At today’s vote on FISA revisions, Claire McCaskill voted for telecom immunity by joining those who voted against the Feinstein/Dodd amendment that stripped it from the Intelligence Committee Bill.
According to a McCaskill staff person to whom I spoke, she also joined Republicans and a few other Democrats-in-Name-Only to strip Feinstein’s exclusivity amendment from the legislation. As Kargo X noted on DailyKos:
Exclusivity — the purpose of the amendment that “failed” — meant simply this: that the law they were passing was the law, and it was the governing authority for how surveillance could be conducted in America.
The Senate just rejected it, so that means that they’re passing a law, but if a president decides later on that he thinks there’s really some other controlling authority besides the law, that’s OK.
By capitulating so flagrantly to rule by executive decree instead of rule by the Constitution, McCaskill has crossed the line. I accept that Missouri has a strong conservative, rural component that McCaskill must also represent, and that she walks a fine line. However, some principles are more important than the fine art of politics–and diluting the Constitution ranks high among them.
My question is, then, is there any real possibility of opposition to McCaskill and how does one (or many) go about identifying and encouraging such opposition? Is McCaskill going to get off scott-free after (metaphorically) slapping progressives in the face?
Update: In the wake of the disastrous Senate Fisa votes, Firedog lake has a petition to the House to stand form against the Senate FISA legislation and insist on their superior Restore act. Sign here
Glenn Greenwald, as usual, offers the most comprehensive analysis of the vote