This was a no brainer

Here are the reasons why Senator Obama's vote FOR the final FISA bill is wrong:

1. Senator Clinton voted NO. This means she gets to hang it over Obama's head just like he hangs the Iraq vote over hers. Giving her more leverage is never a good idea, especially when her top contributors are holding out, demanding she be declared Obama's VP choice. Her hands are clean on this one.

2. Senator McCain didn't vote for it. Actually, he didn't vote at all, but to the Straight Up Lying Out His Ass Express facts are meaningless, what really matters is that now, if the media and/or public ever do decide to make FISA an issue, McSame can honestly say he didn't vote for it. His supporting it is not relevant, there are countless examples of him talking out his ass already documented, but none of it phases the guy. And this time he won't have to lie. He didn't vote for FISA on the record. His hands are clean as well.

3. Remember all the talk about how Obama taught Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago? Well, Professor, care to comment on how voting against the Constitution, while simultaneously making it ok to break FISA law, is a change from the past? Haven't we experienced this type of governing for the past 7 years? Here he is, this man with amazing oratory skills, someone who I have personally watched mesmerize 18,000 people, yet he can't go out and explain to people why this is wrong? Why this hurts our nation? With McInsane pulling the "I got tortured, if you vote against me you hate America" card, this was an issue Obama could have fought back on. For fucks sake, he taught this shit! McFucksicle can't remember what he is saying while he is saying it half the time, beating him down over this should be a snap. And don't start with the "Republicans will call him a terrorist lover" argument, because they are already calling him a terrorist. With his skills he should have been showing real leadership and stood with Senator Dodd and filibustered the hell out of this. He could have argued this on television, controlling the debate. Major missed opportunity.

4. Only 40 votes were needed for a filibuster. The last amendment received 42 votes. If Obama hadn't waffled he could have made a real fight of this. And after the news of his shifting to the center more, this would have re-energized his base.This would have shown him to be a man of his word, and it would have proven that he will not back down, that he will fight the good fight. But instead we now have him saying he would never vote for this back when it was politically easy and flipping when it matters. How are we supposed to believe him now? How are we supposed to believe in change? Does the Constitution only matter in off years? He has just shot himself in the foot with a lot of people, and I honestly don't know how he will, or if he will even bother, to repair this, much less explain himself. And yes he needs to explain himself.

And 5. Does he really want to be the next Colin Powell? If I can think of that, a lot of other people can too. The people that want to bring him down can and very much may use this line of attack. Obama did after all just cave to Bush and do his dirty work for him. Just like Powell. And to make matters worse, I bet this comes from the center-left (Clinton, Bill). Not exactly the way we want this to go down.

So yes, this was the wrong vote. I don't know if Obama has lost his way, if he was always a tool, or if he has become surrounded by, and influenced by, some typical insider idiots. Whatever the reason for the catastrophe, Obama has been tarnished pretty bad. I can hear his minions saying this is about winning elections, that the spin on the bill will make him look good anyways. Well good for him, I'm glad he is working so hard to appease everyone. Because that's different how?

Oh well, it's not like Obama took an oath to uphold the Constitution. Oh shit, he did:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

Tags: FISA, obama (all tags)

Comments

46 Comments

Re: This was a no brainer

Rec for you! Once you get past the fog and poetry there is nothing about Obama except a bunch of jibberish.

by tigershark 2008-07-09 05:11PM | 0 recs
Re: This was a no brainer

How is that statement helping elect Democrats?

by mistersite 2008-07-09 05:40PM | 0 recs
Re: This was a no brainer

It doesn't.

But I'm also wondering if Obama's recent actions are helping elect Democrats.

by Sieglinde 2008-07-09 08:49PM | 0 recs
Re: This was a no brainer

Is Obushma a democrat?

YOu could have fooled me.

by rankles 2008-07-10 12:35AM | 0 recs
Hillary was right! Obama only has a speech!

by suzieg 2008-07-10 01:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary was right! Obama only has a speech!

It must be disappointing that she lost to someone with only a speech.  I feel sorry for you.

by Blue Neponset 2008-07-10 04:51AM | 0 recs
Re: This was a no brainer

Here's the deal; to talk that kind of talk you have to be ready to walk one hell of a walk. And I feel Obama tried to slip by this one. Which is sad because this was what he needed, a real fight about the basic principles of our republic.

