Moving To The "Middle" On FISA

Ed Kilgore writes:

And those who accuse [Obama] of cynicism for expressing heretical thoughts on FISA . . . now are perhaps the real cynics, who somehow thought he didn't really mean all his early talk about transpartisan politics or overcoming the stale debates of past decades.

The problem with this is that Obama is not being "heretical" on FISA, he is totally flip flopping on FISA. He said he would filibuster any FISA bill that included telecom immunity. Now he acts as if he never said that. As Glenn Greenwald points out:

The issue is not . . . [as] Obama-cheering Ed Kilgore put it -- that Obama is "stray[ing] from Democratic Party orthodoxy or from strict down-the-line partisanship" by "expressing heretical thoughts on FISA" . . . [t]he issue is that Obama has repeatedly, over the course of the last year, made emphatic commitments and clear statements about his own core political values that are completely irreconcilable with his support for the FISA bill.

And Ed STILL does not understand that the fundamental reason John Kerry lost in 2004 was because the American People did not believe he would stand for something:

What is the cost of wishiwashiness? Ask John Kerry. From the Texeira/Halpin article:

The direct consequences of the identity gap were most evident in the 2004 presidential contest. According to 2004 post-election polling, the most commonly cited reason not to vote for Kerry among Bush voters who considered voting Democratic -- in other words, the voters who turned the election to Bush -- was Kerry's "flip-flopping" on the issues. . . . Similarly, the top reason cited by white Catholics for why Kerry lost the 2004 election was that the candidate was "not clear on what he stood for" (48 percent selected this reason as one of the two top reasons Kerry lost, twice as many as selected "permissive views on issues like abortion and gay marriage" as one of the reasons).

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    And of course, who could forget (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by andgarden on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 04:29:04 PM EST
    how much of a liar Al Gore was. (Well, that was partly Bill Bradley's fault, but I digress).

    I would say Obama (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 04:39:36 PM EST
    is in greater danger than past democrats from the not standing for something thing.
    if he loses the hope and change thing what does he have?

    good question (5.00 / 5) (#27)
    by ccpup on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:16:36 PM EST
    Maybe he'll make a speech and let us know?

    Just a thought.



    Well, some of obama's followers are (none / 0) (#95)
    by PssttCmere08 on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 07:16:49 PM EST
    actually trying to hold him accountable on his FISA flip-flop...



    Expect this to be a trend from Obama. (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by my opinion on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 04:43:52 PM EST
    Unless he sees his support drop significantly he will continue on this path.

    The rpoblem is if a drop comes late (5.00 / 4) (#44)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:33:28 PM EST
    and is too late to recover in time.

    The Repubs are good at timing their attacks with this in mind.


    exactly (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by ccpup on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:46:46 PM EST
    as the Post showed yesterday (per the earlier thread on Obama's Mortgage), the GOP is basically priming Obama now and opening up the conversation, so to speak, before painting him with the first coat of really heavy paint right before the Convention -- to suck some of the air out of his Official Nod -- and then smack him with their paint brush non-stop after August.

    The mortgage story, for example, wasn't about his mortgage rate.  It was to open the conversation, introduce the "issue" and then start the steady drip, drip, drip of "house news" until hitting their Readers with The Story they're actually leading up to.  And, no, I don't know what that would be, but if they're introducing this as an "issue", you can bet they're sitting on something they believe could dominate a news cycle or two.

    If the GOP can keep Obama on defense through most of the Summer pre-convention, the sense of excitement about him getting the Nod won't be as great (making any "bump" negligible) because people won't have any personal investment in Obama, who they still won't quite know because he hasn't made clear how he'll help them or what he wants to do.

    So far, he seems to be playing right into it.


    NBC had a piece tonight on Obama (5.00 / 0) (#96)
    by Josey on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 07:17:37 PM EST
    including his flip flop on FISA, but the whole piece tip toed around St. Obama. Voice over was Obama had previously apoken out against Telecom immunity but his current position included a clip of him saying he was still against immunity but the bill was "the best we could do now."
    Nothing about Obama's silence and refusal to fight against the bill.
    So it's not just that Obama's positions keep changing. It leaves the impression - what would he fight for?  And no doubt the Repubs have the list of votes Obama has missed in U.S. Senate.
    And recently Obama explained why he didn't vote for a MoveOn bill - it was a silly bill (or something like that.) Guess that's his new rationale for not taking a stand.

    Even Rachel Maddow (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 08:33:07 PM EST
    hosting for KO tonight kinda took Obama to task and asked if he hadn't moved so much to the center on so many issues that he's in danger of losing his base.  Someone commented that Ariana Huffington, at Aspen Institute (meetings this week) thinks Obama is damaging his brand by flipping and moving to the middle, because these things are "politics as usual" which he has claimed to be against. Obama took a chance attacking Hillary from the "left" on the Iraq War etc. & set himself up for feeling pressured to move to the center for the GE, while Hillary was planning her GE run from the get-go and pitched her primary campaign accordingly.  

    Obama has not moved to the center or (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by my opinion on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 10:40:38 PM EST
    middle on this issue (as well as others). He has moved well to the right. Notice BTD used "middle" not middle. Dems always let the goal post to be moved.

    moving the goal posts again and again and... (5.00 / 2) (#126)
    by weltec2 on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 04:14:15 AM EST
    and every time Dems do this I agonize. Yet still after all these years I'm a Democrat because morally I cannot be anything else.

    There is no way the Repugnacans would take impeachment off the table for a Dem president who had so openly broken the law. The Dems subpoena Repugs before Senate hearing committees and the Repugs openly laugh at them and mock them. I can still hear former AG Gonzales's chuckles in my ears. And are any of these scum held in contempt for their open contempt? No.

