YDATL Blog NOTE: The opinions expressed by our individual bloggers are their own, and not necessarily those of Young Democrats of Atlanta.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Thank you, Chris Dodd
Say what you will about Chris Dodd's chances of winning the nomination, let alone the presidency, but I think the man deserves our gratitude for doing what the Democrats really should have been doing since the day George W. Bush took office - putting the brakes on when legislation comes through that deserves scrutiny, careful thought, and, in many cases, raucous laughter as it's booted out on its legislative ear. The reauthorization of FISA with immunity in place for the telecommunications companies that enabled the president's illegal wiretap operation should not pass. Dodd came off of the campaign trail to say exactly that, and his leadership, along with that of Russ Feingold, has kicked the reauthorization back until after the Congressional recess. While this is only a delay, it is still a change from the usual rubber stamp given to measures the administration deems crucial to our national security without providing (or even being asked to provide) any reason that that is the case. As I'm sure we all remember from when the warrantless wiretapping story broke, there was nothing in the existing FISA scheme to stop the administration from wiretapping terrorism suspects. The protections the law offered citizens were far from difficult to navigate - the White House just decided it didn't have to consider them at all. Instead of holding them accountable for their illegal activity, the Democratic majority rolled over and gave them temporary amendments that essentially gave legitimacy to the illegal wiretapping program. The passage of these amendments was an embarrassment. It was another case of capitulation for no discernible reason, something akin to folding with a full house. Just like so many times before, the majority acquiesced, perhaps hoping for favor from the administration in the future when the past has shown that such favor won't come. Thank you, Mr. Dodd, for finally showing us that we can have a spine, and for standing up for the rights of all Americans.