Chris Dodd may still be one of the toughest Senators we have:
Mr. President: I rise—once again—to voice my strong opposition to the misguided FISA legislation before us today. I have strong reservations about the so-called improvements made to Title I. But more than that, this legislation includes provisions which would grant retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that apparently have violated the privacy and the trust of millions of Americans by participating in the president’s warrantless wiretapping program. If we pass this legislation, the Senate will ratify a domestic spying regime that has already concentrated far too much unaccountable power in the president’s hands and will place the telecommunications companies above the law.
2 issues at work here. 1 is the Telecom Amnesty, a payback to loyal campaign contributors who sat up and barked when GWBush said "Bark".
That's pretty bad. but even worse, for the country at large, is that this bill takes the already friendly-to-the-executive FISA laws, and bends them like a pretzel to give even more power to the executive.
Republicans who crafted this new bill don't seem to have the ability to know that tomorrow follows today. And there's a pretty good chance that after a few tomorrows, there will be a Democrat in the White House.
A Democrat who will now have the same powers the Republicans lusted for. Speaking with Digby the other day, this is exactly why she thinks Obama supported the FISA bill, with tepid condemnation of the Telco Amnesty portion. He's seen the promised land, and it's increased Executive power.
Perhaps at that point the Repubs will see the error in perennial overreach. Or perhaps not. Oh well, we'll just eat their livers with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.