Senator Dodd: Lead The Resistance To The Dem Senate CaveIn On FISA

This post is part of the MYDD candidate series. I am not connected to the Dodd campaign. And to prove it, I am going to urge Senator Dodd to do what he has been doing, leading on the issues now. The issue now is the Dem Senate capitulation on FISA and telco immunity.

Yesterday Senator Chris Dodd said:

While the President may think that it's right to offer immunity to those who break the law and violate the right to privacy of thousands of law-abiding Americans, I want to assure him it is not a value we have in common and I hope the same can be said of my fellow Democrats in the Senate.

"For too long we have failed to respect the rule of law and failed to protect our fundamental civil liberties. I will do what I can to see to it that no telecommunications giant that was complicit in this Administration's assault on the Constitution is given a get-out-of-jail-free card."

Senator Dodd, what you must do is lead the fight against the capitulation by your fellow Dem Senators on this issue:

Senate Democrats and Republicans reached agreement with the Bush administration yesterday on the terms of new legislation to control the federal government's domestic surveillance program, which includes a highly controversial grant of legal immunity to telecommunications companies that have assisted the program, according to congressional sources.

. . . It was a victory for President Bush, whose aides lobbied heavily against the Democrats' [House] bill, and an embarrassment for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who had pushed for the measure's passage. The draft Senate bill has the support of the intelligence committee's chairman, John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), and Bush's director of national intelligence, Mike McConnell. It will include full immunity for those companies that can demonstrate to a court that they acted pursuant to a legal directive in helping the government with surveillance in the United States.

Here is another instance of the Congress abdicating its Constitutional duties. Senator Rockefeller and any Democrat (or Republican for that matter) that agrees to this is saying the Congress is irrelevant. The Executive Branch does not need to "demonstrate" anything to the Congress in order to get a blank check from these quislings.

Senator Dodd, do what you must, including a filibuster, to stop this evisceration of the separation of powers, of civil liberties, of honesty, fairness and justice. Implore your Dem colleagues, especially your fellow Presidential candidates in the Senate, to join you in this fight for the very principles that are the foundation of the Constitution and our Nation.

Tags: Chris Dodd, Election 2008, FISA (all tags)

Comments

30 Comments

Re: Senator Dodd: Lead The Resistance

why can't Dodd (or some other Senator) just put a hold on the bill?

Republicans hold bills all the time.

by bob fertik 2007-10-18 06:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Senator Dodd: Lead The Resistance

I think a filibuster would be better.

But a hold should be used if necessary.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-10-18 07:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Senator Dodd: Lead The Resistance

Eh, filibuster gets everyone in a tizzy these days. Just put a hold on the damn bill and announce it. Stop the legislation until they strip out the insane immunity bit.

I too would like to see the drama, but the results here matter more.

by Windowdog 2007-10-18 07:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Filibuster vs. Hold

Not only that but  filibuster would require 60 votes to maintain. I'm not sure we would get the 60. So a hold makes more sense.

by talex26 2007-10-18 08:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Filibuster vs. Hold

41 not 60.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-10-18 08:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Filibuster vs. Hold

Right. I'm still only my second cup of coffee this morning and lately 60 has been branded into my brain. But even 41 is very doubtful so a hold would still have a better chance of accomplishing the task.

by talex26 2007-10-18 08:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Filibuster vs. Hold

Correction, a filibuster takes 40 votes (well, actually 41), as I'm sure you meant to say.  It takes 60 votes to overcome a filibuster.

by Steve M 2007-10-18 08:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Filibuster vs. Hold

Yep. Thanks.

by talex26 2007-10-18 08:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Senator Dodd: Lead The Resistance

we don't have 40 votes for a filibuster - we can't even get 30 votes for the Feingold-Reid amendment to set a deadline for getting our troops out of Iraq,
http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/ro ll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?con gress=110&session=1&vote=00362#p osition

even though Americans support that position by 73%-22%
http://www.democrats.com/iraq-poll-1

by bob fertik 2007-10-18 08:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Senator Dodd: Lead The Resistance

How many votes do you think we have?

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-10-18 08:22AM | 0 recs
Why doesnt the Press cover him

If not for your post and Markos, we wouldnt know what Dodd has been doing.

Thus how can it be leading--- if he doesnt make a ripple.

Actually Dean was good at this--when he wants to make a point--it sounds like a gaffe that it gets on TV.

by jasmine 2007-10-18 07:00AM | 0 recs
A Repeat Question on Dodd

Because I didn't get an answer the last time. Why isn't someone like Chris Dodd the Senate Majority Leader? He's in the Senate, the Dems are in the Majority, and he's one of the few who has any resemblance to a LEADER!

