Feingold Has A Message For The Pro-Immunity Members Of The Senate


Mr. President, I sit on the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, and I am one of the few members of this body who has been fully briefed on the warrantless wiretapping program. And, based on what I know, I can promise that if more information is declassified about the program in the future, as is likely to happen either due to the Inspector General report, the election of a new President, or simply the passage of time, members of this body will regret that we passed this legislation. I am also familiar with the collection activities that have been conducted under the Protect America Act and will continue under this bill. I invite any of my colleagues who wish to know more about those activities to come speak to me in a classified setting. Publicly, all I can say is that I have serious concerns about how those activities may have impacted the civil liberties of Americans. If we grant these new powers to the government and the effects become known to the American people, we will realize what a mistake it was, of that I am sure.

In the van today, cataloging all this EPIC FAIL as well as the few moments of PURE WIN noted above and below, people were listing off all the conversations they’d had with various members of Congress and their staffs, who they wrote letters to, who talked to them on the phone, who answered an e-mail, who got through and who didn’t. And godDAMN, people. You stood the hell up today like men and women, like grown-ups, like Americans. You have nothing to feel bad about.

It seems a pretty poor consolation, that we did everything we could. But honestly, honestly honestly, it’s not. It’s not a small thing, doing everything you could. You are not obligated to complete the work, says the Torah, but you are not free to abandon it. It’s not a small thing to take the time you have and make the calls and write the letters, and you don’t even do it for them. You do it for the hour between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. when you are wondering, what could I have done? You do it so that there’s an answer to that question. There are things that we do not because others deserve to have them done but because we deserve to do them.

The point about victories in the face of impossible odds is that the odds are impossible and the victories unlikely. To pivot from the Torah to Shakespeare, as you do, “The harder matched, the greater victory,” but the great victories, you don’t get those every single day. You don’t get them when you want them and you don’t get them when you need them, even. So why fight? Because you never know when they’re going to come. You never know where your words are going to stop. You never know who is going to hear you and take notice. You never know who is going to stand up with you and who is going to get your back and it might never be the person place or thing you expect.

If you can’t expect, all you can do is plan. All you can do is get up every day and fight every day like a dog for the things that you want and you believe in, fight like a goddamn junkyard dog. Because you lose and you lose and you lose and you lose and you lose and you lose and you lose and then you fucking win. And if you hadn’t been pushing, all that time, if you hadn’t been fighting, if you hadn’t been getting back up, you wouldn’t have been there when the air changed and the floods rolled back and the ball hung in the sky just a second longer than it ought to and you wouldn’t have been able to change where it landed.

This sucked. We lost. Anybody fucking tired?


22 thoughts on “Feingold Has A Message For The Pro-Immunity Members Of The Senate

  1. That’s it. It’s over. They won. They can just do whatever the fuck they want and change the law to make it legal after the fact if they feel like it, and the four people who try to say “You can’t do that!” will get drowned out by the coopted faction, and the Great Unwashed will change the channel because American Idol is on…
    I am so sorry.

  2. Like Johnny Carson after a failed joke or a movie review with a crappy movie to review
    Athenae comes thought with a post to remind us to keep fighting in the face of defeat.
    Thank you Athenae:
    You know this is the kind of thing that coaches do, that leaders of countries do when bombing your cities, the German army is rolling over Europe and we don’t have the allies we need yet to push back successfully.
    As I wrote on my blog
    Good bye 4th Amendment. Nice knowin’ ya.
    WE here are closer to the Founding Bloggers, er Framers, than most of the people in the House and Senate.
    Who is fighting for the Constitution? We are.
    Who is fighting for the rule of law? We are.
    We call, we write, we fax, we fight.
    We scream, we shout, we call our representatives out.
    From this day forward we should all remember who was fighting FOR the rule of law and who was fighting against it.
    The people who willful negated our rights should have to pay. Politically, financially and criminally.
    You would think that the people who care for the constitution would all stand up for it.
    But one thing that we do want to remember NO ONE in the Republican party did.
    How is it that they are the party of the constitution haters? Do any members of their own party care about that? I would like to think a few do, but at least we still have some on our side who do care.
    Here is a link to my post to encourage some more of us.

