The Senate voted 80-15 yesterday in favor of granting immunity to telecoms who engaged in electronic eavesdropping under Bush Administration "information-gathering guidelines". This is the first part of a two-part vote on the bill. Sen. Barack Obama held a press conference after the vote, explaining why he favored the "reworked" FISA legislation:
Asked specifically why he's supporting the current FISA bill when he'd promised months ago to support a filibuster of an earlier version of the bill, Obama suggested flat out that "national security" overrides the question of telecom immunity...
Obama's line on national security here seems to be affirmation of something that many understood already: That he will support the bill even if telecom immunity isn't stripped from it, despite his promise to try to get immunity out of the legislation. If the issue of telecom immunity doesn't override national security, he'll of course vote for the bill with or without it.
Here are Obama's remarks to reporters:
I want to note two things here:
Second, he wasn't even "present" to vote on the Senate's cloture vote today. (To be fair, John McCain wasn't present, either, but still...)
The blogosphere is chock-full of examples of progressive/liberal anger over Obama's (and the Senate's) "political" calculations. The following are via OpenLeft:
new boss same as the old boss; fear mongering bullshit. name one terrorist they have caught with FISA ever! name one terrorist they have brought to trial. name one act of terrorism thwarted. Obama - kiss or your mystique goodbye. the party is over. don't cry to us when you notice unity means nothing when you have no base.
-- by Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare
I thought Claire McCaskill D-MO was on our team, not. I called her office this morning and the aid said the Senator had no stand yet, and then cheerfully asked me what I thought. ... I will make it my life's work (besides selling affordable custom kitchen cabinets and countertops) to unseat McCaskill, forget Kit Bond, only an act of a God can get him out of office.
-- by marko7
Primary all of them. The ones who prove themselves not only to be whores, but cheap whores. Look over the Maplight stuff from yesterday. To sell out on "We the People" for a mere 30 pieces of silver is so much bullshit. I cannot believe how they can be bought so cheaply, but forget to "buy" the votes of "We the People". Votes have consequences.
Never a dime for these backstabbing whores again. No votes, No money, and active participation for their opponents.
-- by KC Bill 13
He wasn't bullshitting; he refused to say anything with any substance, which enabled everyone to project whatever they wanted to on top of his happy "hope and change" message. Bill Clinton did the same thing in 1992, and Jimmy Carter did the same thing in 1976. And there were people screaming that they'd seen this movie and knew what happens.
Seriously, you can look at one of those old skits from Saturday Night Live where Dan Aykroyd was making fun of Carter in 1976, and almost map the humor directly to today (once you do something about Ford).
-- by Valatan
Ugh indeed. Not only was Obama's statement weak and lame, it was pure b-llshit. Brothers and sisters - our nominee is b-llsh-tting us to our pathetic little faces.
-- by lentinel
Here's my personal favorite:
Yes we can't.
-- by Lester
This should serve as a wake up call; While our short term goals require us to support these motherfuckers in order to stop the bleeding, we cannot take our eye off the only true antidote for our inherently corrupt government: Publicly Financed Elections http://www.publicampaign.org/
Well, I'm sure glad it's summer! Flip-flops really are the hot new item...