The floor recognizes the distinguished lady from New York… and so do I.
Hillary will run again, maybe in the next election cycle, and no it’s never too early to talk about any Democrat running again; what with the past eight years a nightmarish reinvention of the Nixon White House, and now a McCain presidency a foregone conclusion. Democrats will likely have my vote for life, but I never forgot Senator Clinton’s Iraq vote. I felt betrayed as a New Yorker who was, and is one of her supporting constituents, but here’s something else I won’t ever forget:
She opposed the FISA bill on Wednesday… again.
In a statement, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton said of the bill:
"Any surveillance program must contain safeguards to protect the rights of Americans against abuse and to preserve clear lines of oversight and accountability over this administration. I applaud the efforts of my colleagues who negotiated this legislation, and I respect my colleagues who reached a different conclusion on today's vote. I do so because this is a difficult issue. Nonetheless, I could not vote for the legislation in its current form."
Amen. This is what I expect from my Senator. She went on to remind the cowards who didn’t stand with her what their job is:
"Congress must vigorously check and balance the president, -even in the face of dangerous enemies and at a time of war. That is what sets us apart. And that is what is vital to ensuring that any tool designed to protect us is used - and used within the law - for that purpose and that purpose alone. I believe my responsibility requires that I vote against this compromise, and I will continue to pursue reforms that will improve our ability to collect intelligence in our efforts to combat terror and to oversee that authority in Congress."
Well reasoned, and well said on my behalf. Thank you Senator Clinton. That is an example of government at work for the people. Of the senators who voted opposition to FISA a year ago in June 2007:
Senator Akaka, Senator Baucus, Senator Biden, Senator Bingaman, Senator Brown, Senator Byrd, Senator Cantwell, Senator Cardin, Senator Clinton, Senator Dodd, Senator Durbin, Senator Feingold, Senator Kennedy, Senator Kohl, Senator Lautenberg, Senator Leahy, Senator Levin, Senator Menendez, Senator Obama, Senator Reed, Senator Reid, Senator Rockefeller, Senator Sanders, Senator Schumer, Senator Stabenow, Senator Tester, Senator Whitehouse, Senator Wyden.
-most returned with “nays” a year later:
Senator Akaka, Senator Biden, Senator Bingaman, Senator Boxer, Senator Brown, Senator Byrd, Senator Cantwell, Senator Cardin, Senator Clinton, Senator Dodd, Senator Dorgan, Senator Durbin, Senator Feingold, Senator Harkin, Senator Kerry, Senator Klobuchar, Senator Lautenburg, Senator Leahy, Senator Levin, Senator Menendez, Senator Murray, Senator Reed, Senator Reid, Senator Sanders, Senator Schumer, Senator Stabenow, Senator Tester, Senator Wyden.
Senators Bingaman, and Boxer among a few others made sure they registered their opposition this time… but not the senator from Illinois, Barack Obama.
I am well aware of the reality of Barack Obama’s liabilities as a candidate this late in the game. Everyone knows he has an uphill battle convincing many Americans that he will be tough on terror… (Frankly the Republicans have an uphill battle convincing me and any sane person who looks at their actual performance since the Bush administration took office but that’s beside the point) but, capitulating to these crooks in the oval office, so clearly convinced of their criminality that they are now trying to change the law, is unacceptable.
Barack Obama has acted no differently than a Republican, NeoCon or Bush appointee, -his reservations about immunity not withstanding. One must be willing to lose short term to beat these imperial elitists in the long run. That means to be willing to lose the presidential campaign, even lose your seat in the senate next time around.
Because this bill was more important than who gets to be president.
The passing of this bill was a huge victory for everyone who thinks that concepts and doctrines like checks and balances and our bill of rights are inconveniences to their own individual pursuit of wealth and power.
I contacted Barbara Boxer’s office in 2004 about her position on a bill I took issue with; their response was that since I didn’t live in a California zip code, they would not pass along my communication to her… I beg to differ on this policy, as all the aggregate votes of all senators affect me, you and everyone in this country. Barbara Boxer opposed FISA at this crucial time, and so did Senator Clinton, as she has every time, courageously.
Senator Barack Obama didn’t.
Barack Obama ain’t president yet, and he may never be, if my estimation of this country’s maturity is correct. I have to live with the consequences of Senator Obama’s vote and the votes of all the other Democrats and Republicans who think it’s just too unpopular to oppose this administration, regardless of where they reside and what region they represent. We have bought into the lie that the presidency is the most important office in the land… passing legislation like this, makes that lie an eventuality.
Much praise is due Senator Clinton and those she stood with.
Senator Dodd, offered these words of hope:
“While I am deeply disappointed by the outcome of today’s vote in the Senate, I am confident that the Constitutionality of this decision will be challenged in the courts. In the meantime, I will continue to stand up for the rule of law and American civil liberties at every opportunity. Now more than ever, we must all remain vigilant protectors of the Constitution.”
Saints preserve us... or at least our rule of law and the Constitution.