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Obama's FISA Vote Goes Against Dem Leadership Grain

Updated 7:18 p.m.
By Shailagh Murray
Angering liberals and civil liberties groups, Sen. Barack Obama voted in favor of legislation to overhaul government surveillance laws and grant effective immunity to telecommunications companies that participated in a secret Bush Administration eavesdropping program.

But an interesting array of Democrats went the other way.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton voted no -- a surprise considering her typically hawkish stances on national security issues.

So did Sen. Joseph Biden Jr., a leading vice-presidential contender. The Delaware Democrat joined Sen. Christopher Dodd (Conn.), a prominent opponent of the bill, who like Biden had sought the 2008 Democratic nomination. Dodd tried to strip the liability provision by amendment, an effort that Obama supported, but proved unsuccessful.

The entire Democratic leadership opposed the legislation as well, including Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.); Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill.), Obama's homestate colleague; Sen. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and Patty Murray (Wash.). Also on the list of nays: Sen. John Kerry, a close Obama ally and the 2004 Democratic nominee.

The bill passed by a 69-28 vote.

McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said the vote showed Clinton had more principle than Obama. "Charting Barack Obama's reversals on this issue reads like a road map to political expediency -- further demonstrating he uses his word as a political tool, not a principled commitment. However today, it appears the same cannot be said of Senator Clinton," he said.

By Web Politics Editor  |  July 9, 2008; 6:13 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Barack Obama  
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Next: In N.Y., Obama Belatedly Makes the Ask for Clinton


1. we expect nothing less, and we got it.
2. send t. john mcbush packin' with a Bud and a smile.

Posted by: bullshipper | July 13, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

I suppose we should expect nothing less from a complicit congress, and a business world that currently lives in a corporate uber-Wonderland where they live by separate rules, guarded by their "special" friends (g.w. & a capitulate congress), and having absolutely no (good)conscience regarding what's happening to our "inalienable"(pfffft, we wish) rights as Americans.
We can only hope we're smart enough to choose the proverbial "lesser of 2 evils", and send teflon john mcbush packing into retirement with a coke and a smile.
The telecoms are no different than their corporate pals that think they now have carte blanche access to anything they please. Shame & pity their transactions aren't subject to the same level of scrutiny average Joe is saddled with.
Only good thing about the last few months of this election, is that the aging process has been slowed, because it feels like it's taking forever until we're rid of it all (I hope).

Posted by: bullshipper | July 13, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Of the telecom companies, only Qwest Communications stood up for the rule of law, and refused to cooperate with the spying on America program instigated by the Bush administration.

For those small contributers to the Obama campaign, why not instead contribute to those organizations who will continue to fight the new FISA law?

Posted by: peahirider | July 12, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

OK first thing in 2006 we heard from the democraps that they were for change and they would fight against the Bush Machine and work on ending our occupation in the Iraq Blunder, clean up our government and we all see what really happened, The Democraps got on their knees for Bush and his croonies and gave everything to Bush what he wanted They lied to us and mow Qbama who is running for Prez., lied to us and now some of the pro Obama people say hey he lied just once give him another chance, hell no I won't give him another chance what like the Democrap party did to us in 2006... hes no different than Bush, Obama has proven he supports spying on Americans, and he has said concerning attacking Iran "All Options are still on the table" hes a liar just like Mccain and Bush...I will vote for 3rd party candidate but no way will I vote for Obama the low down lying dog he has shown himself to be... Obama your just dirt in my eye.... hope you lose, your not fit to be a dog catcher.... hes a flip flopper, he will destroy us all if he gets in, he has flipped flopped too many times for me......

Posted by: Boiling In Ice | July 12, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Feel strongly about this one? Angry with Obama? Were you considering making a donation to the Obama campaign like I was? Well, why don't you take that money that you were going to give to Obama and send it to the ACLU instead? It looks like they're going to keep fighting this thing, even if Obama won't.

Posted by: George, New Orleans, LA | July 12, 2008 7:04 AM | Report abuse

The Democrats have been in power long enough! To show the government you're tired of how the Democrats are running things, vote McCain.

Posted by: Marky | July 12, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

I've been a Obama supporter since the 2004 Democratic Convention and have been talking to many about how Obama is the change we need in government
I religiously wore an Obama button everywhere and since I am white I had to withstand many racist comments and insults for my support.

Unfortunately that support including my VOTE has just changed and I will probably vote for a third party candidate maybe Nader.

The reason for this is Obama's recent Congressional vote on the FISA bill.

I cannot believe Obama sold out to the corporate world and Washington Status Quo so easily.

If Obama thinks he must reposition his viewpoints closer to center he is wrong. the closer to center that he moves the more likely he is to lose the election.

