Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the last 48 hours, you no doubt realize that we are in the middle of an epic battle in our nation’s capital. Heroes and villains are clashing. Sparks are flying.
On one side, we have Bush, Cheney, the Republican party, felons and corporate lobbyists. On the other side, we have patriots standing up for the rule of law, equal justice for all, and the Constitution.
I am, of course, speaking of the bloody battle over whether to grant retroactive immunity to those corporations that chose to engage in felonious activities in violation of FISA. (One company, QWEST, chose to obey federal law because...uhm...well...it's the law.)
There is growing evidence that hundreds, if not thousands, of federal felonies were committed by Bush, Cheney, and certain telephone companies, in violation of existing federal law (FISA). Their solution? Bush, Cheney, Republicans and the corporate lobbyists are pushing for retroactive immunity (a get out of jail free card!) for all these crimes.
And they have the audacity to try to push this through a Democratic controlled Congress! Ha, ha, ha...right, not gonna happen. THAT will never happen...er...uhm...will it?
Well, it WAS happening yesterday, and the battlefield is already bloodied. Some Democratic Senators are cowering and chosing to do the WRONG thing: they are fighting alongside Bush, Cheney and the felons!
The outcome of the battle is still uncertain. The battle will continue to rage on, in the hours, and days ahead. It is time for everyone in the netroots to join this battle, and join it now. We cannot allow this to happen. It is time for you to call your Senator to demand that retroactive immunity be stopped. Click here, and call right now. Let the phones ring off the hook. Are you really going to let this happen?
Of course, yesterday, on the day of heroes and villains, on the day when leaders led, and the timorous cowered, it is worth asking: which of the three remaining Democrats running for President was leading? Which one was providing strong, presidential caliber leadership on this issue? The answer? Only, John Edwards.
To understand why this is true, I have copied below the email that John Edwards sent to all his supporters in the United States yesterday morning, likely over one hundred thousand people, OVER ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND POTENTIAL FOOT SOLDIERS IN THE CAUSE. As you read through Edwards' email, reflect upon the simple courage and eloquence of his words. This is what leadership looks like.
Notice also that the Edwards email has a changeable field in it. In particular, depending upon where the recipient lives, the contact information for "your Senators" changes. Thus the Edwards email is very much leading: it is optimized to support the actual effort to defeat retroactive immunity. In short, the email is brilliant.
When it comes to protecting the rule of law, words are not enough. We need action.
It's wrong for your government to spy on you. That's why I'm asking you to join me today in calling on Senate Democrats to filibuster revisions to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that would give "retroactive immunity" to the giant telecom companies for their role in aiding George W. Bush's illegal eavesdropping on American citizens.
The Senate is debating this issue right now -- which is why we must act right now. You can call your Senators here:
Frank R. Lautenberg, (D): (202) 224-3224
Robert Menendez, (D): (202) 224-4744
Granting retroactive immunity is wrong. It will let corporate law-breakers off the hook. It will hamstring efforts to learn the truth about Bush's illegal spying program. And it will flip on its head a core principle that has guided our nation since our founding: the belief that no one, no matter how well connected or what office they hold, is above the law.
But in Washington today, the telecom lobbyists have launched a full-court press for retroactive immunity. George Bush and Dick Cheney are doing everything in their power to ensure it passes. And too many Senate Democrats are ready to give the lobbyists and the Bush administration exactly what they want.
Please join me in calling on every Senate Democrat to do everything in their power -- including joining Senator Dodd's efforts to filibuster this legislation -- to stop retroactive immunity and stand up for the rule of law. The Constitution should not be for sale at any price.
Thank you for taking action.
January 24, 2008
Let us now look at an excerpt from the email that Hillary Clinton sent to over one hundred thousand potential foot soldiers in the cause. Here it is...it’s from Chelsea Clinton! Here is what Hillary and Chelsea had to say to over one hundred thousand potential foot soldiers in the cause on the first day of battle, as the battle raged:
I love talking to people who are thinking about supporting my mom -- about why I believe in her and why I support her as a young American, a woman, and her daughter!
I also love talking to people who already support my mom's campaign. Every day, when people tell me they're voting for my mom, putting their faith in her, using their voice to encourage others to support her and working hard for her, I grow more proud.
