An Obama filibuster on a bill he supports?

posted at 11:42 am on June 22, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

The FISA flip-flop just keeps getting better and better for Barack Obama.  After reversing himself and signaling his support for the FISA compromise that passed the House — which included a provision for court-supervised immunity for telecoms — Obama’s base went ballistic.  Obama did a half-flop backwards, promising to try to strip immunity from the bill in the Senate:

“[The bill] does, however, grant retroactive immunity, and I will work in the Senate to remove this provision so that we can seek full accountability for past offenses.”

Obama’s base wants another flip-flop from Obama.  MoveOn has sent out a letter to its members asking them to press Obama to fulfill a campaign pledge not just to oppose FISA reform and telecom immunity, but to filibuster any such bill that comes before the Senate.  The pledge came in October 2007, when Dodd had made a mini-run at Obama’s hard-Left constituency with his activism against FISA reform:

It’s official: Obama will back a filibuster of any Senate FISA legislation containing telecom immunity, his campaign has just told Election Central. The Obama campaign has just sent over the following statement from spokesman Bill Burton:

“To be clear: Barack will support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies.”

So let’s recap Obama’s positions on this issue:

  1. He opposed the FISA reform bill when it included non-supervised immunity for the telecoms.
  2. He pledged to filibuster any bill that contained retroactive immunity.
  3. When the bill passed the Senate in February with non-supervised immunity, he was glad to stand with Russ Feingold, Chris Dodd, and the “grassroots movement of Americans” opposed to it.
  4. After spending the next three months avoiding the subject, he declares support for the House compromise bill that contains court-supervised retroactive immunity.
  5. But then he says he wants to strip out the immunity in the bill he supports, which would force everyone to start over again from scratch.
  6. And he also stops far short of the filibuster pledge he made when he needed to keep Dodd from stealing his support last fall.

So which is it?  Does Obama support this FISA reform bill or not?  Will he try filibustering a bill that won a large majority in the House and which is even more of a compromise than the bill that won 68 votes in the Senate in February?  Will Obama try to do yet another flip-flop and still convince people that he has any principles at all?


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Maybe he hopes that if he flips so far one way that he’ll come up flopping on the other side and it will all turn out okay?

Vatican Watcher on June 22, 2008 at 11:48 AM

Never mind the presidency, how about is he qualified to be a SENATOR!

ThePrez on June 22, 2008 at 11:49 AM

Stop picking on the black candidate! Racist!

Seriously, that’s all they have at this point. It’s a good thing!

SouthernGent on June 22, 2008 at 11:50 AM

Telecom industry contributes disproportionally to Democrats. Barry scroomed ‘em.

JiangxiDad on June 22, 2008 at 11:52 AM

Captain Bullshit in action!

He makes our own lying, “stab you in the back” candidate a veritable Abraham Lincoln.

Please make it stop…

TexasJew on June 22, 2008 at 11:55 AM

He’s making me dizzy with his flip-flopping.

becki51758 on June 22, 2008 at 11:59 AM

As a Chicago politician, with no spine except for advancing the cause of international appeasement of radical Islam, Barack Obama will say anything to anyone to get elected so long as he can hurry up and appease radical Muslims from Bin Laden to Ahmadinejad.

Barack Obama does not have a core belief except that he is the Messiah and Islam must be appeased. His moves on FISA are purely for the purpose of getting the votes he thinks he is entitled to.

indythinker on June 22, 2008 at 12:00 PM

God, I hope he doesn’t change again.

wccawa on June 22, 2008 at 12:00 PM

Apparently, Michelle’s children need different positions at different times.

Mew

acat on June 22, 2008 at 12:00 PM

A 4.9 degree of difficulty for a double-flip-flop, with a full twist to the Left.

And for his next dive … the TRIPLE LINDY!

Tony737 on June 22, 2008 at 12:00 PM

Hey, Barry is simply a very complex individual.

Unless you’re a half black Ivy League “quota” you just don’t understand.

there it is on June 22, 2008 at 12:02 PM

Hey, Barry is simply a very complex individual.

He’s just Barry being Barry.

