Congress never seems to run out of ways to fail the people that elected them. Yesterday, they voted heavily in favor of granting telephone companies immunity from prosecution over the illegal wiretapping program that the Bush administration used to spy on Americans.
Lesson here? Break the law for the right people and they’ll change the law for you. I suspect we won’t have to wait long to see the impact of this. Oh, wait, we already had precedent when the Army Corps got out from their liability for their failure to adequately safeguard one of the most important shipping routes for the country.
Back to the issue at hand, the vote is something you would have expected to be along party lines. Your expectation would be wrong. 18 Democrats crossed lines to vote for immunity. Debbie Stabenow was one of them. Stabenow is racking up quite a record on major issues; she previously voted against retaining the rights of Habeus Corpus by voting for H.R. 6166, the Military Commissions Act of 2006.
Beyond that, McCain voted for immunity, Obama against it. Hillary Clinton, inexplicably, abstained. Classy. All that’s left is for the House to stand by their bill, which doesn’t let the telcoms out with immunity. Maybe John Conyers, the Judiciary Committee Chair in the House, will have more backbone that Sen. Stabenow and fight the White House.
Didn’t the Democrats sweep into power by promising not to do this kind of crap?