Wednesday, August 8, 2007

My letter to Pelosi and Reid over the FISA standards expansion bill

Via an American Civil LIberties Union action alert, here's what I wrote Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid:

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid:

It is at times like this, and votes like this, that I'm most aware of the importance of being “a card-carrying member of the ACLU.”

With last weekend’s deplorable, no horrific, FISA votes, that’s apparently a sentiment — and probably a membership — lacking in all too many Democrats. Unfortunately, on the House side of the Capitol, my own representative was one of the 41 turncoat Democrats.

Beyond the failure of responsibility lies the failure of strategy. For the past six and a half years, the Bush Administrations has engaged in such politics, but, yet again, too many Democrats knuckled under, and the leadership — that’s you, Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Reid — apparently was both unable and unprepared to steel them for the fight.

Speaker Pelosi, AFTER the vote was over, you charged Rep. Conyers et al to come up with a better bill. Among examples of closing the barn door after the horses are out, this was an egregious one.

You can lessen, but never totally erase, my distrust and disappointment by getting what had better be the right bill passed. More and more of us progressive bloggers are raising the “no money for Democrats” cry over issues like this.

I didn’t even question them, given what all is leaking out about this bill, and the pre-recess deadline they were imposing upon themselves (surely also part of the Bush-Rove strategy) whether or not they even knew everything that was in the approved version of the bill. Probably not; it wouldn’t surprise me.