At DailyKos (UPDATE: and here at MyDD), recommended-list diarist HatchInBrooklyn tries to defend Obama's FISA stance:

We all know that in this day and age a serious Presidential candidate absolutely cannot vote "no" on a bill even loosely related to preventing terrorist attacks. If Obama were to oppose the bill as a whole, he would be handing McCain--who didn't even bother to show up and vote today--a huge opening to scare voters and paint Obama as weak on terrorism.

No. No no no no no. No.

Democrats must always stand against Republicans on national security - because Republicans have proven miserable failures on national security, and yet still try to politically intimidate Democrats by painting them as weaklings yearning to surrender. It's precisely why Barack Obama deserves credit for opposing the war in Iraq. It's why Feingold deserves credit for casting the sole vote against the PATRIOT Act in the Senate. And, because the American people don't like to be fooled twice, it's why most of our fellow citizens no longer fear a terrorist attack and favor ending the war in Iraq.

There is more than one possible justification for voting the way Obama did on FISA, but this is quite possibly the worst.

Tags: Barack Obama, Election 08, FISA (all tags)



He is a hypocrite

There is nothing new or hopeful about his politics.

by indydem99 2008-07-09 11:58AM | 0 recs
Re: He is a hypocrite

yep, that 68-29 vote really would have helped us in the GE!!!!keep believing that, boy, it must be nice to be able to only think in short sighted terms.

by Dog Chains 2008-07-09 12:00PM | 0 recs
Re: He is a hypocrite

Interesting comment...but, the problem may have more to do with the self-fulfilling prophecy that may be playing out in the past few weeks.  We, as Democrats, don't want to look week because we remember past shellackings.  The question may be more complex than that, however. E.g., some say the problem in 2004 was related to our candidate trying to present multiple images of himself (thus appearing to be running in circles chasing one's tail.) The problem is also doubled here because of the unique purported position of the candidate as something new and different in politics.  The dilemma may well involve perceptions about whether our party and candidate have the courage of their convictions...and, exactly, what are those convictions.  My point: Caution about justifying every move to "center," because if it looks too fast, too dizzying, the real problem will be defined in terms of "integrity." And, if one gets tagged with not having any (integrity), all the tactical maneuvers in politics go by the boards.

by christinep 2008-07-09 12:42PM | 0 recs
Re: He is a hypocrite

My misspelling. Change "week" to "weak."

by christinep 2008-07-09 12:43PM | 0 recs
Re: keep on hoping...

Well, he has to win the election now and will do whatever he and his team thinks he has to do to win; so let's be patient about change we can believe in.  Wait till he's actually president.  Of course, he'll then be governing with his re-election in mind, so be prepared to continue being patient.  There's always hope!

by moevaughn 2008-07-09 12:34PM | 0 recs
Ah yes, Obama the constituional compromiser... 8.html


And where is the Angel of Change at this crucial hour? Busy playing for the Hispanic vote. Barack Obama has already shot his bolt, saying he will vote for the current FISA bill, and hinting darkly that unless the vote goes through, there will be loopholes in the law leaving the country open to unnamed threats. A laughable notion, wouldn' you say? Didn't  this whole business start because the Government cared nothing for the law? As Bob Ostertag wrote in the Huffington Post,

"Imagine how inspired you would have been if, instead of turning and running, Obama was interrupting his campaign schedule to fly to Washington and lead the filibuster against the FISA legislation. Take the money donate it instead to Russ Feingold, the senator who is leading the struggle. Then tell everyone you know to do the same."

But don't be too surprised at our Barack (see The Banality of Hype), who like Yossarian, is happy to win the election, no matter if it means losing the country in the process.

read more.....

by suzieg 2008-07-10 12:17AM | 0 recs
Kudos to Hillary for Her Leadership...

...Leaders lead.

by Andre Walker 2008-07-09 11:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Kudos to Hillary for Her Leadership...

28-69, yeah, now that's leading...Symbolic votes with nothing on the line aren't leadership.

by Dog Chains 2008-07-09 12:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Kudos to Hillary for Her Leadership...

