Tuesday, February 12, 2008

FISA: Better Democrats needed in the Senate


Here's the bunch of Democrats who were willing to sell out your Constitutional rights to protect the telcos:

Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Evan Bayh (D-IN), Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Herb Kohl (D-WI), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Ken Salazar (D-CO), Tom Carper (D-DE), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Jim Webb (D-VA), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Kent Conrad (D-ND), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

Senators McCain and Obama voted nay and aye, respectively. Senator Clinton was not present, though she might be for final passage.

This group bought the "keep us safe" canard hook, line, and sinker. Bush, his Republicans, and their telco buddies were a stronger force than us on this one. On days like this, it's hard to remember that this is, as Howard Dean told us at Yearly Kos last summer, a long term project.

Speaking to a conference call of reporters this afternoon, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) said that, reflecting on the string of defeats in the Senate today, he thought the House was the best hope for stripping retroactive immunity from the final surveillance bill."We've lost every single battle we had on this bill [in the Senate].... We're not getting anywhere at all" he said. "The question now is can the House do better." ...

The Senate had "just sanctioned" the "single largest invasion of privacy in the history of the country," he said. When asked why he thought so many Dem senators had crossed over, he replied: "Unfortunately, those who are advocating this notion that you have to give up liberties in order to be more secure are apparently prevailing. They seem to be convincing people that you're at risk politically or we're at risk as a nation if we don't give up rights."

The fight shifts over to the House of Representatives, where John Conyers has just announced his opposition to telecom immunity. Contact your representative.

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