Larry Lessig points out that for the first time in history Congress’
job performance is rated (by Rasmussen)
in single digits: 9%.
Some of his commenters think that has something to do with the
recent FISA bill, and others think that’s just a minority concern.
Three quarters of the American people and even a majority of Republicans
oppose Bush’s warrantless wiretaps.
Two thirds oppose warrantless wiretaps even for communications between U.S. citizens and overseas persons, and almost 2/3
oppose immunity for telcos.
Aome people call that a minority.
I don’t think that word means what they think it means.
Instead of standing up to Bush as the Constitution requires, Congress capitulated
and gave the worst president in history still more powers to spy on the people.
And the people do know about it:
“Congress rolled over on FISA” –LA Times
“Democrats voted for FISA out of fear” –Chicago Tribune
“Obama gives telecoms a pass” –Hartford Courant
“Senate approves bill to broaden wiretap powers” –NY Times
“Senate vote backs Bush on wiretaps” –Salt Lake Tribune
“Senate vote gives Bush what he wants on surveillance bill” –Seattle Times
News.google.com finds about 960 other stories much like those.
Is the FISA bill the only reason Congress’s numbers tanked? Nope, but I don’t
think it’s coincidence that they dropped immediately after the Senate passed that bill.
Yes, I know, the FISA bill just passed by the Senate doesn’t
preclude criminal liability.
But Bush can, by pardoning for any and all crimes committed,
just like Ford did for Nixon; the man who commuted Scooter Libby’s
sentence won’t balk at that.
And the bill does do away with civil liability,
so the telcos never have to pay for illegal warrantless blanket wiretapping,
and the criminal evidence against the politicians that hired it is hidden.
But, to be Chicago kind of candid, whatcha gonna do about it?
Today, the freshman senator from Illinois voted in favor of the FISA bill that provides retroactive legal protection to cooperating telecom companies that helped the feds eavesdrop on overseas calls. Up until a few weeks ago — let’s see, that would be shortly after the last primaries settled the Democratic nomination and terminated what’s-her-name’s once frontrunning campaign — Obama adamantly opposed the bill. “Unequivocally” was the word his people used.