    And now Obama, like Pelosi, wants to let them and their fellow criminals off. Is there no shame and humiliation that the Democratic leadership is not ready and willing to endure?


    They will continue the behavior (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by my opinion on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 09:10:44 AM EST
    because they are rewarded with voters that still support them.

    I so agree with this point ... (5.00 / 10) (#4)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 04:44:46 PM EST
    Ed STILL does not understand that the fundamental reason John Kerry lost in 2004 was because the American People did not believe he would stand for something

    I think many voters would rather vote for a candidate for president who has strong views they disagree with, than one who has no clear views.

    This is something the Democratic Party seems to have a hard time understanding.

    I'd rephrase (5.00 / 5) (#6)
    by clbrune on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 04:52:12 PM EST
    Obama has clear views: he wants to be president, without being stuck with a label that might prevent his election (i.e by opining to break with "all that old politics", he can't be attacked as liberal, democrat, etc).

    His troubles aren't that voters might not see his views, rather they might see that his views run shallow.

    That's a problem.


    Standing up for something ... (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:00:29 PM EST
    anything ... always wins points.

    Reagan caught a lot of attention for his erroneous "I paid for this microphone" stunt in the 1980 primaries.

    And Clinton clearly gained a lot of support for standing up the Impeachment.

    Often the underlying issues aren't that important.  It's the fact that the politician is standing up and suggesting they won't be pushed around.


    Actually Clinton stood his ground (5.00 / 4) (#61)
    by hairspray on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:46:10 PM EST
    on the tax bill in 1993 and then again against Newt Gingrich when the GOP tried to close down the government. Those were in his favor, especially when he turned out to be right.

    Remember Bill shutting down the govt? (5.00 / 5) (#65)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:47:51 PM EST
    Haven't seen the like of that chutzpah since, sadly.

    Impeachment? (2.00 / 0) (#31)
    by anydemwilldo on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:21:02 PM EST
    Actually, the polls were pretty clear that the impeachment fiasco didn't affect Clinton's approval ratings one way or the other.  Clearly the republicans didn't get the effect they were looking for, but nonetheless claiming that Clinton got a boost for being impeached (!) seems to be straining the truth a little.

    And why? (5.00 / 0) (#36)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:29:38 PM EST
    Because Bill Clinton stood up to them.

    Cause (comment to which you reply) vs. effect (your reply).


    true (5.00 / 0) (#41)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:31:04 PM EST
    I think almost any other politician would have been removed from office.

    Two points (5.00 / 5) (#51)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:37:16 PM EST
    You really are factually challenged.

    First, Clinton's poll numbers rose dramatically in response to impeachment.

    Second, Clinton's poll numbers rose dramatically when he stood up to Newt Gingrich on the government shutdown in late 2005.


    2005 or 1995? (none / 0) (#113)
    by Rhouse on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 09:19:54 PM EST
    Please not snarking, just making sure of date.

    I do not believe, however, (none / 0) (#127)
    by weltec2 on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 04:31:27 AM EST
    that the same would hold true for Bush. If he were impeached, I do not believe that it would help him. In fact the opposite would probably be true. I think a lot of healing could be achieved. The Democratic congress is missing a historic opportunity to heal the United States and the damage that Bush has done.

    And not only inside the United States. Since 1969 I have lived a good part of my life in foreign countries. Since 1986 I have been living here in Japan (though I travel to Europe almost every year for conferences). America's reputation overseas is the lowest I have seen it in my lifetime. Impeaching Bush would show the world that the United States is a nation of laws and that no one is above the law. Right now I'm afraid... foreign countries have no reason to believe that.


    I'm not sure how much I buy... (none / 0) (#40)
    by Alec82 on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:30:27 PM EST
    ...the stand strong argument.  I think he is totally wrong headed on FISA and I am pretty PO'd at him right now.  

     At the same time, this idea that if we ran Howard Dean we'd be fine, or that the positions of the strong stands (anything, just a strong stand, that's all the public wants, etc.) wouldn't matter or come back to haunt the nominee seems...questionable.

     Why questionable? Because 1996 was not the year of mortal combat between the Republican Congress and the sitting president.  

     And also because polling in 2004 seemed to indicate that Democrats gained voters by going right on social and economic issues.  

     Of course, it might have been easier this year, as the political landscape is quite different.  But there was only one candidate who was running on a populist fighter platform...and he came in third, this time.  Plus I'm not sure I believed him anyway.  


    2008 is imo very different from 2004 (none / 0) (#108)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 08:39:04 PM EST
    Economic issues appear to be far more important this year than "social" issues

    Ohio has a Dem Secy of State in charge of elections, and Ohio should be the Dems' to lose.
    I think if Kerry ran this year he would win.  

    I think Obama not only risks losing his base, but, as was pointed out tonight when Rachel Maddow was hosting for KO, Obama's flip-flops when he is such a newbie raises real questions in voters' minds about what he can be expected to do as president.  


    you can already (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:01:54 PM EST
    see the outlines of the campaign.  McCain takes tough stands, bucks his party and stick by his guns.
    yada yada yada

    The fact that the House (5.00 / 5) (#15)
    by pie on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:03:30 PM EST
    leadership caved does not make me confident that Obama will buck the system.

    Now the question is:  

    Why did the House leadership cave?


    again (5.00 / 4) (#18)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:04:41 PM EST
    money I would guess

    New and (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by pie on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:08:15 PM EST
    different politics, my a$$.

    Meh (5.00 / 0) (#33)
    by anydemwilldo on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:23:10 PM EST
    That will no doubt be the line from the McCain camp, but it's even less true than with Obama.  McCain has flipped on huge chunks of his previous maverick positions ("agents of intolerance", tax cuts, etc...).

    It's logical (if, IMHO, kinda silly) to argue that you don't like Obama for flip flopping.  But to argue that it should hurt him more than McCain, of all people, seems odd.