The Iraq War Resolution passed by a heck of a lot more than 1 vote, so gee, I guess Hillary's vote on that didn't matter either.  It's interesting to see the arguments people are coming up with.

by Steve M 2008-07-09 12:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Kudos to Hillary for Her Leadership...

Exactly my point. To claim to show leadership by getting thoroughly trounced is silly, neither showed leadership on this, she voted the way she needed to, he did his thing, in no way does it reflect on anyone favorably, it's just unfortunate and a reality we now have to deal with. but to say she showed leadeship is just flat out silly, especially since she never spoke a word leading up to it.

by Dog Chains 2008-07-09 12:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Kudos to Hillary for Her Leadership...

How did Clinton vote the way she needed to?  What was the need?

Im fully aware of the fact she'd change if she needed to.  I just don't see a need here.

While she may not have been a leader against immunity, she certainly did the right thing.

by MKyleM 2008-07-09 12:22PM | 0 recs
he's just pissed off because she had more balls

than Obama! The man is jello.... take a look at what is coming ahead with this man of non-conviction -  not a pretty picture and anyone thinking that he's going to reopen this can of worms if he's elected is just disillusional!

by suzieg 2008-07-10 12:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Kudos to Hillary for Her Leadership...

and yet he DID say words to the effect that he would "work with" the Senate to get immunity out of the bill. So what insult will you hurl to try to distract from that?

by zerosumgame 2008-07-09 12:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Kudos to Hillary for Her Leadership...

That he voted for all 3 ammendments removing immunity, that all went down huge. And where are the insults? I'm not you

by Dog Chains 2008-07-09 12:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Kudos to Hillary for Her Leadership...

You are right, he did vote for those amendments.

But, he spent the entire primary telling us that our constitutional rights and national security cannot be separated and that any bill that granted immunity wouldn't be acceptable.

Yet, a week or so ago, when he announced his reversal, he tells us that national security trumps telecom immunity.

No matter how much he says he doesn't like it, his voting for it is a fundamental reversal.

I think he has played this very well and, actually, has reaffirmed by faith in his ability to not only win, but to lead and be reelected.

However, its nothing short of Politics. As. Usual.

by MKyleM 2008-07-09 01:02PM | 0 recs
Those were easy - he wasn't there for the hard one

all talk no action - na, na, na told you so! You cannot count on him just like in Illinois when he voted present 131 times on hard votes!

by suzieg 2008-07-10 12:23AM | 0 recs
Ah, here we go...

Time to pull out the tired "present vote" talking point again.  How much time have people wasted in the past explaining to you how this is utter bullshit?  I won't waste mine.

by username 2008-07-10 05:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Kudos to Hillary for Her Leadership...

Kerry & Edwards voted for it too but they later said it was a mistake.  If Clinton did that she might be the presumptive Democratic nominee right now.  

by Blue Neponset 2008-07-09 12:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Kudos to Hillary for Her Leadership...

You're right.  

I wonder what sets her apart from those two.

Oh, right...a vagina.  Although its totally possible Kerry has one too.

by MKyleM 2008-07-09 12:24PM | 0 recs

How is saying Kerry might have a vagina not sexist?  

by Blue Neponset 2008-07-09 12:31PM | 0 recs


by spacemanspiff 2008-07-09 12:39PM | 0 recs

Yeah, sure, it is.  

But, I'm not sexist.  In fact, I firmly believe that Clinton has been held to a different standard throughout the primary.  

If Clinton voted for the war, she is the spawn of satan.  Nevermind the fact that we forgave Kerry, Edwards, Biden, and the rest.  

If Clinton triangulates, she is a nasty, narcissistic, cynical hypocrite who will do and say anything to be elected.  I won't mention the fact that more than a few are spinning themselves sick trying to advocate for Obama right now.  Oh, wait, I guess I did just mention it.  Huh.

If Clinton dares to compete and dismisses those who constantly demanded she quit, then she is hell bent on destroying the Democratic Party.  Nevermind the fact that 99% of all politicians have outrageous type A personalities and egos the size of Jupiter.

by MKyleM 2008-07-09 12:47PM | 0 recs

Right, you aren't sexist you just say sexist things on political blogs.  Thanks for clearing that up.

by Blue Neponset 2008-07-09 02:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Kudos to Hillary for Her Leadership...

