Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Thanks for Nothing, Jay

I see that the Senate has passed the renewed FISA bill, complete with a provision shielding the telecom companies from liability for . . . well . . . helping break the law for the past few years. Glenn Greenwald has more here. In a dazzling display of continued impotent leadership, the Republicans were able to beat back Chris Dodd's and Russ Feingold's attempt to strip that provision - and that provision only, mind you - from the bill with the help of several pathetic Democratic allies. Among them, sadly, was Jay Rockefeller, the junior Senator from West Virginia. In fact, Jay's been something of a cheerleader for telecom immunity. But I had hopes that when push came to shove, he'd undergo a Grinch-style change of heart and see the light. No such luck.

For fuck's sake, how could Reid and company mess this up?!? Duhbya had already said (a) that the Nation's safety was at stake if the wiretaps couldn't continue, but (b) that he'd veto anything without telecom immunity. In other words, it's more important to cover the asses of big business than actually conduct this surveillance. How does the non-immunity bill not land on Duhbya's desk (the House version doesn't have it)? Force him to veto it and then hang it around McCain's neck this fall! This is hardly rocket science.

This is yet another example of why I am very dubious of Barack Obama's appeal to unity during his campaign. The fact is, the GOP as currently constituted isn't interested in any kind of meaningful cooperation. The party discipline displayed by the GOP since the Dems took over the Senate is something a precision Marine drill team would envy. Holding out our hands and offering to sing "Kumbaya" with them just isn't a viable strategy. Which is why I wish Chris Dodd, who actually tried to stop this madness (with lukewarm approval from Obama and Clinton) was still in the Presidential race.

So, I guess I'll have to support Jay's challenger in the May primary, who is . . . nobody. The GOP doesn't even have someone lined up to challenge him.


UPDATE: Raging Red has some good thoughts on Jay's handy work here.

1 comment:

crystal dawn said...

Rockefeller has been very inconsistent in his views with wiretapping and the telecom companies. He wrote a letter to Cheney in 2003 about his concerns with spying on Americans. Now he sides with telecom immunity??? I say follow the money.


Anyway, my main problem with Obama has been the "unity factor" as well. The republicans have never wanted to cooperate or work with dems in any capacity for a long time now, so why does he think he can somehow accomplish that once he's president?