Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Reid Wants To Deny Effective Voice To The Democratic Base

The Democratic "base" is strongly in favor of their freedom from warrantless searches and seizures guaranteed them by the United States Constitution. The Democratic senators running for President are very aware that the Democratic "base" wants the rule of law restored and strongly opposes granting AT&T and the other telecoms immunity for cooperating with the Administration's illegal wiretap program. At the very least blanket immunity will hide the extent of the Administration's blatant Constitutional and legal violations. Based on the hints leaked by various whistle blowers so far, the Democratic "base" suspects those violations are shockingly broad and extensive.

The stakes are high for the Democratic wing of the inside the beltway gang. The telecoms and their lobbyists give them lots and lots of campaign money. Many of them are well and truly in the thrall of the telecoms. They have to secure Telecom Immunity or risk losing all that money. The Democratic "base" might even hold them accountable if they are shown to have known the details of the program and did nothing to protect the Constitution.

The other day the Democratic "base" spoke so loudly in support of Chris Dodd's threatened filibuster that Harry Reid blinked and moved consideration of the bill that will grant the telecoms immunity until next year. Since the current Protect America Act (PAA) expires on February 1, 2008, Reid might seem compelled to bring the measure up for consideration sometime in the middle of January. The Democratic "base" is going to be paying close attention during January's primary season. They will punish any Democratic presidential candidate who doesn't strongly oppose Telecom Immunity. That means Democratic senators running for President are going to be under great pressure to filibuster any effort to grant the telecom's blanket immunity.

What is Harry Reid's solution to this knotty problem? According to The Hill Reid is proposing a short extension of the Protect America Act until after the primary season. After the primary season Democratic Senators can freely piss on both the Democratic "base" and the Constitution without fear of anybody doing anything about it. And you thought Harry Reid wasn't a good politician. Wouldn't it be great if he actually worked for the Democratic "base?"