Remember back in January when Congress actually showed a rare instance of having a spine and refused to pass a bill on warrantless wiretapping that allowed immunity (retroactive and otherwise) for telecom companies. WHile the Democrats tried to compromise the GOP decided to let the bill die rather than hold the phone companies accountable. At the time the question was would the Democrats hold firm on this or would they eventually do what they're too damn often known for doing these past however many years - cave and give Dubya and the right what they want. We now have our answer.
Yesterday Congress voted on a "compromise bill" that allowed for the telecoms to receive "retroactive immunity." Bush is pleased and signed this into law. A handful of Democrats, including Sen. Russ Feingold (D, WI) who called this a "black mark not only on the Democrats, but on the Congress, and really the history of our country."
Whether this is a compromise or a capitulation has been debated in Congress and by the pundits. However, one thing can be taken into account - some Democrats may have voted for this because they want the power to do what the Bush administration has done; not everyone but I'm sure there are some who lust for power on that face of our one party system.
One thing i do wonder is if Obama gets elected, how quickly will the Republicans all of a sudden gets concerned about the Constitution and the right to privacy? Not for any real reasons but simply 'cause they only want that power themselves. Some readers may think it won't happen but if and when it does it will make for an ironic, and stomach turning, twist.
Now if the Democrats would realize that, election year or not, caving to the right wing of our country doesn't help them - not even a little bit.