given the political climate, reasonably brave --- which makes the FISA cave all the more inexplicable.)

    I read her book on the Bill of Rights (none / 0) (#222)
    by shoephone on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 07:48:31 PM EST
    that she wrote with Ellen Alderman. "In Our Defense". It was very good. But it was about fifteen years ago so I will be interested to revisit the chapter on unreasonable search and seizure, where they use McSurely v. McClellan as the example.

    Why didn't Dems keep FISA off the floor? (none / 0) (#240)
    by bluejane on Wed Jun 25, 2008 at 11:11:33 AM EST
    he can't go into an election and be seen to be undermining spying operations and expect to survive the patriot games the GOP will play.
    Why couldn't his many Senate supporters (who know well the GOP games and "soft of terror" meme) have protected him by keeping the FISA reform bill off the floor until after the election?

    Of course, even suggesting this means if we backtrack and backtrack, we step backwards off the cliff into a howling void of paralyzed inaction to protect Obama, not only now but after he's president, from meeting his moral moment.