Obama won the primary because Americans want CHANGE and Obama promised change.

Allowing the government to spy on us without warrants and giving immunity to the telecommunications corporations as well as voting to end the discussion on the issue is in flagrant
opposition to all the things he has been promising

Obama is a hypocrite and I will now tell everyone
I know that I have changed my position and no longer support Obama.

I wish I would of voted for Hillary now because she and Schumer voted for the people of America on this important issue not in favor of policies carried out by the BUSH administration which are destroying our Constitutional Rights!

Obama needs to strengthen his spine and speak out for the people at all costs and risk.

Only in this way will he win.

Too bad he is starting to look like a Kerry rerun

If Kerry had the courage to stand up and say I will end the WAR and not espouse a surge and continued presence in Iraq he may have won but we all know history.

Obama is on the threshold of changing history but if he back pedals and panders to the conservatives he will lose.

McCain has most of the Conservative vtes already locked up we need the independents and the disenfranchised to rise and take this country back.

From Obama's vote on FISA i can see that he is not up to the task now.

I am mortified now about the future of the United States of America and though i have merely considered moving to Canada, I now think that it is a decision I must consider very seriously.

Obama is a weak willed sell-out and America will not elect him if he continues to make hypocritical votes on the Congressional floor.

My Obama button is now entering the garbage can as
I end this letter

Goodbye and Good Riddance Obama!

Posted by: Ron Meisels | July 11, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

It's not too late for Hillary '08!
one of 18,000,000

Posted by: my opinion | July 11, 2008 12:42 AM | Report abuse

That's fine; protect us from evil. I have no problem with that.

Hence; separate the evildoers from your/my bank account and medical history, ok?
It shouldn't take "intelligence" too long to parse the difference between private business/conversation and terrorist activity. Ya think someone that THINKS they have the goods/dirt (non-national security) on any of us wouldn't use it if afforded the chance?
Get real. These people are using "shared" information for purposes other than the FISA (supposedly) intends them to. You trust your local snoop, do you?

4th comes 1st

Posted by: bullshipper | July 10, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Just as a point of interest - do any of you have any idea what FISA actually covers? And, do you really think it is significantly different from what US (and most of our allied) intelligence services have been doing for decades?

FISA allows "intercepting" the communications of targetted groups/individuals originating in foreign countries. If it is determined the communications included US Persons the FISA judges have to rule on maintaining and using the information.

Now, how do you think US Naval Intelligence "intercepted" the communications between Japan and its embassy in the US resulting in breaking the codes that were critical to the US winning World War II? Hint, these communications were carrid over trans-oceanic cables that carried other communincations between foreign nationals and in many cases US citizens.

Some of the biggest intelligence victories of the cold war came from managing to "intercept" the communications of foreign governments/intelligence/military groups. While much of this was over non-commercial communications channels, a lot of it was also over commercial channels - frequently involving communications with US citizens.

Today, the principle threat is terrorist and they don't have unique communications channels; they use commercial channels which means there is more potential for "intercepts" to include communications with US Persons. Hence FISA. This is neither something new nor an attack on the constitution. Oh, and by the way, the Founding Fathers of our counry supported spying on our enemies which in many cases involved the "interception" of communications - frequently involving US Persons.

Oh, and if the telecoms should have refused the government request to provide data should YouTube ignore the court order to provide data to ViaCom?

Posted by: Don | July 10, 2008 11:04 PM | Report abuse

The measure would provide immunity for telecom firms. But that immunity would be granted only after they showed district court documents proving they were instructed by the government to take part in a program that went around the congressionally mandated FISA court.

By granting immunity to the companies, we will get the smoking gun to impeach Bush.

Posted by: Krissy | July 10, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

It makes me sick to read that people are making excuses for this mans blatant,politically motivated,power hungry lie.If you cant see now that there are powers behind the powers,you are totally blind.It will only get worse,no matter who is elected.The war will go on.Our constitution will continue to loose its power.We will all loose.The only winners will be the rich,which is what osama is shooting for.If he wins he will cast you all off and continue to lie and rationalize,avoid the issues just like what we have now.

Posted by: concious | July 10, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

I could almost agree to parts of this egregious subterfuge they're trying to 'splain to us is "law", if it weren't for the blatant covering of their spineless patoots, and the hangers-on that are using this information for purposes other than the weak argument they're providing. My family has been victimized by the "sharing" of the most private and personal matters imaginable, their health and their freedom. What has been "shared", has absolutely NOTHING to do with national security.
I guess manipulation breeds in circles...

Posted by: bullshipper | July 10, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Think, if the feds asked these phone companies to turn over certain records I'm sure there was a great amount of pressure to do so, what do you do, say no to the Man?

Yes! They were supposed to say no to the Man! That's the whole point, and it's why they should be sued into poverty right after they get carted off to federal prison.

