Don't Spy On Me

Hillary Clinton could make some news today.

We already know Dodd and Feingold are fighting FISA.

And, to his credit, Harry Reid is opposing the deal:

It is a position that puts the Democratic Senate leader at odds with his own party's presumptive presidential nominee, Barack Obama, who also has pledged to fight for the removal of immunity but will vote yes on the final package.

"I am not going to vote for the FISA bill," said the Nevada Democrat. "There are people, Mr. President, who have worked on this FISA matter for three months or more and again the administration worked with them. Did they, on the FISA bill, move enough to make me vote for the bill? The answer is no."

But now comes something a little more interesting. Chuck Schumer, Clinton's close Senate ally and a member or the leadership, is also voting no on the capitulation:

Chuck Schumer's spokesman tells us that he's going to oppose the current version of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act legislation, which immunizes telcom companies for past implementation of Bush's requests and expands the government's capacity to surveil without court approval.

If Schumer backs an effort to remove the immunity provisions, that could be a big deal. Obama has come out against those provisions, but Schumer is a strategic signal caller in the Senate. The key question: Will Schumer support a filibuster on removing immunity from the bill?

Hillary Clinton was welcomed back to the Senate this week. And with two members of her caucus leadership standing against the deal, she could return with a bang.

Update [2008-6-25 15:58:57 by Josh Orton]: Now might be a great time to head over and buy one of Feingold's great "Don't Spy On Me" shirts, which look like the photo above.

Tags: Chuck Schumer, FISA, Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, Russ Feingold (all tags)



Go Hillary...

It's your birthday...  It's your birthday...

by SpanishFly 2008-06-25 11:56AM | 0 recs
Warrantless spying on Americans is something that

the founders of this country would have STRONGLY opposed as a step on the road to despotism.

The Bush administration has routinely ignored existing law and the common carriers have gone along with them. If we have laws, and we did and do, we should enforce them. We should not give them an amnesty for breaking laws in the past.

This is an area where if there is reason to believe that there is an actual threat, the government can and does get permission to wiretap, etc.

Giving them a green light to spy on people without any checks and balances would be a mistake, I think.

by architek 2008-06-25 12:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Don't Spy On Me

I agree.. but it would undermine Obama and I think she doesn't want to be seen doing that.

But yea. I think that would be a welcome development. But the beltway will assail her. As will Obama allies.

Still, its a stand and a risk worth taking.

by ajain 2008-06-25 12:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Don't Spy On Me

I'm an Obama supporter and I'd love to see her stand up against this.  I think Obama is wrong on this issue or at least isn't showing the leadership he ought to.  He's caught in a political minefield so I feel for him but he should've just said the retro immunity made the bill unacceptable, period.

Per some of the things I've seen on Olbermann, there's conjecture out there that the telecoms have a lot on a number of Dems throughout this mess too and it will come out unless there's immunity.  Now, I'm all for the truth coming out regardless, but it makes sense politically for many of them to support this bill if it hurts them personally not to.  And the way they see it, Bush is gone in a few months anyway.

That said, principle is more important here and I hope they filibuster it.

by SpanishFly 2008-06-25 12:05PM | 0 recs
Why is Obama so rarely willing to take a stand?

You can't be all things to all people, Barack.

by architek 2008-06-25 12:24PM | 0 recs
Well, I think...

Hillary knows by now that the "Beltway Insider Cocktail Party Club" is absolutely worthless. And hopefully, the Obama folks won't see opposing this FISA compromise as "undermining" him. I mean, are Feingold, Dodd, AND Schumer all trying to "undermine" Barack? I don't think so.

by atdleft 2008-06-25 12:06PM | 0 recs
'cause that beltway insiders were SOOOO helpful
to her?  had her back?
I think she'd love to give 'em a big, "I'm still here and F.U.!"
PS - any discomfort she'd cause Pelosi, Clayborne, et al. (who voted yes in the House) would just give her (and me) a bigger grin.
by kosnomore 2008-06-25 12:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Don't Spy On Me

Who cares if it looks like it is undermining Obama?  Our rights are more important than his feelings.  The political bullshit pandering is what got us in the mess in the first place.  She should do what she thinks is right for this country and uphold the oath she took when she was sworn in.

by JustJennifer 2008-06-25 12:46PM | 0 recs
I Hope Hillary Does...

Take a strong stand rejecting this FISA capitulation this week. That would only cement my deep respect and admiration for her... And prove to all you doubters that she's a true progressive warrior at heart. ;-)

by atdleft 2008-06-25 12:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Don't Spy On Me

Smart move by Hillary.  I'm glad she took my advice! ;-)  That gives her a very small, but palpable, opening at the convention if Obama keeps dis'ing his base...

This really isn't "going against Obama" since he will support a filibuster of the immunity provision, at least...  

by LordMike 2008-06-25 12:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Don't Spy On Me

Where has Obama dissed his base? He has said he is against immunity and he likely will support a filibuster.

That being said, we don't really want this fight to drag on into the General Election. McCain will beat us over the head with it as evidence that we are weak on National Security and that is a club we do not need to give him.