  3. WE THE FUCKING PEOPLE are being anally gang raped by our “elected representatives” and the people that they truly represent, the big money corporate lobbyists. The pure definition of fascism is on display right now.
    Feeling safer?
    And to think that Bill Clinton actually got impeached over lying about a consensual blow job.

  4. This is why I’m an incurable Progressive. The envelope must always be pushed in order to create change, and change is required in Life. As a Society we must evolve.
    This is how slavery was ended, women getting the vote, the New Deal and the Civil Rights Act. It’s how my tribes are slowly gaining respect and dignity under Law.
    We lost this battle, but the war ain’t over yet. Keep fighting.
    My creed-
    “Greater than scene is situation. Greater than situation is implication. Greater than all of these is a single, entire human being, who will never be confined in any frame.” Eudora Welty
    The fuckmooks can’t always win.

  5. cept the sheeple these dayys don’t give a shit about democracy. they just want to be safe. so who cares if we are free.
    home of the babies.

  6. Like a lot of people I was extremely disappointed today, in many Democrats, including Diane Feinstein, who wrote a nonsense filled letter to my wife explaining why she was for the bill, including Barack Obama, for not using his leadership skills to try to swing a few more votes against the bill, and to Harry Reid for letting this come to a vote now.
    My hope is that once Obama is President he will feel secure enough to speak the truth about this utterly phony “war on terror”, and persuade a much bigger number of Americans that absolute safety isn’t obtainable, even if we give up the entire Constitution. Once we act like grownups and accept that just waking up each morning isn’t 100% safe, we stand a chance of returning to rational governments.
    I will vote for Obama. I will not be smiling at the time.

  7. I am disheartened, disappointed, and deeply fucking pissed off (I broke two huge boards with a reverse punch tonight at tae kwon do and that felt damn good after today). But no way am I tired. Though I will still vote for him, I will not work for Obama after today. But damn right I will still work. If we don’t, what will be left?
    Cheers to everyone who put their hearts and hands and minds and voices into this one. They fucked up – WE did not.

  8. Yes, I am tired, but I’m halfway through sending notes of praise to the
    senators who stood up for us. I am amazed my senators came through (ny),
    but I’m happy they did.
    My little money will go to Russ, Chris, and the ACLU. Piss off

  9. The only thing that really comes to my mind is that somehow, somewhere, someday, this kind of shit is going to bite them in the ass, but, then, I think, Eliot Spitzer, and Chris Dodd’s home loan, and Gov. Seligman’s conviction, and the Fugitive Texas Legislators (remember them and DeLay’s redistricting?) and I figure it already has, and to precious little effect.
    Then I think that getting the fascist republicans out of the Executive Branch, regardless of how the Democrats vote on the issues can only start building an atmosphere where real people of courage and conviction, real people who vote their convictions, can start to make some changes that will lead to a point in time where somebody like a Paul Wellstone actually steps up and shakes this country out of it’s lazy, fat assed, gutless, quivering, self centered, maturbatory, pointless worship of gluttony and sloth.
    Out of all the people that Obama will appoint, almost all of them will be better than the dreck that Bush dredged up, and some of them will actually be progressive, and a few more progressives will get elected, and so hope continues.
    Look, the mess Obama inherits goes so far beyond evisceration of the Constitution, who’s going to have time to spy on everybody? Getting Obama elected will, I guarantee it, lead us to an end of terrorizing the American People about those brown, crazy, islamofascist terrorists. Not right away mind you, but it will happen, because, I believe, we won’t have the time or energy to waste on what a bunch of people we don’t really give a shit about do.
    Bottom line, the Establishment is full of easily frightened people, goppers tend to project, Dems don’t know what to do, and go off in all different directions, then get bullied into a corner, and wonder how. It’s because they have a lot more to lose than we do. All we have to lose is our lives.
    When our backs are actually against the wall, and they aren’t even close to that now, then fertilizer will find the fan.