So, do we hold Obama to the same standard on certain votes--war, constitutional rights--as Clinton?

by christinep 2008-07-09 12:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Kudos to Hillary for Her Leadership...

Go for it.  Don't vote for Obama in your state's primary or caucus if you don't like the way he voted on this bill.  

by Blue Neponset 2008-07-09 02:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Kudos to Hillary for Her Leadership...

In all fairness I think it's an easier vote when you are voting as a Senator from NY, and not the Democratic nominee for POTUS.

I still respect her for her vote.

by hootie4170 2008-07-09 12:05PM | 0 recs
This is the guy that was calling Hillary

"Bush lite". In fact he is "Bush lite"!

by indydem99 2008-07-09 12:09PM | 0 recs
Re: This is the guy that was calling Hillary

Who are you talking to?  I never said Hillary was Bush-Lite.

by hootie4170 2008-07-09 12:15PM | 0 recs
Obama called Hillary "Bush lite"!

by indydem99 2008-07-09 12:31PM | 0 recs
Re: This is the guy that was calling Hillary

Bush lite is better than Bush.  You should look on the bright side. :-)

by Blue Neponset 2008-07-09 12:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Kudos to Hillary for Her Leadership...

That may have been her dilemma in 2002?

by christinep 2008-07-09 12:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Kudos to Hillary for Her Leadership...

With all due respect, the only leaders on this issue were Feingold and Dodd, since they were the only ones who actually attempted to work with ordinary citizens to defeat the bill.

by rfahey22 2008-07-09 12:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Kudos to Hillary for Her Leadership...

And kudos to Dennis Kucinich for his leadership throughout the primary.  Too bad he never had a chance...

by username 2008-07-09 09:50PM | 0 recs

you mean the same Hatch here on mydd's rec list?

by alyssa chaos 2008-07-09 12:00PM | 0 recs

OK.  I am now officially apologizing to all Clinton supporters.

You were right.  

I was wrong.  

I was duped.  I was taken in my his slick "leadership" (ha!) skills and smooth talk.  

If I could take my vote back I would.  I AM ANGRY.

by rf7777 2008-07-09 12:03PM | 0 recs

yeah, you're right, because she wouldn't have voted with 68% of the senate, and instead spent the next 4 months being painted as out of the mainstream and against protecting Americans...I see that now based on your objections...Do i wish he voted different, yes, do i understand he probably couldn't, yes, is it a game changer, NO!!!!

by Dog Chains 2008-07-09 12:07PM | 0 recs

I love how all the deadenders are suddenly leaders in the FISA fight.

I'll bet more than half had never heard of such a bill until Obama said he'd oppose it.

The comments over at NoKKKwarter are hilarious.

by spacemanspiff 2008-07-09 12:43PM | 0 recs

Well, similarly, I love how there's now a big constituency in the netroots for giving in to the Republicans on this issue, when back before the current campaign folks on the blogs were virtually unanimous in urging Democrats to fight on telecom immunity and warrantless wiretapping.

The vast majority of the people who are upset over this are the same people who were upset over it all along.  I won't defend Larry Johnson or his three-ring circus, but I'm a little tired of the troll patrol.

by Steve M 2008-07-09 01:41PM | 0 recs

Thank you rf7777. It is the acknowledgement that Hillary is a decent human and Democrat that is important to a number of us.  You know, idolization of any candidate can cause all kinds of twists and turns to justify ourselves and the one-time favorite candidate.

by christinep 2008-07-09 12:54PM | 0 recs
You forget, he's not the official nominee - write

to SDs and ask for a floor roll call on the floor! Why do you think Obama is trying so hard to stop it - he knows there's an iota of a chance that delegates might change their minds...

by suzieg 2008-07-10 12:25AM | 0 recs
Here is the real story as to why he opposed the


There has been quite an uproar in the press that Sen. Obama has flip flopped on Iraq. I think there is deep rooted misunderstanding of Sen. Obama's position on the Iraq war. There is a false presumption on the part of the public and the media regarding the speech Sen. Obama made on Chicago lake front.