    Look. (5.00 / 4) (#39)
    by pie on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:30:23 PM EST
    Obama has flipped or failed to stand up for things that used to matter to democrats.  

    Your excuses aren't going to work.


    the other part of that is (5.00 / 4) (#46)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:34:47 PM EST
    good luck sticking the opportunistic label on McCain.
    for example, the guy pretty much championed the surge alone.  he has bucked his party on all kinds of things from immigration to global warming.
    this is not advocacy for McCain it is simply observation.

    Huh? (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Alec82 on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:42:36 PM EST
    He's backed some measures unpopular within his own party...but he's hardly a maverick within his own party. This is why I don't get hatred of McCain from the right.  I would agree that he is slightly more tolerant than your average Stone Ager, like Santorum, but...that isn't saying that much.

     McCain the maverick was a one trick pony that flared up early in the Bush administration before galloping back to the right wing pit from whence it came. His retreat on tax cuts was hilarious, given the rhetoric he used to oppose them.  


    Alec, (5.00 / 0) (#59)
    by pie on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:44:38 PM EST
    don't diss McCain.

    Give people reasons to vote for Obama.


    I'll diss McCain... (3.50 / 2) (#68)
    by Alec82 on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:50:38 PM EST
    ...as much as I want.  

     What's your attitude these days? Don't attack the Republicans? They're too scary and powerful?

     I like Senator Obama, I voted for Senator Obama and I donated to Senator Obama.  But if you think I'm going to respond to assertions that McCain is some sort of Republican maverick (or your own snide response) without questioning the idea as absurd, well, nope.

     McCain's maverick status is built on clever spin, like "striaght talk express," but he's a conservative Republican.  You might not want to be reminded of that, but tough cookies.


    I see you failed the (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by pie on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:58:13 PM EST

    Oh, dear.


    the thing is (5.00 / 0) (#84)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 06:13:00 PM EST
    readers of this blog or other blogs for that matter are not the ones you will need to convince of this.
    it is the voters and most importantly the MSM.
    good luck with that.

    I don't understand why the (5.00 / 0) (#69)
    by hairspray on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:51:08 PM EST
    right loathes McCain either.  I also never understood why the left hated Clinton and he at least delivered.

    name an issue Obama has stood for (5.00 / 0) (#99)
    by Josey on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 07:30:04 PM EST
    When has Obama ever fought the party establishment for or against an issue??
    Newbie senators usually don't. And Obama hasn't.
    But of course he'll be a "fighter" in the WH. ha!
    There's not enough Koolaid in the world to make me believe that.
    And don't think FISA will be the last awful bill the Dems condone.

    At least McCain stood up to Bush on Torture and the Repubs on immigration.


    Can you elaborate? (5.00 / 0) (#54)
    by anydemwilldo on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:38:34 PM EST
    What specifically makes Obama's "flip flops" more damaging than McCain's?  McCain flipped on tax cuts: if that's not a core republican value, I don't know what is, and this guy actually voted against them!

    If my "excuses" don't work, it should be possible to convince me of my error, no?

    The truth, of course, is that "flip flops" are a tired and dull narrative.  Everyone (literally) has bucketloads of them, and they don't actually hurt candidates much (if they did, no one would ever flip).  What they are is, heh, excuses: if you already don't like a candidate (i.e. you have a pre-existing hatred of Obama) they make an easy focus for your anger.  But people who are undecided don't break for or against a candidate on the basis of this sort of thing -- it's way, way down on their priority list.


    Holy crap. (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by pie on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:42:38 PM EST
    What specifically makes Obama's "flip flops" more damaging than McCain's?

    These flops are serious, and ones that left blogs used to heavily criticize...

    when they were reality-based.


    But what makes them "worse" (none / 0) (#60)
    by anydemwilldo on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:44:42 PM EST
    The question wasn't whether they are serious or not.  Clearly they are to you.  But earlier you made a broader point that they would hurt Obama badly in the election.  I responded that, no, I felt that McCain's flops were actually more likely to hurt him, provided a few examples, and asked why these aren't just as damaging.

    So, why aren't they just as damaging? :)


    Eight years of Bush. (5.00 / 0) (#64)
    by pie on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:47:27 PM EST
    Again, the problem is with voters (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:49:24 PM EST
    choosing not between Obama and McCain but between Obama and not voting at all.

    Still doesn't work (2.00 / 1) (#73)
    by anydemwilldo on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:57:50 PM EST
    Because it's still symmetric.  McCain's base might just as well decide to stay home because they don't trust him on taxes.  Again: I claim (with some justification) that McCain is the greater flip flopper.

    And I'm stunned that no one here wants to even consider that.  There really is a terrible groupthink at work here, where every Obama vulnerability (and this is a real one) somehow becomes worse than anything comparable.  It's not like that, they're both flawed candidates, just like all candidates are flawed.


    AnyDem, the discussion you want (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 06:48:20 PM EST
    probably would be more likely at a Repub blog.

    The hosts here are unquestioningly for the Dem, so they don't set a tone of much debate about McCain.  Discussion, yes.  But why attack McCain if he's out of the question, as he is for them.


    Some of Obama's greatest cheerleaders (none / 0) (#109)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 08:43:55 PM EST
    are suggesting that his flip-flops will hurt him far more than McCain's because Obama's record is so thin, the voting public will conclude they cannot judge how he will govern if he makes it to the White House. These opinions floated on KO's show tonight, hosted by Maddow.

    Wow. Unbelievable. Almost makes me (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:13:07 PM EST
    sorry to miss Countdown, which I haven't watched in months now.

    Nah.  Still not worth it.