Posted by: truthspeaker | July 10, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

The telecoms were assured by the White House and Attorney General's office that it was legal under the War Powers Act to help the government eavesdrop on suspected terrorist communications. What were they supposed to do?

They were supposed to recognize the obvious fact that the White House and Attorney General's office were lying about it being legal, and tell them to pound said.

They didn't, so they deserve to be both prosecuted and sued.

Posted by: ndt | July 10, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

always find these "Comments" sections horridly fascinating. Reading the responses here quite clearly illustrates how uninformed American voters are regarding politics. We like to think in stark terms of black & white, right vs. wrong. The vast majority of comments here are based on irrational, emotional thinking that leads to rash, mis-informed opinions.

Here's a message to some of the less-intelligent people who have posted here: Quit focusing so much time and energy on the presidential campaign! Pay more attention to Congress and your elected representatives! THATS WHY WE HAVE A CONGRESS - TO REPRESENT THE CITIZENRY! The President is elected by the Electoral College for pete's sake!

Posted by: Jesse | July 10, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Go ahead and try to spin your way out of the fact that Obama is a liar and a hypocrite. He is also a puppet with Dean, Pelosi and Brazille pulling his strigs and they are Soros' puppets. The Democratic Pary is no longer democratic. Anyone still supporting Obama is a fool.

Puma Power

Posted by: Puma SF | July 10, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Hey Franks, didn't you mean Venezuela?

Posted by: Steele | July 10, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Re: The FISA Vote

It's obvious that many of you are very upset about Barack Obama's yes vote. But as Sen. Joe Biden said in one of the early debates, "Don't let the perfect get in the way of the good." We can debate the positives and negatives of that bill and how you want your guy to vote on that or any other particular issue, but come November you must decide whether to go with either a candidate you agree with 80% of the time or with one who will pretty much be the same old same old.

Our country was built on compromise. The Constitution, the greatest of all political documents , was all about compromise. The big states wanted representation based on population. The small states wanted each state to have an equal say. In the end we got a House based on the number of people and a Senate where all states have the same number of votes. There are dozens of other examples.

We have to accept the fact that no candidate is perfect. They are politicians not messiahs. They have to appeal to a coalition of urban and rural, north and south, east and west, religious and not. Their statements are analyzed, parsed, sliced and diced until you can take those words and put them in any box you want to create. We never really know what kind of president any candidate will become.

Ideological purity and politics do not go together. In 1992 George H.W. Bush was not pure enough so many of his potential backers turned to Ross Perot and he lost. In 2000, Al Gore was not pure enough so a lot of what could have been his supporters turned to Ralph Nader. This act of ideological conscience gave us George W. Bush.

In 1968 I was a student. On the night before the election I chose to drive 200 miles to vote for Hubert Horatio Humphrey. It wasn't because I loved HHH. After all he had been LBJ's VP, a willing toady selling out his liberal principles to back the ugly and awful Viet Nam War. But, in my heart, I knew that the America of a President Humphrey would be a better place than the one under Richard Nixon. Even though he lost, I am still proud I held my nose, bit my tongue and voted the way I did.

It's going to be a slow road back to creating a better America. But in my gut, I believe America will be better off with Barack Obama. I hope you look at the big picture and come to the same conclusion.

Posted by: mikertimes | July 10, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Now you liberals know what we conservatives have known along Obama is just like any other politician he will flip flop his position to get elected. The so called candidate of change is the same old same old!

Posted by: Mark Miller | July 10, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately the FISA controversy was more about attorneys wanting a cash cow by suing the telecoms than it was about the Constitution. The telecoms were assured by the White House and Attorney General's office that it was legal under the War Powers Act to help the government eavesdrop on suspected terrorist communications. What were they supposed to do?

Imagine immediately after 9/11 headlines declaring that the telecoms refused to help with surveillance of terrorists. They would have been crucified in the press and customer backlash would have been devastating to their businesses. Remember the outrage of Americans toward terrorists right after 9/11? Just funnel that outrage at the telecoms who would appear to be protecting terrorists who had just killed 3,000 innocent children, women, and men. Terrorits that had left tens of thousands of family members and friends devastated by the senseless loss of their loved ones.

Thanks goodness the attorneys didn't get to sue the telecoms and find another cash cow to line their pockets with millions while leaving their clients with pennies. And for what? Because the telecoms answered the call for help right after 9/11? They received no benefit. But they helped protect the rest of us.

