Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Do I Hear You Say Uncle?

Giving the campaign coverage a break, there may actually be some good news on FISA/warrantless surveillance front.

Via Michael Froomkin of Discourse.net, comes the news from Glenn Greenwald, in Have Republicans given up on FISA and telecom amnesty?:

GOP is de-prioritizing their efforts to enact the Rockefeller/Cheney FISA bill:

House Republicans are poised to shift their focus from national security to the economy, hoping to rally opposition to what they claim are Democratic plans to raise taxes amid the economic downturn.

Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) is expected to announce Thursday that the House GOP floor emphasis will transition away from passing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and earmark reform to 'stop the tax hike.'

The article goes on to quote GOP operatives as claiming that they're not giving up on FISA altogether (and the anti-warrantless-eavesdropping ads for which $50,000 was recently raised will be running shortly). But clearly, they have come to accept that they are not going to win the fight any time soon and they are not getting any real political traction from their scare-mongering campaign. Other than AT&T, Verizon, Fred Hiatt and Dick Cheney, there is not -- and there never was -- any constituency in the U.S. demanding new warrantless eavesdropping powers and telecom amnesty. And the ongoing disclosure of still-new secret surveillance programs, combined with increasing dishonesty from the likes of Michael Mukasey and Mike McConnell, only made the prospect of GOP success here that much more unlikely.
I have to say that I would never have believed that we would prevail on this one. You Are a Liar, Mr. President. However, it proves my point that the Democrats in Congress shouldn't just give up when the Republicans threaten to bully them on various measures.

This was the very point that I made to the Democratic Committee when they called twice this week asking for a donation. I told them that I would only contribute to candidates who were trying to throw the bums out -- Democrat and Republican incumbents alike.

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