    Maybe this is worse because it (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 06:00:27 PM EST
    is 1) helping to prevent discovery of illegal activity by the Bush administration 2) further erodes citizen's right protected under the 4th. Amendment and 3)eliminates a citizen's right to seek restitution in the courts when illegal activities have been perpetrated against them. Maybe these are small things to you but they are not to me.

    IMO there really should be some things LIKE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS that are non-negotiable.  


    Obama's flip flops are more damaging (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by Josey on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 07:37:41 PM EST
    because he promised to be a "different" politician. The old way (Hillary, McCain, etc) was out - Obama's "new politics" was in.
    He's different alright - the only presidential candidate to reject public financing since it began 30 years ago.
    And the only presidential candidate in modern times to allow his minions to make race-baiting a central part of his campaign.
    Obama takes slick and shyster to new levels.

    the difference is that (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by TimNCGuy on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 09:26:28 PM EST
    McCain flipped closer to his base and Obama is flopping away from his base.  McCain's flips will helphim get his base out to vote for him.  Obama's flips may suppress some of his base that were supporting him specifically because of theses positions.  That being t he far left and the impressionable youth vote.  If Obama's hopey changey image turns into politics as usual, why would the youth continue to be as energized?

    Would you prefer the word liar instead (3.50 / 2) (#98)
    by PssttCmere08 on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 07:25:11 PM EST
    of flip flopper....obama is, if I remember correctly, the one who was going to be different, who filled his followers with hope about change, blah, blah, blah.  McCain has been around a long time and people know what to expect and know what hurts him and what doesn't....so I guess we will just have to sit back and see who gets the worst of it.

    A little dose (none / 0) (#125)
    by cal1942 on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:27:44 AM EST
    of reality anydemwilldo.  

    The press won't call out McCain for any change of position.


    Entire context of quote (none / 0) (#129)
    by DFLer on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:22:38 AM EST
    Undoubtedly, some of these views will get me in trouble.  I am new enough on the national political scene that I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.  As such, I am bound to disappoint some, if not all, of them.

    ameliorates this statement somewhat.


    of course (5.00 / 0) (#50)
    by ccpup on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:36:39 PM EST
    and the Media will focus intensely on Obama's flips and flops and pretzel twists to make sense of his position that day on (insert issue here) and basically ignore or excuse away the MAJOR flips and flops and pretzel twists of McCain.

    McCain's flip flops?  A mention.  Obama's flip flops?  A twenty minute round table discussion with 5 Republicans, 1 Dem and 1 more "Dem" who's actually more of a Republican.

    That's what you get for being the Media's "Golden Boy" ... and Obama fell from that perch the minute he became the "official" nominee.


    Obama's flips are brand new (none / 0) (#115)
    by TimNCGuy on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 09:27:47 PM EST
    McCain's flips happened before he started his campaign.  McCain's flips are old news

    That's not a bug - it's a feature (5.00 / 5) (#34)
    by dianem on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:26:10 PM EST
    Obama isn't running on views, he's running on a platform of, well, cliches. That's why so many of us are unimpressed with him. He throws in a few vague facts in an effort to not appear too wishy-washy, but he keeps his views ambivalent enough that he can interpret them however he wishes to private audiences. Everything he says has an implied wink,wink,nudge,nudge quality to it.

    Exactly!! well stated (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by Josey on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 07:39:26 PM EST
    "I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views."  - Obama



    Did he actually say that? n/t (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by dianem on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:23:31 PM EST
    "The Audacity of Hope" (5.00 / 2) (#123)
    by lmv on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:31:17 PM EST
    Wrote it himself.  

    I believe he's repeated it in interviews.  He's quite proud of standing for nothing.

    Yeah, it is S C A R Y.


    Obama also seems proud (none / 0) (#128)
    by Josey on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:16:38 AM EST
    of his ability to fool voters with his cliches and nuanced positions.

    Lack of principle (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by mmc9431 on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 04:55:47 PM EST
    will give the Rep more ammo than if he had stuck to his guns. Now it just looks like he caved and has no principles. He's willing to cave on any issue to buy a vote.

    this is what boggles my mind... (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by clbrune on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:00:09 PM EST
    WHAT vote is he buying with this deal?!  The public DOESN'T want Telecom immunity,  and WANTS some kind of accountability.

    If this is a barometer for Obama's governing philosophy, it's ugly.

    Maybe it's me, but I don't agree with the framing that supporting immunity is "moving to the middle."

    It's the corrupt media that says so, but it's actually an embrace of Cheneyesque Imperial Presidential authority.  Nothing "middle" about it.


    WHAT vote is he buying (5.00 / 5) (#14)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:03:13 PM EST
    untold millions from the telecom community?
    just a thought.

    No argument from me (5.00 / 4) (#17)
    by mmc9431 on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:04:36 PM EST
    I think they're dead wrong. The only business the public dislikes more than the telecom's is the oil industry and yet they always cave into both.

    Makes one think!  (snark)


    The public hasn't wanted (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by pie on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:09:43 PM EST
    a lot of things lately.

    Doesn't seem to be making much of an impression on the DC crowd.


    Has this even been polled? (1.00 / 1) (#42)
    by anydemwilldo on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:31:52 PM EST
    Telco immunity is awfully obscure.  Do you have a poll showing that?  I do know that the FISA issue as a whole has been polled extensively, using all sorts of phrasings, and the truth is ugly for civil libertarians:  the public very much does think that wiretapping of terrorist suspects is a good thing, and doesn't view it as an infringement on their own liberties.

    It's sad, but it's true.  The FISA stuff is a huge, huge winning issue for republicans when they can cast a failure to pass the bill as a failure to allow terrorist surveillance.  That's why you see so many democrats caving on this.  They're not as dumb as you think they are, they just don't see it as a crisis of the same importance as you or I.

    I'm not happy with it either (although I'm even less happy with the way people here twist it into a reason to bash Obama specifically, when clearly it's a problem with the caucus as a whole), but I can't honestly say that the issue is a political winner.


