Thursday, November 15, 2007

No Telecom Immunity?!?

Per Talking Points Memo:
"...the version of the FISA bill that was just reported out of the Judiciary Committee does not -- repeat, does not -- contain retroactive immunity for the telecom companies."

This comes shortly after newly minted AG Mukasey indicated that the Bushies will veto anything that comes out without telecom immunity. Between this and yesterday's approval of a bill linking war funds to withdrawal from Iraq, the Dems have suddenly shown some real spine the last two days.

Both bills will be vetoed of course. But the thing is that the Dems finally seem to be realizing that they hold the institutional leverage in these pissing matches. If they want us out of Iraq, they can just sit on the ball and do nothing, leaving Bush with no choice but to pull out. But if Bush wants to stay, then he has to play by their rules.

Similarly, if Bush wants to renew and expand FISA, then fine. But he can't do it without the Dems' say so, which means that he again must play by their rules. If he doesn't play by their rules, then they can just sit on the ball and do nothing, and get something pretty close to what they'd prefer anyways.

Since these little pissing matches require that the Dems do nothing in order to win, the Dems in some ways get to play the role of Burkean conservative to Bush's FDR activist. Strange times, indeed!