Sunday, January 13, 2008

Dodd wins on telecom immunity

By Libby

Via Thers, some really good news for a change. In fact, it's so good the WSJ is in a royal snit over it.
Senator Chris Dodd's Presidential campaign died with a whimper in Iowa. But he still seems to be dictating national security policy to fellow Democrats on Capitol Hill, and unless the Bush Administration is willing to fight, perhaps to the next President too.

We're told that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is saying privately he now won't attempt to update the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) on the wiretapping of al Qaeda suspects. Instead, he'll merely support another 18-month extension of the six-month-old Protect America Act. Among other problems, the temporary bill includes no retroactive immunity for the telecom companies that cooperated with the feds after 9/11.
Yeah, Chris Dodd and everyone who bombarded the Beltway with those calls, faxes and emails. As Chris Bowers points out, this is power of Blogtopia (y!sctp).
This shows, once again, that it does not take many validating voices or actions in order for our campaigns to make a difference in the national discourse, or on Capitol Hill. Dodd took up our call to filibuster retroactive telecom immunity, and now the FISA bill is dead because of it. ... Just one or two high-profile, validating voices can allow a blogosphere charged campaign enough credibility to be taken seriously on a national level.
Chris also notes the ACLU is fighting for no extension at all. That would be the best outcome of all, but eliminating immunity is still a major victory and it frees us up to focus on some other pressing problems, like establishing verified voting before the general election.

Meanwhile, this other graf from the WSJ whine begs to be answered.
Mr. Bush also has all the high political cards here. Most Americans think it's preposterous that a judge should have to approve listening to foreign enemies, and a fight over this in an election year is the last thing smart Democrats want. Mr. Bush could help his successor and the public by promising to veto any FISA extension that isn't permanent and infringes too much on Presidential war powers. If this issue were such good politics for Democrats, Chris Dodd might have done better than sixth in Iowa.
Spoken like a true media moron who ignored Dodd throughout the campaign. Who are these "most Americans" he thinks were fooled by the bogus claims that this had anything to with monitoring terrorists? Bush is holding only jokers in his hand and Dodd could be the nominee-apparent right now had the WSJ done its job and given him the exposure he deserved.

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