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?