    Has been polled (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:34:59 PM EST
    The "Far Left" position is favored on this.

    You are wrong on your facts. Now try again to excuse Obama's actions.


    I'm not excusing anything (none / 0) (#58)
    by anydemwilldo on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:42:52 PM EST
    I asked specifically if there was a poll that shows that.  You answered that it exists, but I can't find it.  I'd love to read it; I'm being serious here.

    But please stop trying to shut down discussion about serious stuff.  Those were real opinions I wrote.  If they're based on flawed assumptions, then teach me, don't yell at me.


    Rassmussen (none / 0) (#72)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:57:49 PM EST
    Still can't find it (none / 0) (#76)
    by anydemwilldo on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:59:46 PM EST
    I'm googling all sorts of permutaions of "Rassmussen FISA immunity poll", etc...  And their site isn't terribly helpful.  Do you know roughly when this was taken?

    anydem: bone up on the boolean, dude/dudette (5.00 / 0) (#88)
    by DFLer on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 06:25:55 PM EST
    crimminey...better sharpen your google advanced search skills...took me 2 tries to get various poll results specific to Americans views about FISA. (and the first try I misspelled Rasmussen)

    Not bragging...I was just curious. Frankly I was looking to bust BTD's chops here, but you ended up being the bustee!

    (no offense, Big)


    And yet you provide no link? (none / 0) (#91)
    by anydemwilldo on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 06:43:02 PM EST
    Hrmph... now I've had my intern3t skilzz impugned, in addition to my honesty questioned.

    And yet I still have no poll to read.  Note that I'm not looking for a FISA poll -- as I mentioned earlier that has been polled extensively.  I'm looking specifically for the telco immunity poll BTD mentioned that showed public backing for a filibuster (or whatever -- obviously I don't know what was polled because I haven't found it).


    Here's One Poll Link (none / 0) (#110)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 08:58:03 PM EST
    57% likely voters against telecom immunity and only thirty-something percent in favor.


    For some reason I can't (none / 0) (#111)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 08:58:50 PM EST
    get the links to work of late

    Here's the web address for the link:



    dang it BFO (none / 0) (#112)
    by DFLer on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 09:14:13 PM EST
    you're no fun!

    try typing a phrase like "poll link here" in comment box. Then click and drag over it. Hit the link chain icon above the box. When the message box comes up paste the url in there.

    Check in preview (it will look "codey" in the edit box, but not in the preview box) If your link words are blue, it's good to go.


    Stop it! (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by pie on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:38:29 PM EST
    the public very much does think that wiretapping of terrorist suspects is a good thing, and doesn't view it as an infringement on their own liberties.

    You couldn't be more wrong.

    Just stop it.


    quotes around the word (none / 0) (#45)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:34:00 PM EST
    middle were my signal that I do not believe it is a move to the middle either.

    Say it loud and often: (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by pie on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 04:58:04 PM EST
    And Ed STILL does not understand that the fundamental reason John Kerry lost in 2004 was because the American People did not believe he would stand for something


    Does Obama understand FISA? (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by lmv on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 04:59:39 PM EST
    I'm not sure.  His spokesperson didn't seem to.

    Greenwald recaps discussing Obama's position with a campaign spokesperson.  It was really disconcerting.

    Either Obama doesn't get it or he thinks the public doesn't.  Thankfully, true Constitutional scholar Greenwald does.

    At this point, I have no idea what Obama believes.

    He believes ... (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:17:15 PM EST
    he will be president.

    And he imagines that belief will be enough to get him the job.


    I'd say Obama is hoping the general (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by oculus on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 06:00:20 PM EST
    public will be bamboozled by his words. Remember Sunstein's article on Huffington Post about his discussions with Obama about FISA and telecomm immunity.  

    It would also be nice if his advisors would (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:03:09 PM EST
    refrain from distorting the truth about FISA law when defending his position.

    Greg Craig, a Washington lawyer who advises the Obama campaign, said Tuesday in an interview that Mr. Obama had decided to support the compromise FISA legislation only after concluding it was the best deal possible.

    "This was a deliberative process, and not something that was shooting from the hip," Mr. Craig said. "Obviously, there was an element of what's possible here. But he concluded that with FISA expiring, that it was better to get a compromise than letting the law expire."

    Now my understanding is that there will definitely be a FISA law in place and the capacity to monitor terrorist if the current bill NEVER passes. Worse or best case scenario (depending on your POV) is that we would revert back to the version of FISA law that existed prior to the version of FISA that is set to expire.

    Whoops (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:05:51 PM EST
    Forgot the link

    Best deal possible... (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Edger on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:10:50 PM EST
    When a social movement adopts the compromises of legislators, it has forgotten its role, which is to push and challenge the politicians, not to fall in meekly behind them.

    There have been similar dilemmas for the labor movement. Indeed, it is a common occurrence that unions, fighting for a new contract, must decide if they will accept an offer that gives them only part of what they have demanded. It's always a difficult decision, but in almost all cases, whether the compromise can be considered a victory or a defeat, the workers have been given some thing palpable, improving their condition to some degree. If they were offered only a promise of something in the future, while continuing an unbearable situation in the present, it would not be considered a compromise, but a sellout. A union leader who said, "Take this, it's the best we can get" [...] would be hooted off the platform.

    -- Howard Zinn

    There is fairly broad opinion within (3.00 / 0) (#55)
    by jccamp on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:42:33 PM EST
    Congress that the original 1978 law was deficient in allowing the means to develop intelligence about terrorist groups. The original law allowed warrant-less intercepts only involving closely defined "foreign governments" operating without U S territories. Groups such as Al Qeada were outside this definition. The 2007 amendment caused terrorist groups to now be treated the same as a foreign government intelligence service, and further, allowed the warrant-less intercept even if one end of the monitored conversation was within U S territory, assuming the intercept met a number of conditions. Whether one agrees or not, the rationale was that obtaining a FISC order was too time consuming to be effective in today's intelligence (re: terrorists mainly) climate. If a warrantless intercept is initiated, there is provision for mandatory after-the-fact review by the intelligence court.  