Where's Hillary on this? How about Obama? It is annoying, personally, that as my estimation of Sen. Clinton wanes, her polls wax.

by Bob Miller 2007-10-18 07:32AM | 0 recs
Re: A Repeat Question on Dodd

He ran for Democratic Leader against Reid after Daschle lost in 2004. He lost within the caucus.

by andgarden 2007-10-18 07:39AM | 0 recs
Re: A Repeat Question on Dodd

andgarden,

Thank you. I was on this blog (and DKos) in 2004. It should have been something I remembered.

Now, if you can answer this question, I'll really be impressed: What the HELL was the caucus thinking?

by Bob Miller 2007-10-18 10:11AM | 0 recs
Re: A Repeat Question on Dodd

It is a thankless job.  You have to deal with at least 41 Republicans who have the power to stifle bills, vote against cloture. If they do, then it is turned around on you, as in "lacking leadership."   Dodd would be in that unthankful position today, with a majority of Americans(and Democrats) holding him responsible for "Congress' failure to act."

by georgep 2007-10-18 11:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Senator Dodd: Lead The Resistance To The Dem S

Dodd is on the view --

and i have to repeat

Elisabeth Hasselback is a TURD -

I cant stand her

by sepulvedaj3 2007-10-18 07:51AM | 0 recs
Re:

Dodd is certainly in a POSITION to lead on this issue.  But will he?  It has been suggested that Dodd should just put a "hold" on the bill.  Leading a filibuster has been suggested as another option.  What if he chooses to do neither of these things?

BTW, it is strange to me that net darlings who voted FOR FISA get away without much trouble from the netroots.  Where is the indignation vs. Webb, for example?  

by georgep 2007-10-18 08:06AM | 0 recs
On Webb

I suggest you read me NOT giving him a free pass on FISA, and especially, Iraq.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-10-18 08:19AM | 0 recs
Re: On Webb

I did not, just the general webroots, which has not taken Webb to task for his vote.

by georgep 2007-10-18 08:22AM | 0 recs
Re: On Webb

That's true.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-10-18 08:57AM | 0 recs
Re:

Webb actually got a lot of grief over the FISA vote and a few other votes where he went against the netroots position.  On the other hand, he gets a certain amount of credit for being on the right side of the infamous Iran vote, for his bill to give our troops the R&R time they deserve, and similar items.

One of the things I dislike about certain quarters of the netroots is the refusal to evaluate individuals on their whole body of work.  I'm sure you know what I'm talking about; you can have the progressive resume of a Russ Feingold, but cast one "bad" vote and commentors start ranting about finding a primary opponent for you.

So if Webb isn't getting as much grief over that bad vote as he could, I'm fine with that, because it exemplifies a healthier attitude in the long run.  He's certainly voting a lot better than George Allen would, and no other Democrat was winning that seat for us this cycle.

by Steve M 2007-10-18 08:20AM | 0 recs
that's just stupid...

... we'll never pass a single progressive bill if we give our elected Democrats a pass for voting against us 50% of the time.

every elected Democrat should always live in fear of a progressive primary. it does wonders for their voting records - just look at Al Wynn, proud co-sponsor of Kucinich's impeach Cheney bill, H. Res. 333
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z? d110:HE00333:@@@P

by bob fertik 2007-10-18 08:26AM | 0 recs
Re: that's just stupid...

But can't we stipulate that there's a big difference between Al Wynn and Russ Feingold?

by Steve M 2007-10-18 08:33AM | 0 recs
yes

but Feingold needs to be smacked occasionally just like the others - remember he was the deciding vote that let John Ashcroft's AG nomination out of the Judiciary Committee in 2001, because Ashcroft once gave him a ride home in the rain.

by bob fertik 2007-10-18 09:54AM | 0 recs
Re:

Of course he is voting better than George Allen would have, that goes without saying.  I was referring specifically to his netroots appeal, which is a bit odd, considering his stances on FISA and also non-progressive stances on several progressive domestic issues.

by georgep 2007-10-18 08:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Senator Dodd: Lead The Resistance To The Dem S

I hope Dodd does this.  Our best chance for a roadblock might be in the House, however.  A hold is a delaying tactic, but probably won't count for much in the end if leadership is on board with a deal.

by Steve M 2007-10-18 08:16AM | 0 recs
Hey!

Don't gamble - contact ALL liberal Senators!

by KevinHayden 2007-10-18 08:31AM | 0 recs
Good idea!

I just made it really easy with a petition to Biden, Boxer, Clinton, Dodd, Feingold, Kennedy, Kerry, Obama, Reid, and Schumer:

http://www.democrats.com/hold-the-wireta p-bill

by bob fertik 2007-10-18 09:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Senator Dodd: Lead The Resistance On FISA

Kudos to Dodd, from an Edwards supporter.

by greenvtster 2007-10-18 09:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Senator Dodd: Lead The Resistance To The Dem S

by dereau 2007-10-18 10:44AM | 0 recs

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