Posted by: BadgerOne | July 10, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

JakeD in the place, tryin' to check your face
Throwin' down some rhymin' 'bout the presidential race
No no Nobama, ain't no way
that me an' my girl Sherry Kay
are gonna vote for you
And though you might get through
And be inspected, selected, elected,
(rejected by me and by Sherry Kay,
but ain't nobody listen to us anyway)
Though you might be elected, damn you might even be
The best president that I will ever see, even so
I ain' gon' be wid it, that's for sure
Look at the situation, examine the fact
I will not support Obama because he is

Posted by: JakeD | July 10, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Granted I believe it is wrong to spy or target citizens, I don't have a problem with Sen. Obama's decision. Think, if the feds asked these phone companies to turn over certain records I'm sure there was a great amount of pressure to do so, what do you do, say no to the Man? So the phone companies should be sued for this? What's worse being ruined by the Feds or what?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 10, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Regarding FISA, the issue gets complicated when government subcontracts out to entities like AT&T some of its basic responsibilities. I was employed once for 13 months by AT&T. I was sworn to secrecy on some info learned there.

With my masters degree, I had three law courses and no previous undergraduate law courses. Maybe I have known more Philadelphia lawyers than I think I have known. Some days I feel like one.

Posted by: Pauline Nixon | July 10, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

[ a minor correction - - ]

"If Obama thinks he has our votes 'locked up' no matter what, he is a fool !! - -" SHOULD READ > "If Obama thinks he has our votes 'locked up' no matter what, he is a DAMN fool !! - -"

Posted by: — Amigo, VA | July 10, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse


Like so many others on this blog, I am going to 'sit-out' this election.

If Obama thinks he has our votes 'locked up' no matter what, he is a fool !!

I would rather have Sen FIENGOLD as the Dem nominee; HE HAS C-O-N-S-I-S-T-E-N-T-L-Y SHOWN GOOD JUDGEMENT, GREAT COURAGE and I-N-T-E-G-R-I-T-Y !!!!!

Posted by: — Amigo, VA | July 10, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I have heard that "terrorists" attacked us because they hate our "freedom". If so, they've won. Bush and this 2-bit Congress are getting rid of our freedoms, one at a time!

Posted by: Freedomman | July 10, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

What I find most surprising is that so many are shocked by Obambi's flip-flop. I have said all along, the man will do anything to win! Not too late super delegates, Hillary could and would win in Nov.! Obambi's true colors are showing and they aren't red, white and blue! Nobambi!

Posted by: Sherri | July 10, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Forget the phone companies -- its old news -- Am I the only one who caught the big DNS proxy server switch over by the NSA after that Senate vote ? If you had DNS problems yesterday afternoon (because,duh, your IP stacks were suddenly clogged with fake DNS lookup addresses in their DNS caches after the switch over) then you just found out that you were one of the chosen people -- your DNS lookups were being run through an NSA DNS proxy server that actually was spewing out fake doted addresses that in turn connected you to spoof sites run by the NSA. I paid $12000 in federal taxes last year -- didn't get health care or college for my kids or a single damn thing else of value -- but I did get spied on after I filed a complaint about a local US Attorney. Ain't Amerika great ?

Posted by: Ivan | July 10, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Vote Ron Paul for President!

The best thing that could happen to this country.

Posted by: Johnny | July 10, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Obama blew it big time. This may be his death nell. Obama knee capped his grass roots supporters. He has little integrity in regards to the average Americans that have propelled him to this position as Democratic nominee. He has less integrity when it comes to defending America and our Constitution from people who mean to do us harm. He would make a lousy commander and cheif because he has no loyalty to his convictions and beliefs. World leaders would be able to manipulate him like play dough, much to the detriment of Americans as a whole. He does not understand what makes this country so strong and admirable in the worlds eyes. He is just another convictionless flip flopper. I hope he proves me wrong but I am not going to hold my breath. I think it is time for a viable third party candidate and a viable third party, because the choices suck once again.

Posted by: Obamacan-"Not!" | July 10, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Barack Obama not only alienated the liberal left of the democratic party by his fisa vote, but unfortunately he also alienated moderate republicans who gravitated his way when the right wing nuts of the gop commandeered the party. Real republicans believe in guaranteeing personal liberties, and would not exchange them for a little temporary security. Today's GOP act more like Federalists, who wanted a monarchy, and are now happy with the plutocracy we have.

Posted by: bill m | July 10, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

You people stop crying over something that went right for a change.

Posted by: jean | July 10, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

John SIDNEY McCain! Oh, John Sid-

Uh, excuse me. It's not what it looks like. I have just hit upon a way to combine physical and political fulfillment into a simultaneous explosion of conservative joy. No, you can NOT have my picture of John McCain as a uniformed young officer. No, not because it's stuck to my hand. I'm holding it! What? That's, uh, that's glue. From a magazine or something. Oh, like that's never happened to you. So listen, you go off and do whatever it is you do to celebrate your choice for president, and I will do the same. OK? Good-bye.