He could have used that golden tongue to remind the country about the founding of this nation, given a real lesson on history intertwined with it's relevance to today, but instead he sold out. Took the easy way out.

by just another vet 2008-07-09 05:34PM | 0 recs
Re: This was a no brainer

I missed all the fun last night. I'll try to wrap this up because I have to get to work.

First, I am not a Clinton supporter nor a wedge troll. This vote honestly bothers me. I don't think Obama has evil motives here. But I do think this was a bad vote for the nation and I expected a lot more out of Obama. I jumped on the bus about a year ago. I understand that politicians are human and that we won't always agree with everything they say or do. However, violating the 4th Amendment:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

or covering for those that have is inexcusable. From the FISA bill:

"`SEC. 802. PROCEDURES FOR IMPLEMENTING STATUTORY DEFENSES.

...`(a) Requirement for Certification- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a civil action may not lie or be maintained in a Federal or State court against any person for providing assistance to an element of the intelligence community, and shall be promptly dismissed, if the Attorney General certifies to the district court of the United States in which such action is pending that--

....`(4) in the case of a covered civil action, the assistance alleged to have been provided by the electronic communication service provider was--

`(A) in connection with an intelligence activity involving communications that was--

`(i) authorized by the President during the period beginning on September 11, 2001, and ending on January 17, 2007; and

`(ii) designed to detect or prevent a terrorist attack, or activities in preparation for a terrorist attack, against the United States; and

`(B) the subject of a written request or directive, or a series of written requests or directives, from the Attorney General or the head of an element of the intelligence community (or the deputy of such person) to the electronic communication service provider indicating that the activity was--

`(i) authorized by the President; and

`(ii) determined to be lawful;"

Basically, the government just made it lawful to violate the Constitution to cover up violations of the Constitution.  

by just another vet 2008-07-10 03:57AM | 0 recs
Re: This was a no brainer

And to make matters worse:

"`SEC. 803. PREEMPTION.

`(a) In General- No State shall have authority to--

`(1) conduct an investigation into an electronic communication service provider's alleged assistance to an element of the intelligence community;

`(2) require through regulation or any other means the disclosure of information about an electronic communication service provider's alleged assistance to an element of the intelligence community;

`(3) impose any administrative sanction on an electronic communication service provider for assistance to an element of the intelligence community; or

`(4) commence or maintain a civil action or other proceeding to enforce a requirement that an electronic communication service provider disclose information concerning alleged assistance to an element of the intelligence community.

`(b) Suits by the United States- The United States may bring suit to enforce the provisions of this section."

This way no one can ever find out what really happened, ever.

by just another vet 2008-07-10 03:59AM | 0 recs
Re: This was a no brainer

What you've cited has nothing to do with the 4th Amendment.  It conflicts with Article I, Section 9:

No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

That section is an ex post facto law, and is unconstitutional, on top of being blatantly wrong.  This is why I disagree with Obama on the passage of the bill.

Now let's hear how it violates the 4th Amendment?  I've heard that a lot, in combination with claims that it "allows mass, unsupervised, warrantless wiretapping of Americans..."

But let's be very clear what it allows:

  1. Targeted, supervised (by the FISA court, Congress, and the GAO), warrantless wiretapping of non-Americans outside of America, so long as procedures are in place to prevent non-targeted individuals from being swept up into it
  2. Targeted, supervised, warrant-supported wiretapping of Americans outside of America, so long as procedures are in place to prevent non-targeted individuals form being swept up into it

The only possible Constitutionality question is the fact that warrants aren't required to specify the location or devices to be tapped.  Whether or not this violates the letter of the 4th Amendment is a question for much more learned scholars than I; but roving wiretaps of this type have been around since 1968.  It certainly doesn't violate the spirit, since the 4th Amendment's requirement to specify the place to be searched and the item to be seized is meant to prevent law enforcement from raiding a person's home with a blanket search warrant and simply searching until they find evidence of wrongdoing they didn't know about before.  This is much more limited, as it merely prevents the target from foiling the surveillance simply by picking up a new phone or moving to the next coffee shop down the road.

