Net roots revolt over FISA and Obama
by aliveandkickin, Wed Jun 25, 2008 at 01:42:23 PM EDT
Only weeks into the general election campaign and already a notable tension is beginning to materialize within the Democratic Party. At question is Sen. Barack Obama's relationship with the progressive netroots, the online community that helped aid the Senator's rise to the presidential nomination, but has since seemingly played second fiddle in terms of courted constituencies.
Obama's decision to embrace a compromise on FISA legislation -- a virtual slap in the face to some progressive bloggers demanding no legal immunity for telecommunications companies -- was the catalyst of the recent chatter. Other concerns arose days prior when Obama cut an advertisement on behalf of a conservative southern Democrat whose primary challenger was favored by the liberal blogosphere.
But for some progressive activists, the issue is not simply one of policy, but a concern that Obama's willingness to snub their political wishes is far more endemic.
"You can see it with FISA. He really doesn't feel that much kinship with the priorities of the netroots and I don't think he has made any secret of that," said Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake. "I have to say he is very consistent. He has gone outside the netroots for his strategy... People who feel betrayed right now, I'm not sure why, because it is extremely consistent with what they should have expected."
Indeed, there is ample evidence to suggest that Obama's standing with the netroots has not always been peachy. Prior to his victory in Iowa, he consistently trailed former Sen. John Edwards (and, on occasion, Chris Dodd) in the Daily Kos primary poll. Even before then, his (now-chilled) relationship with Sen. Joseph Lieberman as well as an essay he posted (again on Daily Kos) concerning Supreme Court nominations earned him some plaudits but also skepticism among some prominent online voices.
As a former aide to Sen. Hillary Clinton told The Huffington Post, had the New York Democrat not had her own problems with the crowd, her campaign would have been a far more natural home for the progressive netroots.
"I don't understand why a group like MoveOn backs Obama," said the aide. "Hillary is the one who will build up the Democratic infrastructure. She's the one promising to fight the ideological battles. He's the one who is talking about moving beyond partisanship. And they love him for it."
and then This : Huffingtonpost confirms that Obama will try to remove immunity , but WILL SIGN THE COMPROMISE! . My question is, how can you be for a compromise- a compromise ;that was on the immunity part and yet say you will SIGN it.
What if the final package is passed w/ the immunity? This is obfuscation at its best!"I'm against it before I vote for it"?
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced this evening that he will vote against the compromise FISA legislation and work with likeminded colleagues to strip immunity for telecom firms from that bill.
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.