I won’t serve as an apologist for the weak backbone of the Democrats in Washington right now. In my personal political views, I am very liberal when it comes to social causes because they impact me personally and actually more fiscally conservative when it comes to this nation’s money because it’s my money.
No, this does not make me a Blue Dog Democrat as the lot of them tend to vote very far to the right on social issues.
Sorry, I’m just not into that whole mindset.
But there is one thing, ONE THING, that irritates me in politics more than anything. Today, I’m aggravated with the Democrats on FISA and it goes back to something I said a year ago which is coming to fruition at this time. My thoughts, (and I can’t find the post) was that whoever we elected to lead this country, well, would they be willing to strike down some of the directives that BushCo has put in place? My lack of optimism, if I recall correctly, ran pretty deep. Would our elected officials be willing to make decisions that wouldn’t violate a person’s rights and be willing to stand up to corporate greed in a country where the rich get richer and the poor are eating ramen noodles?
The answer is bleak.
In an analysis released Tuesday, Maplight.org, a nonprofit campaign finance watchdog group, found that lawmakers voting Friday in support of the wiretap deal averaged roughly twice the donations from the nation’s leading telecoms — Verizon, Sprint and AT&T — over the last three years as those voting against it.
The figures might not have raised eyebrows except that the proposal contained a gift for the industry, effectively granting retroactive legal immunity to the telecoms that enabled the Bush administration’s warrantless eavesdropping program. The immunity provision — blasted by civil libertarians for putting industry concerns above Fourth Amendment rights against search and seizure — rescues the companies from the roughly 40 lawsuits pending against them. Some money-in-politics watchdogs say the connection between the contributions and votes is no accident.
There is no such thing, in my book at least, as a reluctant vote. And it wasn’t just Barack Obama, who I might remind you didn’t even show up for this vote, it was a whole mess of democrats and republicans.
Only a few stood firm on this including Russ Feingold.
Language that appears likely to let telecommunications companies escape lawsuits over the Bush administration’s warrantless surveillance program drew sharp opposition from liberal Democrats such as Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold.
Feingold said the bill would be a “get out of jail free” card for companies that went along with a program critics say was illegal, and would give the government sweeping powers to spy on Americans.
“This legislation is going to be remembered as the legislation in which Congress granted the executive branch the power to sweep up all of our international communications, with very few controls or oversight,” he said.
I may be getting my libertarian on here but this just reeks. It’s like in the movie of the Shawshank Redemption where Andy Dufresne takes that small rock hammer and over years creates a big enough hole to get out of the prison.
That’s how I feel about our government right now. They are creating holes when it comes to civil liberties. And I’m with much of the progressive blogosphere when we see that Barack Obama said he would filibuster this bill last year and he didn’t. I ain’t happy, campers. Obama simply blew it.
Our elected officials are taking small pieces out of our individual rights such as the Fourth Amendment. This is basically being gutted and whittled away and one of these mornings, we are going to wake up and find that all the words we keep hearing about the constitution have just been that, words. I’d like to see some action please.
I thought, naively, that I might get a Camelot with either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama this year.
It’s just politics as usual.