Thursday, July 10, 2008

Democrats Capitulate on Wiretapping Vote

Senate Democrats capitulated today on HR 6304, a bill amending the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 to expand wiretapping powers and providing legal immunity for the phone companies cooperating in the despicable National Security Agency wiretapping program. Particularly disappointing were the votes of Pennsylvania Senators Bob Casey and Arlen Specter, although it is possible that Specter thought he was approving wiretapping of NFL coaches in the Spygate scandal.

More predictable, but disappointing nonetheless, was the vote of the spineless presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barak Obama. Obama had long opposed giving legal immunity to the phone companies that took part in the N.S.A.’s wiretapping program, even threatening a filibuster during his run for the nomination. Instead, he voted with McCain.

The Democratic majority in the 110th Congress has been a big disappointment. It has had a number of opportunities to stand up to George W. Bush's policies, and has done its best disappoint the constituents who put it in place.

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