Well, it is now done. The House has approved passage of the amended FISA bill — the one that virtually assures immunity to law-breaking telecommunications companies and grants new powers of surveilance to the president. There is no way to sugar-coat this: Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer are sell-outs. They are a disgrace. They are cowardly. And they are liars.
Pelosi has tried to paint this legislation as a compromise. Tell me this, why did all but one Republican vote for this bill, while more than half the Democrats voted against it? Is that a compromise or is it rolling over?
The New York Times reported that the White House is over joyed by this bill:
The proposal — particularly the immunity provision — represents a major victory for the White House after months of dispute. “I think the White House got a better deal than they even they had hoped to get,” said Senator Christopher Bond, the Missouri Republican who led the negotiations.
The White House immediately endorsed the proposal, which is likely to be voted on in the House on Friday and in the Senate next week.
Does that really, really, really sound like a compromise? Most compromises I’ve seen, both sides are disastisfied. So why are only Democrats disatisfied with this bill? Let’s remember this: DEMOCRATS CONTROL BOTH CHAMBERS OF CONGRESS!
Steny Hoyer — the main architect of this legislation — is the House MAJORITY leader. He has clearly decided that the only people he cares about are his corporate sponsors. Pelosi is no better.
I must report that Vermont’s lone representative, Peter Welch, voted against this bill. Kudos to him.
Sadly, Barack Obama, who was a vocal opponent of telecommunications amnesty during the primaries, didn’t take any stand on this issue in the past 24 hours. Whatever else he may be, we now know that Obama is just a politician. Even if he wins the White House, nothing will change.
I think I’m voting for Ralph Nader this November.