  10. Pansypoo,
    Sheeple can be taught. All they have been missing in their lives are real examples of those who do fight for our Republic and our rights.
    Look at what Spocko wrote- “WE here are closer to the Founding Bloggers, er Framers, than most of the people in the House and Senate.
    Who is fighting for the Constitution? We are.
    Who is fighting for the rule of law? We are.
    We call, we write, we fax, we fight.
    We scream, we shout, we call our representatives out.
    From this day forward we should all remember who was fighting FOR the rule of law and who was fighting against it.”
    My parents worked in the Civil Rights movement. I worked on anti-nuclear, women’s, homeless and LGBT rights for decades. I have fought for AIDS patients and Trans folk. Often you lose the battles, but the day does come when you score the Trifecta. Living isn’t easy, and teaching is even harder.
    As long as we see the TV “sheeple” as un-helpful or un-concerned, we will lose the war.
    Remember that during the Revolution most of the population of the 13 Colonies didn’t give a damn either way. A small segment of people made our Independence possible.
    This is the coming Second Revolution, and it’s once again small groups of people that are going to make it a Reality. Never give up. Never despair. Never stop fighting for what you believe is right.
    Then one day the sun comes up and you see a changed world. (Remember that magic is the changing of Reality in accordance to Will. Will the change Darlin’.)

  11. I’m not proud. Or tired. (Gratuitous Arlo Guthrie reference)
    GG is right. The thing I’m most heartened by is that ten years ago, I might not even have known the FISA debate was going on, might not have even considered it all that important. But a few years back, I discovered this bloggy thing on the intertubes, and wowee, suddenly I’m an activist! Okay, a sort of sedendary activist, but still…
    My point is the world is different now because we’re watching. They can’t just do this shit and think they can just go home and everybody will cheer just because they’re fucking senators. Because now we know what they did, we know just how fucking craven and cowardly and STUPID it really was, and we’re going to remind them of that. And remind them. And remind them. Till we either get through to them, or we find somebody better to elect.
    And it’s not just us–it’s everybody we talk to, harangue, plead with. Mr. BuggyQ never would have paid any of this any attention, but now he’s not only paying attention, he *cares.* And he’s talking to other people.
    People have died fighting for these rights. I think we can deal with a little temporary disappointment. This isn’t over, not by a long shot. There’s still the constitutionality issue. By the time this wends its way through the courts, we may have a few more senators with balls enough to get this thing repealed. But only if we stand up and demand it.

  12. What options are there now? Can Congress revoke immunity once they learn more details (especially if the details are not in line with what they’ve been told so far?).
    Can we at least get the details so that this can be a lesson to the future?

  13. Did we ever get an answer from Harry Reid as to why any random Republican Senator can put a SACRED HOLD on any progressive legislation, but no hold by a Democrat is worth a flying fuck? What’s with this goddamn double standard?

  14. I decided to send on of my precious FYYFF stickers in my note to Obama conveying my deepest disappointment. I like to think someone in his office will know what it means.

  15. Slim,
    I fight and it’s the fartherest thing from my soul, but I have learned through the decades that this is how one creates change.
    Personally, I just want to go home, cook the meals, clean the house, tend to the katz and work on the yards, but I can’t.I have to fight in my own way.I seek a Progressive world.
    Please send the link. I’ll be here in the swamps ready and willing to fire the “mother” up if need be.
    What we are fighting for are our lives, our destinies… our children.The freedoms the Founders gave to all of us, if we can sustain them.
    I wanted the last part of my life to be peaceful and calm, but the World’s in a shitter. I desired peace, but it ain’t happening. As an old gal, I can scream, rant and rage, but it’s for the younger crowd to make this change a Reality. My time is coming to an end.
    What we need is the younger ones to stand forth and deliver. Us older folks are worn out with 40 years of the Culture Wars. (We will stand for the Republic) We elders are at the point where we are the Crones and ancients, and handing knowledge over is our task now. Our time is ending, but we still will be around for the fight.
    I figured that at this point in Life I’d be wearing my bonnet and a sundress tending my gardens.Weeds would be my enemy, but sadly that will not be the case. I’m still gonna have to fight for all of us.
    The Goddess has already told me of what my task is. I will continue to fight.
    And now I go to sleep as the old fuck that I am.
    Tomorrow is another day.

  16. I am discouraged and outraged. I also almost agree with GG that for me it’s time to hand over the agitating to the youngsters.
    Even though I was a Hil partisan I was somewhat mollified that a new generation was gathering strength, what with all the enthusiastic Bar kids. (He better not lose them.) 38 years after being shot at by National Guardsmen in Ohio, I think I might retire to read blogs and write checks (my congresscritters normally vote the correct ways).
    Then Athenae comes along with one of her essays that bring tears (true!) to my eyes and I start to consider traveling to Ohio again this fall and see what good I can try and do once more…TX, A.

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