I think the biggest thing I object to is the bait-and-switch that most of the Left blogosphere seems to have pulled.  For months, months, this issue was about nothing except the telecom immunity.  Just Say No to telecom amnesty!  Don't protect the telecoms!

But suddenly the telecom amnesty has become a back-burner issue, the more important issue is that it destroys the Constitution!  Even though it has nearly the same judicial oversight requirements as the 30-year-old FISA legislation, and we used that as an argument for why Bush didn't need his warrantless wiretapping program.  "If it's an emergency, you can get a retroactive warrant!"

And so, even if he opposes telecom amnesty like MyDD and Big Orange have been crying about since this issue came to a head last year, suddenly that's just not good enough, he has to oppose the whole thing or it's just political posturing and he hates the Constitution.

by BishopRook 2008-07-10 04:34AM | 0 recs
Re: This was a no brainer

I'm with you Vet and I assume you are a real veteran so you more than most understand the importance of the Constitution.  Obama has sold us out clear and simple!  I don't give a damn about stupid excuses for moving to the center or trying to win an election!  The Constitution is not a bargaining chip.

by orionwest 2008-07-09 05:53PM | 0 recs
Re: This was a no brainer

So whom will you vote for?

by Politicalslave 2008-07-09 05:58PM | 0 recs
Re: This was a no brainer

I'll vote for Obama knowing he's a weak spineless Democrat with no more substance than a jellyfish.  After all that's what we've become used to in our politicians.  Where oh where is that couragous leader who puts the Constitution before anything.

by orionwest 2008-07-09 06:15PM | 0 recs
Re: I dare you

Obviously you didn't read my entire comment!  I said we're used to such politicians!

by orionwest 2008-07-09 06:33PM | 0 recs
Re: I read that part

I didn't expect anything different from Obama or any other politician but it's always nice to 'imagine'.

by orionwest 2008-07-09 06:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Political Science 101

Please stop with the idiocy and I say this as one who organized and got 20000 people to protest Bush's inaguration, who organized the first protest against the Iraq War, who ran a Democratic Political Organization in NYC , who ran the NYC MoveOn group in 98, who was given an award by Pepople for the American Way and has worked in the campaigns of Senators and Congress People in states across the heartland.

by orionwest 2008-07-09 07:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Political Science 101

All politicans dissapoint but Obama's vote today for the FISA Amendment Bill of 2008 is inexcusable.  It wasn't just a broken promise.  He eviscerated the fourth amendment - one of the ten original amendments to the constitution referred to as the Bill of Rights.  He voted to trash a citizens right to privacy.

The US constitution would NOT have been ratified had the Bill of Rights not been included.  That's an historical fact.  

The fact that Hillary voted against the bill and McCain was a no-show is irrelevant.  A vote for Obama is an affirmation of the governments "right" to revoke the rights given to citizens in our constitution.

We now have a choice between the lesser of two evils or not voting for evil.  Neither Obama not McCain will get my vote.  

by jrole 2008-07-09 07:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Like I said

Hillary 12'

by jrole 2008-07-09 08:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Like I said

Ahhh the real truth comes out...

by hootie4170 2008-07-09 08:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Like I said

Not really sure I know what you mean by that. I guess you're referring to the fact that I've always supported Hillary.  I've always been open about that.  I'm also on record as saying I'd vote for Obama depite my lack of respect for him.  But FISA was a deal breaker.

Hillary is and always has been more progressive than Obama.

by jrole 2008-07-09 08:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Like I said

Hillary 2012 gave it away...You are just like some of the rest, praying for controversy about Obama so you can justify not voting for him.  The old "my candidate didn't win so I will teach you all by helping elect another GOP dirtbag, and we can all be miserable, broke, uninsured, unemployed, hopeless, and continue to send sons, daughters, mothers, fathers overseas to die in wars we shouldn't be in."

by hootie4170 2008-07-09 08:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Like I said

I've voted for all too many Democratic candidates I didn't like or support in the primaries.  Would have held my nose and voted for the Obama if not for his FISA vote.

Protecting individual rights as outlined in the constitution is more important than anything you've mentioned.  And no, I won't vote for him if he puts Hillary on the tickets.

by jrole 2008-07-09 08:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Like I said

I'm getting troll ratings (as if I care).  For the record .. I've voted Democratic in every national election since 1972 - the first year I was eligible to vote.

