Obama Commits… Again

I think I can understand the rabidity with which many bloggers have pursued the “blitz” to get Obama and Clinton onboard with the Chris Dodd threat to filibuster the upcoming FISA bill should it contain the retroactive immunity for telecommunication companies, but I had to balk a little bit.

Below the fold was the comment that Obama’s campaign released last night.

“Senator Obama has serious concerns about many provisions in this bill, especially the provision on giving retroactive immunity to the telephone companies. He is hopeful that this bill can be improved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. But if the bill comes to the Senate floor in its current form, he would support a filibuster of it.”

I thought that was pretty clear, anyway.  Well, apparently it wasn’t forcing Obama to release a second statement:

“To be clear: Barack will support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies.”

And while in both statements, the Obama campaign made it pretty clear he would support a filibuster, I find it kinda funny that the a-listers would except it until I guess they’ve had their chance to chomp at the bit a little while (following dangerously close to my prediction linked to above).

Chris Bowers from Open Left:

This is a good step. The next step would be for Obama to start working his colleagues to do the same thing. But this is still a good step, and it only happened as a result of pressure from the base.

Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake:

Thanks to everyone who called.  And by the way, I’m really looking forward to this.  Barack Obama is a brilliant and powerful speaker.  His participation in a filibuster against the telecoms should be a real show-stopper.  And I do not see retroactive immunity making its way out of the bill in any kind of a permanent way any time soon — Bush and McConnell have both pitched complete hissy fits demanding that it is of paramount importance in the war on terra — so I think the chances we are headed for a showdown are quite good.

And John Amato of C&L

Good for Obama! He’s on the Bus!

Good to see everyone is now on board with Obama being on board.

Okay, good natured ribbing aside, with Dodd and Obama definitely onboard, it is first interesting to take a second look at the Democratic frontrunner’s language:

HRC: I am troubled by the concerns that have been raised by the recent legislation reported out of the Intelligence Committee. I haven’t seen it so I can’t express an opinion about it. But I don’t trust the Bush Administration with our civil rights and liberties. So I’m going to study it very hard. As matters stand now, I could not support it and I would support a filibuster absent additional information coming forward that would convince me differently.

This is a little weasely, I’ll admit, for my tastes, and leaves too much open to the idea that she could be left to support the retroactive immunity, if only given the right incentive to.  So I do want to hear more and better from her, though I’m somewhat doubtful that we’ll get it.

After all, if the narrative of the recent months should give any lessons, it is that Hillary is of the mind that she has progressed beyond caring about, pandering to, whatever language you want to use to get to the point across that she doesn’t necessarily think she needs the netroots on her side.

I’m not going to rule out a clarification, but if one comes, I’ll be surprised.

The other observation I want to make is that this is the fight.  Relying on Democrats as a caucus has thus far proven only disappointing, thus, the only hope of actually putting the brakes on this administration exist here, in the revolt of a few willing to stand up for what is right against the leadership who do only that which is easy.

One Response to “Obama Commits… Again”

  1. Mallory says:

    Check out Obama in this YOUTUBE video

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