Let us go to the facts: Sen. Obama delivered his now famous "Iraq war speech" on October 2nd 2002. The Iraq war resolution was passed by the House of Representatives on October 10th and passed by the senate on October 11th. By October 2002 Obama had already made up his mind to run for the US Senate. He was well aware that the majority of the Illinois Democratic delegation was going to vote against the war resolution. In fact it is public record that 9 out of 12 Democrats in the Illinois delegation voted against the resolution. Here is the list:

Sen Dick Durbin- Rep Jerry Costello- Rep Danny Davis- Rep Lane Evans- Rep Luis Gutierrez Rep Jesse Jackson, Jr- Rep Bill Lipinski- Sen Bobby Rush- Rep Jan Schakowsky

Sen. Obama's run for the senate required the support of the congressional Democrats and it would have been unwise for him not to speak against the Iraq war. It was not necessarily his convictions that made him speak up against the war it was in fact a political necessity. So I can see why he might now want to "refine" his position. adership/a/IraqNayVote_3.htm

by indydem99 2008-07-09 12:03PM | 0 recs
He's a coward passing himself as a man of

convictions and principles - how do you like his principles and convictions now? Does he still represent yours?

by suzieg 2008-07-10 12:27AM | 0 recs

Have people forgotten that the GOP tried to make the whole 2006 election about Democrats being soft on terrorism for opposing warrantless wiretapping?  Have they forgotten the coast-to-coast fearmongering ads the Republicans ran using that theme?

Have they forgotten how that election turned out, how the Republicans failed to defeat a single Democratic incumbent?

Someone wants a free pass for voting for the Patriot Act a couple weeks after 9/11, fine, you can have your free pass.  But I really don't see what Democrats have to fear from this vote.  We have all the empirical evidence we could ever want in the form of the 2006 election results.

And this is exactly the type of politics Obama was supposed to move us beyond.  No more cowering to the Republicans, no more ceding the battlefield to them every time they wave the bloody flag of national security.  Instead, we're right back in the 2002 mindset.

One of the main reasons Lyndon Johnson escalated our involvement in Vietnam is that the Republicans were agitating for it and, given the ambitious domestic program he wanted to pass, he didn't want to give them an excuse to paint him as soft on Communism.  Well, that sure worked out great.

by Steve M 2008-07-09 12:05PM | 0 recs

Besides the telecom immunity what exactly is your problem with FISA?

by hootie4170 2008-07-09 12:16PM | 0 recs

I am not sure why you want to threadjack this.  I will incorporate Glenn Greenwald's objections to the bill by reference.

by Steve M 2008-07-09 12:27PM | 0 recs

Thank you, thank you, thank you. This whole idea that Obama would lose the election if had voted no is just ridiculous. What short memories we seem to have.  Or perhaps selective memories is more accurate.

by Denny Crane 2008-07-09 12:45PM | 0 recs

I'm confused on one topic - did Clinton vote for or against cloture on the final bill?  

by NewOaklandDem 2008-07-09 12:07PM | 0 recs

by JJE 2008-07-09 12:49PM | 0 recs
Pick Your Battles

I agree that I probably expressed my opinion quite poorly. I absolutely do not believe that Democrats should, as a rule, roll over for the GOP on national security issues.

But my overall point stands. In this particular instance I don't think that the risk he would have faced by opposing the bill would have outweighed the consequences of the vote. If he'd done the same thing on a vote to authorize force in Iran, it would obviously be a different situation. We're talking about telecom immunity, not a declaration of war.

by Hatch 2008-07-09 12:09PM | 0 recs
The only reason he opposed the war

was for political reasons. Nine out of 12 in Illinois Democratic delegation voted agains the war.

by indydem99 2008-07-09 12:12PM | 0 recs
Re: The only reason he opposed the war

yepo, that's it, and Hillary only voted the way she did today because she knew there are no consequences but possibly upsetting the apple cart. See, I can make up silly assertions too, est part is, they do nothing about anything.