John SIDNEY McCain! John SIDNEY McCain! Jo-

A little PRIVACY, please?

Posted by: JakeD | July 10, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! My hot flashes are unending, and afford me a glimpse into the sheer luminous horror that Hell would be if I were a Democratic sinner. Eeeeeee-ee-eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! I am cramp-ridden, snarling, with drooly mucusy eyes and nicotine-stained fangs that thirst for Democratic blook! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Now I am constipated as well! NOBAMA.

Posted by: Sherry Kay | July 10, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Yes. What Sen. Hillary Clinton did--voted no--was "the" correct and right judgment.

Posted by: Premier | July 10, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

"Will folks you're all wrong,it is not Obama that needs to answer for this.It is the congressman and senators that caved in and dropped this nightmare in Obama lap.

If you need to take a political head then take the right ones.Go after the leadership that caved in and voted to strip you of your rights.

so even youmNight realize that obama isn't a leader?

thats the point.
he has no business in the White House.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 10, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

O'bush strikes again.
wait til he decides to appoint repubican judges to appease the right.
that's next.

his word is worth the same as bush's

Posted by: Mark | July 10, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

McCain,Obama,Pelosi,Bush until the people in this country wakeup and force these people to honor thier oaths to the constitution instead of destroying it we will go downhill until there is no such place as the USA

The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home.James Madison

Posted by: pooty | July 10, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Why are the Democrats so upset over how Obama voted on FISA. Anyone who had taken a close look at Obama early on knows that Obama had said all along that he pushed the wrong button on that vote, that he meant to vote differently on that issue and the lies go on and on for Obama. Check out his voting record. He either never bothered to show up or when he went so far to the left that it shocked people he simply said it was an error that he did NOT meant to vote for against not for, he misunderstood and so on and on..
Obama does NOT know how many states there are in America. He things we have 57 Statesm so he is either a moron or he mistook America for the 57 Nations of Islam. WAKE up Obama fools and realize what Obama is all about because NONE of it is good for America.

Posted by: USA Always | July 10, 2008 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Good going Pam! Per usual, the Obama haters provide no basis or facts for a condemnation or name calling. If ignorance is indeed bliss, we've got far too many "happy" Americans. Thanks for contributing nothing to the process.

Posted by: Stop the Stupidity | July 10, 2008 6:44 AM | Report abuse

It's easy for McCain not to anger people with his Senate votes because he doesn't show up for them. As Ben Pershing points out in his column, "Yesterday marked the two-month anniversary of the last time McCain cast a Senate vote, on April 8." McCain didn't vote either way on FISA, leaving him free to criticize his rival regardless of how Obama voted!

Yet none of the "talking heads" on the network or cable tv stations (or NPR for that matter) bothered including this little fact in their obsessive reports of the criticism of Obama from both right and left.

Posted by: profco | July 10, 2008 5:45 AM | Report abuse

I was a former strong Obama supporter in both time and money. I admit I was duped. The constitutional scholar just joined with bush and the repugs to give the lawbreakers a get out of jail free card, and in the process gut the 4th Amendment.

Craven capitulation unworthy of further support.

Posted by: Michael G. | July 10, 2008 4:31 AM | Report abuse

If Obama goes to Germany this summer and pretends to be JFK, then he would have lost all possible good judgement. That would be a big mistake that would cost him the election.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 10, 2008 4:14 AM | Report abuse

Obama is a monster!!

Posted by: Pam | July 10, 2008 3:29 AM | Report abuse

Okay, the glow about Barack's candidacy has faded gradually since about May, when Hillary dropped out. Barack no longer seems to be a special, different candidate for president, although he has the potential, if elected, to be such a president. The question is whether his changes are mainly cosmetic for the general election campaign or reflect his true inner "principles."

In any event, this is a very important election and there are still major differences between McCain and Obama. There will almost certainly be Democratic majorities, likely larger than currently, in both houses of Congress. Given the way most Democrats have had little backbone, usually giving in to the demands of Bush since the most recent Congressional elections, there is a significant likelihood the majority of Democrats will continue their meek passivity, if McCain is elected president.

The choice is:

McCain wins and there will probably be one or two more conservative Supreme Court justices, who will likely join the reactionaries on the court to continue undermining the Bill of Rights, as well as abortion rights. Obama wins and he will choose moderately liberal or progressive justices.

McCain wins and the rich will keep most or all of their gargantuan tax cuts from the Bush era. Obama wins and the wealthy will lose most of their tax cuts, the middle class and retired persons will receive new tax reductions.

McCain wins and their will be no meaningful expansion of health care for those who do not have coverage or will lose their benefits in the next four to eight years. Obama wins and there is the best chance in fifteen years for major health care reform in this country.

