It has been an exciting and fascinating two days, yesterday and today. It has been the best, and worst, of American democracy in action. The thrill of victory; the agony of a weak defeat, snatched from the strong jaws of victory. Yesterday we were giddy with the knowledge that the Democratic Senate Leadership had actually stood up, not just to the Bush/Cheney/Republican cabal of maximum everything in wiretapping and privacy invasion, but in the name or the Constitution and righteousness. Today, reality came crashing back down to earth for those of us in the reality based community.
Yesterday, the Senate led by Harry Reid and the Democrats fought off cloture and a vote on the contemptible Jello Jay Rockefeller crafted SSCI FISA Update Bill that, in addition to other ills, provided immunity to Dick Cheney, George Bush, other Administration malefactors and, as somewhat of an afterthought, participating telcos. That was a good thing. There were already whispers and scuttlebutt of a "brief extension" of the truly contemptible Protect America Act. As I have argued for some time now, there are inherent problems with such a "routine brief extension".
I repeat what I said yesterday on this “brief extension” nonsense. It is nothing but sheer political posturing that brings us down to the level of the Repuglicans AND weakens our case at the same time. Take a stand for the proper principles, and stand behind them as opposed to injecting harmful BS for the sole sake of cornering your opponent; which is a fine and appropriate tactic, if it doesn’t undercut your core principle in the process. Here, it will weaken the core principle and argument in it’s favor and should NOT be considered; especially since it is not necessary “to protect us” in the least, and blindly saying that it is so necessary is ridiculous.
NO EXTENSION! There is no need whatsoever for an extension, because A) The Administration can order any comprehensive program, or programs, they want prior to the lapse of the PAA and that program(s) will stay in effect for one full year “to protect us”; and B) the original FISA law is reinstated. Furthermore, passage of any extension is a wolf in sheep’s clothing because is equitably removes and/or weakens many arguments and defenses that opponents, like us, to the PAA had from it’s original passage in August 2007. At the Read more