by Dog Chains 2008-07-09 12:14PM | 0 recs
I believe that she voted the way she did because

of insider's information that Bill had and also because of Tony Blair who was a good friend to them. Let's face it I blame Blair as the person most responsible for the war - every time the country was wavering Bush had him come over and convince us - how many trips did he come over and made the eloquent case for the war while Bush stood silently next to him? I can think of 4. I believe Hillary believed him more than Bush and took his word for the presence of wmd!

by suzieg 2008-07-10 12:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Pick Your Battles

Don't worry, just a perfect reason to blame Obama for everything from the blame Obama first crowd. It's quite amusing if it wasn't so sad. he's pretty much the damned if you do, damned if you don't candidate at this point.

by Dog Chains 2008-07-09 12:13PM | 0 recs
Why did he call Hillary "Bush lite" ??

by indydem99 2008-07-09 12:14PM | 0 recs
Just To Clarify

Josh Orton is not "the blame Obama first" crowd by any stretch of the imagination. I hope that's not what you're implying.

by Hatch 2008-07-09 12:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Just To Clarify

No, just people like Indy Dem and the like. And these people are falling for it...Anyone who can't understand why this took the route it took obviously can't see the forest through the trees, as much as it reeks...Of course now we get to listen to all these weenies come out of the woodwork like somehow this 69-28 vote is all because of 1 man!!!!

by Dog Chains 2008-07-09 12:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Just To Clarify

yes that was what he was implying, but look how quickly he tried to distance himself from it when challenged LOL!

by zerosumgame 2008-07-09 12:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Just To Clarify

yes, because you know me so well, you can get what I'm implying...Pretty comical stuff coming from a troll.

by Dog Chains 2008-07-09 12:43PM | 0 recs
How can you explain that a constitutional lawyer

voting against our civil rights and the constitution if not for his own political ambition! How can you excuse this travesty? If anything he should have fought tooth and nail for our constitutional rights but he chickened out just to be more palatable to the independents/republoicans!

by suzieg 2008-07-10 12:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Pick Your Battles

What was the risk?  We already had an election on the issue of warrantless wiretapping in 2006, and look what people thought of the Republican fearmongering then!

Either we're going to keep cowering at the thought of Republican attack ads or we're not.  Considering they'd be doing nothing but recycling the same ads they already lost with in 2006, I really don't think there's much of an excuse for cowering.

by Steve M 2008-07-09 12:15PM | 0 recs
There was an election

on the issue of warrantless wiretapping?  Do you really think that was a big issue on voters minds in 2006?  I bet less than 10% of the population knows what FISA stands for.  Hell, I bet less than 10% of readers of this blog have even read the bill.

by JJE 2008-07-09 12:21PM | 0 recs
Re: There was an election

Republicans ran ad after ad on the issue of warrantless wiretapping in 2006.  It gained them nothing.

I am not interpreting the 2006 results as some kind of massive mandate against warrantless wiretapping.  I am interpreting them as pretty rock-solid evidence that Republican fearmongering on this issue is completely ineffective.  This was one of their major themes, and they didn't defeat a single incumbent!

by Steve M 2008-07-09 12:25PM | 0 recs
Perhaps they ran

ad after ad in some races.  I don't recall that.  Also, national security is a bigger issue in a presidential campaign than in a congressional campaign, so even assuming 2006 was a litmus test I don't know how much you can infer from it.

by JJE 2008-07-09 12:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Perhaps they ran

Presidential elections are also the time when you get the public's ear to actually explain your positions.  Obama was supposed to be the candidate who would actually stand up for his positions, not one who would cower just because the Republicans might fearmonger.

Further, are we supposed to believe that every other Democrat who caved on this issue did so just to give Obama some cover?  None of them are running for President, so they should have no reason to be afraid.  2006 is an exact precedent as far as they're concerned.

by Steve M 2008-07-09 12:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Perhaps they ran

maybe on this point, he agrees with the revisions, and doesn't think the spilled milk of companies listening to the president is really worth tying up the FISA revisions, which aren't much different than what are in place now? Who knows, I've said he's wrong on it, but the end all be all argument is just silly since it was passing with or without him.

by Dog Chains 2008-07-09 12:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Perhaps they ran

There is a limit to how much explaining you can do.  Before it before I was against it.  I don't think he'd win the argument that it is more important to allow some nominal-damages suits to proceed than it is to allow the NSA to data-mine the electronic communications of foreigners.

