FISA failed

I wish I can assume that like I did, you called your Senators and exhorted them to stand with Feingold and Dodd on their FISA bills.  I wish I can assume that you care that the Bush administration wanted to give the telecom companies retroactive immunity for their breaking the law, even though the Bush administration feels that since King George says it, it is decreed and screw the Constitution.

At Booman Tribune, MikeinOhio wrote:

Last night I sat well into the wee hours watching Chris Dodd on C-Span speaking on the Senate floor, until my wife wouldn’t quit yelling at me to come to bed.  I couldn’t stop watching because in my gut I really felt that I was watching, literally, the final dismantling and destruction of the heart and soul of our republic. You call it a bright line issue, but to me it would seem to be much, much more than that.  Our representatives have completely ceded, absolutely completely ceded ALL of the responsibilities of their elected office to an executive branch which has admitted to breaking the law and violating, with impunity, the Constitution of this country.  The Constitution, the founding document of all things which have made this country the preeminent example of mans capacity for representative self government.  Indeed, it has been the benchmark on which our humanity as a country has been built.

And only a handful of us give a shit.  People would much rather worry about if their favorite show will come back on the air or if some music star is a lesbian or not.  Heaven forbid they care about their civil liberties and the right to not be illegally spied upon by their government.

As Tehanu reminds us:

Ah, but only citizens have rights.  Somewhere along the way we became consumers instead, and all consumers have is data.

My bad.  Whatever was I thinking?  I know that there are a lot of Senator’s with Ds behind their names who don’t seem to care about our civil liberties.  For all her hand-wringing and grand pronouncements, my Sen. Diane Feinstein, was true to form and decided “screw my constiutents”. I guess we don’t donate enough to her reelection campaigns.

One Senator who just happens to be running for goverment voted to protect us and the Constitution.  One Senator explained why this was important:

Senator Barack Obama statement on his votes this morning:

“I am proud to stand with Senator Dodd, Senator Feingold and a grassroots movement of Americans who are refusing to let President Bush put protections for special interests ahead of our security and our liberty. There is no reason why telephone companies should be given blanket immunity to cover violations of the rights of the American people – we must reaffirm that no one in this country is above the law.

We can give our intelligence and law enforcement community the powers they need to track down and take out terrorists without undermining our commitment to the rule of law, or our basic rights and liberties. That is why I am proud to cosponsor several amendments that protect our privacy while making sure we have the power to track down and take out terrorists.

This Administration continues to use a politics of fear to advance a political agenda. It is time for this politics of fear to end. We are trying to protect the American people, not special interests like the telecommunications industry. We are trying to ensure that we don’t sacrifice our liberty in pursuit of security, and it is past time for the Administration to join us in that effort.” (From Booman Tribune, so far)

But take heart, you phone dialing, emailing and faxing activists as  maryb2004 pointed out:

and now we have McJoan:

Despite the bitter disappointment many of us feel tonight, take a bit of heart in this–we could have lost everything in December, if Chris Dodd hadn’t mobilized a massive grassroots effort against it.

Not sure what she’s saying here.  We could have lost everything in December but … hey!!! We fought on and lost in February!!!!

Again – bloggers who become part of the process lose the distance necessary to criticize the process.

So true.

Oh.  Yeah.  If you’re wondering why despite campaigning in the area, Sen. Clinton couldn’t be bothered with showing up to do her job and vote.  Remember that next time someone brings up her misleading lie against Sen. Obama about his ‘present’ votes in the IL Senate.  Remember that she said, “When you’re president you can’t vote ‘present’.”  Remember the corollary to that is that:  When you’re president you can’t hide behind campaigning when the Constitution and civil liberties are at stake.”  Tell her I said it.