Friday, June 27, 2008

Obama and FISA

I once worked for a politician, a liberal on a traditionally conservative city council. Her favorite question to me whenever I advocated a favorite position was, "Can you count to five?" Meaning, where would I find a five vote majority on the nine member council for that position? We might agree on the policy but she was not going to fall on her sword fighting a hopeless battle.

I hate the FISA bill that is before the Senate. I strongly support Feingold, Dodd, and the other Senators who are fighting it. I am immense proud that my Senator, Barbara Boxer, is one of the fighters and bitterly disappointed that my other Senator, Diane Feinstein, has caved. I am upset that Barack Obama is not one of the fighters, but I understand why.

With Republicans united and enough Blue Dog Democrats to ensure an easy victory for FISA, it is an impossible fight. As my old boss and friend would tell me, there are important battles ahead, it is irrational to waste energy and credibility fighting one we can't win.

I am upset and disappointed in Barack but I understand his political calculation.


Anonymous said...

Sen Feinstein has not "caved". In voting for wiretapping of Americans without warrants she is voting her true, conservative, authoritarian principles. Why so many Californians think she is a liberal Democrat is a mystery.

She has been one of Bush's key enablers in the Senate throughout both his terms.

knighterrant said...

You are right. To say she "caved" is to insult those Senators who, while lacking courage, at least occasionally try to uphold their oaths of office.

Feinstein is a consistent and reliable vote to betray the Constitution.