Friday, June 20, 2008


Looks like the Dems have finally caved on telecom immunity and expanding the Preznit's surveillance abilities.

The WSJ highlights that the agreement "was driven largely by the realities of election-year politics" as Democrats facing re-election in more conservative parts of the country worried about appearing soft on national security. Obama is now in the unenviable position of having to decide whether to anger the Democratic base by supporting the measure or risk losing the support of independent voters if he speaks up against it. Ultimately, "the surveillance powers may end up being a rare survivor of the administration's post-9/11 redrawing of national-security law," the WSJ deftly points out.
Frankly I'm surprised they didn't cave earlier. But I still think it's wrong, both morally and politically. The moral arguments make themselves. But politically, how can anyone think that with Bush's approval where it is, and with Americans overwhelmingly suspicious of government, that ratifying the Bush surveillance is politically smart?

I hate to put on my tinfoil hat, but I think there's more to this. Whether it's to protect serious misdeeds by the administration or to get political donations from big telecom .... I don't know. But something of this sort would be the only reason for Dems to go along as far as I can tell.

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