Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

How Quickly People Forget

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 20, 2008

It’s been disappointing, to say the least, that Senator Obama hasn’t spoken out again, publicly and forcefully, against the FISA telecom immunity fiasco that Steny Hoyer has decided must happen.

Yet, in answer to those who would gloat over this because they backed another candidate, Glenn Greenwald reminds us that there is another powerful Senator and major presidential candidates who has done somewhat less:

I remember a few months ago, when the Senate was preparing to vote on amnesty and FISA, and we had to force statements out of Clinton and Obama. Both of the statements they issued were vague and non-committal, and I and many other bloggers were extremely critical of both. In response, Obama almost immediately issued a much clearer and more committed statement. Clinton never did. Were you yelling and kicking and screaming back then like you claim today you would be doing if she were still running? I don’t recall that.

Just a little reminder. (Here’s another one.)

UPDATE: Some people are saying “Yeah, so what? She’s not the nominee.” Well, Obama isn’t either — he’s just the presumptive one at this point. Back in February, Senator Clinton was the presumptive nominee. She had promised the month before to oppose telco immunity.

Instead of whipping up support for the immunity-stripping FISA bill amendment, she didn’t even bother to show up for the vote. Obama at least managed that — during the height of the primary battle — and managed to vote for the immunity-stripping amendment.

So when you hear people saying that the results on FISA would have been better if Hillary was in Obama’s position: Well, not so long ago, she was in his position, and she did have the chance to use her position as presumptive nominee to mobilize opposition to immunity. Instead, she didn’t even bother to show up for the vote.

Neither Senator has covered him/herself in glory on this. But you can’t pretend that Senator Clinton was or would have been better on this than Senator Obama, because she’s already shown that she wouldn’t be — and wasn’t.

3 Responses to “How Quickly People Forget”

  1. CMike said

    When does Obama nation go from chanting “he’s da bomb because Clinton sucks,” to “he’s da bomb because McCain sucks?” After the convention I guess.

    Oh and just to update you, Sen Obama has spoken out publicly and forcefully about the “Hoyer” bill, just not against the “Hoyer” bill:
    “It is not all that I would want. But given the legitimate threats we face, providing effective intelligence collection tools with appropriate safeguards is too important to delay. So I support the compromise, but do so with a firm pledge that as President, I will carefully monitor the program, review the report by the Inspectors General, and work with the Congress to take any additional steps I deem necessary to protect the lives – and the liberty – of the American people.”

    But not to worry:
    It restores FISA and existing criminal wiretap statutes as the exclusive means to conduct surveillance – making it clear that the President cannot circumvent the law and disregard the civil liberties of the American people. It also firmly re-establishes basic judicial oversight over all domestic surveillance in the future. It does, however, grant retroactive immunity, and I will work in the Senate to remove this provision so that we can seek full accountability for past offenses.

  2. Charles II said

    I will enthusiastically vote for NotMcCain, CMike. Even if he did just do a full weasel on FISA.

  3. CMike said

    NotMcCain…where do you see that? Oh yes, now I found it, you mean the guy in column B on the General Electric menu. Good choice Charles II, would you like Chuck Hagel or Sam Nunn with that?

    Here’s the latest policy paper from column B.

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