JiangxiDad on June 22, 2008 at 12:05 PM

so that we can seek full accountability for past offenses.”

And with this does anyone doubt that war crime trials begin in 09?

Limerick on June 22, 2008 at 12:11 PM

I find this entire line of questioning racist!

Beto Ochoa on June 22, 2008 at 12:11 PM

So which is it? Does Obama support this FISA reform bill or not?

It’s simple really. Barry supports the bill on the days when he thinks it’s politically expedient to support it, and he opposes it on the days when he thinks it’s politically expedient to oppose it.

Telecom industry contributes disproportionally to Democrats. Barry scroomed ‘em.

JiangxiDad on June 22, 2008 at 11:52 AM

Not really. Barry’s just posturing. He knows that the bill will eventually pass with an immunity provision, because a bill without an immunity provision would be worthless. The telecoms aren’t going to help the gov’t if they’re not offered immunity; it simply doesn’t make sense for them to do it. If the gov’t can’t count on telecom cooperation, then the govt’s anti-terrorism investigations will be severely hampered — and no politician wants to be responsible for that. Barry knows that telecom immunity is inevitable (and he secretly wants it, for the reasons just described), but he needs to pretend that he’s against it, because that’s what his far-left supporters want. So he’ll huff and puff and make noises about a filibuster, because in the end he knows full well it will fail.

AZCoyote on June 22, 2008 at 12:15 PM

He’s just Barry being Barry.

JiangxiDad on June 22, 2008 at 12:05 PM

Yeah, but Manny can hit a baseball. Up there in front of everyone, with no handlers, no organizers, no speechwriters, no Soros, no racebaiters,..just mano o mano,..Manny produces something of value to us all. And, he doesn’t reverse it the next day.
SECOND LOOK AT MANNY.

a capella on June 22, 2008 at 12:17 PM

Never mind the presidency, how about is he qualified to be a SENATOR!

That has pretty much been the dominant question ever since voters here in Illinois, obviously all suffering from a temporary case of insanity, voted this guy into office. His entire tenure as Senator has been marked by one nagging question: exactly what has he done WHILE being a Senator that now qualifies him to be President? Which why I am amazed that not one investigative reporter from any news organization has even bothered looking at his record while being Senator of Illinois. Dick Durbin may be a lunkhead, but at least while he has been Senior Senator of Illinois, he does possess a list of accomplishments. All B.O. has is a list of speeches he has made.

This whole thing stinks to high heaven.

pilamaye on June 22, 2008 at 12:17 PM

As John Maynard Keynes once famously said about a changed position:

“When the facts change, I change my mind, and when the facts change again, I change my mind again, and when the facts change yet one more time, I change my minds yet again, and when the facts change still another time, I change my mind a fourth time, and perhaps a fifth and sixth as needed. What do you do, sir.”

DelD on June 22, 2008 at 12:17 PM

I had no idea that Charlie Brown was a blackman.

Maybe he can get Snoopy as his running mate to go with his Winnie-the-Pooh foreign diplomacy so that all 57 states will feel secure and full of “hope”.

Only a liberal could be stupid enough to take this guy seriously.

Baxter Greene on June 22, 2008 at 12:17 PM

Flip, flip, flop, flip flop flop flip. If you say it our loud, it sounds like a horse passing by.

Buford Gooch on June 22, 2008 at 12:17 PM

And with this does anyone doubt that war crime trials begin in 09?

Limerick on June 22, 2008 at 12:11 PM

Hey Lim– if this continues on its present course, you know the outcome. Sooner or later,people will be swinging from the yardarms–and I don’t mean the ones brought up on war crimes charges. This has all been a long intro. to what may be a short play.

JiangxiDad on June 22, 2008 at 12:17 PM

a capella on June 22, 2008 at 12:17 PM

True, and he gets out there early to practice–usually. I don’t like him, but I do respect him. Not so the Big Possum.

JiangxiDad on June 22, 2008 at 12:20 PM

Let’s send him to the Beijing Olympics where he can perform in an arena that won’t destroy this country’s national security.