    Remember the original law was written when illegal wiretaps and such, aimed at domestic groups, such as the Weathermen, were much in the public consciousness. Right or wrong, much of the Washington power structure from both parties have decided that the threat level and environment have changed.

    The main sticking point in the current negotiation was whether to grant the immunity to telcoms for their actions post-9/11. I do not think there was much disagreement (within Congress) about continuing the change in definition and scope.

    Maybe Obama and his advisors decided that the law was not necessarily such a bad thing to have, assuming he might be the next president.  Maybe they also decided that having the telcom's assisting in such future intercepts was desirable.

    Obama would not be the first person to realize that describing the limits on presidential authority depends on whether you're the guy in the White House, or you're in another branch of government.

    I'd call this a pragmatic approach. I'm no Obama fan, but if he campaigned for President by promising to give away presidential prerogatives, I'd think him to be pretty stupid.


    I'm no Obama fan, nor McCain fan either, (5.00 / 3) (#71)
    by Edger on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:57:40 PM EST
    and if I saw someone vote for a man running for President who wants to keep bush style presidential "prerogatives" (love the euphemism, btw, heh!), I'd think him to be pretty stupid.

    Actually, (none / 0) (#81)
    by jccamp on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 06:07:21 PM EST
    the presidential prerogative I was describing is an act of Congress, passed with bipartisan support. It passed only after negotiation between the legislative and executive branches, which is the way things are supposed to work. Apparently, it's ready to pass again, with both Democratic and Republican support.

    By your definition then, anyone voting for either candidate is stupid.


    You catch on fast. (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Edger on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 06:12:00 PM EST
    Ha! (none / 0) (#87)
    by jccamp on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 06:25:00 PM EST
    VG. I don't disagree with you on that.

    Well, I could tell easily enough. :-) (none / 0) (#90)
    by Edger on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 06:38:07 PM EST
    You're obviously intelligent enough to not try to convince yourself or others to support someone who you know is going to continue bush/mccain style policies and power "prerogatives" just to be able to say you helped defeat mccain with a candidate who gave you the illusion of a real choice. You have more respect for the intelligence of people than that.

    You know, aside from the candidates, (4.00 / 1) (#93)
    by jccamp on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 06:51:38 PM EST
    both of whom I find...disappointing perhaps, is that on issues like FISA and the 2007 amendment, I read the logic and rationale, the description of what is actually being proposed, and think "OK, that doesn't seem too intrusive. Let's trust our elected officials.' And then, somewhere in the process, the end result is some abuse of both the spirit and letter of the law. It's like we have to allow for the lowest common denominator when deciding on things like FISA.

    We do? (5.00 / 2) (#94)
    by Edger on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 07:11:31 PM EST
    Or you wish we do? Of course! <slaps forehead>. Why didn't I think of that? But then, I'm not nearly as smart as you are. It's taking me awhile to get rid of this urge to hoot them both off the stage. After all, that lowest common denominator should be good enough for me, and I admit to not getting enough the past few years anyway. So much so I should be starting to like it by now. I even dream about it sometimes.

    I'll have to think about this some more.

    Meanwhile, I'm hungry, and I've been thinking all day today about how much I would have liked the pizza the corner store didn't deliver the last time I gave them my credit card number, back in 2006, even though they smiled broadly while they took my money.

    It's got me drooling. I can almost taste the damn thing. Can't you?

    And they're always so smiley and happy in that store. Nice people. Successful too. Obviously very intelligent, and I just know they have my best interests at heart. Maybe I'll call them and pay them again, just to see if I get lucky and they actually deliver this time. They always promise to, after all.

    As long as I keep paying them, anyway.


    Feingold on FISA (4.50 / 2) (#97)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 07:23:21 PM EST
    First, the FISA Amendments Act, like the Protect America Act, would authorize the government to collect all communications between the U.S. and the rest of the world. That could mean millions upon millions of communications between innocent Americans and their friends, families, or business associates overseas could legally be collected. Parents calling their kids studying abroad, emails to friends serving in Iraq - all of these communications could be collected, with absolutely no suspicion of any wrongdoing, under this legislation. In fact, the DNI even testified that this type of `bulk collection' would be `desirable.'
    The bill's supporters like to say that the government needs additional powers to target terrorists overseas. But under this bill, the government is not limited to targeting foreigners outside the U.S. who are terrorists, or who are suspected of some wrongdoing, or who are members or agents of some foreign government or organization.
    In fact, the government does not even need a specific purpose for wiretapping anyone overseas.
    All it needs to have is a general "foreign intelligence" purpose, which is a standard so broad that it covers all international communications. That's not just my opinion -- the DNI has testified that, under the PAA, and presumably this bill, the government could legally collect all communications between the United States and overseas. Let me repeat that: under this bill, the government can legally collect all communications - every last one - between Americans here at home and the rest of the world. link

    Oh jeeze. (none / 0) (#102)
    by Edger on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 07:42:50 PM EST
    Is that what all this fuss is about? That's it?

    Well, hell. That doesn't seem too intrusive. Let's trust our elected officials. After we vote them in they'll surely do something about this. Won't they?

    It's like we have to listen to the lowest common denominator when deciding on these things.

    Don't we? ;-)

    BTW, why is this place all blue? I thought it was supposed to be all orange, and I half expected rah rah signs all over the place.


