Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Let Them Eat Crab Cakes

With the polls in Virginia closed and the polls in DC and Maryland open until 9:30pm (those polling places are staying open for an extra 90 minutes due to icy weather and a tremendous turn-out), yet another victory is Senator Obama's - yeah =) Hard as it may be to be a gracious loser, it can be equally difficult sometimes to be a victor who is not perceived to be a braggart, a bully or worse. And as thrilled as today's results may make me feel, a few phrases keep ringing in my head - one is a statement made by Susan Estrich on the Stephanie Miller Show and that is "Lots of people have gone broke betting against the Clintons," and the old adage that "It ain't over 'til the fat lady (or the super delegate) sings." In other words, we got a whole lotta primaries left to go, including several big states voting on March 4th - among them Texas and Ohio, with Pennsylvania looming out there in April (22nd). Both Clinton and Obama have their strong suits - their key demographics. It is no secret that Obama's voters tend to be younger, more affluent and better educated, while Clinton does well with older white women and the working class.

But the primaries were not the only political news to come out of the Potomac area today. Today there was an important vote that took place in the Senate - a vote so important that only three senators did not show up to express an opinion on this burning issue. The issue was whether to grant immunity to the telecom corporations who ostensibly broke no laws (then why do they need immunity, I'm just asking?) when they gave the Bush administration the wherewithal to spy on all Americans WITHOUT a warrant. The three senators who declined to cast their vote on this highly significant piece of legislation were Lindsey Graham, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, although Senator Obama did cast a vote on the initial call of the bill, and Senator Clinton sent in a note explaining that she would have voted for the amendment to cancel the immunity has she been there to cast her vote (which she was not).

Personally, I have never expected much from Senator Graham, that right-wing Bushite from South Carolina who was no doubt busy chasing down John McCain to see about the veep position, but Hillary Clinton, well Hillary Clinton, I did expect that she would at least show up given that today's primaries were right there in the neighborhood - she barely had to swing out of her campaign orbit to show up in the Senate long enough to cast her vote. Barack Obama made it to cast a vote early on in the day (although as I have already acknowledged Obama did not participate in the final vote). Which leads me to ask a simple question - who is really watching out for you inside the beltway these days? The amendment that would have stripped this noxious piece of legislation of the vile immunity clause went down to defeat (68 nays - 29 yeas), and I grant you that Senator Clinton's and Senator Obama's votes would not have made a difference, but it would have made a difference to me - a liberal middle-aged white woman living in the heart of red America. It would have made a difference to me had Hillary and Barack taken a few minutes out of their busy campaign schedules to cast a vote not just against immunity for the law-breaking telecom industry, but a vote for innocent Americans who are looking to Congress as the last firewall against the complete erosion of our still precious freedoms. I am more than disappointed tonight, I am angry beyond words...

Senate Rejects Bid to Strip Phone Companies' Immunity (Bloomberg, February 12, 2008)

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