I have voted Republican in a few state/local elections when I knew the Dem candidate was corrupt.

by jrole 2008-07-09 08:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Like I said

Why you directing that to me?  I haven't trolled rated you...

by hootie4170 2008-07-09 08:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Like I said

Oh and it would be '12 not 12'...unless HRC is 12 feet tall...

by hootie4170 2008-07-09 08:28PM | 0 recs
Nader - he wouldn't have voted for it...

by suzieg 2008-07-10 01:56AM | 0 recs
Re: This was a no brainer

For the record I don't think being a veteran gives a person any better understanding of the importance of the Constitution then anyone else. This line of reasoning denies non-veterans their right as citizens to question their government, as if they are somehow less able to grasp the relevance of the document to their daily lives.

I'm not saying that's what you meant, but I hear that vet thing all the time and it bugs me because of how it can be interpreted.

by just another vet 2008-07-10 04:14AM | 0 recs
just another

wedge troll.

by kevin22262 2008-07-09 06:50PM | 0 recs
pathetic comment, kevin

you just called a guy who ran an obama campaign office in texas, who gave hundreds of dollars and a couple thousand volunteer hours to the campaign, who travelled in the fucking obama motorcade, a troll.

that was pretty douche-tastic of you, and demonstrates clearly that people use the "troll" slur as an excuse to dimiss legitimate criticism of our candidate.

by annatopia 2008-07-10 09:18AM | 0 recs
Re: This was a no brainer

When does the "Change" begin?

.....still waiting....

by wblynch 2008-07-09 07:42PM | 0 recs
Re: This was a no brainer

Well, you just stand around and bitch and it will be by shortly..be sure not to work for it.  It's coming on the Coors Light train, you'll know when you hear the music.

by hootie4170 2008-07-09 08:14PM | 0 recs
Re: This was a no brainer

You're asking when the "change" begins?

On the contrary, there's been too much "change" going on lately.

by Sieglinde 2008-07-09 08:52PM | 0 recs
Obama constitutional compromiser

www.counterpunch.com/ramakrishnan0709200 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 01:58AM | 0 recs
Re: This was a no brainer

explain to people why this is wrong? Why this hurts our nation?

Because maybe he doesn't actually think that.

Wait, did I just blow your mind?

Stop tossing slogans like "voting against the Constitution" and actually cite what's wrong with the bill.  Not what the ACLU and Sen. Feingold say is wrong with it--you can go ahead and read the bill and try to track down this alleged Constitution-killing provision somewhere.  Critical thinking and reading comprehension, they are important skills.

by BishopRook 2008-07-09 07:43PM | 0 recs
Re: This was a no brainer

See my comments above.

by just another vet 2008-07-10 04:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Has anyone

Scary thought.

by Sieglinde 2008-07-09 08:50PM | 0 recs
Re: This was a no brainer

I am reasonably interested in politics, and I frankly don't give much of a crap about the FISA votes earlier today. I have been completely numbed by the death and destruction which this world has suffered under many years of Republican mis-government. I can only assume that those in America who are completely disinterested in politics really and truly don't give a crap about FISA. In fact you wouldn't be able to keep their attention long enough to give them the back story about which they also do not have and do not want any information. In 2 weeks, everybody will be lathered up about some other damn thing...

...unless I miss my guess.

by QTG 2008-07-09 09:17PM | 0 recs
When in doubt, blame it on Clinton--either one!

Quote:  "And to make matters worse, I bet this comes from the center-left (Clinton, Bill). Not exactly the way we want this to go down."

It was only a matter of time before you blamed Clinton--it doesn't matter which one--for FISA and Obama's support for it.  

This is why Sen Clinton should NOT take the VP slot if it is offered to her.  Either she or her husband will be blamed for ANY and ALL missteps, mistakes or flip flops Obama  makes as a presidential candidate or as president.

by trixta 2008-07-09 10:02PM | 0 recs
Obama veers to the right, but did he have to take

the Constitution with him?

www.slate.com/id/2195008/:

excerpt:

It's not an overstatement to say that in the past month Obama has tugged the First, Second, Fourth, and Eighth amendments to the center. Not a day goes by, it seems, without a constitutional wink to the right on guns (he thinks there is an individual right to own one), the wall of separation between church and state (he thinks it can be lowered), the Fourth Amendment prohibition on warrantless wiretapping (he's changed his position on FISA), and on the death penalty for noncapital child rape cases (he thinks it's constitutional) as well as a possible shift this week on the right to abortion (which could further limit the reach of Roe v. Wade

read more....

by suzieg 2008-07-10 02:18AM | 0 recs
Re: When in doubt, blame it on Clinton--either on

I brought up Bill Clinton because he is reported to be openly hostile to Obama. And he is not alone in his hostility.