McCains wins and the United States will probably become involved in another war in the middle east, especially if Lieberman becomes Secretary of Defense or State. The draft may have to be revived. The occupation of Iraq will continue and few troops will probably come home within four years. Obama wins and there is a significantly less chance these bleak scenarios will occur.

Posted by: Independent | July 10, 2008 2:58 AM | Report abuse

Let's put it this way: when I heard what Jesse Jackson said he wanted to do to Obama, my first thought was, "Too late."

Posted by: Thad | July 10, 2008 2:50 AM | Report abuse

Well, at least Obama showed up. McCain didn't. McCain doesn't even campaign on the weekends. Who does that remind you of? Somebody who spent the month leading up to 9/11 clearing brush on the ranch.

Posted by: Terry | July 10, 2008 2:20 AM | Report abuse

Obama 2008!
Feel the change!
Feel the excitement!

Posted by: Don Bradly | July 10, 2008 2:12 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: JakeD | July 10, 2008 1:36 AM | Report abuse

They took him to the dance and how he is leaving with someone else. November they may vote for someone else. maybe Bob Barr ?

VJ Machiavelli
ps. Iran have missile will fire.

Posted by: VJ Machiavelli | July 10, 2008 12:52 AM | Report abuse

Obama is a major disappointment. Obama should have voted NO on FISA. Obama proved himself a liar and a flip flopper once again today by voting YES on FISA. Obama is neither qualified or electable. Just say no to Obama. It's not too late to convince the delegates, the DNC and officeholders to vote for Hillary Clinton at the DNC convention in late August in Denver. Until then, Obama is simply the arrogant presumptive nominee. The media will not decide this election, the people will!

Thank you HIllary Clinton for voting NO on both FISA bills today, once again demonstrating why you are the best candidate to be the next President of the United States!! Hillary has won the popular vote, winning more votes than ANY candidate of ANY party in history! Hillary should be the nominee of the Dem party, she's qualified and electable.


Posted by: JK | July 10, 2008 12:21 AM | Report abuse

I am so happy you guys are seeing the light.All of these losers,and the media are screwing up this country.Lie,after lie, after lie.We pay they play.With our money.Term limits people.None of them represent us,they represent the ones that fill their pockets.Every two to four years they pander to you for your vote.They promise change, lead you war, divide friends and family,and mess with people's lives.Obama's vote is no surprise.The founding fathers laugh at them every day.What a joke are leaders have become.

Posted by: Angry American | July 10, 2008 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Will folks you're all wrong,it is not Obama that needs to answer for this.It is the congressman and senators that caved in and dropped this nightmare in Obama lap.

If you need to take a political head then take the right ones.Go after the leadership that caved in and voted to strip you of your rights.

vote Democrat or independent just do not vote for the senators or congressman that did you harm.

The problem with the Democrat party is there is no strong leadership in either house and the Republicans know this.

Intel the Democrats deal with this you better get used to getting clobbered by the Republicans this way and stabbed in the back by your own party.

You need change all rights but that change needs to happen in the Congress and Senate Democrat leadership

Posted by: Night | July 9, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

I applaud the senators and the Democratic leaderships who voted against the legislation to overhaul government surveillance laws.

Posted by: Susan | July 9, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Whomever you are and whatever your reasons the correct vote was no on FISA for the sake of constitutional justice and individual liberties. The 29 senators who voted against it were correct.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 9, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

When I look at Obama, I do not see the Democratic Party. I see a man that is obsessed with winning, perhaps at the cost of his own and the Democratic Party's principles. This is very sad. On another note, Obama once remarked that Hillary was 'likable enough'. Well, I don't see myself supporting Obama. I just don't like him, and I don't have any reason to trust him. End of discussion.

Posted by: Susan | July 9, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Some people are already tired of Obama manipulating the voting public. People have also come to realize that the Obama presidency will be an activist presidency. This is the worst type of presidency that America can have. The worst part is that he will give the black community preferential treatment. Already, Rev. Jackson is telling Obama to do exactly this.

Posted by: Jacob | July 9, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Senator Obama's vote to authorize and condone the current administration's assault on the constitutional rights of American citizens is a transparent indication of an opportunistic shift to the center. He always claimed that he is a transcendental poltician. So much for his convictions. He is clearly an opportunistic poltician seeking votes and will do anything to curry favor. He is willing to learn Spanish language to get the votes of Latinos. The illusion that young Obama is an inspiring leader was a hoax the Kennedys propagated to re-take the democratic party from the Clintons. We are in for a rude shock about Obama's opportunistic flip-flops on major issues such as the war in Iraq, the spy bill, Reve. Wright, the NAFTA issue,policy on alternatives to fossil fuels and a host of other issues. I think that his vote represents his arrogantly telling his ardent supporters in the left that they can either take his policies or leave it, but that he is moving to the middle in search of votes from the middle America. Obama knows that the left has nowhere else to go because they put all their bets on his basket. But American people have already seen his lack of convictions on any issue. His bold claim that he was against the war in Iraq all along is a lot of baloney. If he coudn't vote against the wiretapping against American citizens, he would never have voted against the war resolution because he could never take the heat of a charge of lack of patriotism. His oratory is just a play of words with no convictions, and it is hard to see how he could ever pass for a transcendental president.