Buy Danish on June 22, 2008 at 12:20 PM

This has all been a long intro. to what may be a short play.
JiangxiDad on June 22, 2008 at 12:17 PM

This is the grandest show of weakness. What measure do you think will be set against the USA in retaliation for our brief show of strength?

Beto Ochoa on June 22, 2008 at 12:21 PM

AZCoyote on June 22, 2008 at 12:15 PM

Yup, and well said. But he does this Kabuki dance because he’s vulnerable to the charge of being soft on terrorism and defense.
He already took the (minor) hit from the left,(and Reid was going to provide some cover with an attempt at a bill to deny immunity) so why say now he’s going to join in a filibuster?

He’s just playing this so badly. This filibuster is going to BLOW UP IN HIS FACE.

JiangxiDad on June 22, 2008 at 12:24 PM

JiangxiDad on June 22, 2008 at 12:17 PM

I don’t believe we are anywhere near that point. Americans love the law book. It is stitched into our fiber. That could change, and I hope it doesn’t, but with every added straw the camel groans a bit louder and a bit longer.

Limerick on June 22, 2008 at 12:25 PM

Beto Ochoa on June 22, 2008 at 12:21 PM

Not sure I get your question.

I meant to say that the culture wars and the liberalism vs. conservatism issues have been going on for a very long time. Traditional Americans have absorbed a lot of blows for a very long time. (the intro.)

When the time comes, I suspect the blowback will be hard and fast and fierce. (the play)

JiangxiDad on June 22, 2008 at 12:28 PM

Limerick on June 22, 2008 at 12:25 PM

Nope, we’re not near that point, today.

JiangxiDad on June 22, 2008 at 12:28 PM

Hi my name’s Barry. I like long walks along the beach. I’m a Leo and I’m into whatever you’re into.

This campaign is going to get comedic with this dolt.

Mojave Mark on June 22, 2008 at 12:33 PM

This is the grandest show of weakness. What measure do you think will be set against the USA in retaliation for our brief show of strength?

Beto Ochoa on June 22, 2008 at 12:21 PM

Take away our military strength. It can be done in a more stealthy manner than war crimes trials, although some combination of the two might be attractive to the donks.

a capella on June 22, 2008 at 12:34 PM

Not sure I get your question.

I mean the manifold enemies of the USA smell blood in the water. When we begin to eat our own, they will strike and strike hard during the pitiful distraction

When the time comes, I suspect the blowback will be hard and fast and fierce. (the play)
JiangxiDad on June 22, 2008 at 12:28 PM

Yes, the rebuke by the citizenry that has its eyes open will be perhaps as loud as the shot heard round the world.
I pray it does not lead to bloodshed but those thing usually do.

Beto Ochoa on June 22, 2008 at 12:36 PM

So which is it? Does Obama support this FISA reform bill or not?

Yes.

William Teach on June 22, 2008 at 12:38 PM

A 4.9 degree of difficulty for a double-flip-flop, with a full twist to the Left.

And for his next dive … the TRIPLE LINDY!

Tony737 on June 22, 2008 at 12:00 PM

Beat me to it, dammit.

ReubenJCogburn on June 22, 2008 at 12:38 PM

What’s that noise? It sounds like a mask hitting the floor! Even the far left can now see the true twofaced nature of Obamaism.
Obamaism = Noun, The communist theology of the far left disguised has hope and change.
This is not my word it comes from a local KTTH host david Boze

Gwillie on June 22, 2008 at 12:39 PM

He’s just playing this so badly. This filibuster is going to BLOW UP IN HIS FACE.

JiangxiDad on June 22, 2008 at 12:24 PM

I really hope you’re right, J-Dad. I’d like nothing better than to see Barry exposed for the lying hypocrite he really is.

AZCoyote on June 22, 2008 at 12:46 PM

It’s all about change. Obama can virtually do anything. Where is his base going to go? Vote for McCain? Stay home? Not a chance.