We need to get rid of retroactive immunity and go from there.

by JDF 2008-06-25 12:13PM | 0 recs
Lordy lord

McCain will beat us over the head! Yes he will no matter what you do. Like voting for AUMF prevented the Repubs from beating up on the Dems???

Unless you stand up for some principle and deep rooted American values like liberty the voters will see right through that. If they want the bombs at any cost guy they'll go for the real McBomb - not some wishy wash politician with no convictions.

by ab initio 2008-06-25 01:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Don't Spy On Me

Where does Sen Obama say he will vote yes if retroactive immunity is not removed from the bill? Everyone is saying he will support it regardless, but the only statement I've seen that came directly from Obama did not rubber stamp this bill as is. He said he would work to have retroactive immunity removed, which we all know kills the bill.

by grasshopper 2008-06-25 12:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Don't Spy On Me

I'm glad Chris Dodd and Feingold are still on this.  I never thought Shumer would be on the right side though.

I do hope Hillary stands up here.

by LIsoundview 2008-06-25 12:08PM | 0 recs
Why'd you doubt Schumer?
Not lookin' to fight / honest question - -
I honestly thought he had a good record on stuff like this.  Am I wrong?
(He's been great at DSCC, turning/keeping the senate blue!)
by kosnomore 2008-06-25 12:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Why'd you doubt Schumer?

He never impressed me when he was my senator when I lived in NY.

And he was the guy who recruited Casey in PA and Langevin in RI.

by LIsoundview 2008-06-27 01:21AM | 0 recs
Please, please, please, please . . .
Please justify my sticking by you, Hillary.
by kosnomore 2008-06-25 12:10PM | 0 recs
I'm not so sure that's a good idea

Obviously, I want Hillary to help Dodd and Feingold filibuster, but if she makes a big public deal about the bill, then the media will go crazy about a big, high profile split between Obama and Hillary.  And I don't think that's a good idea.

Better for her to stay in the background right now, give us her vote, and let Dodd and Feingold grab the headlines.

by dcg2 2008-06-25 12:54PM | 0 recs
Re: I'm not so sure that's a good idea

She should vote the way she wants to vote.  Obama has NOT said he is going to vote yes for the bill as is, I think he's hoping/pushing via backchannels to never have to get to a point where he has to vote against the bill.  If the Dems can get enough support in the senate to vote against the immunity clause, but keep the rest of the bill, they win.

But, the main point here is that all the extreme lefties want Obama to come out and be some vanguard against this, but the truth is, it's the same trap progressive candidates always fall into.  If you make too strong an impassioned defense while running for office, your opponent just turns it against you and you end up losing the office.  No, if Obama is playing the back channels and getting other Dems to put up the "principled front against FISA", including Senator Clinton, the desired goal of stopping FISA is still met and he doesn't give political ammunition to the GOP who are already trying to paint him as too liberal.

It amazes me that progressives still don't get it, principled stances and "statements" are all nice and give you emotional satisfaction, but the reason Dems have not really been the policy makers for any length of time since the late 60s is because we tend to commit political suicide everytime we are close to grasping the reins outright.  For now we need to get the FISA bill bumped back into committee or something in the Senate and keep our eyes on the prize till November.

by tlhwraith 2008-06-25 01:16PM | 0 recs
Re: I'm not so sure that's a good idea

If my reading of that he said is correct he said that he intends to vote for the bill but then retroactively somehow remove the retroactive immunity part. No? Do other people read what he said differently? If so, I'll go back and reread it.

by weltec2 2008-06-25 04:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Don't Spy On Me

Barack Obama fucked up: If Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid can oppose this "compromise" aka sellout, then surely our candidate for President should do so as well. No one can call Schumer and Reid radical, Schumer voted for Mukasey and has pro business leanings, and Reid is anti-choice. Grow a pair, Senator Obama and do what's right!

by bsavage 2008-06-25 01:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Don't Spy On Me

Who said he doesn't oppose it!

Try reading first.  He does oppose immunity.

by tlhwraith 2008-06-25 01:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Don't Spy On Me

Yes, but the expectation is that in the end the telecom companies will win.

by bsavage 2008-06-25 01:40PM | 0 recs
Pelosi should have blocked it in the house - -

so Obama could avoid the issue, and neither piss off the 'roots nor give McCain a hammer to bop him with.  Did she really think no one would notice?

by kosnomore 2008-06-25 01:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Don't Spy On Me

I like Chuck Schumer but I wish he would be consistent. He together with DiFi voted down a bill demanding a paper trail. That still burns me. I sent them both an angry e-mail and got weaselly mush about there not being enough time before the 08 election to put together sufficient controls.

by weltec2 2008-06-25 04:14PM | 0 recs

That post was completely off topic.

by weltec2 2008-06-25 04:16PM | 0 recs
Have they scheduled the Unity, NH event yet?

If they play hookey on the key Wiretap vote, it merits a picket.

by benmasel 2008-06-25 01:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Don't Spy On Me

i hope these people will support a f-buster.

by 2liberal 2008-06-25 05:45PM | 0 recs


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