    No a lot us are basically the (5.00 / 3) (#104)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 08:13:30 PM EST
    "Bad" Or Not True Democrats. You know those without any progressive creds at all.  Just bitter, old people (regardless of age) who are failing the country by not going rah rah every time Obama and the Dems do something that is against our principles.

    I see. I think. (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by Edger on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 08:23:33 PM EST
    So IOW voting for mccain/bush policies is the true blue democratic way to power now?

    I think I'm starting to get this. I think. Maybe too much sometimes, though, which may be why my head hurts, maybe.

    I think.


    Thanks for the clear review. The gist (none / 0) (#80)
    by hairspray on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 06:07:07 PM EST
    for civil rights seems to be that the FISC doesn't provide rapid response times of judicial review in the event of an oncoming crisis.  I thought that FISC provided for initiation of a tap and an after the fact review of that case.  Looking at the history of these reviews, almost none were denied, so what was the problem?  Is this new bill a smoke screen for telecom immunity and protection of GWB from criminal prosecution?

    It's really difficult (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by jccamp on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 06:21:27 PM EST
    (at least for me) to separate the genuine issues within the Congressional debate from all the hype and rhetoric. I think one really large issue was that the 2007 amendment authorized warrantless intercepts within U S territory, something previously forbidden.

    Yes, there was a provision for after-the-fact submission of warrantless intercepts to FISC. The history of intercept orders was that almost never did the FISC deny an application.

    The telcom immunity issue seemed to be huge. Lost somewhere in all the talk was a fact that the FISC actually agreed with Bush that his authority to wage war included the warrantless intercepts just after 9/11. Since the new law specifically deals with such things, the discussion is now moot except for the issue of immunity.

    Is the new bill a smokescreen? I'm sure some will see it as such. If there was broad bipartisan support for the bill, then I trust that it was necessary. But that's just me.


    The problem yoiu are having (none / 0) (#131)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:41:58 AM EST
    is due to your lack of knowledge on the subject, imo.

    Pretty much (none / 0) (#85)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 06:18:49 PM EST
    If for the sake of argument, the FISA law required a little tweaking to be the most effective in today's world, it does not NEED telecom immunity to accomplish the task.  

    I think you are correct (none / 0) (#89)
    by jccamp on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 06:33:19 PM EST
    that the amended FISA didn't need telecom immunity to accomplish its stated tasks. I think it did need telecom immunity to get past a threatened presidential veto - although I don't know that anyone is actually saying this.

    I have to go with Kilgore (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by dianem on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:03:42 PM EST
    He's one of the first to say publicly something that nobody who supports Obama wants to hear: Obama has been consistant in his desire to compromise. He hated the FISA bill the way it was written, but has now convinced himself that it is different enough to vote for. I don't approve of this, but he has never said that he would be a hard core progressive - he has emphasized his willingness to work with others, even if he disagrees with them. Repeatedly. The whole "Obama is a different kind of politician" was a campaign slogan, not a platform.

    Your comment kind of ignores the (5.00 / 5) (#26)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:13:13 PM EST
    FACT that Obama did say during the primary that he would filibuster any FISA bill that included telecom immunity.

    So no matter how you cut it, he is doing what he said he would not do. Has nothing to do IMO on whether he has said he was a hard core progressive.

    it also ignores... (5.00 / 5) (#32)
    by clbrune on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:21:54 PM EST
    ...the fact that Telecom immunity is not a progressive issue.  It's something that appeals to a broad, complex demographic: true conservatives, libertarians, law-and-order folks, people who want equality and fairness, people who want government accountability.

    Really, the only political groups/philosophies that should support immunity are corporatists and authoritarians.


    I agree with you (none / 0) (#53)
    by dianem on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:38:30 PM EST
    I'm just explaining what I think is Obama's logic. He said that the bill changed enough for him to consider the telecom immunity a regrettable but tolerable feature.

    Obama is running on (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Grace on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:05:21 PM EST
    good judgment, not good principles.

    His background and history don't even suggest that he's a person who stands on principles.    

    IMO (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:06:29 PM EST
    if he is running on good judgement he is in big trouble.

    Trouble? (3.00 / 0) (#35)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:27:09 PM EST
    Only from the 24%ers and everyone else that has the poor judgement to help McCain get into the WH.

    If it's about Obama vs. McCain (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:31:59 PM EST
    you're probably okay.

    If it's about voting vs. not voting, though, there's a problem.  Dem candidates depend more than Repubs on turnout.


    I am not even sure (none / 0) (#49)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:35:50 PM EST
    about your first point.

    The only thing that I can say with (5.00 / 5) (#29)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:18:38 PM EST
    certainty that Obama stands firmly behind is Obama should be president.

    see (5.00 / 5) (#37)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:29:58 PM EST
    even there his judgment sucks

    I still question (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by mmc9431 on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:30:19 PM EST
    The motives of the Dem's on this issue. They went from a definite no to a resounding yes. I think it has more to do with leadership liability in it than it does with telecom money.  If this ever did make it to court, Bush would not be alone. There would be several high ranking Democrat's there too.

    Liability? (none / 0) (#47)
    by Alec82 on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:34:53 PM EST
    Or do you mean accountability? It isn't like anything they do impacts them.  Even when we primary them they emerge out of their Democratic shells and morph into independents who endorse the Republican candidate for president.

     And they give big keynote speeches at the GOP convention where you are left to wonder how the party could ever have chosen someone so bat5h1t crazy in the first place.


    I think he/she is referring to legal (none / 0) (#66)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:48:04 PM EST
    liability and not holding politicians accountable for their actions.

    IOW if members of Dem leadership gave their approval for illegal actions they could be held liable in law suits every bit as much as the Bushies.


    They're almost certainly... (none / 0) (#70)
    by Alec82 on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:57:29 PM EST
    ...immune from civil liability.  Legislative immunity is absolute.