Personally I don't want a VP Clinton. I didn't like her during the primaries and I don't like her now. She will probably use everything that is going on now in her 2012 campaign.

by just another vet 2008-07-10 04:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Has anyone

Bingo!

by trixta 2008-07-09 10:10PM | 0 recs
Bingo, Bingo, and triple Bingo!

by suzieg 2008-07-10 01:56AM | 0 recs
Go vote for not-Obama then

We will win in November without you.  

by Blue Neponset 2008-07-10 04:47AM | 0 recs
FISA might suck

But...it might not. Even in this thread, there are conflicting opinions. From the diarist:

Well, Professor, care to comment on how voting against the Constitution, while simultaneously making it ok to break FISA law, is a change from the past?

Oh, shit, Obama is selling out the Constitution!! But wait, BishopRook knows a thing or two:

Now let's hear how it violates the 4th Amendment?  I've heard that a lot, in combination with claims that it "allows mass, unsupervised, warrantless wiretapping of Americans..."

But let's be very clear what it allows:

  1. Targeted, supervised (by the FISA court, Congress, and the GAO), warrantless wiretapping of non-Americans outside of America, so long as procedures are in place to prevent non-targeted individuals from being swept up into it
   2. Targeted, supervised, warrant-supported wiretapping of Americans outside of America, so long as procedures are in place to prevent non-targeted individuals form being swept up into it

The only possible Constitutionality question is the fact that warrants aren't required to specify the location or devices to be tapped.  Whether or not this violates the letter of the 4th Amendment is a question for much more learned scholars than I; but roving wiretaps of this type have been around since 1968.

Yay, Obama's not selling out the Constitution!! Wait...what? Now I'm confused. I don't know enough to evaluate the bill, and I'm not alone:

What is more, even as we considered this legislation, the administration refused to allow the overwhelming majority of Senators to examine the warrantless wiretapping program.  This made it exceedingly difficult for those Senators who are not on the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees to assess the need for the operational details of the legislation, and whether greater protections are necessary.  The same can be said for an assessment of the telecom immunity provisions

...sez Senator Clinton. Most of the people voting couldn't even examine the underlying program. Really? How did they vote yea OR nay??

I believe there are people who have very good reasons to be outraged at FISA. People who understand the law, and the circumstances, and the Constitution. I also believe that some equally informed people might think it is necessary legislation. That's what I believe.

What I know, is that I can't reasonably evaluate FISA on my own. I have to trust someone's opinion, be it Feingold's, or Markos', or Obama's. I can't tell whether this is an egregious assault on the Constitution, or more Internet hysterics. Better minds than mine disagree on the issue.

by Neef 2008-07-10 06:06AM | 0 recs
Re: FISA might suck

Better minds than mine disagree on the issue.

Apparently those minds include that (those?) of Barack Obama, which disagree (with each other) on this issue.  After pledging during the primary season to filibuster any bill that allowed immunity for telecoms, he in the end voted neither to filibuster it nor voted against it.

Actually, even though I was a Hilary supporter, I agree with Obama's vote on this issue, as I had no problem with the FISA bill.  I do find it bizarre though how the netroots is coming to Obama's defense on this after making this out to be one of the most critical issues of the campaign.

by markjay 2008-07-10 11:48AM | 0 recs
You lost me at

the netroots is coming to Obama's defense on this

How can you possibly believe this? Even the MSM recognizes that he's pissed off his netbase.

I would agree that Obama flipped on this, I am merely saying I don't know how bad FISA was in the first place. However, this eternal quest for Obamaton hypocrisy gets old, and in this case strains your credibility the the point of incredulity.

The netroots defending Obama...wow.

by Neef 2008-07-10 03:41PM | 0 recs

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