Obama is campaigning for the independents. Whatever his internal polling shows that is how he will proceed. He has the oratory skills to pull it off. He could sell ice to Eskimos.

patrick neid on June 22, 2008 at 12:48 PM

In all seriousness, like the demonization of Big Oil, the left neither understands nor cares what the ramifications are, in particular the Hopiness candidate.

The same people who are demonizing the telecoms will be the first people to complain massively when the enormous lawsuits force the telecoms to reduce their services, particularly in the wireless realm. Billions of dollars in awards means less money for new towers, new products, customer service reps, retail store employees, and network employees.

William Teach on June 22, 2008 at 12:48 PM

“So which is it?”

Depends.

Is voting “Present” acceptable?

GarandFan on June 22, 2008 at 12:57 PM

He’s got it tough. He’s aligned himself with a hard-letist position which he has been told is not anywhere near cetnrist enough to allow him to win an election.

Yet the hard-left is his base.

So he has to somehow broker each position such the the hard left likes it and other people won’t find it totally unpalatable. I think Obama is still struggling to realise the magnitude of his folly here…

He’s banking on people hating bush more than they support Obama – a dodgy strategy as Kerry found out 4 years ago. Intellectually, Obama is bankrupt and morally he is extremely craven.

Ares on June 22, 2008 at 1:02 PM

So which is it?

Here it is. Obama does not support America. He supports his own self interests. Period. End of story.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on June 22, 2008 at 1:05 PM

How many of your neighbors know anything about Obama’s FISA, campaign finance, or defense policy positions?

How many of your neighbors know about the new direction, hope, and change he will bring to America?

Limerick on June 22, 2008 at 1:10 PM

How many faces does Barack Obama own? (Not counting those smushed under the bus already).

desertdweller on June 22, 2008 at 1:19 PM

So Barney will support a filibuster?

What does will support mean? Does it mean that he, Barney Obama will filibuster, or does it mean the he likes the idea that someone else will filibuster, and will he then take credit for it “supporting” the idea?

Come on Barney, gopherit, show some courage, take a stand for what you know is right, filibuster the FISA bill. Your crowds of followers, your movement will love you for it.

rockhauler on June 22, 2008 at 1:29 PM

This guy is the weakest and least principled politician in Washington and that is a lot.

apoole on June 22, 2008 at 1:36 PM

correction
This guy is the weakest and least principled politician in Washington and that is saying a lot.

apoole on June 22, 2008 at 1:36 PM

apoole on June 22, 2008 at 1:38 PM

CHANGE!

I hope I have some left after this election!

Someone make me a bumper sticker out of that. Or this:

Obama 2008:
Change daily, and Hope the government buys you a caddy!

dhunter on June 22, 2008 at 1:42 PM

Is this an example of “Change That Works For You”?

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on June 22, 2008 at 1:59 PM

Prior to the big change of 2006, we had mostly competent politicians that were somewhat corrupt.

Now, of course, we have mostly corrupt politicians that are somewhat competent.

Hope and Change!!

cthulhu on June 22, 2008 at 2:00 PM

This guy truly makes me want to retch.

Here is what change brings.

wccawa on June 22, 2008 at 2:23 PM

Does Obama support this FISA reform bill or not? Will he try filibustering a bill that won a large majority in the House and which is even more of a compromise than the bill that won 68 votes in the Senate in February?

On the point of retroactive immunity for illegal spying assistance by telecoms, there has been no meaningful compromise. They still get it as soon as they show a note from the government. Near-automatic. This was a capitulation by the Democrats, not a compromise. Obama is stuck in a bad place. He has to choose between upholding the 4th Amendment, and updating our foreign surveillance laws. He’s trying to do both with a “for show” display of opposition to the immunity junk (doomed to fail), and then with a vote for the bill anyway. The principled thing to do would be to oppose the bill altogether. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit. And we call that “politics.” Obama isn’t principled. He’s a politician. I think he’ll vote for it.

And even though I think the telecoms shouldn’t be protected from the consequences of their bad-faith illegal actions, it does make me happy to see Obama so clearly abandon his principles to posture himself politically. I thought we’d have to wait until 2009 for Obama supporters’ political naïveté to be pulverized as they realize Hope™ and Change™ is nothing more than rhetoric.