Posted by: Nathan | July 9, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Obama is running for president of all the people. To do that he must be sensitive to the convictions of everyone. He is not the standard barer for just liberals. He was not with us on this one and he flip-flopped on this one. FDR was a great leader but he wanted the internment os the Japanese which was worse than this action. I think that Obama will be a great leader also.
He will forge a alliance between left and right or at least center right. He has to side with the center-right sometimes. This is one where we lost the battle but we will win the war. He is a politician, who had to be good to beat Clinton, and is not perfect. It is unfair to expect it of him. So far I think he needs the benefit of the doubt but, I agree, the honeymoon is over.

Posted by: Gator-ron | July 9, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Yea ok yellow dog. Like John McCain is some honest joe for the people. He has some nerve talking about Obama's credibility. John McCain has flip flopped on oil drilling, taxes, immigration reform, his own laws on campaign finance, the GI bill, his position on Cuba, the confederate flag, gay marriage, ethanol, torture, Hamas, Iraq, War for oil, do I really need to keep going. I can fill up the whole page with John McCain's BS. He can't even remember what he promised people yesterday. He might even forget he's running for president. His war records are sealed because he gave up his ship, his medical records are missing pages and the press doesn't say a word about it, he made a public statement that he knows nothing about the economy, this is your next president. Good luck. I hope you get everything you deserve.

Posted by: HemiHead | July 9, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

A lifelong liberal and a Democrat to boot, I have today, based upon their FISA votes, pledged never to vote for Obama, nor for Feinstein, whom I've supported since her mayoralty here in SF.
This abandonment of the Constitution in favor of lies and predicatory [sic] speculations is treason, nothing less; these Congressmen should be removed from office NOW, today.

Posted by: wil | July 9, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, my last post should have said "...the problem ISN'T the countermeasures.."

Posted by: RealChoices | July 9, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Richard Daly, don't delude yourself into thinking Hillary's vote was sincere. She is just trying pretend to say "see I was with you all along" to the far left. Had she been the nominee she would have voted for the bill.

While I fault Obama for not supporting immunity, the telecoms did this in the name of national security, I'm glad he was pragmatic about the final bill.

For all those who oppose immunity, you are fighting the wrong battle. GET THE US THE HELL OUT OF THE MIDDLE EAST, stop subverting our interests for those of Israel and stop demanding the government try (quit unsuccessfully) to gaurantee a stable oil supply. Do you notice Islamic militants don't target Sweden or Mexico, and do you notice those nations don't have troops in the region. If we weren't taking sides in Middle East regional conflicts eavesdropping and other intrusions into personal liberties wouldn't be necessary. However, as long as we are stupid enough to meddle in the region we are going to targetted by militants. I'd rather get heck out of the region but until we do, we have to take measures to prevent another 9/11 and that means things like eavesdropping. Don't put the cart before the horse, the problem is the countermeasures, such as eavesdropping the problem is our presence in the region.

Posted by: RealChoices | July 9, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

The Barack Obama flip flopping move the center might seem awkward and clumsy not but few are paying attention to things that are happening now in this excrutiatingly long campaign. In the fall this will all be forgotten. Even if John McCain tries to make an issue about Obama switches he will be drowned out because for every ad he can put on the air, Obama can put four on the air to muddy the waters and dilute McCain's attack.

Obama 08
Change that becomes the status quo.

Posted by: danielhancock | July 9, 2008 8:54 PM | Report abuse

The Bush-Cheney administration with nearly unanimous Republican, as well as significant Democratic support, has succeeded in trampling upon the United States Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights. They seem to look upon the Constitution as an outdated relic, particularly limits on the executive branch and protection of civil liberties in the Constitution. One can hardly imagine any of the founding fathers, especially those, such as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, who sincerely believed in limited government powers, approving of such clearly unconstitutional measures.

Barack seems to be taking his progressive base for granted, on the assumption very few of them will vote for McCain. True, but many of us may choose not to vote for president if this pattern of abandoning his progressive principles, especially about the Constitution, continues.

The twenty-nine Senators who voted against this bill are to be commended for being the minority of Senators who still seem to sincerely care about our Constitution. Hillary might have voted for the law, if she was going to be the nominee, but give her credit for her vote.