Regarding the other Dems, they may, as Dog Chains suggests, simply have taken the view that the benefits of getting judicial oversight of the system, especially when the Right is arguing that this monitoring is within the sole purview of the executive and beyond Congress's power, outweighs the negatives.

by JJE 2008-07-09 12:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Perhaps they ran

Well, conversely, if he thinks the bill is a great idea and perfectly consistent with the Fourth Amendment, he's done a pretty crappy job of explaining himself to the left.  He's been more interested in saying "hey, I'm really sincere, I'm not just doing this to move to the center" than in actually articulating a coherent argument in favor of the bill.  Really, I think the odds that the Republicans unanimously got this one right are vanishingly small.

by Steve M 2008-07-09 01:44PM | 0 recs
If he's caving on such an important bill what will

he sacrifice next? Social Security? Abortion rights? You can no longer trust him! His word is shite!!!!

by suzieg 2008-07-10 12:36AM | 0 recs

Very proud to call myself a Clinton Democrat today.

Thank you, Hillary, for standing against Bush/Cheney and standing up for the Constitution today.

by Scan 2008-07-09 12:10PM | 0 recs
Me too !

by suzieg 2008-07-10 12:37AM | 0 recs

I actually agree with the diarist.  

Obama's main challenge is to prove to Americans he will be willing to protect the country from whatever threat - terrorists, China, etc.

Clinton does not have to prove her 'testicular fortitude'...they can be seen from space.

The main problem, for me, is that I'm sure if you go back and look at her earlier diaries, she was railing against Clinton as a hypocrite and 'politics as usual'.  

And she is.  But, so is Obama and he always has been.

by MKyleM 2008-07-09 12:10PM | 0 recs

sorry but protecting us from the Constitution helps America how exactly? How would lawsuits holding those telecoms accountable would harm America how exactly? After all the only bad thing that could come from those suits would be to show just how the taps were NOT used to "fight terrorism" but rather as political toys. And once again, no matter how many corrupt officials would be fired or jailed I do not see how that is a harm to us rather then a good thing?

by zerosumgame 2008-07-09 12:27PM | 0 recs
Can you show me

where the FISA bill is unconstitutional?  Citing a case or two maybe?  I hear "OMG the CONSTITUTION!" bandied around a lot but I find few people are familiar with the Fourth Amendment and even fewer understand the bill.

by JJE 2008-07-09 12:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Can you show me

freedom of speech and all that old-fashioned stuff, and being free in our persons from unreasonable searches and seizures. But I guess those are not parts of the Constitution you and dumbaya want, huh?

by zerosumgame 2008-07-09 12:41PM | 0 recs
thanks for proving my point

I ask for reasoned analysis based on the bill and the Constitution, you respond with non-responsive overwrought boilerplate.

by JJE 2008-07-09 12:46PM | 0 recs
Re: thanks for proving my point

It's the zerosumgame way.

by spacemanspiff 2008-07-09 12:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Can you show me

Again, the first FISA Bill in 1978 had a three day window where the government could obtain a warrant after the fact, that hasn't been mentioned much, nor has any Supreme Court struck it down, so you point?

by Dog Chains 2008-07-09 12:49PM | 0 recs

You are right, no doubt.

The problem is that Americans aren't the smartest country of people on the planet.  Or, educated and informed, I should say.  They are easily fooled.  And you're never going to get all of that information released before the election anyway (not with this Congress) - about who was spied on, etc.

Obama is a new figure on the scene.  We have been following him and feel as if we know him.  We trust him.  The country as a whole is not there yet.  Not only that, but they're hearing all kinds of crazy rumors about the guy.

If Obama can vote for a bill that is, as you can clearly see, going to pass overwhelmingly and avoid giving McCain a potentially damaging opening, then it is worth it.  

