Thursday, June 26, 2008

FISA - Good Dems and Bad Dems

FISA, almost certainly including telecom immunity, is a done deal. The cloture vote to stop debate passed 80 to 15, and below I've listed the Dems who voted for and against cloture.

Although the vote on the actual FISA bill may not occur for a while, it's the cloture vote that really counts. The lopsided vote clearly shows that the Democratic leadership supported the bill, despite Senator Reed's "reservations".

It's now unlikely that telecom immunity will be successfully stripped out unless Obama personally leads the charge against it. And although some of the Democrats who voted for cloture will likely vote against the eventual bill, don't be fooled. They knew that cloture, which requires 60 votes, was the only real chance we had to defeat the bill and thereby obtain any meaningful compromise from the White House.

Senator Feingold, as usual, fought the good fight. Senator Kohl, as is too often the case, sold us out. Obama missed the vote, as did Hillary and McCain. Shame on them. Regardless of where they stand, every elected official should be on the record when it comes to important issues like this.

FISA GOOD DEMS

CA - Boxer
CT - Dodd
DE - Biden
IA - Harkin
IL - Durbin
MA - Kerry
NJ - Lautenberg
NJ - Menendez
NY - Schumer
OH - Brown
OR - Wyden
VT - Leahy
WA - Cantwell
WI - Feingold

FISA BAD DEMS

AR - Lincoln
AR - Pryor
CA - Feinstein
CO - Salazar
DE - Carper
FL - Nelson
HI - Akaka
HI - Inouye
IN - Bayh
LA - Landrieu
MD - Cardin
MD - Mikulski
MI - Levin
MI - Stabenow
MN - Klobuchar
MO - McCaskill
MT - Baucus
MT - Tester
ND - Conrad
ND - Dorgan
NE - Nelson
NM - Bingaman
NV - Reid
PA - Casey
RI - Reed
RI - Whitehouse
SD - Johnson
VA - Webb
WA - Murray
WI - Kohl
WV - Rockefeller

If any of my Democratic friends are considering letting loose on me in the comments, be aware that I fully understand the political calculus behind the vote. I just don't agree with it.

Democrats succeed when we stand up for Democratic values, not when we cower and pretend we're corporate Republicans. That's the fundamental political lesson we should have learned over the last thirty years. Unfortunately, far too many Dem leaders aren't smart enough to realize that, or are simply too comfortable with the status quo to risk change.

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