Whitehouse Support FISA, More Liberal Philosophical Gymnastics To Follow

According to John Mulligan at the ProJo, it looks like Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse will follow the lead of fellow Democrats Jim Langevin, Barack Obama and Jack Reed and vote to approve the FISA bill (Andrew had more details and analysis of the bill here and here).

As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse has condemned the Bush administration in the harshest terms because, in his view, it has damaged civil liberties in the name of counterterrorism.
But Whitehouse is now considering backing President Bush on an overhaul of the nation’s intelligence rules that critics say would undercut the constitutional ban on unreasonable searches. Partly because his seat on the Intelligence Committee has shown him the value of warrantless wiretaps on suspected terrorists, Whitehouse says, he has already joined bipartisan majorities behind Mr. Bush on key surveillance questions.
“The more we know about what terrorists are saying to one another overseas, the better positioned we are to anticipate and defend against what they’re planning,” said Whitehouse, echoing the president’s argument that the law “will help our intelligence professionals learn our enemies’ plans for new attacks.”

Yeah, imagine that, the more you learn the facts and the actual dangers posed, the more inclined you are to support the programs best able to thwart an attack. The local progressi-sphere were all over Rep. Langevin (and still are) for his informed support of the new FISA bill. Meanwhile they continue to give Obama a pass for being politically astute and “moving to the center” and have stayed mum on Reed. Wonder what’s in store for Whitehouse? We’ll see. One final note: as far as I can tell, Rep. Langevin is pretty much right in line with the rest of the Rhode Island Congressional delegation on issue after issue. Except he’s pro-life. Perhaps, in the eyes of many on the left, that’s his unforgivable sin?

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15 years ago

Pelosi’s selling point is that it will save 10-20 Democratic House seats in conservative districts.
It’s classic Democratic we-don’t-dare-take-a-stand in an elction year. That tactic sure helped Kerry and Gore.

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