Posted by: Independent | July 9, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Most people, the youth in particular, support Obama because he has the 'cult of personality' thing going for him. If you actually looked at his positions then you would see that he doesn't really plan to bring about any 'change'.

Posted by: Ryan | July 9, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Obama change we can believe in alright. I think he jumped the shark big time on this vote. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Like who is this guy?

He will lose a lot of independents and political savvy voters. I really don't see it effecting his youth appeal most of those voters watch MTV and listen to Will i am and diddy. They probably wont even show up to vote anyway.

All he has left is Hillary supporters.

Posted by: independent1 | July 9, 2008 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Yeah its a weird vote, and is major flip flop number 4. All I have to say for everyone who voted for Obama over Hillary is ha ha ha ha ha, you wanted him, you got him.

Posted by: DCDave | July 9, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

That Yellow Dog feller is on to something. I do think Obama is making different choices to appeal to mainstream swing voters not his base which is a logical move but he has to make good on his promise of change in order to keep our hope alive. Tough wire to walk when everything is at stake but he's still the better candidate. My worry is that once he wins his supporters will be dissillusioned. The bureaucrazy is fortified to the foundation and it is going to be hard to turn the tide and satisfy a fickle public that likes soundbites and instant gratification. Modern presidents aren;t leaders and doers as much as spokespeople for the gov't. Let's see if we can get back to an inspired america. One thing remains true. If we elect OBAMA we will be redeemed in the eyes of the rest of the world which is more important than keeping the evangelical right wing content.

Posted by: Smitty Dos | July 9, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

I criticized the Hillary supporters (which I'd been until April) for planning to stay home in November. Now I understand exactly how they felt. I was 1000% behind Obama, having contributed twice to the campaign, passed out and displayed bumper stickers, and volunteered locally to help in any way I could. With his vote for FISA today, the bubble has burst, the dream has become a nightmare, and the sense of hope has evaporated. This is a great tragedy for America. This man threw it all away today. Mark my words, he has now become unelectable and without integrity. I'm moving to Chile.

Posted by: Jim Franks, Tucson | July 9, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Anonymous | July 9, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

I was never a Hillary supporter but even she had the common sense to vote against FISA.

Posted by: Richard Daly | July 9, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse

I think a lot of democrats are missing the longer view, here. This was a good bill with a bad amendment. Obama fought the amendment as long as he could, and got no traction. In the end, he had a choice: make it clear to the President that abuses of FISA were not legal or stand on principle with respect to telecoms. He could not do both. He chose the former. I'm not sure that I see why democrats are so upset about this. Of course, he wanted both, but the gambit failed, and he salvaged the far, far more important result.

Posted by: Aaron S | July 9, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm angry that Obama voted no on this issue due to the telecom immunity. I plan on writing a letter detailing such.

However, I will still vote for him in November regardless of this. As will, I imagine, a vast majority of the country. Why? Because he will still be better for the country than John McCain ever could be.

Posted by: LightHawk | July 9, 2008 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Bye Bye Obama! Your showing that you are no different than any other greedy politician.
To hell with the people, just get elected by telling lie after lie, G Bush style.
You have definately lost me and like a jerk, i am a three time contributor to your campaign.
I will never vote for Mc Bush but i will never vote for you either.
You are a PHONY!!!

Posted by: Richard Daly | July 9, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

More Obama pandering to voters that he doesn't have yet supporting him. Obama will say and DO anything to get votes, counting on the fact that those whose votes he already has won't turn against him. And, so far they haven't. Obama is a fake!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 9, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

BO is gambling that he can gain evangelical and swing voters without alienating those who voted for him during the primary. The noise on the blogs, the negative editorials all over the country, and the declining polls in the last 2 days suggests he is not getting away with this (down to 2% on the Gallup and 4% on the Rasmussen). His is a bad bet and the sooner he figures that out the better. Unfortunately, once he loses his credibility with his base, it's tough to undo that damage. He invited voters to hold him to a higher standard during the primary race and now they are doing so. Apparently he doesn't have the sophistication or experience necessary to understand that the swing voters to whom he is trying to appeal are the least engaged voters on whom such fine policy points are wasted. They will make a last-minute, quick-and-dirty judgment based on vague notions of "trust" at the very last minute. On the other hand, the highly educated voters in his base--and the mainstream media that helped to install him--are paying close attention and he is losing or has lost credibility with them.

Posted by: Yellow Dog | July 9, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Well the explanation is that Obama would have trouble claiming that he was tough if he voted this bill down. Apparently. It looks to me as if he can't stand up to Bush under any circumstances. If this was a bad bill, he could explain why and filibuster it. Oh well. At least my senators, Clinton and Schumer voted against it.

Posted by: Lynn E | July 9, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

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