He can fix it when he's president and he doesn't have to worry about progressives....he knows you and I will vote for him anyway.

by MKyleM 2008-07-09 12:38PM | 0 recs

worth it? How exactly is tearing more holes in our social compact good in any sense of the word? If he had not been so wishy-washy on it from the get go it would not have passed in this form. As it was he was ineffectual and tried to just ignore it for political points. that is nothing close to new politics...

by zerosumgame 2008-07-09 12:43PM | 0 recs

Look, there is a very real difference between running a real campaign (one that intends to win) and being a college professor.

In a college, you make arguments.

In a campaign, you put up a fight, a fight in which you must always keep yourself convinced your opponent is smarter than you.

National security is McCains biggest strength and, to many, a weakness of Obama.  If you can negate an advantage of McCains that you can see coming from miles away, it is the smart thing to do.

Also, the people Obama needs to get on his side (suburbanites and seniors), do you think they care if the government is listening?  Most likely, they will see it as a very small sacrifice in light of the terrorist threats we face.

As for punishing the telecoms, that is also something only people like you and I care about.  The vast majority of Americans will want to move on!  The GOP has a very easy argument to make to the American people.  They will ask, do you think it is worth it to open these companies up to lawsuits that can essentially bankrupt the telecommunications industry.  They will answer with a big NO!

by MKyleM 2008-07-09 01:14PM | 0 recs

This is the "take national security off the table" argument that worked so well for us in 2002.

The Republicans will always, always, always demagogue national security.  We don't acquire some magical immunity totem by going along with their demands, they'll just find something else to demagogue.  Look at what they did to Max Cleland, for the love of God.

This strategy hurts Democrats with the base and it does nothing to actually prevent the Republicans from making their fearmongering arguments.

by Steve M 2008-07-09 01:46PM | 0 recs
By giving another victory to Mr. 28% Bush makes

the dems look weak - if they once stood up to him, the american people might have respect for the party! This was another picture perfect capitulation and showed the dems continuing weaknesses regarding security

by suzieg 2008-07-10 12:41AM | 0 recs


Good for Hillary but do you really think she would have voted this way if she was the candidate?

If you do, I've got a bridge I'd like to sell you.

by spacemanspiff 2008-07-09 12:12PM | 0 recs

Are you admitting Obama voted against his best judgement because he is the candidate?  Because if you aren't I have a bridge I would like to sell you.

by JustJennifer 2008-07-09 12:17PM | 0 recs

He's focused on the prize.  I hope he does what he needs to do to win the POTUS.

by hootie4170 2008-07-09 12:19PM | 0 recs

"Ends justify the means?"

by christinep 2008-07-09 01:03PM | 0 recs


by JJE 2008-07-09 01:12PM | 0 recs

I'm not going to do primary wars, sorry.

If you don't see the HUGE difference between his position and hers then their is not much to talk about.

I never expected anything else from Hillary and I'm proud she's a Democrat.

Kudos all around.

by spacemanspiff 2008-07-09 12:22PM | 0 recs

It's abundantly clear that he has, based on his several very strong previous statements on the matter.  I'm upset, but I do sympathize somewhat with the "get on the bus or get run over by it" argument.  

Anyway, it's all moot now that the bill's been passed.  All we can do now is hope that Obama decides to pursue criminal prosecutions after January.

by semiquaver 2008-07-09 12:23PM | 0 recs

KILLING ME! Ain't going to happen - he showed you today what he's made of and it's jello - there's no way he's going to re-visit this bill or prosecute anything or anyone - the first day in office,should he be elected, is the first dayof hisre-election campaign and he's going to keep FISA QUIET - WILL NEVER BE A PRIORITY FOR HIM. He's probably relieved that it happened today so that you'll have enough time to forget that he betrayed your trust!

by suzieg 2008-07-10 01:11AM | 0 recs

Does this take HRC out of the running as VP?

by hootie4170 2008-07-09 12:19PM | 0 recs

Why would it?  Running mates never have identical voting records, even on important pieces of legislation.

by rfahey22 2008-07-09 12:21PM | 0 recs

Besides, I don't think it's on the table as a legitimate G.E. issue anymore.

by spacemanspiff 2008-07-09 12:23PM | 0 recs

This nonsense about the GE is bull!  Obama was in no danger of loosing the GE opposing immunity for Telecoms.  In fact it was more than likely a plus for him just look at recent polls since he's changed his stand.  Contrary to the weak kneed spineless idiots on this site and others encouraging people to compromise on the Constitution I say go to the cattle car by yourself!  Americans want a leader who will protect the Constitution not weaken it.  Oh yeah sure I should just trust that Obama will instruct his Attorney General to 'investigate' possible crimes.  Yeah the check is in the mail Obama!  

by orionwest 2008-07-09 12:20PM | 0 recs

Nice rant. Insulta and hyperbole all around.