I've been campaigning with her across the country -- and I'm definitely planning on being at the next debate. Would you like to join me? The campaign is picking an online supporter to watch the January 31 debate in Los Angeles with me and to meet my mom. I know she'll be thrilled to meet you -- she is so grateful for how much every supporter has done for her campaign.
Hmmmm...ya think Chelsea could have at least mentioned how much of a bummer retroactive immunity is for her and her friends?
And lastly, as the epic battle transpired in our nation’s capital today, let us look at an excerpt from the email that our great new leader Barack Obama sent to all his supporters. Again, this is the email that Barack Obama sent out to over one hundred thousand potential foot soldiers in the cause.
Barack had his wife Michelle speak to the big issue of the day...and it that issue was...drum roll please...can you give us $50 to fight Bill Clinton? What?!!!!!
Here is Michelle:
In the past week or two, another candidate's spouse has been getting an awful lot of attention.
We knew getting into this race that Barack would be competing with Senator Clinton and President Clinton at the same time.
We expected that Bill Clinton would tout his record from the nineties and talk about Hillary's role in his past success. That's a fair approach and a challenge we are prepared to face.
What we didn't expect, at least not from our fellow Democrats, are the win-at-all-costs tactics we've seen recently. We didn't expect misleading accusations that willfully distort Barack's record.
Barack Obama isn't relying on a former President of the United States to campaign for him.
He's relying on us -- you, me, and hundreds of thousands of people like us who are giving whatever they can afford to support this movement.
Please stand up in the face of these new attacks. Make your first online donation of $50 today and own a piece of this campaign.
Dear DailyKos community, spend a moment taking this all in. Each one of our candidates had the ability to bring hundreds of thousands of foot soldiers to this battle. Yet, only one of them, John Edwards, did it. Which tells you what?
And so, I believe our battle plan, our path to victory, is clear:
The netroots must pressure Clinton and Obama to send out an email to every single one of their supporters, to pressure their respective Senators to STOP retroactive immunity from passing.
Look, if I recall correctly:
Edwards email list has about 200,000 potential foot soldiers.
Clinton's list has about 300,000 potential foot soldiers.
Obama's list has about 500,000 potential foot soldiers.
Between these three candidates, you have essentially every single Democrat in the United States who gives money to, or volunteers time to help, Democrats. This is the backbone and future of the Democratic party. These are the foot soldiers of the Democratic party. In short, without these 1 Million people, there would be no Democratic party.
If these 1 million people were told that this must stop, guess what? We would win this.
Think about it...we are all calling our respective Senators. And yes, all but 12 of them seem to be doing the right thing...so far. But how, I mean how, how do we really put the pressure on the defiant 12 to do the right thing? Without them, we lose. (By the way, one of those 12 is Senator Bayh, Hillary Clinton's ostensible choice for running mate! Which tells us what?)
Our battle plan MUST be to enlist all 1 Million supporters of ALL three of our Democrats running for President. So far, we have the supporters of only ONE of the candidates being called to the trenches! That must change.
Clearly, the Democratic party, including the defiant 12, CANNOT stand up to all 1 Million of these people...can it? Can the the defiant 12 stand up to Obama, Edwards, Clinton AND all 1 million of their supporters?! Hint: NO!
Kos, do you suppose you can put up a temporary "vote" counter on the left hand side of DailyKos which, in so many words, allows every Kossack to register their DEMAND that Clinton and Obama send out an "Edwards-like" email rallying their supporters to stop retroactive immunity?
Should that email perhaps be directed at pressuring the defiant 12 and contain the phone numbers for the defiant 12? Can somebody contact Glenn Greenwald and Firedoglake with this idea as well? Might we get some press perhaps?
So it is time to play hardball with Obama and Clinton. Call them right now and DEMAND THAT THEY ENLIST THEIR 800,000 FOOT SOLDIERS TO STOP RETROACTIVE IMMUNITY. (Many of us are on all the email lists...so we will know when they actually do this.)
Let their phones ring off the hook:
Barack Obama - (202) 224-2854
Hillary Clinton - (202) 224-4451
The bottom line is this: unless Clinton and Obama do this, Clinton and Obama will shoulder the blame if retroactive immunity passes. It is that simple. Time to play hardball. Time for leadership and results.
(Posted earlier, in part, at MyDD)