    Yep! (none / 0) (#75)
    by mmc9431 on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:58:32 PM EST
    Thanks for clarifying it for me.

    Plays Well With Others (5.00 / 2) (#79)
    by WakeLtd on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 06:03:03 PM EST
    First off, the claim that Senator Obama has somehow covered himself for any and every compromise of the principles and expectations of his staunchest early supporters - the ones who put him on the map in the early primaries & caucuses - with this blanket & vague  "will work with the other party" means he was either deliberately deceptive or his ideas have evolved. If his ideas have evolved on some matters, he needs to explain how & why. He seemed to be very clear on the FISA matter. To go back now, and find some words to parse, that somehow seem to provide an "escape-hatch" from commitments he made,  or certainly seemed to be making, is troublesome. If the line now is going to be that everyone misunderstood what he really meant (WORM, anyone?), perhaps the problem is not with everyone, it is with Obama. If he was not committed to a filibuster on FISA, he certainly gave the impression of someone so committed.

    it is probably just another case (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by TimNCGuy on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 09:43:15 PM EST
    that his earlier position interpreted as being  for a filibuster was just 'insrtfully stated' and now he is explaing what his real position was all along so that you will understand that you misunderstood him the first time

    If this keeps up, it won't be long (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by Anne on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 10:13:07 PM EST
    before we have the Barack Obama Museum of Inart.

    Many they can build it (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by lmv on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:16:13 PM EST
    in the shape of a pretzel?

    Visitors could pay their admission fee in small bites so they can be double/triple/quadruple counted.

    There could be an interactive exhibit with a giant bus rolling over each person "who isn't the INSERT FORMER FRIEND/ASSOCIATE/RELATIVE I knew."

    snark, in case I have to say it.


    It's clear that "bipartisanship" trumps (5.00 / 0) (#82)
    by rjarnold on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 06:07:47 PM EST
    everything else that Obama ran as like being authentic, principled, against special interests, and taking tough stands.

    All Bull (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by pluege on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 07:45:18 PM EST
    whether Obama flip-flopped or he's following up on his "trans-partisanship" is nonsense. The bill STINKS! Its an abomination in terms of eviscerating American's rights and the Constitution - THAT is what matters and Obama failed miserably no matter how its sliced or spun.

    But..... (none / 0) (#5)
    by Edger on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 04:51:47 PM EST
    he's better, goddammit.


    BTD, I would have anticipated Obama's (none / 0) (#24)
    by oculus on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:10:17 PM EST
    current stance on FISA/telecomm immunity would be more of a deal breaker for your than whether he will promote faith-based initiatives w/o ruling out discrimation on the basis of religion.

    Supporting Obama will require very strong (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by my opinion on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 05:20:37 PM EST
    arms and shoulders to carry all that water.

    FISA (none / 0) (#106)
    by joharmon86 on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 08:29:28 PM EST
    I think people don't really understand what the FISA bill actually does... For people that are against domestic spying period, that's fine to have that opinion, but the FISA bill is not enabling domestic spying on U.S. citizens. That is already in full swing. The point of the bill, and the reason why so many Democrats in the house supported it, is because it RESTORES THE REQUIREMENT OF A WARRANT AND PERMISSION FROM A COURT to wiretap or to engage in domestic spying. This bill is actually intended to increase protections of civil liberties not decrease it.

    It also prohibits the government from invoking war powers or other authorities to supersede surveillance rules in the future.

    The McCain campaign is longing for another terrorist attack in the U.S. and if Obama voted no on this bill -- a bill that is perceived as being tough on terror though in reality it isn't really tough or not tough, McCain could say he's not serious about keeping us safe in a post-(insert date of new attack) world.

    The question people should be asking is who is distorting the intent and content of the FISA bill and what is their motive in doing so.

    Get a mirror. Look in it. The person (5.00 / 2) (#116)
    by Anne on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 09:35:14 PM EST
    you see there is one of those people who does not understand what this legislation does.

    Here's part of the ACLU's opinion on the FISA comrpomise bill that Barack Obama thinks is "the best we could do:"


    "This bill allows for mass and untargeted surveillance of Americans' communications. The court review is mere window-dressing - all the court would look at is the procedures for the year-long dragnet and not at the who, what and why of the spying. Even this superficial court review has a gaping loophole - `exigent' circumstances can short cut even this perfunctory oversight since any delay in the onset of spying meets the test and by definition going to the court would cause at least a minimal pause. Worse yet, if the court denies an order for any reason, the government is allowed to continue surveillance throughout the appeals process, thereby rendering the role of the judiciary meaningless. In the end, there is no one to answer to; a court review without power is no court review at all."

    Now, please explain to all of us how it is that this compromise legislation increases civil liberties protections.


    The ACLU is hardly a (none / 0) (#124)
    by jccamp on Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:34:32 PM EST
    neutral commentator. You should read the actual bill being considered, and see if they are not being guilty of just a little hyperbole.

    "Exigent circumstances" can negate the requirement for a court sanctioned search warrant in all circumstances, not just re: FISA. It is mainly used in criminal cases. That's nothing new.

    The law describes communications that originate in a foreign territory, and in the case of any communication that ends up within U S territory, there is a specific prohibition of trying to deliberately reverse-engineer an intercept to circumvent the law's prohibitions.

    The amended statutes does not require intelligence agencies to provide probable cause for intelligence gathering. Neither did the 1978 law.

    To think that a FISC judge would allow the total and absolute mass interception of all U S inbound or outbound electronic communications is absurd. To assert it is to demonstrate the paucity of the ACLU's position. It is also intellectually dishonest.

    Google H R 6304. Decide for yourself.


    You are all informed (none / 0) (#130)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:39:09 AM EST
    I suggest your read the just released opinion in the EL Haramein case.

    You simply have no idea what you are talking about.