Stay classy.

by spacemanspiff 2008-07-09 12:25PM | 0 recs

Americans want a leader who will protect the Constitution not weaken it.

If Americans hadn't elected George Bush twice then you might have a point, but they did.  

I think Obama could have weathered the FISA hurricane the Repubs would have sent his way but the bill would have passed anyway so it isn't worth giving the Repubs a free shot at him.  YMMV, but it is Obama's campaign to run and I will give him the benefit of the doubt on how to run it best.

by Blue Neponset 2008-07-09 12:28PM | 0 recs

I think you'd be less impressed with McCain, as his party consists of the main actors responsible for 1) the spying and 2) making sure immunity was in the bill.  So if you are trying to get people to vote for McCain, Nader, or Barr, or anyone else, which will help teh wrost offenders, then truly you are the "idiot" sir/madam (as you call others here Idiots)

by KLRinLA 2008-07-09 12:34PM | 0 recs

Please stop with the McCain crap whenever someone crits Obama.  I'll vote for Obama but not out of respect or any kind of enthusiasm at this point!

by orionwest 2008-07-09 01:11PM | 0 recs
Do you really think Nader would have voted for

immunity? Stop making excuses for your spineless candidate!

by suzieg 2008-07-10 01:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Do you really think Nader would have voted for
I thought our candidate was just old politics and playing the game to win, how is that now spineless, I thoguht it was moving to the center, or triangulating?
I should say that Obama beat the Clinton's in the primary, the guy is not spineless  
by KLRinLA 2008-07-10 01:30PM | 0 recs
Boo to Obama

Stabbed in the back - AGAIN!

Thanks Congressional Dems, and Obama in particular.  Nice to see you are just as craven as I always thought you were.  And cowardly to boot.

God I hate the Demcrats just as much as I hate the Republicans.  At least the Republicans I are openly bad - Democrats try to justify it with all kinds of BS.

Like winning against Republcans means anything when you adopt all of their policies.  WOOO HOO! Democrats did it instead of Reublicans - what  RELIEF!

by teknofyl 2008-07-09 12:40PM | 0 recs
Finally someone else who's disgusted with our

party - come join us as independents, it's nice and liberating here!

by suzieg 2008-07-10 01:14AM | 0 recs
Uh no.

I want to change my party for the better.

by teknofyl 2008-07-28 07:08AM | 0 recs
A suggestion

Why don't the mods here actually do something about the trolls on this site rather than continuing to take pot shots at Kos?  Clean up your own backyard, so to speak.  This front page article serves no useful purpose.  If you want to respond to something on Kos, get a friggen account over there and FEEL FREE.

by SpanishFly 2008-07-09 12:42PM | 0 recs

I would agree with you Josh if the presidency was not on the line.  Obama did what he had to do, and I am glad he did.  FISA is one bill that can be fixed later, but this is the one really big chance for the democrats to win the presidency which leads to everything.

by Spanky 2008-07-09 12:43PM | 0 recs

It's easier said then done.  Most Americans don't read political blogs or follow what Congress is doing in terms of legislation.  They rely on sound bites and TV ads for their political information.  Obama voted the way he did so the GOP and McCain wouldn't feed middle America a bunch of garbage about us Dems being weak on national security.

by Steve24 2008-07-09 01:05PM | 0 recs

One of the reasons that Democrats have been viewed as weak on National Security and defense is that they frequently do things that show that they actually are weak and spineless. There are exceptions, but not enough to have a very salutary effect.

by Retired Catholic 2008-07-09 02:55PM | 0 recs


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