The Democratic House and Democratic Senate just said it is perfectly reasonable for the most unpopular president in the history of the United States to tell corporations to violate the Constitution on his order alone.  The Democratic House and Democratic Senate just caved in to Mr. 23% Approval Rating to create an ex post facto immunity for lawbreaking on his authority alone.

And the Democratic nominee for president thought that would be a nice power to have once he’s in office.  The Democratic nominee for president just told us that should he feel it necessary, he can order the private sector to spy on us illegally without any repercussions or accountability.

All because of political convenience.  All because they feared the “Barack Obama voted to enrich trial lawyers and help Osama bin Laden” attack ad.  All because they were afraid the Republicans would call them names.

A commenter at HuffPo gives us what should now be used for the oath of office for Congress or President:

Senate Passes FISA Bill, Gives Telecoms Immunity – Politics on The Huffington Post

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Office of President of the United States, and execute the Constitution of the United States.

The ultimate knife in my heart right now is that Barack Obama voted for the bill and Hillary Clinton voted against it.  I’ve been a longtime registered independent and since moving to Oregon, a registered Green.  But to support “change you can believe in”, I switched my registration to Democrat.

That’s the last time I do that.  Tomorrow I’m back to Green.  Obama still has my vote, as McCain is reprehensible and the Supreme Court too important, but he gets no more of my money and the yard sign is being returned to Obama HQ (with my scribbled “Capitulation I Can’t Believe In” on it).  If I wanted a yard sign for a candidate who supported retroactive immunity, more faith-based initiatives, more handguns, more death penalty, and no public campaign financing, I could’ve just recycled my neighbor’s Bush signs from the past two elections.

I’ve heard the justifications.  “We need to win the election.”  “It’s just civil immunity, Obama can still go after criminal prosecutions.”  Really?  After those inevitable January 19, 2009 pardons Bush will give to everyone involved?  This was it, our only chance to know who, what, where, when, how, and why we were spied on.  Our Senate just voted to give immunity to telecom companies without (most of them) even knowing what they were giving immunity for!

Obama has made a huge mistake.  In the parlance of football, he’s not playing to win anymore, he’s playing not to lose.  He’s so terrified of giving the Republicans the “Dukakis in a tank / Kerry on a windsurfboard” moment that he’s forgetting to “dance with them what brung ya”.

What energized the Obama movement was so many of us fed up with the “politics as usual” that puts party, corporations, and money before people and the Constitution.  We ache for change and long for a leader who wil lay it all on the line to defend our cherish freedoms.  Someone who has principles and courage.

But now, fearing the “Obama voted against watching the terrorists!” ad that he sells out the 4th Amendment with retroactive immunity in FISA.  So afraid of the “Obama is a secret Muslim who will shut down Christian churches!” ad that he sells out the 1st Amendment with more government hand-outs to “faith-based” groups.  So terrified of the “Obama thinks we should coddle child rapists!” ad that he sells out the 8th Amendment by supporting the dissent against declaring death penalty for child rape unconstitutional.  (At least he’s strong on the 2nd Amendment, but he probably supported the reversal of the DC handgun ban because he was afraid of the “Obama wants to take your guns” ad.)

I wonder if Obama was paying any attention in 2004 to the “flip-flop” ads that worked so well against Kerry.  It will be so easy now for the Republicans to brand Obama as “just another politician” who will do or say whatever it takes to win.  He will fall from an angel of change to just another devil of politics, and I fear with two devils running, the people will choose the devil they know instead of the new young one.

This kind of behavior from a Constitutional Law Professor is simply unforgivable in my book.  In the primaries, Obama promised me he would filibuster any retroactive immunity for telecoms.  In the primaries, I railed against Hillary Clinton for being fooled by a Bush into voting for the authorization to invade Iraq.  Now I’ve got a nominee who wasn’t fooled, he was knowingly co-opted into the biggest cover-up conspiracy of my lifetime.

He’s not the only one, of course, as so many other Democrats caved in.  One of my callers described the FISA Capitulation (it gets capital letters, as it is now like “Teapot Dome” or “Watergate Break-In”) as the Democratic leadership covering their own ass for having approved these Constitutional breaches back in 2002 and fearing their own prosecution.  Wouldn’t it be the ultimate irony if Bush pardons all the Republicans and telco CEOs involved, and leaves Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Jay Rockefeller, and the rest of the Dem leadership as the only people who could legally be held accountable for any of this spying on Americans?

Bush has essentially held our troops and our people hostage since 9/11. If we didn’t give him money for war without timetables, he’d let the troops rot in the field and say that Dems don’t support the troops.  If we didn’t give him retroactive immunity for telecoms, he’d let there be no FISA surveillance and say that Dems are supporting the terrorists.  Hell, why shouldn’t he hold us hostage; Pelosi took impeachment “off the table” and Bush can pardon/commute any of his buddies.  If you told me I could completely subvert the Constitution and rob the treasury to benefit myself and my rich friends… well, I still wouldn’t do it because I love the Constitution and don’t have rich friends.  But if you told a coke-snorting frat-boy business-failure oilman’s son he could do it… well, we just did.




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