I don’t see any reason to pretend this is anything other than an incredibly shitty decision to allow illegal and unconstitutional behavior. Here’s roll call highlights:
Voting For this travesty: Obama, Lieberman, Hagel, Snowe, Specter, Webb, Warner, Hatch, Graham
Missing the bloody vote: McCain, Kennedy, Sessions
Voting Against: Clinton, Kerry, Feingold, Boxer, Schumer, Leahy
To the constituents of the Senators who missed this important vote, ouch. To the constituents of Obama and Webb, we need to be clear this was a betrayel of trust on their part. What a stinging dissapointment.
I want to salute those who voted against it, but at the same time I remember many of those Senators voted against the confirmation of Alito while refusing to fillibuster. Sometimes logging an ineffectual “Nay” vote just doesn’t cut it. The entire Senate failed us. But they did a great job for the telecoms, so at least we can spend a little less as individuals next election season, they’ve apparently got that covered.
To be clear, I agree with Glenn completely. McCain isn’t fooling anyone with his no show, and Obama is fucking up his own campaign:
Stanford Professor Larry Lessig has been a hard-core Obama supporter since before the primaries even began. He knows the candidate himself and has all sorts of contacts at high levels of the campaign. Yesterday, Lessig wrote a scathing criticism of what the Obama campaign has been doing over the past several weeks: “All signs point to an Obama victory this fall. If the signs are wrong, it will be because of events last month.” This is what Lessig said about the Obama campaign’s attitude towards the FISA bill:
Yet policy wonks inside the campaign sputter policy that Obama listens to and follows, again, apparently oblivious to how following that advice, when inconsistent with the positions taken in the past, just reinforces the other side’s campaign claim that Obama is just another calculating, unprincipled politician.The best evidence that they don’t get this is Telco Immunity. Obama said he would filibuster a FISA bill with Telco Immunity in it. He has now signaled he won’t. When you talk to people close to the campaign about this, they say stuff like: “Come on, who really cares about that issue? Does anyone think the left is going to vote for McCain rather than Obama? This was a hard question. We tried to get it right. And anyway, the FISA compromise in the bill was a good one.”
So the highest levels of the Obama campaign believe this bill is “a good one.” Lessig adds that the perception of Obama’s craven, nakedly calculating behavior as illustrated by his support for the FISA bill is by far the largest threat to his candidacy as it “completely undermine Obama’s signal virtue — that he’s different”:
The Obama campaign seems just blind to the fact that these flips eat away at the most important asset Obama has. It seems oblivious to the consequence of another election in which (many) Democrats aren’t deeply motivated to vote (consequence: the GOP wins).
[Emphasis Here is Mine – Dan] I can’t count the number of emails I’ve received demanding that I stop criticizing Obama for his support of this bill on the ground that such criticisms harm his chances for winning — as though it’s the fault of those who point out what Obama is doing, rather than Obama himself for completely reversing his position, abandoning his clear, prior commitments, and helping to institutionalize the destruction of the Fourth Amendment and the concealment of Bush crimes.
I still support Obama, but he needs to understand he’s making it a hell of a lot harder to do so effectively.