Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Both Democrats and Republicans show their creepy side on the FISA bill

Update from Glenn Greenwald:

"The vote on the Motion for Cloture on the 30-day extension (i.e., to proceed to a vote on it) just failed -- 48-45 (again, 60 votes are needed). All Democrats (including Clinton and Obama) voted in favor of the Motion, but no Republicans did -- not a single one. Thus, at least as of today, there will be no 30-day extension of the PAA and it will expire on Friday.

Reid, however, indicated that it was certain that the House will vote in favor of an extension tomorrow, which means it will be sent to the Senate for another vote. It's possible, then, that the Senate will vote again later in the week on an extension, but it's hard to imagine any Republicans ever voting in favor of an extension since Bush has vowed to veto it.

By blocking an extension, Republicans just basically assured that the PAA -- which they spent the last seven months shrilly insisting was crucial if we are going to be Saved from The Terrorists -- will expire on Friday without any new bill in place. " (emphasis mine)

But the Democrats have been just as creepy on this issue:

"In essence, the reason Senate Democrats were able to successfully filibuster today is not because they oppose the Cheney/Rockefeller Senate Intelligence Committee bill. It's not because they stood firm against telecom immunity or warrantless eavesdropping. Quite the contrary, more than enough Senate Democrats were and still are prepared to vote for that bill in order to ensure passage (as they demonstrated on Thursday when 12 of them, in essence, voted for that bill).
The only reason Democrats were able to hold their caucus together today to filibuster is because The Senators were offended that their inalienable Senatorial Right to vote on amendments was deprived by the GOP's premature Cloture Motion. The one (and only) "principle" that can really inspire many of these Senators to take a stand is the protection of their Senatorial prerogatives. Many of them don't actually have any beliefs other than that.
Reward lawbreaking with immunity? Fine. Give the President new warrantless eavesdropping powers? No problem. Abolish habeas corpus and legalize torture? Sure. Deprive a Senator of the Right to vote on an amendment before cloture? Unacceptable! " (emphasis mine again)

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