Mark Jaquith on June 22, 2008 at 3:03 PM

I am not sure it will help Obama to filibuster this thing. Members of Congress were out there patting themselves on the back for actually accomplishing something for a change. A filibuster puts is back in gridlock. I thought Obama was supposed to be a reach across the aisle new politic kind of guy.

Terrye on June 22, 2008 at 3:06 PM

Didn’t Obama take on some Clinton advisors to him campaign? Maybe he got the ones that advised Hillary on driver license’s for illegal immigrants.

Nelsa on June 22, 2008 at 3:31 PM

And with this does anyone doubt that war crime trials begin in 09? Limerick on June 22, 2008 at 12:11 PM

Ahh yes, hope springs eternal…!

Someone’s gotta make the outlaws in the gov-mint pay the price for their “evil doer’s” ways.

J_Gocht on June 22, 2008 at 4:16 PM

As John Maynard Keynes once famously said about a changed position:
DelD on June 22, 2008 at 12:17 PM

Yes indeed, John Maynard Keynes one of the fathers of modern theoretical macroeconomics was the eternal pragmatist.

“When the facts change, I change my mind, what do you do, sir?”

Senator Obama has shown the same insightful pragmatism with respect to the FISA court in general while maintaining his original position with respect to the denial of immunity for the telecoms specifically.

Tip-O-the-hat; to you Sir!

J_Gocht on June 22, 2008 at 5:00 PM

Will Obama try to do yet another flip-flop and still convince people that he has any principles at all?–Ed

I have to join in the chorus; Obama feels no need to convince people that he has any principles at all. His supporters don’t care about “principles” other than communism. If Marx and Mao had no opinion one way or another on a given contemporary issue or bill, then Obama feels free to say whatever whenever and his disciples adore him precisely because Obama is not bound by Enlightened Reason, having cast all logic to the tornadic winds of CHANGE that foster hope for revolutionary deconstruction and the revision of all things.

maverick muse on June 22, 2008 at 5:03 PM

I can smell it now:

“I was for the FISA compromise before I filibustered against it”…

darkpixel on June 22, 2008 at 6:44 PM

Come on folks. Did anybody here seriously believe that Barack Hussein Obama would want to defend America? On the contrary, he’d want CHANGE bombs with marshmallows, and torture tickle with feathers! I feel safer all ready. /Sarcasm

byteshredder on June 22, 2008 at 8:01 PM

mark it down. There will be at least one Not Voting so that he can lay claim to either side when needed. Ya know, tied up on the campaign trail and all. Where is that damn Present button when you need it?

yakwill83 on June 22, 2008 at 9:46 PM

Can Chris Dodd get me a good rate on a mortgage?

malkinmania on June 22, 2008 at 11:10 PM

“So which is it?”

Depends.

Is voting “Present” acceptable?

GarandFan on June 22, 2008 at 12:57 PM

Maybe. But he’d actually hafta be in D.C. instead of on the campaign trail.

soundingboard on June 23, 2008 at 12:31 AM

And even though I think the telecoms shouldn’t be protected from the consequences of their bad-faith illegal actions…

Mark Jaquith on June 22, 2008 at 3:03 PM

Ah, Mark. More bad-faith, knee-jerk leftism for you? The actions of the telecoms was quite clearly in good faith, and not illegal, despite the screams and cries of your moonbat friends at MoveOn.

Jaibones on June 23, 2008 at 8:29 AM

Insightful pragmatism: I was against FISA before I was for it, and then against it, kind of.

Jaibones on June 23, 2008 at 8:31 AM

Pin the tail on the donkey. Spin him around three times blindfolded and see where he goes.

But will anyone in the media pin this donkey on his tales?

Steve Z on June 23, 2008 at 10:08 AM

Obama is consistent:

He clearly wants an unrestricted right to prosecute you and throw you in jail if you disagree with him on anything.

…And if you oppose this, you’re a racist!!!

landlines on June 23, 2008 at 10:26 AM

He was for being against it before he was against being for it.

ronsfi on June 23, 2008 at 12:21 PM