Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Last Chance to Save the Rule of Law

This is it. Tomorrow morning, Harry Reid is planning to ram through the Senate a FISA bill that not only hands Smirky/Darth all the dictatorial domestic spying powers they want, but also gives giant telecommunications companies amnesty for illegally spying on the phone calls, emails and text messages of millions of innocent American citizens for the past seven years.

He's doing it over the objections of Democratic Senators Chris Dodd and Russ Feingold, even though Reid always honors such "holds" by republican senators.

He's doing it just as Democratic senators prepare to jet off to Switzerland for a "retreat." This timing forces Dodd and Feingold to launch a filibuster that ruins their colleagues' nice European vacation.

Reid's throwing everything he's got at these lonely defenders of the Constitution and the Rule of Law because the last time he tried this, in November, a concentrated grassroots protest forced him to back off.

We've got to do it again, only harder, faster and better.

The same coalition of progressive groups and bloggers that stopped the wiretapping amnesty train last time is back on the case, this time with a new tactic:

Demanding former Senator and Presidential Candidate John Edwards take the lead as the only presidential candidate backing Dodd and Feingold's Last Stand Defense of American Liberty.

Jane Hamsher and Glenn Greenwald write in an email:

John Edwards should challenge his rivals Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to go back to Washington, DC and fight against retroactive immunity for the telecoms.

Without the help of the presidential candidates, we are doomed to lose this fight. And all their calls for change will ring hollow if they allow George Bush to railroad this bill through a supine Democratic-controlled Senate because of their absence.

You can email Senator Edwards directly at

Greenwald adds this in a post:
UPDATE II: For what it's worth (not all that much), both Obama and Clinton have told Markos Moulitsas, in response to being asked, that they oppose telecom immunity and support Dodd's filibuster. Far more active efforts than that would be necessary to have an effect.

On a separate note, Christy Hardin Smith has the contact information for the 14 Senators who seemed prepared to support Dodd's filibuster back in December. It's probably worth calling as many of them as possible -- including Dodd -- to encourage them to do so again.

Credo Action (formerly Working Assets) has been pushing this hard all day, to the point that they crashed Obama's campaign email servers. But we can't let up. Email Edwards, email or call your own and everyone else's Senators, raise hell and keep raisin' it until we win.

Cross-posted at BlueGrassRoots.